The Ipad Pro Diaries: One Month In

Thursday, July 28, 2016

As an artist, nothing makes me happier than finding new ways to create, most especially if that 'way' concerns technology and Apple (pretty biased, as I'm sure you all know about me by now). Well, let's just say I was given another toy to play with.

The Ipad Pro was given as a one year marker by my boss (our company's 'culture' of getting supplied with gadgets or getting an upgrade every year as needed), and as the new Ipad is geared towards creatives - with the Apple Pencil and applications meant to be used alongside it - he decided I needed one for work (and play, obviously). After one month, here is what I think about the Ipad Pro 9.7 in Rose Gold, with the Apple Pencil.

Source

The Ipad Pro, when it was announced last year, became "the item" I wanted most for design purposes. Though I already owned a Wacom, I wanted to get one because I'd be able to design on-the-go, take notes using the pen, and others. More than anything, I wanted to try out Procreate, a premium design/drawing app Apple had featured at the forefront. It held promise during the keynote with the added functionalities (like the 4 speakers, true tone display, nightshift), and I just had to experience using one.

One month in, and I can say that the Ipad Pro 9.7 does what it says it does and more. Here's a short list of what I've been able to substitute the Ipad Pro and Apple Pencil with so far:

Photoshop/Autodesk Sketch replaced by Procreate
Evernote replaced by Notes/OneNote
Wacom GT replaced by Apple Pencil + Ipad Pro

This isn't a long list, but it's a huge deal for me. Everyone I've worked with knows that Photoshop is my lifetime partner (hehe) and that my Wacom is my soulmate. When it came to working my "magic" in designing whatever, these two were all I needed. In the wake of the Apple Pencil-Ipad Pro generation, I found myself relying less and less on those two as time went by. Now, if I needed to create a digital painting or sketch/doodle, I'd reach for the Apple Pencil and Ipad. If I needed to create a poster or business card (among others), I'd also reach for them.



Last week, I actually noticed that my Wacom GT had been sitting inside my desk drawer at the office for quite a while.

Aside from those, I've become more comfortable taking notes digitally compared to before when I still had to use my mac to record meetings and other instant ideas. It is now a habit to attend weekly office meetings with the Ipad Pro and Pencil in hand. It's also great that I can project my screen onto the widescreen TV at work using Airplay with no hassle at all.

The Ipad Pro is worthy of investment - thanks to the Apple Pencil. The Ipad Pro would just be a regular Ipad without it, even if it had true tone and 3D touch. If it weren't for the Apple Pencil, I wouldn't be bothered - even if it was in Rose Gold.

There are downsides and limitations to this setup though (duh). For one, Procreate is good for replacing the software I mentioned above, but in terms of creating vector art or graphics, I'm still looking for an app that will give me the same features as Illustrator or Autodesk Graphic. Even Adobe's line of apps for the Pro aren't satisfying. So for vectors, I revert to my mac and use Sketch.

Also, the iMovie on the Ipad Pro is a few leagues down in comparison to the Mac's fully-powered version. What took me 5 minutes to do on the mac in terms of video editing I did for around 15, including the time spent looking for tools I normally used on the desktop app. Of course, I couldn't really expect edit videos exactly the way I wanted them on the Ipad Pro.

Apps currently in my Create folder. I have Procreate separated from them since I use that app more often and I need quick access whenever I want to draw or doodle something.

If I had to give the Ipad Pro and Apple Pencil a percentage to define their current use for me, it would easily be a 60%. Like I said, there's less hassle working with them compared to my usual routine.

In summary, my month-long journey with the Ipad Pro 9.7 has made significant change in my work flow and creation process. There's more yet to do with this pair, and I am only just beginning to scratch the surface.

The video below was taken by a colleague just after I opened the package and paired the Apple Pencil. Since then, I've become more acquainted with how much pressure is needed to do script lettering, drawings, and such, so take this as a first time take on lettering using the Pencil.

video

I also have a few progress videos on my Facebook using Procreate, so if you'd like, head over there and watch them. They're short, so it shouldn't take much of your time. :)


If you have any suggestions for what apps I should try, or questions about anything related to this gadget, tell me in the comments. I want to test this baby out to its fullest capability.

22 comments

  1. I have no experience with these tools. But I can imagine it is exciting to find new tools to work with and find new opportunities. The combination of the Ipad pro and pencil sounds very nice. Hopefully you'll discover even more possibilities!

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  2. you are very lucky to get surprises like that from your boss! I am an iphone user and planning to buy an ipad! this one is cool, love the pen. It will be useful for me since i doddle a lot!

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    1. Hehe, yes indeed! :D Definitely something you'd like to invest in if you like sketching and stuff.

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  3. Thank you for sharing some review of your ipad pro. Try looking for an app that is useful to blogging. Maybe its a start to maximize the usage of your ipad. Because you usually do blog

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    1. I've installed/purchased a few apps for blogging but haven't really found the perfect one for my tastes. I've decided to wait until more developers get into building more.

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  4. Good it has helped you a lot in your work. I don't own an Ipad but I guess it looks promising among others.

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  5. I won't very helpful about what you should try or not. I always stayed far away from Apple and even if some apps are similar between Android and iOS, I dont' know any specific cool apps to try for iOS and even less for iPad. I had a tablet once some years ago, but I ended up selling it. In the end I prefer having a laptop or my smartphone. I have to say that I have the Huawei Mate 8 which is considered as a phablet, and I'm good with it. If I need to do some more complex, I feel more comfortable on the laptop than on a tablet

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    1. May I ask why you've been avoiding Apple products? :) I have Android devices as well, but I find that Apple has better display and a more 'premium' feel. It might be just me though haha.

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  6. You're so lucky to be given these! Even for calligraphers and aspiring artists, these are the gadgets to look for. It is very convenient and you can easily carry them around with the hassle of wires and bringing other accessories.

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    1. Very true! It was a choice between a new mac or this, and since I already have a mac of my own, I opted for the Ipad Pro and Pencil. Was worth it!

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  7. I haven't tried the Apple Pencil yet, but I admit I was a bit curious (and skeptical) about the idea. Specially when Apple was the one telling us they'd never have a pen of any sorts. But I can see why they'd be useful.
    Great pictures.

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    1. Hahaha, yeah I laughed when they introduced the "Apple Pencil" as Jobs was so against having a stylus. Well, it worked for them this time around, I think. Thank you.

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  8. This is a nice review , not much more to ask about the Ipad Pro. I am actually due for a new tablet ( and laptop) , might check on that one here. Thanks for giving me a hint , that came in perfectly on time!

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  9. My hubby has been contemplating buying this forever. But after seeing your video and the pencil precision, I think it's something I should look at. I love sketching and can use this well for the blog.

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    1. Definitely. I'm currently doing short, more in-depth video reviews of the ipad pro and the apps I'm currently using. It's something worth looking into for sure.

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  10. Great review :) I love Apple products and their design, i'm inseparable with my iPhone lol
    iPad seems amazing, i've had an eye on it since forever. Glad to see it helped you so much :)

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    1. Hahaha same here! I have an addiction to Apple devices. Go grab one and enjoy! It's really good.

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  11. Love your review on the ipad pro, sounds good that your boss got this for you. It means you got to work harder and doodle more! I'm amazed how technology and art can work so well together with the help of these gadgets and apps.

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    1. Haha, yes. They work great hand in hand. I'm doing another more in-depth review pretty soon! :)

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