Review: Apple's 11-inch iPad Pro is stunningly powerful, with a few key limitations

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  • Reply 101 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    tht said:
    I disagree with the CNBC reviewer if he said that. The touchscreen is awesome. Multi-touch gesturing on the iPad is where it becomes really useful. For the iPad, I’ve already laid out a litany of reasons why touchscreen should be the default way of doing things, and in particular flat on a table. It makes using the touchscreen a whole lot easier. It makes using the Pencil a whole lot easier and quicker. 

    If an iPad is vertical in a clamshell configuration, it neuters the biggest advantage of an iPad. A lot of people complain about the text editing, insertion placement, text selection, and want a trackpad or mouse support, implying they use an iPad propped up with an external keyboard. But if they used an iPad flat on a table instead of propped up, you could do text editing about as well as with a trackpad. A little buggy in complex web browser text boxes right now, so Apple has to tighten it up, but so far it works. Arrow keys on the software keyboard would be nice, and there’s room on the 12.9 for them. Meta keys would be great too.

    It would be plain hard to use the multi-touch gestures when it is propped up by a keyboard case. Hard. You have to reach and lift up your arms. There isn’t solid backing on the iPad combined with the user lifting up their arms. That’s makes it quite unjoyable [is this word better than un-enjoyable?] to use the touchscreen. Virtually impossible to do touchscreen stuff with precision while vertical. You have to be able to rest your arms and wrists on a solid surface.
    Having tried it both ways, I agree with you as far as flat/'drafting table' vs vertical in terms of being as good as it gets with an iPad, but I don't agree it is as good as a laptop/desktop when it comes to text selection, typing, etc. (As mentioned, what you explain well is why I think touchscreen laptops are kind of silly.)

    GeorgeBMac said:
    I totally agree with your assessment.
    I wonder how many of those who claim typing on a screen based keyboard is as fast as a quality external keyboard are not able to touch type and instead are looking at the keyboard instead of the screen and poking along with one or two fingers instead of 8.   That would be a major equalizer.  It would in fact be the difference between a V8 and a lawnmower engine -- they're slow regardless of which keyboard they use so which one makes little difference. 
    That is a good question and observation. My hunch would be that the faster a typist you are, the greater the gap between the real and virtual keyboard. I'm not a horribly fast typist... just kind of average. One of these days, I'm going to have to get an older-style keyboard with good switches and such, as I'm guessing I'd be faster than on my Apple Magic keyboard, too. I'm just not sure I can deal with the noise... but for when I'm doing a lot of typing, it might be nice to have around (or, maybe I should say, standardize on that and have the Magic Keyboard around for when recording a video/podcast, etc.).

    melgross said:
    To you.
    To me too.

    mac_128 said:
    I would agree that once you start using iOS methods for managing files, including hire party apps, cloud services, and wireless drives, you’d get used to handling your files that way. In that sense, you’re transferring your expectations of using a MacBook onto the iPad, and that’s wrong.
    You're holding it wrong? :smiley: 
    But, seriously, what is the iOS file-management routine supposed to be good at? Simplicity? I agree if you deal with 5 files in each app.
    Dropbox was my only hope, and I found a few apps that integrated with it well enough to cover a few things, but everything else was a pain.

    I'm guessing iCloud has now improved enough to start helping, but it's still quite app-centric, rather than file-centric. Most people who work on real-world projects have an assortment of files that go with a particular task or project, instead of thinking of a project, then what apps are involved, then launching those apps and looking for files. It is utterly almost inverse of most people's workflow.

    Also, iOS - for the most part - doesn't work on files in-place (from the user perspective), you have to 'transfer' the file around between apps and then remember to put it back where it is supposed to be stored. It's quite awkward.
  • Reply 102 of 121
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    cgWerks said:
    tht said:
    For a thesis or documentation or a paper? Using an iPad software keyboard will be one of the least trying things about the endeavor. The only way to make it less trying is if the keyboard could just write it without my input. Just automatically write documentation for me. It’s the soul crushing boredom, not the software keyboard that will be the problem. 😜
    Heh, just articles at the time for me. I wrote a small thesis for my particular track in grad-school, but not on the iPad.

    But, fair point.... except why make something already hard even harder? :)
    If someone assumes something is harder to do, it often becomes a self fulfilling destiny. 😜  Everyone is susceptible to it. I’ve never bothered to really learn MS Word enough to write a good paper on it, things like typesetting, table of contents, etc. Whenever I try with Word, it’s nothing but frustration, but I know I could do it given enough time and come to appreciate its capabilities. Would prefer to put the effort into doing in Latex though.

    The iPhone keyboard in 2007 had similar arguments to it from the thumb board people. After a few years, nobody complained about it anymore, and it is likely onscreen keyboards are easier and faster than mechanical thumb boards. The circumstances with tablet onscreen keyboards and full sized keyboards have a taller perception hill to climb, but parity in input proficiency should be achieveable for most people.

    cgWerks said:
    tht said:
    A lot of it is indeed subjective, what you are used to, and how well you can adapt. I don’t think there is anything technical with a software keyboard - a well designed, fully spaced software keyboard - that would make writing on it more difficult to write a thesis on, all things equal including equivalent viewable areas. But the inertia of what you are used to is a really big thing to stop.
    Hmm, maybe to a point, but typing is a tactile thing. Without the physical keys for positioning and feedback when you've tapped, it becomes much more difficult. I think the auto-correct is the only thing that saves the speed a bit, well, when it corrects correctly, that is (then you really have to proofread carefully!).


    I think at one point I did some speed tests on both and got somewhere just over half the wpm with the iPad as with my computer/keyboard, if I remember correctly.
    You have feedback when typing on the onscreen keyboard. It’s the same ones used in mechanical keyboards: the character entered appears on the screen, a sound indicating that a key is pushed, and a feel of tapping on glass. They are all there, just different from what people are used to on full stroke keyboards. 

    What’s not there is the ability to feel keys actuate or stroke and soft feeling the keys. If people type this way, yes, software keyboards suck for them, and they would have to relearn how to type to become as proficient on a software keyboard. I think there are ways to improve onscreen keyboards so that people can rest their hands on the onscreen keyboard without entering anything though, so even for these folks, it can be made better.

    At this point in time, people will be slower on the iPad keyboard. It has a reduced layout, mutable functions on its “Touch Bar”, and weird keys. With time, practice and optimization of the onscreen keyboard, typing speed will improve. 

    cgWerks said:
    tht said:
    Yeah. Apple has not helped itself here. They should have been racing to put all their full macOS apps onto the iPad Pro, as well as racing to implement PC type functionality. Terminal, Xcode, FCPX, LPX, full iWork/Mail, full web browser, should have been or in the process of being ported and or updated to feature parity to macOS versions. The feedback on this has to be loud and voluminous. People want to use iPads for all sorts of things. It’s strange the company isn’t racing to enable it.
    I really don't get it. Maybe they are just that confident in 3rd party developers and that people will quickly move on from their own apps those 3rd parties? It seems insane to put so much effort into product design excellence, user-experience, and then just drop the ball on all the productivity apps people might use every day. But, that seems to be Apple's MO.

    My guess is that post Jobs in 2011, and post executive reorg in 2012, there was a power vacuum and there wasn’t really anybody competent enough to drive the product lineup to completion. You don’t just lose Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall without affecting the company in some way. Then, Bob Mansfield was halfway out the door or retired or working a side project, Jony Ive worked on a building for awhile, and maybe Tim Cook’s bar for making products that make a difference was too high, and it led to things like the 2013 Mac Pro, not making a monitor, and not refreshing products for a while.

    cgWerks said:
    macplusplus said:
    It is equally silly that "any computer" does not do that directly. You were required to download drivers from the Internet until recently to attach a  dumb hard disk. You are still required to do that on the Mac for some brands. Not to mention cameras, scanners, printers and other data capture and output devices. What computer handles those "directly"?
    I'm not following. Since when do you have to use special drivers or utilities to access files on an external hard drive or media on a Mac?

    I don’t know if this is true anymore, but I needed to buy drivers for macOS to write to external NTFS hard drives way back when. Then, Apple would have to license FAT from MS for reading the vast majority of hard drives, and maybe they haven’t done it for iOS devices.
  • Reply 103 of 121
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    cgWerks said:
    Having tried it both ways, I agree with you as far as flat/'drafting table' vs vertical in terms of being as good as it gets with an iPad, but I don't agree it is as good as a laptop/desktop when it comes to text selection, typing, etc. (As mentioned, what you explain well is why I think touchscreen laptops are kind of silly.)
    Text selection and cursor placement in text fields (Notes, this forum’s text field, Pages) are relatively solid, trackpad comparable even. Arrow keys are still needed imo. 

    Text selection on a non editable text requires the extra step of selecting an initial word first. That’s about what, a couple of seconds of more latency over a mouse. That can hurt, especially since the rectangular magnifier is two small.

    Then obviously, if a user is using a vertical screen, a pointing device is necessary. No argument there.

    cgWerks said:
    GeorgeBMac said:
    I totally agree with your assessment.
    I wonder how many of those who claim typing on a screen based keyboard is as fast as a quality external keyboard are not able to touch type and instead are looking at the keyboard instead of the screen and poking along with one or two fingers instead of 8.   That would be a major equalizer.  It would in fact be the difference between a V8 and a lawnmower engine -- they're slow regardless of which keyboard they use so which one makes little difference. 
    That is a good question and observation. My hunch would be that the faster a typist you are, the greater the gap between the real and virtual keyboard. I'm not a horribly fast typist... just kind of average. One of these days, I'm going to have to get an older-style keyboard with good switches and such, as I'm guessing I'd be faster than on my Apple Magic keyboard, too. I'm just not sure I can deal with the noise... but for when I'm doing a lot of typing, it might be nice to have around (or, maybe I should say, standardize on that and have the Magic Keyboard around for when recording a video/podcast, etc.).

    I use 8 to 9 fingers on the software keyboard and can often look away while typing. Look away as in looking away at something far away. Most of the time I’m looking at the text I’m typing, which is down just above the keyboard and you can quickly glance at the keyboard to orient yourself. You think I’m typing all this text hunting and pecking?

    The width of the onscreen keyboard on the 10.5 doesn’t require the use of all your fingers, mostly my right thumb. It’s only 8.4” wide and your fingers occupy about 1” of horizontal space. The most frustrating to thing about it is the designer’s choice of not putting in command, control and arrow keys. The emoji and microphone keys should be placed on the “Touch Bar” area, or activated with a key combo.

    I bet the number one factor in speed of keyboard input is knowledge of the keyboard layout, including spacing. Perhaps second to that is the dexterity match between the user’s hands and the layout. There’s definitely a component of favoring the layout that a person learned to type with and the layout a person is most familiar with.

    There isn’t any magic to the QWERTY layout, right? There isn’t any magic to the keys not beig aligned, right? Mechanical keyboards can be designed so that the keys are ordered in a regular 5 row, 15 key per row grid style arrangement, spaced 0.75” apart, with a randomized layout of the alphabet, punctuation and special characters. A person who grew up with this type of keyboard will think QWERTY keyboards are insane.

    Then, I would bet most people who think they can touch type still rely on quick glances to the keyboard to orient their fingers. If their view to the keyboard is blocked by something, I bet their efficiency drops way way down. If you are going to test yourself, make a few runs with the keyboard blocked from view.

    And my expectation is that the faster the typist, the faster on a software keyboard they will be to others, especially if the layout is identical. Most of the criticism is just criticism, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be faster on a software keyboard versus others. They know what to do.
  • Reply 104 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    tht said:
    If someone assumes something is harder to do, it often becomes a self fulfilling destiny. 😜  Everyone is susceptible to it. I’ve never bothered to really learn MS Word enough to write a good paper on it, things like typesetting, table of contents, etc. Whenever I try with Word, it’s nothing but frustration, but I know I could do it given enough time and come to appreciate its capabilities. Would prefer to put the effort into doing in Latex though.

    The iPhone keyboard in 2007 had similar arguments to it from the thumb board people. After a few years, nobody complained about it anymore, and it is likely onscreen keyboards are easier and faster than mechanical thumb boards. The circumstances with tablet onscreen keyboards and full sized keyboards have a taller perception hill to climb, but parity in input proficiency should be achieveable for most people.
    I suppose there is something to that, but I think if it is legitimately harder or makes the job harder, then what's the point if there is something better? (Unless you're required to do so for some reason... job, compatibility, etc.) I too have resisted learning the depths of Word. I used an easier, better word processor through grad school and only use Word from time to time to 'translate' a document or interact with someone where I must use it.

    The little chicklet keyboards were pretty horrible too, though. So, it's one trade-off for another, and on-screen with some software correction tech wins out. Plus, then you don't have the mechanical keyboard taking up valuable space.

    tht said:
    You have feedback when typing on the onscreen keyboard. It’s the same ones used in mechanical keyboards: the character entered appears on the screen, a sound indicating that a key is pushed, and a feel of tapping on glass. They are all there, just different from what people are used to on full stroke keyboards. 

    What’s not there is the ability to feel keys actuate or stroke and soft feeling the keys. If people type this way, yes, software keyboards suck for them, and they would have to relearn how to type to become as proficient on a software keyboard. I think there are ways to improve onscreen keyboards so that people can rest their hands on the onscreen keyboard without entering anything though, so even for these folks, it can be made better.

    At this point in time, people will be slower on the iPad keyboard. It has a reduced layout, mutable functions on its “Touch Bar”, and weird keys. With time, practice and optimization of the onscreen keyboard, typing speed will improve. 
    Hmm, maybe it is possible. My main problem (I think) was that I'd drift off slightly and hit wrong 'keys' because I don't have the real keys under my fingers to keep position.

    Maybe some kind of taptic response where the closer to the center the more solid 'tap' you get back and as you start to drift, it gets weaker? And, yea, having it be non-standard sure doesn't help!

    tht said:
    My guess is that post Jobs in 2011, and post executive reorg in 2012, there was a power vacuum and there wasn’t really anybody competent enough to drive the product lineup to completion. You don’t just lose Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall without affecting the company in some way. Then, Bob Mansfield was halfway out the door or retired or working a side project, Jony Ive worked on a building for awhile, and maybe Tim Cook’s bar for making products that make a difference was too high, and it led to things like the 2013 Mac Pro, not making a monitor, and not refreshing products for a while.
    I think that particular issue has been around since Jobs' return or before. They often release software with obvious features missing (sometimes remaining missing for many years), or kind of half-baked software. I'm guessing a lot of it, initially, was due to the secrecy (i.e.: one or two people can't think of everything... not enough real-world input) and then they were moving so fast on to new things, they didn't get around to finishing stuff.

    Yes, losing Forstall was a huge mistake. They couldn't do anything about Steve, but I think they could have w/ Forstall.

    tht said:
    I don’t know if this is true anymore, but I needed to buy drivers for macOS to write to external NTFS hard drives way back when. Then, Apple would have to license FAT from MS for reading the vast majority of hard drives, and maybe they haven’t done it for iOS devices. 
    Yeah, I guess that's a good point if you go back far enough. I thought that was more for network shares than external drives though. I don't think that has anything to do with iOS though. I think it was more that they just didn't plan on people doing external file access other than cameras.
  • Reply 105 of 121
    tht said:
    cgWerks said:
    Having tried it both ways, I agree with you as far as flat/'drafting table' vs vertical in terms of being as good as it gets with an iPad, but I don't agree it is as good as a laptop/desktop when it comes to text selection, typing, etc. (As mentioned, what you explain well is why I think touchscreen laptops are kind of silly.)
    Text selection and cursor placement in text fields (Notes, this forum’s text field, Pages) are relatively solid, trackpad comparable even. Arrow keys are still needed imo. 

    Text selection on a non editable text requires the extra step of selecting an initial word first. That’s about what, a couple of seconds of more latency over a mouse. That can hurt, especially since the rectangular magnifier is two small.

    Then obviously, if a user is using a vertical screen, a pointing device is necessary. No argument there.

    cgWerks said:
    GeorgeBMac said:
    I totally agree with your assessment.
    I wonder how many of those who claim typing on a screen based keyboard is as fast as a quality external keyboard are not able to touch type and instead are looking at the keyboard instead of the screen and poking along with one or two fingers instead of 8.   That would be a major equalizer.  It would in fact be the difference between a V8 and a lawnmower engine -- they're slow regardless of which keyboard they use so which one makes little difference. 
    That is a good question and observation. My hunch would be that the faster a typist you are, the greater the gap between the real and virtual keyboard. I'm not a horribly fast typist... just kind of average. One of these days, I'm going to have to get an older-style keyboard with good switches and such, as I'm guessing I'd be faster than on my Apple Magic keyboard, too. I'm just not sure I can deal with the noise... but for when I'm doing a lot of typing, it might be nice to have around (or, maybe I should say, standardize on that and have the Magic Keyboard around for when recording a video/podcast, etc.).

    I use 8 to 9 fingers on the software keyboard and can often look away while typing. Look away as in looking away at something far away. Most of the time I’m looking at the text I’m typing, which is down just above the keyboard and you can quickly glance at the keyboard to orient yourself. You think I’m typing all this text hunting and pecking?

    The width of the onscreen keyboard on the 10.5 doesn’t require the use of all your fingers, mostly my right thumb. It’s only 8.4” wide and your fingers occupy about 1” of horizontal space. The most frustrating to thing about it is the designer’s choice of not putting in command, control and arrow keys. The emoji and microphone keys should be placed on the “Touch Bar” area, or activated with a key combo.

    I bet the number one factor in speed of keyboard input is knowledge of the keyboard layout, including spacing. Perhaps second to that is the dexterity match between the user’s hands and the layout. There’s definitely a component of favoring the layout that a person learned to type with and the layout a person is most familiar with.

    There isn’t any magic to the QWERTY layout, right? There isn’t any magic to the keys not beig aligned, right? Mechanical keyboards can be designed so that the keys are ordered in a regular 5 row, 15 key per row grid style arrangement, spaced 0.75” apart, with a randomized layout of the alphabet, punctuation and special characters. A person who grew up with this type of keyboard will think QWERTY keyboards are insane.

    Then, I would bet most people who think they can touch type still rely on quick glances to the keyboard to orient their fingers. If their view to the keyboard is blocked by something, I bet their efficiency drops way way down. If you are going to test yourself, make a few runs with the keyboard blocked from view.

    And my expectation is that the faster the typist, the faster on a software keyboard they will be to others, especially if the layout is identical. Most of the criticism is just criticism, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be faster on a software keyboard versus others. They know what to do.
    Touch type on a software keypad?   No Thank You!
    Many detest the MBP keyboards due to their poor feel.  A software keyboard has no feel. 
  • Reply 106 of 121
    cgWerks said:

    What’s not there is the ability to feel keys actuate or stroke and soft feeling the keys. If people type this way, yes, software keyboards suck for them, and they would have to relearn how to type to become as proficient on a software keyboard. I think there are ways to improve onscreen keyboards so that people can rest their hands on the onscreen keyboard without entering anything though, so even for these folks, it can be made better.

    At this point in time, people will be slower on the iPad keyboard. It has a reduced layout, mutable functions on its “Touch Bar”, and weird keys. With time, practice and optimization of the onscreen keyboard, typing speed will improve. 
    Hmm, maybe it is possible. My main problem (I think) was that I'd drift off slightly and hit wrong 'keys' because I don't have the real keys under my fingers to keep position.

    Maybe some kind of taptic response where the closer to the center the more solid 'tap' you get back and as you start to drift, it gets weaker? And, yea, having it be non-standard sure doesn't help!

    Real, high quality keyboards have multiple aids for that: 
    - The keys are indented to keep your fingers centered on the key
    - The F and J keys have notches or bumps so you can center your hands on the keyboard
    - Travel and feel indicate when a key is depressed

    All of that is designed to speed typing efficiency without having look at your hands or the keyboard.
    While software / screen keyboards might try to emulate that, they will always be restricted due to the lack of a physical key.

    And I agree that non-standard keyboards make it all worse.   It drives me nut to go from an iPhone keyboard to an iPad keyboard.  Everything moves around and adds a whole new level to the "hunt & peck" method.
  • Reply 107 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    GeorgeBMac said:
    Real, high quality keyboards have multiple aids for that:  
    - The keys are indented to keep your fingers centered on the key
    - The F and J keys have notches or bumps so you can center your hands on the keyboard
    - Travel and feel indicate when a key is depressed

    All of that is designed to speed typing efficiency without having look at your hands or the keyboard.
    While software / screen keyboards might try to emulate that, they will always be restricted due to the lack of a physical key.

    And I agree that non-standard keyboards make it all worse.   It drives me nut to go from an iPhone keyboard to an iPad keyboard.  Everything moves around and adds a whole new level to the "hunt & peck" method.
    Yeah, I think I agree with what you've said, though I'm no expert on the topic. That sure makes sense though. I suppose the question is if someone could just train themselves (muscle-memory) to eventually not need those things on a surface or screen-keyboard?

    And, the non-standard stuff drives me nuts even on real physical keyboards. It always takes me a while to get used to a new keyboard, or when switching between them. And, if I go from my Mac to something like a Dell laptop or the PC keyboards they have on some system at the library, etc. I find it really hard to type.

    I keep thinking one day I might try out one of these (and customizing it might be fun too): http://www.wasdkeyboards.com
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 108 of 121
    cgWerks said:
    macplusplus said:
    There are external flash drives that work over the Lightning port of previous iPad models. These come with their utility app that integrates also with the Files app and the Share sheet. We can expect USB-C versions of these flash drives, this is just a matter of time.
    Why should anyone need a utility to do what any computer should be able to do directly? That's just silly.
    It is equally silly that "any computer" does not do that directly. You were required to download drivers from the Internet until recently to attach a  dumb hard disk. You are still required to do that on the Mac for some brands. Not to mention cameras, scanners, printers and other data capture and output devices. What computer handles those "directly"?
    I've never had to download a driver to use a hard drive with a Mac, and I've been using one since the SE/30. What brands require that now? I've never run into that. Cameras have simply shown up on my desktop when plugged in for many years, scanners and printers are almost seamlessly added via the Printers & Scanners prefpane — yes those are downloading drivers, but still.
    The last time I downloaded a driver for High Sierra was for Western Digital My Passport 2 TB.  No operating system provides blanket support for any peripheral. The manufacturer provides the necessary utilities and drivers to the OS producer or to the buyer. Whether these are installed by a software update or downloaded explicitly is irrelevant. On iOS these are downloaded explicitly from the AppStore. Claiming that iOS does not support accessories just because of this is stupid.
    You don't need a driver for those WD drives, you just format them in Disk Utility. What exactly did you download, some utilities they offer on the side?
    That was WD Elements, not My Passport, my mistake. I downloaded and installed all the related software and Disk Utility found it. I don't remember if I'd made a "Show All Devices" or not in Disk Utility.
    Still not required.
  • Reply 109 of 121
    cgWerks said:
    fastasleep said:
    Yeah, totes. And up til now, the ONLY question mark in the Mac lineup was the mini, which got a pretty clear answer, and even one that CG "Pro" Werks was positive on, so he can go back to getting his Pro Work™ done instead of these breathless forum posts about how they won't make him a Mac that he wants to use to get Pro Work™ done. 
    Wow, you fanboys are amazing. Sudden loss of memory, huh? And, Apple can do no wrong... except that you've constantly gotten it wrong.

    Back when I/we were complaining that it had been so long since a Mac Pro update, and it's future seemed in question... you were telling us that the future was iDevices and that the pro user-base just wasn't big enough to justify such a machine anymore. Move on, dinosaurs. Then Apple announces they were re-thinking the Mac Pro and it would be out at some point.

    Back when I/we were complaining about Apple's lack of MacBook Pro updates... you were telling us it was all Intel's fault. No speed gain to be had, so why update? Then Apple comes out with MBP updates, and imagine that, huge speed gains? Couldn't have been the new Intel chips, though... must be the pixie dust Tim keeps in his pocket to bless each Mac with, right?

    Back when I/we were complaining about the mini being 5 or 6 years out of date... you were telling us the mini was just too small of a market segment for Apple to bother with anymore, and a failure of a product (not selling), so why would Apple bother with it anymore? After all, there is no need for headless machines when there are iMacs. Apple updates the mini, I suppose just to make me happy, as you know better that they don't sell, right?

    I think my complaints were fairly legitimate, and fortunately, it seems Apple agrees. The question remains, then, about the why of all the delays. Since we're not in Apple's meeting room, we can only speculate. I suppose you'll just say it was part of a well-orchestrated plan.

    And, even this post is a bit revisionist. The iMac needs an update yet, and up until not all that long ago, it wasn't just the mini in need of an update. Do I need to find you that Mac Rumors 'buy advice' page where pretty much every Mac model across the lineup was 'don't buy'?

    I'm really happy about a few of the moves Apple has made recently. I'm glad I was wrong, too (it seems), about them ditching the Mac (at least shorter term). There is still a lot of work to be done on the software side of things, but at least they are finally coming through on the hardware. And, where credit is due, I'll give it. Where I feel they are failing, I'll say it. I've been doing so for decades now.
    *I* said nothing of the sort about the Mac Pro or MacBook Pro (the latter having received an update every single year so not sure what you're on about). The mini went four years between update, not 5 or 6, and I never said that about the mini either. 

    We know what happened with the Pro. We don't know what happened with the mini, but it doesn't really matter now, does it? The iMac will be updated when it's ready, so I'm not sure what you're complaining about. Just because you *think* it should be ready now doesn't make it so.

    You know how the Mac Rumors buyer's guide works? They figure out where the model is within an average of release cycles. Just because something is listed as "don't buy" doesn't mean it isn't a capable Mac that is about to get an update shortly, hence the advice to wait if you can. Yes, there have been times when nearly the entire lineup was due for an update simultaneously. It happens pretty often, actually. It's pretty straightforward.

    It's also fairly clear at this point that they're fully dedicated to the Mac, whether there was a perceived slump or not. Who knows. But complaining about the *past* as if it's relevant *now* is stupid.


    tht
  • Reply 110 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    fastasleep said:
    or MacBook Pro (the latter having received an update every single year so not sure what you're on about). The mini went four years between update, not 5 or 6, and I never said that about the mini either. 
    The point re: MacBook Pro, was that some of us were complaining that it wasn't using the latest tech from Intel. The fanboys were telling us what there was no reason for Apple to update it, because there was no performance gain to be had (because, you know, Intel). Then Apple updates the MBP, with huge performance gains. I'd have to go back to see if you were specifically involved in those conversations... but, in general.

    re: mini - it was like 6 years since it was updated. 2014 was a downgrade.

    fastasleep said:
    ... so I'm not sure what you're complaining about. Just because you *think* it should be ready now doesn't make it so.
    I wasn't complaining, I was explaining to someone who asked, where the 'down on Apple' due to unmet expectations sentiment was coming from.

    fastasleep said:
    It's also fairly clear at this point that they're fully dedicated to the Mac, whether there was a perceived slump or not. Who knows.
    Well, let's hope so. That wasn't so certain just a few months back. And, given how things rolled out, maybe there was some rather recent renaissance for the Mac at Apple. Maybe all our complaining finally worked.
  • Reply 111 of 121
    cgWerks said:
    fastasleep said:
    or MacBook Pro (the latter having received an update every single year so not sure what you're on about). The mini went four years between update, not 5 or 6, and I never said that about the mini either. 
    The point re: MacBook Pro, was that some of us were complaining that it wasn't using the latest tech from Intel. The fanboys were telling us what there was no reason for Apple to update it, because there was no performance gain to be had (because, you know, Intel). Then Apple updates the MBP, with huge performance gains. I'd have to go back to see if you were specifically involved in those conversations... but, in general.

    re: mini - it was like 6 years since it was updated. 2014 was a downgrade.
    The 8th gen chips, especially the hexacores, are the first significant jump in years. Everything else has been a much smaller bump. With the amount of griping over which particular chipsets made it into the MBP updates the last few years, it's true the differences were much more insignificant. It was on Intel, as they'd backpedaled on their roadmap several times to the point of it being comedic as to peoples' perceptions of "launch" (ie announcement) by Intel and actually shipping chips in PCs/Macs. The people pointing this out were not wrong. And regardless, the MBP has seen an update every single year.

    You don't get to ignore the 2014 mini just because you didn't like it. The math checks out.
  • Reply 112 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    fastasleep said:
    The 8th gen chips, especially the hexacores, are the first significant jump in years. Everything else has been a much smaller bump. With the amount of griping over which particular chipsets made it into the MBP updates the last few years, it's true the differences were much more insignificant. It was on Intel, as they'd backpedaled on their roadmap several times to the point of it being comedic as to peoples' perceptions of "launch" (ie announcement) by Intel and actually shipping chips in PCs/Macs. The people pointing this out were not wrong. And regardless, the MBP has seen an update every single year.

    You don't get to ignore the 2014 mini just because you didn't like it. The math checks out.
    Yes, but the argument at the time was in the context that Intel had those quad/hex core chips that they could be putting into an updated MBP... and we were told it wouldn't make a difference, so no need. We were also told there was no way Apple was going to put 32GB into the MBP, because no one needed such a thing. Remember?
    (And I suppose a bit ironically, now we have people complaining about the prices to upgrade the mini to 32 or 64, with some complaining 16 isn't enough, heh.)

    Math? I didn't like it because it wasn't as good as the one from a couple years earlier. How should we consider it an upgrade... just because they made it?
  • Reply 113 of 121
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    cgWerks said:
    tht said:
    If someone assumes something is harder to do, it often becomes a self fulfilling destiny. 😜  Everyone is susceptible to it. I’ve never bothered to really learn MS Word enough to write a good paper on it, things like typesetting, table of contents, etc. Whenever I try with Word, it’s nothing but frustration, but I know I could do it given enough time and come to appreciate its capabilities. Would prefer to put the effort into doing in Latex though.

    The iPhone keyboard in 2007 had similar arguments to it from the thumb board people. After a few years, nobody complained about it anymore, and it is likely onscreen keyboards are easier and faster than mechanical thumb boards. The circumstances with tablet onscreen keyboards and full sized keyboards have a taller perception hill to climb, but parity in input proficiency should be achieveable for most people.
    I suppose there is something to that, but I think if it is legitimately harder or makes the job harder, then what's the point if there is something better? (Unless you're required to do so for some reason... job, compatibility, etc.) I too have resisted learning the depths of Word. I used an easier, better word processor through grad school and only use Word from time to time to 'translate' a document or interact with someone where I must use it.

    The little chicklet keyboards were pretty horrible too, though. So, it's one trade-off for another, and on-screen with some software correction tech wins out. Plus, then you don't have the mechanical keyboard taking up valuable space.
    I wouldn’t characterize it as harder. It’s no more difficult to use, no more difficult to learn than learning how to type on a mechanical keyboard. What’s hard is stopping the inertia of what a person is use to, using a mechanical keyboard in this case, and putting in the work to learn something new. This is true of everything that is difficult to do. Learning how to type on a mechanical keyboard is a long aruduous process for most people. Switching from QWERTY to DVORAK on a mechanical keyboard is a years long process, and everything is identical except for the labels on the keys. I switched from a two handed backhand in tennis, to a one handed backhand. That was arduous. I needed to also change my serving motion to save my arm, but ran out of time for that and more important things arose.

    The reward in this case is a thinner, lighter computing form factor, versus a laptop, where typing, pointing, touching and drawing are all at a user’s disposal. You could both write and type your notes, switching in between with ease, no folding, no origami, not drawing on a vertical screen. Touchscreen input will have its advantages. Instead of using a number row, a num pad layout could be drawn onscreen, which should be faster then the number row. Dials, sliders, trackpads, piano keys could all be done. Written input for logographic languages (east Asian languages, ancient Egyptian, etc) is more easily input. Then, there is a certain satisfaction for directly manipulating what is on screen, which can make the form factor more fun and easy to use.

    cgWerks said:
    tht said:
    You have feedback when typing on the onscreen keyboard. It’s the same ones used in mechanical keyboards: the character entered appears on the screen, a sound indicating that a key is pushed, and a feel of tapping on glass. They are all there, just different from what people are used to on full stroke keyboards. 

    What’s not there is the ability to feel keys actuate or stroke and soft feeling the keys. If people type this way, yes, software keyboards suck for them, and they would have to relearn how to type to become as proficient on a software keyboard. I think there are ways to improve onscreen keyboards so that people can rest their hands on the onscreen keyboard without entering anything though, so even for these folks, it can be made better.

    At this point in time, people will be slower on the iPad keyboard. It has a reduced layout, mutable functions on its “Touch Bar”, and weird keys. With time, practice and optimization of the onscreen keyboard, typing speed will improve. 
    Hmm, maybe it is possible. My main problem (I think) was that I'd drift off slightly and hit wrong 'keys' because I don't have the real keys under my fingers to keep position.


    Maybe some kind of taptic response where the closer to the center the more solid 'tap' you get back and as you start to drift, it gets weaker? And, yea, having it be non-standard sure doesn't help!
    When typing on the iPad onscreen keyboard, the keyboard and your fingers are always in sight, for most people, hand and finger drift won’t be a big deal. Layout and full key spacing are a much bigger deal. People know QWERTY after decades of usage, and they have habits that are hard to unlearn. Full spacing is a limitation from how large people’s hands are. A mechanical keyboard that is 30% smaller than full size will be likely harder to use than a full sized software keyboard.

    If you are transcribing something, or typing something while looking at a board, yes, this will be hard. It will take practice just like learning how to do it on a mechanical keyboard is. Apple can maybe help that case by letting people soft feel the keys and tapping the keys. They can add a  different tone when finger tips soft feel the ‘f’ and ‘j’ keys. They can add a Taptic Engine and make it vibrate and tone when soft feeling for the ‘f’ and ‘j’ keys.

    Then, they can try, but they can just cover 95% of users and punt these use cases to mechanical keyboards. This means the vast majority of people can enjoy a tablet with a huge range of features, but like everything, there is always a niche of people who want to use something different. That’s fine,

    cgWerks said:
    I think it was more that they just didn't plan on people doing external file access other than cameras.
    At a higher level, there is a why, a strategic reason, for doing it this way. The iPad was envisioned to be a tweener device, in between an iPhone and a MacBook. Well, this is how Jobs presented it in 2010. If they kept to this vision, they purposely segmented it so that an iPad couldn’t do what a laptop could do. Letting go of original visions, original ideals is very hard.

    Hopefully they have finally decided to put in as many computing features into the iPad as possible, preferably all of them. They are just moving excruciatingly slowly.

  • Reply 114 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    tht said:
    I wouldn’t characterize it as harder. It’s no more difficult to use, no more difficult to learn than learning how to type on a mechanical keyboard. What’s hard is stopping the inertia of what a person is use to ...
    Hmm, I think I disagree here, in that we have the sense of touch for a reason. I can't imagine how not having as much use of one of our senses would be superior. You mentioned many advantages, and with that I agree. But, I think it is matter of tradeoffs.

    tht said:
    When typing on the iPad onscreen keyboard, the keyboard and your fingers are always in sight, for most people, hand and finger drift won’t be a big deal. Layout and full key spacing are a much bigger deal. People know QWERTY after decades of usage, and they have habits that are hard to unlearn. Full spacing is a limitation from how large people’s hands are. A mechanical keyboard that is 30% smaller than full size will be likely harder to use than a full sized software keyboard.
    In sight, yes, but I generally don't look at my fingers/keyboard while typing. But, yes, it is more in view when using on-screen keyboard. The other issue, though, is the space taken up. The other reason I prefer using an external keyboard, is that it frees up all the screen real-estate.

    As for size, I kind of agree if it isn't too drastic. I used to have a PowerBook 100, which had a slightly smaller keyboard... but a pretty good one. I could fly on that thing. But, then it ruined me any time I had to go back to a standard size keyboard. So, now I always try to stick with standard size so I don't have to go through that again. But, yes, you can get used to size differences and still be very fast.

    tht said:
    At a higher level, there is a why, a strategic reason, for doing it this way. The iPad was envisioned to be a tweener device, in between an iPhone and a MacBook. Well, this is how Jobs presented it in 2010. If they kept to this vision, they purposely segmented it so that an iPad couldn’t do what a laptop could do. Letting go of original visions, original ideals is very hard. 

    Hopefully they have finally decided to put in as many computing features into the iPad as possible, preferably all of them. They are just moving excruciatingly slowly.
    Yes, hopefully.
    Wasn't there also something like they thought adding meta info (tags, etc.) was going to be the new way of dealing with files instead of the folder concept? I seem to remember something like that.

    The good thing, is that the almost have to be aware of the issues. I've not run into one serious iPad user who doesn't list the same 5 or 6 relatively serious workflow flaws. Once (if) they are fixed, then it will mostly be down to preference and software availability. Given that my current plan is to get a Mac mini and then go iPad for mobile, I'm hoping it is sooner than later. :smile: 
  • Reply 115 of 121
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    cgWerks said:
    tht said:
    I wouldn’t characterize it as harder. It’s no more difficult to use, no more difficult to learn than learning how to type on a mechanical keyboard. What’s hard is stopping the inertia of what a person is use to ...
    Hmm, I think I disagree here, in that we have the sense of touch for a reason. I can't imagine how not having as much use of one of our senses would be superior. You mentioned many advantages, and with that I agree. But, I think it is matter of tradeoffs.
    Regarding “I can't imagine how not having as much use of one of our senses would be superior”, are we better off with smartphone onscreen keyboards or smartphone mechanical thumb-boards? Are onscreen keyboards on smartphones faster than mechanical keyboards on smartphones? If onscreen keyboards for smartphones are better, what makes tablets different so the trade offs work in the onscreen keyboards favor on a smartphone while not on a tablet?

    cgWerks said:
    In sight, yes, but I generally don't look at my fingers/keyboard while typing.
    I hope you do a test where the keyboard is totally blocked from sight to test it yourself. The vast majority of computer users (99%) generally glance at the keyboard while typing. Then, I bet the vast majority of self-proclaimed touch typists also glance at the keyboard a lot more than they think they do.

    cgWerks said:
    The other issue, though, is the space taken up. The other reason I prefer using an external keyboard, is that it frees up all the screen real-estate.
    Yes. That’s one end of the trade off. After using my 10.5 for awhile, I think 5:4 aspect ratio, 11.5” is the minimum, and probably a 3 row keyboard, not 4.5 rows. 3 rows, 12 keys in the top row, meta keys, arrow keys, and the 5:4 aspect ratio would allow for more display area for apps. My 10.5 4:3 feels too tall in portrait too. The larger the display, the more square the aspect ratio has to be imo.

    In the case of the 12.9” iPad versus the MBP13, essentially the same screen area, the trades in favor of the iPad are about half the weight and half the thickness, so more portable, easier to handle, and you can write & draw on it. The back camera is also quite nice for document scanning. So, my thought process is that with refinement to the keyboard, 5:4 aspect ratio, more PC like functionality, it’s going to be 99.9% of the way there to a general purpose computer that you write and type on, is light & thin, and really approachable to use. An insanely great product.

    If you are at a desk, I would plug in the iPad to an external display, and use the iPad as a software keyboard and trackpad to input and control what is on the vertical display.

    cgWerks said:
    Wasn't there also something like they thought adding meta info (tags, etc.) was going to be the new way of dealing with files instead of the folder concept? I seem to remember something like that.

    It’s been 50 years. There isn’t a new way to make it easier, for the given computing power. More over, some people don’t want it to be easier or automated. They will organize their data in the laziest, least energy way possible. Just random files littered all over their home screen for instance. And automation, or even stacks/piles, will only make them more confused.
  • Reply 116 of 121
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,400member
    tht said:
    If you are at a desk, I would plug in the iPad to an external display, and use the iPad as a software keyboard and trackpad to input and control what is on the vertical display. 
    Apple has already partially gone down this road, which is why it’s frustrating where they’ve stopped.

    In several examples, they have shown the apps control interface on the iPad while the preview window is on the external monitor. 

    Meanwhile, they’ve touted the trackpad functionality built-into the virtual kayboard, yet don’t provide a way to access that trackpad when an external keyboard is attached, which they also promote the use of.

    So yours is a great idea, that way the iPad becomes a dedicated keyboard with a virtual trackpad. I’ve seen several people debating what is and is not an extension of the iPad experience, but I would argue your proposal is definitely the quintessential promise of the iPad — relying entirely on the touch interface of the iPad while offering an external keyboard to a full display. They’re already offering limited screen spanning, and a trackpad ... they just need to take both a little further.
  • Reply 117 of 121
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    cgWerks said:
    GeorgeBMac said:
    Real, high quality keyboards have multiple aids for that:  
    - The keys are indented to keep your fingers centered on the key
    - The F and J keys have notches or bumps so you can center your hands on the keyboard
    - Travel and feel indicate when a key is depressed

    All of that is designed to speed typing efficiency without having look at your hands or the keyboard.
    While software / screen keyboards might try to emulate that, they will always be restricted due to the lack of a physical key.

    And I agree that non-standard keyboards make it all worse.   It drives me nut to go from an iPhone keyboard to an iPad keyboard.  Everything moves around and adds a whole new level to the "hunt & peck" method.
    Yeah, I think I agree with what you've said, though I'm no expert on the topic. That sure makes sense though. I suppose the question is if someone could just train themselves (muscle-memory) to eventually not need those things on a surface or screen-keyboard?

    And, the non-standard stuff drives me nuts even on real physical keyboards. It always takes me a while to get used to a new keyboard, or when switching between them. And, if I go from my Mac to something like a Dell laptop or the PC keyboards they have on some system at the library, etc. I find it really hard to type.
    Here is a rendition of a “full” keyboard on an iPad 12.9 (all done on my iPad 10.5 btw), with some compromises due to lack of width. Full 0.75” spacing between keys. So what say you?

    I wanted an escape key (VIM user), and ended up not offsetting the number row so a half sized one could at least be there. Versus an Apple laptop keyboard, caps lock sacrificed as cmd-tab and cmd-` are more important for switching apps, and switching views (documents, tabs) within apps. I bet a lot the latter is coming in iOS 13. Swipe up for the app switcher works really fast though.

    Right option key sacrificed for the “keyboard” key which when pressed, can dock/undock, split/merge, change languages, hopefully change into a trackpad, all in an all, a button for alternate keyboards or other functions. Width of the right cmd key, width of the right shift key shortened so that full sized arrow keys could be there. Perhaps better than Apple did with the half height up down arrow design in their butterfly layout. Width of delete and backslash keys also shortened. Lastly, the fn key, typically used by me for page up, page down, and forward delete (and just about nothing else), will need to be performed by something like cmd+option plus key sequence.

    As you’ve said, taking up more than half the screen is a big compromise, which is why Apple hasn’t done a full layout, and I wouldn’t do it either, though it becomes less of an issue the larger a tablet becomes. It’s an onscreen keyboard, you can change it at will. For those who want a traditional layout, about 150 years old now, it be there with noted exceptions which Apple has mostly done, but for those that want something different, they can have it too, all on the same device. I think I can manage to be as efficient with something like this:

    Display area for apps is almost doubled (11.5” 2:1 view). Meta keys and arrow keys still there. Extensive use of key flicks. Escape key now too big. Huge adjustment needed for space bar. But the reward is more screen space while using the onscreen keyboard, on top of all the other stated advantages, which essentially boils down it is whole lot easier to use the touchscreen while flat on a table versus vertical.

    cgWerks
  • Reply 118 of 121
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    mac_128 said:
    tht said:
    If you are at a desk, I would plug in the iPad to an external display, and use the iPad as a software keyboard and trackpad to input and control what is on the vertical display. 
    Apple has already partially gone down this road, which is why it’s frustrating where they’ve stopped.

    In several examples, they have shown the apps control interface on the iPad while the preview window is on the external monitor. 

    Meanwhile, they’ve touted the trackpad functionality built-into the virtual kayboard, yet don’t provide a way to access that trackpad when an external keyboard is attached, which they also promote the use of.

    So yours is a great idea, that way the iPad becomes a dedicated keyboard with a virtual trackpad. I’ve seen several people debating what is and is not an extension of the iPad experience, but I would argue your proposal is definitely the quintessential promise of the iPad — relying entirely on the touch interface of the iPad while offering an external keyboard to a full display. They’re already offering limited screen spanning, and a trackpad ... they just need to take both a little further.
    Apple knows. Schiller himself said it in his spiel about Apple’s ‘grand unified theory of design’, where he said it right, every smaller display device should strive to do all the functionality of the next larger display device: Watch to iPhone, iPhone to iPad, iPad to MacBook, MacBook to iMac, iMac to Mac Pro, and the Mac Pro would be the highest computational power possible to sit on a desk.

    They just are wholly reluctant to enable PC style functionality on iPads for whatever reasons. Maybe it is to protect the 90% of novice users and putting all resources into that is more important. They can’t do that forever as a product matures and functoinality to cater to niches will have to be enabled if they want to maintain high prices, which is a problem right now with the 2018 iPad Pros. Great product, but a lot of people should be expecting more for the prices they are asking for. Maybe they have chains of legacy crap holding them back, like the software and apps really won’t be able to support mouse/trackpads that well. Who knows.

    I’m good either way. iPad as a controller in an external monitor setup or a multi screen setup where the iPad is vertical with the external monitor and a keyboard, mouse and trackpad are used. Like I said earlier, let it compute. I’m fairly certain at could do everything on a 15” iPad that I do with a MBP15 if they enabled overlapping windows and terminal access, plus write and draw on it.
  • Reply 119 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    tht said:
    Regarding “I can't imagine how not having as much use of one of our senses would be superior”, are we better off with smartphone onscreen keyboards or smartphone mechanical thumb-boards? Are onscreen keyboards on smartphones faster than mechanical keyboards on smartphones? If onscreen keyboards for smartphones are better, what makes tablets different so the trade offs work in the onscreen keyboards favor on a smartphone while not on a tablet?
    I think both are far enough from optimal (phone touch vs chicklets) that the virtual with auto-correct ends up winning out. Neither will approach the kinds of speeds of a real keyboard. Getting closer to a size that fits human hand proportions certain helps the tablet, but I still think having some physical movement feedback will win out. Maybe when the predictive technology gets better, that will close the gap, or even push it past for all but the fastest typists? We'll see.

    tht said:
    I hope you do a test where the keyboard is totally blocked from sight to test it yourself. The vast majority of computer users (99%) generally glance at the keyboard while typing. Then, I bet the vast majority of self-proclaimed touch typists also glance at the keyboard a lot more than they think they do. 
    I suppose possibly in peripheral vision kind of way. No, I've not tried blocking it totally off. BTW, I just picked up a new iPad at a 'Black Friday' sale, so I'll have more hands-on experience soon on a more modern version. :)

    tht said:
    It’s been 50 years. There isn’t a new way to make it easier, for the given computing power. More over, some people don’t want it to be easier or automated. They will organize their data in the laziest, least energy way possible. Just random files littered all over their home screen for instance. And automation, or even stacks/piles, will only make them more confused.
    Yeah, people are fairly set in their routines or ways of thinking. Meta data is more flexible and more powerful (ex: a document could be in multiple folders within the old folder paradigm). But, people think in projects, and generally organize the data that way.

    As for the file mess... yeah, that happens to me too. And, I don't se how stacks, etc. will help at all. IMO, a pretty useless feature.... likely even detrimental.

    tht said:
    They just are wholly reluctant to enable PC style functionality on iPads for whatever reasons. Maybe it is to protect the 90% of novice users and putting all resources into that is more important.
    ...
    I’m fairly certain at could do everything on a 15” iPad that I do with a MBP15 if they enabled overlapping windows and terminal access, plus write and draw on it.
    I think it probably is the novice user/simplicity thing. A lot of aspects of iOS or even the iOS apps seem to focus on simplicity over features/capability.

    Yeah, I've found it interesting how they seem to be trying to push Mac users more towards iOS like windowing. It might be OK for some apps, but I haven't found myself using it yet much.
  • Reply 120 of 121

    I received my iPad Pro 11” 1 Tb the day before Thanksgiving.  Setting it up took a while because I did not have access to WiFi and was using a cellular connection to download all my apps from iCloud.  I was surprised by how many apps I use almost daily on my iPad, including the Apple apps Mail/Messages/iTunes/Contacts/Clock/Note/Photos/Files/Safari/News/Camera/Reminder/Calculator/App Store/Apple Store/Pages/Numbers/Keynote, Dropbox/OneDrive/Amazon Drive, Kindle, Instapaper, Skype/Webex/Goto Meeting, YouTube, Things, Duet, Texture, Seeking Alpha, Slack, AppleInsider, 9-5Mac, Microsoft Word/PowerPoint/Excel, Ulysses, Paper3, FaceTime, Bamboo/Paper, Omnigraffle, Adobe Draw/Sketch/Photoshop/Acrobat, Procreate, Tayasui Sketches, Google/Waze/Apple Map, Living Earth, Facebook, Twitter, Yojimbo, Yelp/OpenTable, CheapTickets/Expedia/Zuji, Agoda/Booking/Hotel, Netflix/Amazon Prime/TV, several dozen newspaper/TV news apps, and other apps that I use weekly or monthly.  So be near a good WiFi when you set up the iPad Pro.

    I have yet to encounter a single iOS App that the iPad Pro 11” cannot handle well.  Yes, some web and magazine sites do not quite fit the format of the iPad screen and I have to rotate it to the portrait mode, but these are relatively rare.  To tell you the truth, this was true of the 2017 iPad Pro 12.9” as well.  In terms of speed, Geekbench 4 showed a single core score of 5012 and a multi-Core score of 18056 on the iPad Pro 11”.  For comparison, my 2017 iPad Pro 12.9” had a single core score of 3970 and a multi-core score of 9513.  So the 11” was nearly 25% faster on single core and nearly twice as fast on multi-core tests.  In terms of GPU performance, the iPad Pro 11” had a Metal Score of 42395, compared to 31250 for the 2017 iPad Pro 12.9”.   Regarding battery life, I was unable to run the iPad Pro 11” down in a day of use to the point where I needed to recharge it.  I haven’t had to recharge it from empty to full yet but it typically recharged from about 50% to full in 2 hours or less.

    Some aspects of the iPad Pro 11” experience were disappointing.  It took me several days to get use to not having a home button on the iPad Pro 11”.  The distance that you have to upswipe on an iPad Pro to show the parade of open apps is considerably longer than on the iPhone X’s.  The double click is faster and more intuitive.  I also don’t like the fact that Apple does not allow the split keyboard in the iPad Pro 11” like they do on the iPad Pro 9.7”.  I can understand why they did not implement in the iPad 12.9” but they should have had it on the 11”.  This should be a user decision and not Apple’s decision. The Face ID was not as convenient as I thought it would be.  If you are holding it in its landscape position, your left fingers or hands are frequently in the way of the camera. Finally, the iPad Pro 11” is slippery.

    The new keyboard the 11” iPad is smaller than the Mac or 12.9” iPad keyboards.  It types well but switching back and forth on different keyboard sizes requires practice.  The fact that the new iPad Pro keyboard has a stiffer bottom makes it easier to use on my lap.  With the old iPad keyboards, I had to put them on a book or even my Mac on my lap.  However, with the new keyboard covering the back of the iPad Pro 11” and magnetically attached, you cannot put a protective cover on the iPad to protect it from a fall, being sat on accidentally, or exposure to rain and spills.  I saw a YouTube video showing that the 11” can be easily folded and broken with bare hands, suggesting that it will break if sat on accidentally.  I am worried, perhaps needlessly, that the iPad Pro 11” may be too fragile for travel. 

    I am thinking of continuing to use my 2017` iPad Pro 12.9” for traveling.  In the last 2 years, it has travelled close to a million miles with me, has a larger screen that I can use as a second screen for my Mac, is more rigid and stronger, and is not that much bigger than the 11”.  I can use the iPad Pro 11” at work and at home for taking notes at meetings, teaching, emailing, browsing, drawing, painting, and reading in bed.  I really don’t need the 12.9” at work or home where I have large screens.  It is a bit awkward carrying the 12.9” into meetings and trying to type on it balanced on my lap.  The 11” is better for that purpose. Anyway, I will take the 11” on one trip to check it out.

    In summary, I was pleased by the iPad’s responsiveness, its relatively long battery life (I don’t need to charge it up during the day), the screen quality, and the fact that the iPad Pro 11” is so fast that I never saw any slowdown (except of course when it is waiting for Internet on cellular connections).  I have not yet tried intensive graphic computing such as photoshop or video editing.  Likewise, I have not done graphic drawing nor used the new Pencil on the iPad Pro 11”, other than scribble a few lines.  That will come.  All in all, I was glad that I bought the new iPad Pro 11” to replace my old iPad 9.7”.  It may well be my last iPad because it is so fast.  After using it for several days, I do not begrudge what Apple charged for the iPad Pro 11” even though I did have sticker shock when I paid $2400 for the 1 Tb version with keyboard, Pencil 2, AppleCare, and sales tax.

    edited November 2018
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