Everything iPad Pro — Here’s How You Can Make Your iPad Pro Work Like A Pro For You!

An in-depth view on the iPad Pro and if it’s the right pick for you.

Anurag Gaddam Rao
May 1, 2020 · 9 min read
Photo by Henry Ascroft on Unsplash

Going back, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPad all those years ago, it didn’t quite make sense; it felt like a larger iPhone. Everyone wondered what to do with it and so did I.

Well, that never stopped us from getting our hands on one of the most coveted pieces of tech for its time even with its limited use as a consumption device.

Times have changed, and here we are in 2020. These iPads have evolved into different kinds of computing machines.

My iPad Pro journey began with the launch of the 2017 iPad Pro and as the 2018 iPad Pro came out, I simply had to make the switch courtesy of the type-C port! Just to be clear, everything I mention here, is still applicable to all generations of the iPad Pro.

Can you run a business on the iPad Pro? Guess what, I have. I ran a publishing house, dishing out 3 different print magazines month over month. I run an advertising agency and an E-commerce platform and the iPad handled it all like a pro. Here’s how I did it.

The Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil has probably been one of the most important devices I could think of. Running multiple magazines is no easy task. More so, when you are the Editor-in-Chief scrummaging through a plethora of cities day in and day out. The beauty of it is simple yet powerful.

My team would compile the monthly issues and push them to me for final approvals. Me, being on the move most of the time, I would simply annotate, mark, or make changes on the pdf file and push it back. If everything went right, before lunch, we’d have our issue ready to roll out the next day. This tool is indeed a life savior in more ways than one.

The Keyboard Proposition

I’d write my own stories, and I simply refused to lug around my Mac so obviously the next big tool is a keyboard. The requirements were simple, maximum utility, and maximum portability.

I had a look at the Apple case for the iPad Pro and it simply didn’t work for me. The next keyboard that I’ve had plenty of experience with was Brydge so when the time came, it was a no brainer. The keyboard is as close to that of a Mac as possible with the perfect travel speed add to that the function buttons and a year on a full charge were just too difficult to ignore. Now with the new Apple Magic Keyboard being launched, I’m itching to try it out for my 2018 iPad Pro.

Welcome to The Dongle Life

If you have upgraded any of your tech in the past few years, you know what I mean! Everything is run on dongles and the iPad Pro is no exception. Type C is brilliant but we still have miles to go before everything gets on to that one single platform.

I use the iPad in a few different ways so that means I need a few different dongles.

HDMI and USB — This is the one I keep seeing myself reaching out to almost all the time. This dongle does it all. Charge the iPad, connect me to a larger screen, and help me plug in my external storage.

Sandisk iXpand — This particular storage device has been my bridge between any other device to the iPad for large files. I had the one with a lightning connection since almost 2016 and it still works like a charm. I can move heavy files from almost any device onto the iPhone or the iPad via the dongle. By the way, it now comes with a type C port too.

One Brick Does it All — The Fast Charge Way

Thanks to the type-c port, I now carry just one brick for all my devices. The MacBook Pro’s 60W brick is perfect to charge the iPad faster if I ever need it. The type-c to lightning cable means I can charge the iPhone faster too.

On the side note, if you are ever in a pickle and need some extra juice, throw in the type-c to lightning cable onto the iPad 2018 or later — it’s going to charge your phone but the iPad battery is going to burn out faster.

macOS on iPad OS

Yes, that’s possible. Okay, sort of!

Parallels — Remote Desktop App for Mac and iPad

If you ever happen to be away from your Mac and need to get quick access to it, this remote desktop software is a blessing! Works accurately including all gestures so it’s just like running your good old Mac on the iPad.

Sidecar — Your Portable Second Screen!

You might be at a desk in need of a second screen, or perhaps at a cafe lugging around both — your MacBook and the iPad. No matter what, the sidecar is the perfect solution for that extra real estate.

Here’s every tool I use. I’ll try and break it down for who it would be perfect for.

Editors and Writers
Here’s every writing tool I’ve used and loved!

GoodNotes
Love handwritten notes? This is one of my favorite apps to get writing on the iPad. There’s so much I could do here including dragging and dropping of pictures along with my notes. It’s great to mind map, plot stories, or just take quick hand-scribbled notes.

Notion
Compatible with the entire Apple ecosystem, Notion is something I’ve been trying out for a while to organize everything I can under one roof. It’s a brilliant planning and a to-do tool. There are multiple ways you could work with this!

Bear
When I’m trying to learn something new, which is almost always, I look at Bear. It’s a simple yet, powerful writing tool that lets you bookmark certain sections with the help of hashtags. It’s a great way to get to a certain topic when you are in a rush. The best thing, if you’ve got a subscription, it syncs up with all of your Apple devices.

Apple Notes
This guy here is always a charm for quick notes and ideas you’d want to get back to later. Hook it up with iCloud or your email and it will sync up to every Apple device.

Medium
This just had to make it to the list of course! The Medium app is beautiful on the iPad and the editor is even better. With a simple clean UI, all of your tools are available at a glance making it easier to publish. Dare I say, easier than the desktop browser!

Design and Photography
While I’m no designer, it hasn’t stopped me from making a quick creative for my business or trying to figure out the ideal cover for the next issue. I also enjoy editing my pictures and these tools are the ones I love!

Affinity Photo
This photoshop replacement is just what it sounds like. Everything Photoshop at a fraction of the cost. Best part? No subscriptions. Just a one time fee.

Affinity Design
This Illustrator replacement again does everything that the illustrator does at a fraction of the cost. Again, it’s just a one time fee and no subscriptions.

The beauty of these Affinity apps is that you can export the files in any extension including those of Adobe’s so if anyone wants to work on your files in either photoshop or illustrator this is going to be hassle-free.

Canva
This tool should not come as any surprise. Available on both the Mac and iPad it’s a wonderful tool to get some quick templates and get a few designs going.

Snapseed
This is one of the best light tools I’ve used in a long time to get some quick game-changing edits and make your photos look more beautiful!

Video Editing
I love making and editing 4K videos, it’s been a hobby for a while and there’s just nothing better than the iPad to edit these on!

iMovie
If you are just starting and want to figure out how this works, stick to iMovie. It’s not the best or as feature-rich as the Mac but it’s an option.

Luma Fusion
If you are serious though, this is the tool for you. As close as it can get to Final Cut Pro, this tool not only does amazing work but is also feature-rich and renders huge files at blazingly fast speeds. Don’t be surprised if it does the job faster than your MacBook or PC. Also, at a fraction of its cost!

Files
The Files app is home to everything on your iPad. Every device plugged in, will also be displayed here so make sure to go through this a little better. Also, when you find a folder or file you’d want quick access to, give it a long press and mark it as a favorite. Voila, you’ve got quick access to that file in the sidebar now.
Got a favorite Cloud Storage Platform? This too can be directly integrated into your Files ecosystem so that you have it there just when you need it.

Multi-Tasking and Split Screens
Now, this is a feature that’s been there since almost iOS 9 but it has indeed become more relevant with iPad OS. While you can do a split-screen of the same app, you can also have multiple slide-over screens to get to apps or tools you’d need in an instant.

Shortcuts
If you haven’t yet, it’s time to get a hang of shortcuts and use them to launch programs more smartly! With one tap, there’s so much more you can do. This deserves its own section so perhaps I’ll write about it in detail another time.

Mouse Support

With iPad OS 10.4, we finally have mouse support with all the possible gestures you’d find just like you would on the Mac. This simple tool is something you’d come to love on the iPad once you start using it.

For the Gamers at Heart!
Well, one device can indeed do it all! So, why stop with productivity? The iPad Pro can indeed offer some quality console-like gaming. Now even more since it can support Xbox or PS4 joysticks. It’s quite the experience!

Media
When the first iPad rolled out, it did one thing the best and that was media consumption. Today, that experience has only enhanced!

Okay, so that’s how the iPad Pro is useful and what I like about it. So, the next question here is, what do I don’t?

I have to admit, I like the iPad. A lot. But there are somethings that I hate about it too.

Device Connectivity
Like, I mentioned I love taking pictures or videos. What this means is that I would want to transfer them specifically to the iPad to edit them or view them. But the workflow for this is just not as easy as it would be on a Mac. You still can’t connect cameras to the device directly even if they are on a type-c connection. I can go on about this, but I hope to see this being a possibility soon eliminating the need for dongles all together. At the same time, I hope there’s some way to connect your phone to the iPad and access it via Files. That would be a real boost!

Print Workflow
Until recently, I was working out of a WeWork close to me and I would often end up working on the iPad. But when I had to print something, I really couldn’t find a way to connect to their shared printers. Maybe it was an isolated problem or maybe it wasn’t. But this does pose a problem as it did with me. This is one thing, I’d run back to my Mac for.

Multiple Screens
With a Mac or PC, it’s simple. You plug in an HDMI cable, you set up your desktop preferences, and just like that, you have two usable screens. A feature, that is amiss on the iPad. While it mirrors the screen, you wouldn’t be able to have multiple screens.

Well, this is it I suppose. Beyond this, I’d be nitpicking but having more ports on the iPad like Microsoft’s Surface wouldn’t be such a bad idea for all that additional support. But then, dongles are Apple’s way of life I suppose!

Overall, all the shortcomings that I have mentioned seem to be software or workflow related. At some point, Apple’s bound to change these for the better.

The iPad is great, a well-powered and packaged device. It’s super portable for the likes of me who’s always on the move be it on a flight or a motorcycle. Its simple design is what makes it such a wonderful device. But does it eliminate the need for a computer? Unfortunately not yet. While it can handle 99% of the tasks thrown at it, for that 1% you are still going to go run around for a computer. For this reason alone, I still keep my 2018 MacBook Pro around.

Anybody, who wants an alternate device, or a budget device when in comparison to the MacBook, Air, or Pro. It does offer everything in a punch while letting you be within the Apple ecosystem. Also, it’s super portable especially the 11-inch model.

Well, that’s it! If something changes, I’ll try to update this page!

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

Anurag Gaddam Rao

Written by

Former Editor-in-Chief + Writer + Entrepreneur | Bylines: The Times of India, Destination Exotica, Corporate Saints, Start My Venture. Tech, Lifestyle & more.

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

Anurag Gaddam Rao

Written by

Former Editor-in-Chief + Writer + Entrepreneur | Bylines: The Times of India, Destination Exotica, Corporate Saints, Start My Venture. Tech, Lifestyle & more.

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

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