Regular readers of my little neck of the digital woods will remember that I’m a graphic designer wannabe; I’ve got all the tools, the power, the will, but none of the gift that seems to be what the artistic endowed have most of.
Regardless, I long to be the owner of an iPad Pro, that shining example of how Apple can slather on a few features not found in Android-land, call it Pro, and up the price tag just a little higher into the stratosphere. By most accounts iPad Pro is the tablet that will get professional designers and artists to orgasm with little more than visual stimulation and an almost lighter-than-air touch to any of the 12.9-inch screens 5.6-million pixels.
Apple geeks who pay attention to such things will appreciate the A9X CPU, a 64-bit monster nearly twice as fast as a measly iPad Air 2 which already is no 2014. It’s a beast, but it weighs barely a pound and a half, and it’s about as powerful as a new MacBook, and that would make it lust-worthy except for a few niggling issues that those of us wannabe graphic designers find annoying.
No Photoshop. No Illustrator.
Yes, there’s Pencil and I so look forward to paying for Pencil with my Apple Watch. Yes, there’s the add-on keyboard which makes the iPad Pro work, look, weigh, and cost much like a new MacBook except for the aforementioned Photoshop-less-ness and Illustrator-less-ness which is built-in to all iPads.
How am I supposed to act like a wannabe graphic designer if I cannot have all the tools that all the real professional graphic designers have on their Macs and PCs?
Just judging by all the details I’ve gleaned from Apple and the chosen few who have actually touched iPad Pro what sets it apart from the Mac is simple. The touchscreen. This isn’t your father’s touchscreen. This one is special and that’s what makes the iPad a Pro; not the pixel count, not the size (do the math; add a keyboard, load up the storage, add the pen, and you’ve just about priced yourself to a MacBook which actually runs Photoshop, Illustrator, and more with ease), not the RAM, storage, or price tag.
It’s all about the perfect combo for real world graphic designers who are not just pixel pushers but creators who change the world with a pencil and a screen and Apple has given them both. Plus, it does email, browse the web, tracks your money, plays music and videos, and gives you a break from capturing your artistic talent with a few games of your choosing.
iPad Pro is all about the touchscreen and the Pencil, a device that puts the word Wacom into a lexicon of last century words.
With apologies to Ray Kinsella, Apple’s motto could just as easily be “if we build it, you will buy it” but in this case that statement also implies the app development community will develop a sufficient number of professional level applications that will take advantage of all the pro the iPad Pro provides.
As it stands now, all the non-professional level graphic designer applications for wannabes and professionals alike run just fine on a vanilla iPad Air 2 and it could be a year after iPad Pro arrives before it gets really serious about being professional.
But I want one.