Announced at their fall event today, Apple has unveiled “the biggest news for the iPad since the iPad”: the iPad Pro, the company’s largest ever tablet device with a 12.9” screen. As ever, technology websites were alight with live updates about the new iPad, sharing everything from the device specifications and capabilities to the price.
But what does the iPad Pro mean for architects? Here’s 4 ways the new device could change the way you work.
1. The Apple Pencil
Reportedly, Steve Jobs once told his biographer that if Apple ever made a stylus “they blew it.” Clearly, Tim Cook is thinking differently, as today Apple announced the Apple Pencil to accompany the new iPad. According to Business Insider, the stylus “can capture more of a single stroke than your average stylus” and is precise enough to highlight a single pixel - not easy given the new iPad’s 5.6 megapixel display.
The ability to work with that kind of precision is completely new on the iPad, and for architects, it’s a crucial addition. If there has been one issue preventing a wider uptake of architecture apps on the iPad, it’s been the fat-fingered lack of accuracy implied by Steve Jobs’ hands-only model. As Business Insider puts it, the Apple Pencil “is a clear indication that Apple's thinking has moved beyond fingers and thumbs.”
2. Side-by-Side Apps
When taking a design from concept to completion, architects usually need to use a number of programs with different capabilities, transferring work and ideas over from the previous iteration of the design.
At their June developers’ conference, Apple announced that their forthcoming operating system iOS 9 would for the first time support split-screen apps. Though iOS 9 is currently only available to developers, the new iPad Pro was designed with this update very much in mind: the size of the 12.9” screen was designed to be equal to two side-by-side iPad Air screens, effectively giving you the chance to run two full-size apps and making full use of the growing number of architecture apps.
3. Improved Graphics
With architectural work often being very graphically intensive, Apple’s claim that the iPad Pro’s graphics offer double the performance of their previous installment is a big one, supposedly making its graphics 360 times what was offered by the original iPad. The iPad Pro also brings their latest Retina 5K display over to the iPad family, making it “the most advanced display we have ever built,” according to Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller.
4. New Apps from Adobe
In what the Verge calls a “surprise addition to Apple's iPad Pro announcement,” Apple invited Eric Snowden from Adobe to demonstrate two of their apps running on the new device. The first was a brand new app, known as Adobe Fix, which allows users to retouch images quickly, while the second was an update to their Adobe Sketch app which allowed it to work more smoothly with the new Apple Pencil.
Update Notice: On March 22nd 2016 this article was updated to include another video, "The new iPad Pro" published on Apple's YouTube channel.