If you are already using an Apple iPad, the initial improvements made by Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Pro may seem falsely deep. Of course, there is a larger 10.5-inch display, a real Gold Loop display “just to the right” with a 120 Hz refresh rate, illuminated up to 600 brightness nits, and displaying a wider range of colors with True Tone technology for sharper graphic acuity. And inside a new six-core A10X Fusion 64-bit 64-bit chip, it fits into the thin 6.1 mm case of the iPad Pro, pushing everything fast, faster and faster, without any hiccups. This is quite expected, and in summary, the results in simply the best iPad we have ever tested.
All these improvements, while welcome (along with many other small hardware improvements, such as the most instantaneous TouchID sensor we’ve ever tested), present a register of scalable updates that are not surprising compared to an already solid iPad experience. This is the real dilemma for Apple: the iPad has long been a capable and durable device hampered by the limitations of its operating system, one that has never really justified immediate updates over an annual cycle (or even every 3 years). iPad users tend to keep their iOS-powered laptops for years, quite satisfied with its capabilities even in the face of ever-increasing performance screens and chipset or even with the promise of extended utility offered by the real capable Apple Pencils.
Fortunately, Apple is finally offering a fundamental update, aimed at professionals who have always defined Apple’s core culture: designers. iOS 11, the operating system for future mobile devices, aims to improve almost everything about the iPad Pro (and the iPhone, to a lesser extent), by unlocking many features that users have long been asking for: multi-tasking, file management, on-screen annotations, drag and drop, and even a dock that makes the iPad a little closer to the computer against a simple old tablet.
After several months of using iOS 11 Beta, we are convinced that Apple is finally reaching out to graphic designers, architects, illustrators and other creative people who operate in silos within a single application, but who tend to exchange ideas and projects on many applications and applications during the day. What we now have is a tandem effort that merges improved hardware with an even more improved operating system that works for, rather than against, the intentions and needs of professionals.
For example, iOS 11 now allows users to select a multitude of files to attach to an email or text using multi-touch. For designers who are constantly sending images for review and approval, this small but important change is changing the game. Drag and drop are fully accessible system-wide, from the home screen, dock, reminders, calendar, messages, search, file application, Safari, contacts, iBooks, news, notes, photos, maps, keynote, pages, and numbers. We expect that, shortly after the official launch of iOS 11, this feature supported by the Developer API will become the standard in all applications.