Both the 12.9-inch and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro are due for an upgrade, and their absence in Apple’s recent iPhone and MacBook Pro events appear to signify that the powerful tablets would have a dedicated release just for themselves. With numerous rumors emerging about the iPad Pro 2’s specs and release date, speculations are high that Apple’s next productivity tablets would be the tech giant’s best ones yet.
The first two iPad Pros that the company launched were designed to bridge the gap between Apple’s tablet and notebook line. Prior to the iPad Pro, the tech giant’s tablet line was widely considered as devices that are specifically designed for the casual user. While enterprises embraced the iPad, the tablet in itself was not really advertised as an enterprise-grade productivity machine. This changed last Fall when Apple unveiled the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, followed by the 9.7-inch iPad Pro earlier this year.
The 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pro
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro was Apple’s first attempt at creating a new, portable device that is powerful enough to serve as a replacement for full-fledged computers such as the MacBook Air. However, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s rather unwieldy size, its mobile operating system and the fact that its Keyboard Cover and Apple Pencil were accessories that needed to be separately bought compromised much of the device’s potential. Even after Apple released its smaller sibling, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, users’ issues about the devices remained largely the same.
With the iPad Pro being advertised as a hybrid enterprise-grade device, it is entering a market that is dominated by powerful 2-in-1 machines like the Microsoft Surface Pro, a device that has continually gained a formidable reputation as a portable machine that delivers the best computing experience in the industry. Thus, for the iPad Pro 2 to perform better than its predecessor, it must be able to accomplish a number of very important things.
Provide A Real Multitasking Experience
One of the biggest gripes of iPad Pro users was the fact that the device simply does not perform very well when it comes to multitasking. While the 12.9-inch iPad Pro introduced the concept of split screen computing for its users, the fact that it could not even display two MS Word documents and an internet browser at the same time crippled its productivity. Numerous fans of the device, including Apple aficionados, remarked that the multitasking features of the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pro simply felt too unrefined.
For the iPad Pro 2, Apple would be wise to make sure that the upcoming device’s multitasking features would be far smoother than before. Fans of the powerful tablet have suggested a more intuitive multi-application system, which could easily toggle between multiple windows of the same app beside a running application. After all, enterprise users usually deal with multiple Word docs and Excel spreadsheets while taking down notes at the same time. Being able to do this on a system that does not feel incomplete and limited would definitely help.
Provide A Significant OS Boost
While both the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pro are devices that were advertised as productivity machines, numerous users have remarked that iOS simply pales in comparison to the robust feature set of Apple’s desktop-grade operating system, MacOS. While the iPad Pro did maximize the utilization of iOS, users of the device have been left wanting. iOS has always been a mobile operating system, and it is perfect for smaller devices like the iPhone. For larger machines like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, however, numerous fans have remarked that MacOS would simply be a far better fit for the device.
While it would be a long shot to think that Apple would release a MacOS-bred tablet next year, a significant boost to the feature set of iOS would definitely add to the device’s selling points. When the 12.9-inch iPad Pro was released, numerous users immediately noted that several iOS apps simply don’t do justice to the machine’s massive real estate. If the iPad Pro 2 could at least make sure that it does not simply feel like an oversized iPhone but a completely different breed of computer, it might be able to stand toe-to-toe with Microsoft’s Surface line of devices.
Improve The Smart Keyboard And Apple Pencil
The iPad Pro’s productivity feature lives and dies with its two primary accessories, the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil. However, both accessories attracted the criticism of numerous users. Numerous fans, for one, have stated that the keys in the Smart Keyboard are simply far inferior to the excellent keys found in the MacBook Air. The lack of a trackpad on the Smart Keyboard was also a source of frustration for many as numerous productivity applications such as MS Excel are best used with a pointing device. As for the Apple Pencil, users have also remarked that the nifty stylus still has a huge area for improvement.
Thus, it would be best if Apple would introduce a revamped Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro 2. The simple addition of a laptop-grade trackpad and a better set of keys would take the device a long way. Apart from this, an improved Apple Pencil, complete with an eraser function, would also improve the experience of the device significantly.
iPad Pro 2 Conclusions
Apple might very well have a winner with the iPad Pro 2. Rumors are high that the next generation of Apple productivity tablets would be far better than their predecessors. Speculations about the device are encouraging, with fans pretty much unanimous in the belief that the entire iPad Pro 2 range would be equipped with the A10 Fusion chip and coupled with at least 4GB of RAM. Storage-wise, the iPad Pro 2 would most likely keep Apple’s 32GB/128GB/256GB options, though a 512GB variant for the 12.9-inch variant is also rumored to be in the works.
While it is certain that Apple would improve upon the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the tech giant might need to step away from its comfort zone in order to ensure that its next breed of productivity tablets reach their utmost potential. With a speculated release date of early to mid-2017, the iPad Pro 2 would need to be in a completely different league than its predecessors. If any, rumors about the device have been very encouraging. Thus, when it comes to the iPad Pro 2, the ball is truly in Apple’s court.
[Featured Image by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images]