Yes, iPad really can be 'Pro' — and other things to relax about

I currently split my time between a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 9.7-inch iPad Pro. A few months ago that was a ManagerBook — um, MacBook — and a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. All of them are amazing machines that allow me to perform a range of tasks essential to my job. For a variety of reasons, including habits, my brain simply finds it easier to do a few of those tasks on one rather than the other, and my occupation affords me the luxury of being able to switch between them as needed.

That's fine. Everyone has different use cases and personal tastes, so what might work great for me might not work at all for someone else. And that's fine. Really.

Same with iPhone 6s Plus. I've been using iPhone SE for several weeks now. It's a great phone — I called it the super fast, stripped down F1 race-car of phones, and I stand by that. But I still prefer the 5.5-inch display. Some people whose opinions I deeply respect prefer 4-inch display. That's also fine.

Everything is a compromise. Everything is a trade-off. And, based on what's most important to us, we're all willing to make different compromises. We're all annoyed and delighted different.

iPhone SE an coffee

iPhone SE an coffee (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

So yes, I quite like 3D Touch, and Siri works great for me, and rose gold all the things, and Apple Music is the service of my dreams, and I'm trying to figure out Snapchat, and I'm using Bitmoji like gangbusters, and you may want to burn some or all of that to the ground.

And I may not enjoy Giphy so much — and even pronounce it differently! — or Samsung phones or Game of Thrones, or any number of things other people love oh so very dearly and I don't fathom why.

And all of that, really, is fine.

The subjective is not objective. There are multiple truths. You can love something that's not very good and dislike something that's genius. It's what makes us wondrous, vexing, unique, fascinating creatures.

So, if someone says an iPad isn't a real computer, or 3D Touch is a gimmick, or the Plus is too big or the SE too small, or that any of the bits or atoms I value shouldn't be so valued, I don't let it concern me.

I'm too busy kicking ass with what I love.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • This is a great way to start the morning. I 100% agree.
  • Same. It's really annoying to hear some people make the same remarks over and over again. It's fine to have an opinion but it's another thing to keep stating the same opinion as facts and shutting down anyone else who thinks otherwise.
  • subpar Specs, limited capabilities and extremely limited number of available 'pro' productivity/design apps for the ipad pro aren't opinions, they're facts. "you can love something that's not very good"'re basically describing the story of your life, Rene.
  • Is "troll" your middle name? That is all that you do. If you don't like Apple, fine. Don't come to an Apple-centric site and spout your babble. Plus, your continuous slams of Rene are childish and are getting old.
  • deep breaths lil fanboy. I don't have a problem with all of Apple...In fact, I'm typing this from my Macbook Pro, so unlike you I don't worship just one brand as if my dad owns the company. What I have a problem is fanboys blindly defending products that are clearly inferior to the competition...and I'd like to voice my opinion about it and I like to do it......over...and over....and over again... Don't like it? too bad.
  • They have no subpar product lines, nor inferior products, imo. It is all in the eyes of the user. And, no, I'm not a fanboy. I also have Android products.
  • your opinion != facts.
  • Re-read my post. I never said that it was facts. I certainly hope that you don't think that Android tablets are superior to iPads. Now, the Surface Pro is a different story.
  • Nope, I think both pro-geared android tablets and ipad pro are inferior to Surface pro's capabilities + professional app availability. Difference is no one on Android Central is trying to write dumb articles to brainwash people with misleading/fanboy articles. No one on AC is trying to justify an overpriced and underpowered device by saying "there are multiple truths about a product" or people criticize ipad pro because "some people dislike a genius product"
  • Ahh...there's nothing like the smell of fresh troll in the morning...
  • sniff it up fanboy, cuz this smell ain't going anywhere ;=]
  • True that--your comments never really go anywhere...
  • oh i know they go straight into your fragile fanboy heart ;=]
  • At least you know your purpose in life, i.e., troll.
  • sure thing, fanboy.
  • My pleasure, troll.
  • K, shoo now, back to your grazing, baaaa baaaaaa
  • And you to your trolling: "Mom, how much longer can I use the computer?!"
  • blah that was lame....even for a 14 year old girl like you
  • Yah, but I'm sure I'll meet your approval when I'm 15.
  • highly unlikely....
  • Oh, right, you prefer 14 year old girls.
  • Nope just highly unlikely that your fanboy intellectual capacity can grow beyond a 14 year old girl...look at all the dumb things you been saying...I was actually have a meaningful discussion with Pappy....your nervous breakdown derailed the convo
  • But, gosh, you've got to give me credit for successfully baiting a troll to keep up the "convo" (wow! "convo"--that's so neato!) and exposing your intellectual incapacity, yes?! (Hmmm...let's see: what do immature trolls type in moments like this....oh, yes!: "FTW!")
  • *major facepalm* You went keyboard commando on a troll and you are asking for credit for baiting the troll?? Don't you know?? I know I'm using a double edge sword here but even if you win an argument on the Internet you're still an R-tard. Congrats on winning your dunce hat, troll baiter.
  • And now you're going keyboard commando on a troll-baiter to win the "Holier-than-thou Commenter" award as if YOU now win the argument and somehow still avoid being labeled a "R-tard"?! Here, it's your turn with the dunce hat to wear as you fall on your "double edge sword." But, really, it IS pretty entertaining to get into it with the Xperimnent-man every now-and-again. I'll assume it's your first time out when it comes to his/her shenanigans on iMore and perhaps you don't find it so amusing........but, wait: you used "*major facepalm*" and, worse, "R-tard" in a blog comment! Yup, you guessed it: I baited another troll!
  • LMAO, this is the last time I'm going to do this, because now I'll be feeding the troll, and lowering down to your level. Now you're acting "Holier than thou commenter" by calling me a troll. I was calling out you're mistake and how your doing exactly as the other commenter was doing (actually he wasn't, he was just stating an opinion and you went commando on it). Jesus you sound like someone who is going to die a virgin. You could've just left it alone but you fell for the trap of proving my point. You are the perfect example of what's wrong with this world. ***** calls me a troll but doesn't notice a couple of comments that I actually gave a legitimate opinion about the iPad Pro and 3D Touch. You're only focus is clearly to "feed trolls" and feel like the winner at the end because the real world is probably a horrible place for you. Congrats, not entirely quite sure what you're going to really win out of troll baiting on blogs but believe it that I won't respond again. You can end it here too and move on, but if you don't just remember, you're only adding trash to what could have potentially have been a good argument. Peace!!!
  • You claim I didn't notice how "legitimate" you are here and, based on that, call me a troll. Sorry, but a major mistake on your part there, bub. To wit: Xperimnent was hardly merely stating an opinion. Perhaps you'd like to read his entry again?! Naw, I'm such a nice guy, I'll save you some time: "'you can love something that's not very good''re basically describing the story of your life, Rene." Yes, an ad hominem attack, the calling card of trolls. (The Rene-hating trolls around here especially can't resist this tiresome tactic.) So, as you stand (or sit) so proud typing "R-tard," you can embrace your (apparently) newfound identity and wave your one-fingered-salute to the crowd!
  • The Surface Pro is what Apple should have done, and they would have done it much better than Microsoft. Too bad. Sent from the iMore App
  • Agreed. If they wanna throw a 'pro' infront of the tablet and advertise it as a productivity tablet then they should have made something that competes with a Surface pro and it clearly can't
  • I don't know where you got "subpar specs" or "limited capabilities", but you are right about the Apps. They need to be desktop class. Sent from the iMore App
  • You had me until the last comment. That was nasty and unnecessary.
  • The problem with all tech blogs are the fanboys in all camps. I simply do not understand how they can spend so much of their time and energy beating on products they don't use. They have all but ruined the comments section of all tech blogs and make having a civil discussion among tech enthusiasts impossible. This is why I really don't care for people anymore. All they want to do is fight and degrade each other. I've been called the worst names imaginable just because I've said I like my iPhone and I know it happens to Android users as well.
  • Here's the kicker, Rene. How do you pronounce Giphy? That'll determine your fate with your readers :)
  • The G is silent!
  • Too bad XperimenT isn't. He just proves your's all a matter of what meets your needs, not his (or anyone else's).
  • You pronounce it Jiffy? Like Jraphics Interchange Format?
  • Amen! Tho seriously no one can love the name bots. Can the tech world please come up with a better name?!?
  • Sorry about the little rant, Rene, but this crap gets old.
  • Aren't all the iPads just bigger iphones? They all run the same apps. Some have a pencil.
  • Basically but as you move up in size there starts to deviate them. To me, 90% of it is apps that have different versions for iPad and iPhone. The same with features of the iPads that allow slide over and split screen. Hardware wise, the 12.9" iPad Pro has more ram and is screaming fast when editing 4K videos and the like. The screen real estate is only the most visible differentiator but when you really start getting down to the underlying features, that's what makes the iPad shine for me.
  • Isn't every Galaxy tab(insert letter hear) just bigger S(2-5)? Nexus 7 just a bigger nexus 4 maybe 5? LG blah blah, you get where this is going.
  • Yes - in the same way that a MacPro is basically just a big MacBook.
  • I think the backlash comes from the fact that the Jobs-era Apple used to tell us how and why one way to compute was the best way. There was 1 iPhone, 1 iPad, 1 MacBook, MacBook Pros for Pros, iMacs for desktop, and Mac Pro for extreme pros. It was clean, simple, and all the Apple geeks were on the same team. Now with so many variations of product types that overlap each other, some of us struggle to identify the "right" combo or ones to use. Consider it a "What would Steve recommend?" phenomenon and everyone thinks their use cases are the right combination.
  • Yea but I kind of like the new apple, with choices. If I want an iphone I can actually decide which one fits me, 4 inch, 4.7 or 5.5 not, "Here's the iphone, like or not, and hold it this way or else". Love what Steve did for Apple but no sure one option or buy something else was the best way to do things.
  • I agree. More options are better, but I think still selling the "old model" of these devices rather than discontinue it is muddying the waters more than screen size choices. How is a non-tech enthusiast supposed to make sense of an option to buy an iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 4 with no explanation on what happened to the 3? They need to discontinue the old models and live with the higher entry price or rebrand the old model as "SE" or "LE" (for legacy edition) or something.
  • I am considering finally letting go of my 2007 17-inch MBP (Santa Rosa) and making the jump to all iPadPro. My question to the iPad users out there - How do you get all your stuff? I have thousands of mp3 files from hundreds of CDs and iTunes purchases, a 60GB iPhoto library, 100 GB of work/nonwork documents not to mention many iMovie/iDVD videos. Is there a way that the iPadPro can access a time capsule or some other NAS over my home network? I don't think i can abandon my stuff but I envy the portability and touch of the iPad. Is iCloud/Dropbox-style access my only option? I really don't want to put 500GB in the cloud then go back and forth over the internet to get my stuff.
  • Consider the new Retina Macbook instead of the iPad Pro. iPad Pro is a Ferrari, not a truck. You need a truck to take all your belongings with you or to make them accessible all the time. I suggest the Retina MacBook because of its ultra-thin form factor which, IMHO is a greater engineering achievement than an iPad Pro. You may consider the 13" Retina MBP as well. But I wouldn't suggest anything below Retina, so forget MacBook Air...
  • "Consider the new Retina Macbook instead of the iPad Pro. iPad Pro is a Ferrari, not a truck. You need a truck to take all your belongings with you or to make them accessible all the time." That should be a tag line on Apple website.
  • Unless you want to go all in on the cloud, @macplusplus is right. I have started embracing it but I have an Airport Timecapsule at home that I long to access from my iPad Pro. On a side note, I do so miss the 17" MacBook Pro's. If only they had stuck around and gone retina... Oh what could have been!
  • Well I did get the HD screen, does that count for retina? I do love this machine, it has been such a workhorse over the almost 9 (!) years I have had it. Screen is dim though, SATA-1 doesn't allow for blazing SSD speed, and that pesky left fan needs some lubricant every month or so. Not to mention it has taken quite a speed hit due to the bells and whistles beyond Snow Leopard... If I can make it past summer, it will be the computer I had the longest ever, besting my Apple //c!
  • Since you use your computer so long, disregard what I said above and get a 15 inch Retina Macbook Pro, the big one with the discrete GPU. After 17 inch screen it will make you comfortable with all the luxury of Retina and its sleek form factor. It will also drive any HD monitor with its powerful GPU.
  • MacPlusPlus is right on the Retina 15. If you can go for the $$ it's great. You can scale down the UI to give you more working space for those times you want it, then scale the UI back up for more casual use!
  • Has anyone tried FileBrowser? Seems like it might solve my problem but it might also open up some security concerns.
  • If by some security concerns you mean accessing files in your home computer remotely, just don't do that, use iCloud. Also a file browser which cannot access USB drives doesn't mean much to me. All the network services mentioned have already their iOS applications free. People blame iOS for such limitations but ignore the shortsightedness of the developer community which failed to develop a solution to even such a simple and mundane task as accessing USB drives.
  • One thing you can consider is a Synology NAS server. Their NAS management software allows you to run a media server and access your files via the cloud. Importantly, they also have some mobile apps for accessing your files directly. Certainly worth a look.
  • I'm currently using exactly that: 13" MBP and 9.7" iPad Pro. Fantastic combo, each does things the other can't, still easy enough to carry both around. Loved the style of the article BTW. :) Sent from the iMore App
  • I really dug what you said from "The subjective is not objective." on... Good stuff...
  • True, everyone does have their own preferences. But we still need to be critical because there are certainly some things Apple can do to the iPad Pro line that will make them real power houses.
  • What needs to be added? I hope you don't want them to make a surface pro clone with all of those ports or OSX full on an ipad for a real file system touch style? Just curious to what would make them REAL power houses cause I don't really have to turn my MBP on much anymore since I got mine.
  • Maybe not full OSX but at least give me full control over all my files, allow me to download files from the browser, multiple external device support, track pad/mouse support. I love my iPad Pro but sometimes I wonder what I can do on it that I wasn't able to do on my iPad Air 2. The bigger screen is definitely the major plus. Multitasking isn't as fluid as on my Mac but its manageable. Full desktop grade applications should become a standard since it has the horsepower to handle them.
  • I agree with everything except trackpad/mouse support. iOS is designed for touch-screens, all the interface icons are big and spaced out, you'd have to travel the cursor a fair distance to get to different icons, it would just feel weird. Maybe a trackpad sorta text selection, but that's it
  • I agree with downloading files local and would like support for connecting to local shares but don't really see the need for trackpad or mouse support.
  • I've been doing a lot more document creation, video editing, online exams and media building. All of that, to me, would be much easier if I didn't have to rely on touch input. The support for it would be welcomed by myself. Even offering it as an option would be a big step in setting the Pro apart. It's a big screen. We should have more input options than just our hands.
  • Apple will never give you full control in iOS. For me iOS is useless and everyone who said is not should try at least something else. What the point to have a huge screen and have 20 icons on it. At least have some widgets for music control or mail app. Maybe calendar would be great.
  • Full filesystem access isn't actually as big a thing as it's cracked up to be. If the iCloud Drive app would show local user files, that would be sufficient.
  • Sorry for the late answer, but it's trivial to download files from the browser in iOS. Mobile Safari supports several file types: ZIP, PDF, JPG, PNG. maybe others. Something like the iCab browser or GoodReader or a billion others allow downloading any type of file. Watch media in VLC. Read text (or media) in GoodReader. GoodReader and many others can access SMB and AFP shares (and others).
  • It must really suck being you and you pretty much sum up the entire Android community with your bullcrap. Let us enjoy our Apple products in piece and focus on enjoying Android. Sent from the iMore App
  • It really sucks that you had this "awesome" burn for someone but didn't reply to their comment. What a waste of talent... Posted with the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • And the point of this article? Sent from the iMore App
  • To show that different people have different perspectives and that opinions are just opinions, it's your own enjoyment, or non-enjoyment, that matters inside your own perspective.
  • Word, I agree! I prefer the 6s Plus! The only reason this is my first iPhone ever, is because I wouldn't use a small phone. But for people who do like small, like my older brother who is an Apple fanboy to the max, that is cool. We all have our tastes, I prefer big phones, some don't aha. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm the same as Rene. I pick what works for me. Right now that is an iphone 6S plus and apple watch, baby ipad pro (rose gold this time), 13" rMBP, and most recently, a maxed out 27" iMac. Loving the imac and it's amazing. The ipad pro is simply awesome as well although I simply haven't had a lot of time with it since I took a cruise the day after i got it. KB case is available for me as soon as i get to the store to pick up. Another gadget taking up my time is a Sony a7rII camera with a 55mm lens. Think I'll get a zoom later but the pics have been great and look great on the imac and new ipad. The main reason is I simply want better pics of the kids right now other than phone pics. The eye focus with the sony is amazing even in low light. The pics i got on the cruise make my iphone pics look sad. I have noticed that my focus is changing from phones to other things like the camera and imac. I don't really have any desire to upgrade iphones this year. I'm more interested in the 2017 rumors. Watch? Who knows, maybe. Would need more capabilities. But yeah, I'm in gadget heaven right now with no misgivings. Usually I'd have some buyers remorse here and there. I'm just about all apple now with just one PC still in the house on a 4k monitor...mostly for the kids.
  • "or 3D Touch is a gimmick" Okay fine, it's not a gimmick, but you probably won't like the way I'm going to put it. So while it may not be a gimmick, but it's still not very useful to some. However, leave it to the Jailbreak community to actually get 3D touch right. So far, the 3D touch Jailbreak tweaks are the only things that actually demonstrate the full potential of how useful 3D touch can actually be, not the apps simply using it as shortcuts or to "peek-and-pop" at a page that still needs to load before actually peeking at it. Yet it sucks that a Jailbreak route has to be taken to fully take advantage of all the phones feature because as of right now, Stock iOS remains to yet give me a reason why 3D touch is truly useful.
  • Not everything has to be useful to everybody. There will ALWAYS be people for which a device or feature "isn't useful".
    Instead of looking at it from a negative POV, why not look at it positively: "I didn't get what I wanted from one place, but I have a place to go to get it."
  • Totally agree. I use to jailbreak but all of those tweaks are fun at first and then I unjailbreak cause I wasn't using all that extra tweaks I loaded. Its good to have 100 features until 100 features are the reason you don't like using your phone. I like the simple useful but not option overload version of things in ios.
  • Please try to edit your work: "to" in the article title should be "too". Looks really bad.
  • IPad pro needs real OS and not a blown up iPhone OS. I think Apple should be able to port the Mac OS over and enjoy but could be it is just a market strategy so people buying a Mac and a iPad and iPhone. Windows 10 works everywhere ah because they don't sell computer. Well they do but not that much.
  • Maybe I am the only one but I am happy that I have and only have ios on my iPad pro. The idea to have osx on it seems to me very strange and wrong. Osx is not bukld to be a tablet os.
    But maybe the pro also didn't mean for me that I can do everything, I did professional on my computer, can be done with the iPad pro. It was clear from the beginning that It can replace for most computer users their comouter at home. And that it do (like already the older iPad's).
  • Thank you. I do get sick of the notion I must defend my choices. Sure, I can use the old 'I am an academic in Computer Science/IT' thing, and so that's all ok then. But I don't want to do that; nor do I wish to have to defend having a MacBook Air and a 12.9" iPad Pro - both have different use cases. I'm pretty close to repurposing my 2011 27" iMac with an SSD and as much ram as it can eat,to be a VNC type server, so I can program on the fly with my iPad. That is the only thing tying me to OS X -the wonderful Unix type backend and ability to program in multiple languages (though there is a Python program, Pythonista, that is amazing on the iPad!). Options are also incredibly important for someone who is disabled (mobility impaired), and two lightweight devices (plus my trusty 'good for old eyes' iPhone 6plus) are especially important for lugging around. Weight matters in a wheelchair, even my electric chariot of doom. So both machines are useful, and being able to do multiple styles of things in both works wonders for my productivity. I am astonished at how well the Pencil is fitting into my academic/study/brain dead doodling and coloring lifestyle too! So, why do so many people need to judge? I don't judge them on their awful taste in Windows (j/k - though one student and I have an ongoing joy in debating OS during networking lessons). Surely we should be rejoicing In having all these lovely options and choices? Honestly, too often it is like the old Vi/Emacs wars (Vi, you heathens!!).
  • I have an iPad Pro 12.9 and a Mac Mini 1TB/8GB Ram. Great combo in my opinion, I love the ability to write on my Pro, especially for my business. All my docs are in the cloud so access is awesome. Everyone is going to have a different ideal combo, I hate when reviewers pigeon hole us all into what they think is right. Great article!
  • Previously I had a surface pro 3 and then migrated to the Microsoft book. Experienced some issues and returned it three times. I looked at the iPad Pro and all the reviews and decided to take a plunge. I'll admit there may be limitations on the way we utilize other laptops but I find that the iPad Pro truly works for me as a Program Manager (I'd only wish Microsoft project could be used) it works extremely and could not be happier. I believe the iPad Pro is only the tip of the iceberg from Apple and I truly believe as the product evolves so to will the use cases.. Great article and keep up the good work!