Back in September, in the early hours of the morning (Australian time), Apple announced something big, I mean literally big, it was the iPad Pro.
The crowd went wild, people cheered and somewhere an angel got its wings, but once we all calmed down, we started to wonder is this just a bigger iPad or is it something more?
I remember asking myself a similar question in 2010 when the original iPad wasreleased, but the question at that time was "is this just a big iPhone, and what application will it have in day to day business?”
There is no question the iPad Pro is stunning, the screen is crisp, the speakers are excellent and the design is comfortable. The only issue is the weight, but that’s a perspective thing. I have an iPad Air 2 and it's so light I barely notice it, but I do notice the iPad Pro.
If we agree it is a stunning piece of hardware, and the display is second to none, then what can it actually be used for?
Is it the Laptop killer? Is that noise in the distance the sound of the MacBook Air walking slowly away wondering where all the love went?
Well fear not trusty MacBook Air, (yes I have one of those too and no I don't have a problem) all is not lost yet.
The big issue with the iPad Pro is that I want one, but I don’t know why.
What makes this new device that haunts my wallet ‘Pro’? What more can it do?
Yes the hardware is upgraded, the new A9x chip and 4GB of RAM provide ‘desktop performance’ but there are no desktop apps to prove this.
In regards to features of iOS, my iPad Air 2 also has ‘split screen’ (which is a great feature), and yes I hear you say "but the iPad Pro is like having 2 Airs beside each other!" but I don't care.
The problem is most of the software I use in my business and, more importantly, the software used by my clients are not App based yet.
This means that I'm still connecting to a Windows server where my line of business applications live. I work for a technology company which provides a cloud platform (VAULT) that takes all of my current software into the cloud so that I can access anything from any device. This means I can access my complete Windows desktop from my iPad Air 2 but without a mouse I can't see the reason to buy a bigger version of something I already have.
Don’t get me wrong, I access VAULT a lot from my iPad Air 2 and it’s very handy when travelling, but has it replaced my MacBook? No.
And that was the same issue back in 2010, I wanted an iPad, I convinced myself I needed one, but when my clients asked me what they would use it for my response was "Angry Birds on a big screen?"
Although the market has come a long way (and I've been through 2 iPads since those glorious days of Angry Birds on a 9.7” screen) the iPad Pro is like deja vu, yes I want one, dammit I need one! But until software vendors catch up, or mouse support is added so I can access VAULT, I'll be sticking with my trusty MacBook Air and dreaming of a day where the iPad Pro will be my precious…..
If you want to be able to access your entire business from your iPad or tablet, check out VAULT: http://www.strategicgroup.net.au/private-cloud/