What Apple need to do with the iPad Pro
I believe Apple have turned the iPad into the device it was always meant to be. I actually think they managed this with the iPad Pro 2018 which got the sleek new design, powerful processor, and the release of iPadOS. Apple Pencil 2nd Generation was a wonderful edition to the ecosystem, as was the Magic Keyboard with the floating design and trackpad. The LiDaR Sensor on the iPad Pro 2020 model felt to me like Apple were at a loss as to what else to add to the phenomenal iPad Pro 2018. Very few apps utilise that sensor in any meaningful way, and it seems like it was designed to shine on iPhone instead of the massive iPads. The only reason I got the iPad Pro 2020 was because all the iPad Pro 2018s were sold out as everyone realised what a great deal they were. So, I think Apple have reached peak iPad, this is as good as they always imagined for the iPad. But of cause, we are talking about technology here, things keep moving at a relentless pace regardless. With that said, here are some meaningful additions to iPad Pro that I think Apple should add to upcoming models of the iPad Pro.
Super Retina OLED Display
Apple nailed the hardware on the iPad Pro with the 2018 iteration. We got beautiful slim bezzles, an impossibly thin chassis, Face ID, great battery life and a screaming fast processor. No one would describe the LCD display on the iPad as less than exceptional, but Apple have display technology that make me wonder — what if they put that in the iPad Pro? iPhone has had OLED displays for over three years now. In OLED panels only individual pixels are lit up as they are needed, compared to backlight technology in LCD displays. The end result is inky blacks, and superior battery performance. For watching content like movies, OLED panels are far better than LCDs. And I imagine most people use their iPads for content consumption, I certainly do. All this to say, the next iteration of iPad Pro should get the Super Retina OLED treatment. That really would be a feature to make the iPad Pro stand out from the other models in the line-up.
If Apple want to blow us away with a new iPad Pro though, here is a wild suggestion — give us the option to have nano-texture glass on the iPad Pro. If you are not aware of Apple’s nano-texture glass displays, they first made an appearance on the pricy Pro Display XDR, then again as an option on some iMacs. It basically reduces the reflectivity of the display. I want it on an iPad Pro because of Apple Pencil. I love Apple Pencil, the only complaint I have is that writing on the slippery glass on the iPad is sometimes tricky. Of cause, I’ve never tried writing on a nano-texture glass display with an Apple Pencil, but it seems like it would be a far more natural feel than writing on glossy glass. The nano-texture glass comes at the expense of text clarity, so I think this should be just an option for those who want it.
In-display Touch ID
The iPad Air got Touch ID this year, instead of the more expensive Face ID. I would like to see Touch ID return to the iPad Pro too. We know in-display fingerprint technology works well; other manufacturers have been using it for years now. I think it is time Apple gave us their version of this technology on iPhone and iPad Pro. I don’t think this is a major feature the iPad Pro needs because Face ID works so well, but it would be great to have both biometric sensors on the same device.
iPad OS needs to stand alone
The only other improvements to the iPad Pro I would love to see involve the operating system. iPad OS still seems to be iOS with a few tweaks here and there to make it usable on iPad. Some obvious features are somehow missing, which is frustrating. Why can’t I add widgets to the home screen like I can on iPhone? Also, where’s the App Draw on the iPad? To get past frustrations like this, I think it is time iPad OS became its own operating system, separate from iOS. This way, iPadOS can grow and evolve at its own pace. This development pace has to be faster than iOS which is a more mature OS as iPhone has been around for much longer.
I think Apple have achieved peak iPad with the iPad Pros. The lack of any real competitor to the iPad also shows how well Apple have done with this device, no one can compete with that package. When Apple released the new iPad Air 2020, a much cheaper device with the same design, power and accessory support as the iPad Pros, reviewers asked if getting the iPad Pro 11 inch was worth it now. Marques Brownlee called it an iPad Pro killer in his review. Now is the time to give the iPad Pro some updates to keep the iPad Air from cannibalising some of the sales. A Super Retina OLED Display and the option for nano-texture glass would certainly do that. In-display TouchID would help too.