For the record, I’m not buying a new iPad Pro, nor am I buying a new Apple Pencil. My current iPad Pro is still (as of today) the most recent version, and it is fine for the work that I do. As I mentioned in my last post, I just bought a new (refurbished) MacBook Pro, and I won’t even think of updating my iPad Pro until this device is paid for.
The new iPad Pro is incredibly fast–it runs at speeds faster than my new MacBook Pro! It also loses the home button, the lightning port, and gains Face ID. I have no problems with any of these improvements–and they only align for an amazing upgrade in a year an a half (or sooner) when I buy my next iPad Pro. It’s hard to know when Apple is going to update hardware, so I can’t really guarantee that Apple will come out with the next iPad Pro in November 2019. It will be a “wait and see” situation. All I know is that I will eventually move to a new iPad model at a natural time in my own upgrade cycle that matches Apple’s upgrade cycle.
The item that surprised me the most was the new Apple Pencil and its incompatibility with the old iPads–including the current 9.7″ iPad. Our school bought a bunch of the new iPads last summer as our new building houses about 300 additional students (this year). The old Apple Pencil and the Logitech Crayon work with that iPad (I just ordered two Logitech Crayons for my boys own 9.7″ iPads as a Christmas gift), but the new Apple Pencil will only work with the iPad Pro.
I would have expected some kind of backwards compatibility with the new Pencil, considering the 9.7″ iPad. But things will go back to normal where the Pencil will only work with the new iPad Pro (that’s how it used to be). I’d actually like to see an owner be able to use a Pencil with all their devices, particularly their iPad and iPhone, as I have attempted to write on my iPhone many times.
The issue, I believe, comes in charging. The iPad has a built-in inductive charger that charges the new Apple Pencil (no more lost end caps!), and the iPad has added USB-C in place of the lightning port. This means the old way of charging wouldn’t work any more. So I think it’s the right move for Apple–USB-C, inductive charging, etc. I just hope Apple keeps the old Pencil around for schools for a little while, and that they update all of the devices to use and charge the Apple Pencil, too.
If you’re in the market for a new iPad, I can’t recommend the new Apple iPad Pro and the new Apple Pencil enough. While I think I will always default to the 12.9″ iPad from this time out, the new 11″ iPad should be the equal to a sheet of paper. This would be a great time to buy an incredibly powerful machine, and it will be fun to see what developers do to take advantage of the new speed of these devices.