The iPad Pro will run all of the hundreds of thousands of tablet-optimized apps in the iOS App Store, but with Apple's 11-inch or massive 12.9-inch display, powerful Apple A12Z processor, and optional Apple Pencil 2 and Smart Keyboard, it can run some of them better and faster than any iPad before it. Here are the iPad Pro apps you should check out right now!
Don't have an iPad Pro? No problem! You can run all of these apps on your iPad mini or iPad Air as well.
- Procreate 3
- Coda 2
- Astropad Studio
- Microsoft Excel
- Affinity Photo
- Adobe Comp
- Complete Anatomy Platform
For creating full digital paintings, you'll want to step into Procreate. It has dozens of highly customizable painting and drawing tools with a wide array of color options. You can paint on top of colors and blend shades for a very realistic art experience. It also has additional digitizing features, like adjustable motion and perspective blur, color balance, and more. The project tracking feature lets you record your progress as a time-lapse video that you can share with others.
Coda on the Mac is how I've done web development—when I've had to do web development—since it was released so many years ago. It was a revelation: An impeccably designed, fully integrated environment to edit, audit, and transfer files for all of your sites. And then the developers, Panic, went and did the inconceivable: They brought it all to iPad. Now, they've optimized it for iPad Pro and multi-app multitasking so you can work on your sites in Coda on the left and preview them in Safari on the right. You can even trigger an update in Safari automatically right from Coda. It's a triumph.
Astropad lets you use your iPad as a graphics tablet for your Mac, and it works supremely well. Now, Astropad will also let you use your iPad Pro as a big graphics tablet. It works with Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Corel Painter, Manga Studio, Pixelmator, and more, so there's no need to get a separate surface for your computer. Your iPad Pro can serve double duty. And yes, it supports the Apple Pencil as well! Astropad Studio requires a subscription, you can pay $11.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Microsoft is still king of the Office apps and that's especially true for spreadsheets. If you've ever wanted to pivot a table or do any number of ledger-ly things, you've wanted to do it in Excel. What makes Excel for iPad especially great is that Microsoft prioritized it even over the company's own mobile devices, and that head-start has made it not only a good Office app, but a good iPad app. Heck, with split-view support, it makes it a great one. And Word, Powerpoint, and OneNote are no slouches either.
A photo-editing tool like no other for the iPad Pro, Affinity Photo was front and center at the WWDC Keynote this year. All the editing tools you need to turn your photos into works of pristine art are at your fingertips — and Apple Pencil tip. With support for unlimited layers, layer groups, adjustment layers, filter layers, and masks, you'll never overpower the software running on the iPad Pro's powerful A10X processor chip. Affinity Photo also has a huge selection of brushes to choose from and use with your Apple Pencil, and you can even make custom brushes on the fly — meaning you'll always have the tools at your disposal to achieve your desired effect.
You may recall that former iMore managing editor Serenity Caldwell reviewed the Apple Pencil entirely in sketch. The go-to app she uses for her amazing art is Paper. It is the perfect app for sketching out ideas, creating graphs, doodling, and more. There are also some impressive tools for taking notes and annotating images. It's an all-around useful app for sparking creativity.
With Pixelmator, users can play around with advanced photo settings like single-tap color correction presets, beauty and facial editors that can easily erase imperfections, blemishes, and unwanted objects, the ability to pinch, bump, twirl, or wrap areas of an image, the option to edit images of up to 100 megapixels, and so, so much more.
You can even use Pixelmator to paint images directly onto your iPad, turning your tablet into a digital canvas of sorts. You can pick and choose from over 100 artist-designed brushes, smudge color with your finger to blend like you would IRL, use eyedropper tools to isolate and perfect your colors, and really bring your creativity to the forefront of your digital artwork!
Adobe has optimized several of the company's iPad apps for the iPad Pro so they can better take advantage of the bigger display and more powerful processor. Adobe Comp is one of the most interesting. It lets you quickly produce wireframes for everything from mobile apps to web designs to print layouts. The Apple Pencil is supported in a really cool way as well—it takes over object manipulation so your fingers can work as modifiers. It sounds complicated, but it looks impressive. Adobe is also offering Photoshop Sketch and Photoshop Fix, all ready for iPad Pro. Note: They all require Adobe Creative Cloud.
On the iPad, iMovie is already amazing. On the iPad Pro, we're going to need a bigger superlative. That's because, thanks to the Apple A12Z processor, iMovie on the iPad Pro can handle not one, not two, but three streams of 4K video all at once. Which is ludicrously great. Apple's other iPad apps also shine on the larger iPad Pro canvas, including GarageBand for music, and Keynote, Numbers, and Pages for presentations, spreadsheets, and documents.
Complete Anatomy Platform 2020
The world's most accurate, most advanced and best-selling 3D anatomy platform uses new technology, models, and content. It's not just an atlas, the app is an anatomy learning platform with unique collaboration and learning tools. On the new iPad Pro, you can now study and take measures with a real human being and use that information to visualize and understand muscle movement, and more.
There you have it, some of our favorite apps updated for iPad Pro. Lots more are on the way, so we'll keep updating this list. If we missed your favorite, let us know!
Updated April 2020: Added the incredibly cool Complete Anatomy Platform 2020 to the list, so you can make use of that sweet sweet LiDAR!
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