The next-generation Apple iPad Pro features a brand-new design, more power (A12 bionic chip), USB-C but no headphone input!
As expected, Apple introduced the new iPad Pro today. There were big changes! Similar to the iPhone X, the iPad Pro now has more room for the screen and comes with a edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with rounded corners. Also it has again a 120Hz display refresh rate for ultra-smooth scrolling.
On the power side, it comes now with a new A12X Bionic chip with the next-generation neural engine that makes the iPad Pro even more powerful for music apps. How much memory Apple has built-in the new iPad’s, there is no information. I assume it will be 4 GB again. A nice move would be 6 or 8GB.
Goodbye Lightning, Hello USB-C
One of the biggest news in the iPad Pro is the new connection. Where the predecessor or the new iPhone XS still use the Lightning port, Apple builds here the USB-C standard in. A real surprise because they aways stuck to the Lightning standard. According to Apple, it’s better to connect other devices to the iPad Pro with new USB-C port. It will be interesting how easy it is now to connect a USB keyboard or audio interface to the new iPad. So far, musicians has used the USB-C CCK adapter for it. If this works without a dongle, it would certainly be a big step. Another cool feature is that it can now transmit 4K video over the USB-C port.
Not everything that glitters is gold, something like that we can describe the USB-C port. It’s nice that Apple also brings USB-C to the iPad Pro, but for some possible applications, the operating system is still too closed. Connecting a USB-C memory stick, data transfer, etc. is not possible today. Even with USB-C, iOS remains a un-finished operation system.
No Headphone Port, A Step Backwards!
What were the people unhappy and frustated when the headphone output on the iPhone disappeared. Conclusion, the iPhone was sold in quantities however. Now it happened on the iPad Pro too: no headphone jack anymore. If you want to use headphones now you have to use the USB-C input, work with adapters or switch to wireless.
Above all, this decision is a step back for mobile musicians. If you want to use an audio interface, keyboard and headphones with cable in the future, you have to find a USB-C solution that supports everything. A USB-C hub with headphone output would be useful here. As nice as the iPad Pro looks, this is awkward. Yeah, dongles for ever.
New Apple Pencil But No Logic Pro For iOS!
In addition to the iPad Pro, Apple also has presented a new pencil which works even better and more accurate. It magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro for pairing and wireless charging. One new feature is that users can now simple double tap the Pencil to activate features in apps. For sure an interesting device but for me not that exciting for the music apps world.
When Tim Cook called the person in charge of apps to the scene, I became nervous with the idea Apple could release Logic Pro X for the iPad Pro. Nothing came of it, it was shown only Photoshop and a new Basketball games app. Personally, I think that its now time to finally bring Logic Pro X to the iPad Pro. With Photoshop Adobe shows that it is possible to bring such complex computer apps on the iPad. Please Apple do it!
Apple wants to give the iPad Pro a professional iPad to the end user. Unfortunately I still miss features that make it pro: lacks on the operation system, one USB-C port, limits on the data-transfer, no headphone jack, no pro apps like Logic Pro X….
In summary: yes, the iPad Pro was grown today with the USB-C connection. Much is a nice step forward, but the lack of headphones is a grab in the toilet and will upset many iOS musicians. This is almost the “best” iPad Apple has ever made.
More information here: Apple