Guaranteed Success: Trying to fail with the iPad Pro

9 November 2018

Hey, some new Apple stuff was released a couple days ago! Has anyone published some —

“I returned the new iPad Pro less than 24 hours after buying it — here’s why”

— hot takes?

One of the unspoken rules in the tech community is that your best judgment of new products is within the first day of purchase. It’s just science.

Business Insider’s Dave Smith is here with the verdict on the iPad Pro after much deliberation.

I was so excited about — and so let down by — the new iPad Pro.

It’s really been quite the emotional roller coaster. For one day.

On Thursday morning, I was at the Apple Store once again — to return everything I had purchased less than 24 hours ago.

Decisions! They’re best made with spontaneity.

Given the steep price of the iPad Pro — it starts at $800 but quickly gets into laptop or desktop territory — you would expect it to be able to do laptop or even desktop things. Nope.

This guy knows! He spent a whole day with the thing! Well, almost a day.

This is still an iPad, like the one you bought years ago.

Smith acts as if this is a surprise but Apple’s own marketing seems very clear that the product is indeed an iPad.

Yes, it's faster and prettier than before. But it should not be mistaken for a work computer.

Those are fighting words. Specifically targeted at the many people who get by just fine on an iPad.

Ultimately, I don't recommend the iPad Pro if you need to do work.

Funny you should mention that, because Uluroo is coincidentally writing and publishing this article exclusively from his iPhone and suspects it would be a heck of a lot easier on an iPad.

Selecting text was a major pain... I couldn't believe how long I spent trying to select a single sentence.

Yep, Uluroo will be the first to admit that text selection is among iOS’s greatest weaknesses. But does that prevent people from getting real work done on iPads? Ask Federico Viticci.

Smith then describes the much-dragged-out approach he took to multitasking on his iPad.

On a Mac, adding a photo to a website is a three-step process: open the browser, open Finder, and drag and drop the file from Finder into the browser.
On the iPad Pro, I needed to open Safari, swipe from the bottom of the screen to activate the dock, open the Photos app from the dock to activate Split View, and then drag and drop the photo I wanted from one app to the other.

Or just open Safari, open Files from the dock, and drag the file to Safari via the dock? Why bother with Split View?

That Smith doesn’t know how to simplify this workflow says more about his willingness to face a learning curve than about a problem with iOS.

Again, yes, iOS is less efficient than macOS at certain tasks. No one denies that — even the people who do “real work” on iPads. But are these problems, whether bugs or fundamental design choices, a dealbreaker for all users? No.

I put my brand-new iPad Pro away and finished my work on my MacBook.

At least he tried. Even if he had set out to fail for the express purpose of writing this piece.

It's difficult to justify a device that's as expensive as a work computer but isn't one

Maybe it’s not a work computer for you, but it is for plenty of people. The problem with the whole iPad-as-laptop discussion is that the people who review the darn things have vastly different needs than the people to whom they’re writing. How many average consumers have the same workflows as tech journalists who need to upload photos to a web-based CMS?

Techies aren’t the only people who use laptops. They’re also not the only ones who use iPads. Unfortunately people like Smith forget that maybe the iPad Pro isn’t designed as a laptop for them.

The iPad Pro is basically an invitation to spend money on a deluxe iPad experience — fun, sure, but yeah, it's not a work computer.

Let’s review: the iPad Pro isn’t a work computer because someone who demands very specific things from a computer attempted, for less than one day, to do his work on one, coming to a hasty conclusion without consideration for the fact that maybe, just maybe, not everyone is the same as he is and has the same computer needs.

I insist the iPad Pro is not a real work computer because even trying to perform the most basic of tasks felt underwhelming and compelled me to use a laptop instead.

“Learning curves! What are they? Nobody knows. I can’t be bothered to take more than a day to figure this thing out! After that, I’m calling it quits!”

The iPad will always run iOS, and iOS comes with limitations.

Yes. But these limitations, though frustrating at times, haven’t stopped plenty of people from using iPads as their primary computers — or the iPad from outselling every manufacturer’s notebook line.

That Apple calls the iPad Pro a professional device but won't let it work with a mouse or trackpad or external storage is borderline insulting to customers who need it for professional tasks, as the name would imply.

Look, Uluroo just wrote an article about how awesome a trackpad would be on iOS. But does he think that as long as the iPad goes without one, it’s impossible to do real work on it? No, because that’s absurd. You can complain about it all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that the iPad works fine for plenty of people. Would it be better with things like trackpads and improved multitasking? Sure. But until then, it’s still all the computer many people need.

But what does Uluroo know? He hasn’t used an iPad Pro for a solid four hours.