Apple had a busy day in San Francisco yesterday, unveiling its new iPhone 6S, new Apple Watch bands and the second edition of its operating system as well as boasting its success, and of course there was the announcement of the iPad Pro and its new stylus and keyboard and everything in between.
Here’s everything you need to know about the iPad Pro.
The iPad Pro is Apple’s biggest iPad yet. In fact it’s the biggest device to ever run on iOS with a 12.9-inch display featuring 5.6m pixels. Despite all of that the iPad Pro is only 6.9mm thin and weighs 1.57lbs.
The iPad Pro appears to aimed at both work and play. The large screen features split screen modes for working on multiple things while the 5.6m pixel display will provide some stunning views for watching video content.
It’s also got an eight megapixel iSight camera.
Under the hood, the iPad Pro is kitted with Apple’s new A9X processor. Phil Schiller claims that the processor is 1.8 times faster than the A8X processor that was in the previous iPad Air 2. Apple promises that the new tablet will deliver “desktop performance” and is faster than most PCs.
“It is faster than 80 percent of the portable PCs that shipped in the last 12 months,” promised Schiller and Apple. “In graphics tasks it’s faster than 90 percent of them.” On the battery front, users will get a battery with a 10 hour lifespan.
One of the standouts of the iPad Pro presentation was the new accessories that Apple flaunted. First was the new physical keyboard, the Smart Keyboard. It’s an optional accessory sold separately, priced at $169.
Much like the keyboard for Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet, it’s a detachable keyboard cover. The keys are cloth and it connects through the Smart Connector rather than Bluetooth.
“Who wants a stylus?” asked Steve Jobs at the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. “You have to get them and put them away. You lose them. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus,” he said.
Eight years later, Apple has released a stylus. The Apple Pencil has been designed for the iPad Pro and not just for its own apps but also third party apps.
Health tech start-up 3D4Medical for example exhibited how the Pencil can be used for examining and editing maps of skeletons and muscle, aimed at medical professionals.
In a somewhat surreal moment, the Microsoft logo flashed up on screen during the iPad Pro segment of the event and Kirk Konigsbauer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, took to the stage to discuss the use and development of Office’s apps on the iPad Pro. The event also featured presentations from Adobe on some of its new software, Adobe Fix.
Microsoft has its own tablets that it’s trying to sell so it seems odd to have one of its executives on stage during an Apple event. The company still wants people to use its software on iPads but did it just highlight a rival’s hardware at the expense of its own?
The iPad Pro, which will be released in November along with keyboard and stylus, will cost $799 (32GB), $949 (128GB), or $1,079 (128GB with cellular).
The Smart Keyboard is pretty expensive at $169 when put up against the price of the iPad Pro itself while the Apple Pencil comes in at $99. These are both optional devices sold separately for the iPad Pro so at least the more frugal user can stick with using their fingers if they want.