While it was a given that this week’s Apple event would unveil the ‘s’ versions of the brand's iPhone 6 range, the launch of an iPad aimed at enterprise and professional users didn’t seem quite as set in stone before the announcement.
Despite this, Twitter saw ‘iPad’ tweeted 170,307 and ‘iPad Pro’ tweeted 57,852 during the announcement. So even though it may not have been the most hyped launch before Apple’s event, it certainly gained a lot of interest after its unveiling.
How does the iPad Pro differ from the other tablets in Apple’s range?
The iPad Pro is the largest in its family yet with a 12.9-inch screen, which features 5.6 million pixels – more than the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
As well as a few more speakers and an updated Bluetooth keyboard, the iPad Pro boasts 10 hours of battery life, the new A9X chip (which doubles memory bandwidth and storage performance), and the graphics performance is 360 times better than the original iPad.
That’s all great, but what does it mean for business users and professionals?
For a start, it’s faster than 90 per cent of the portable PCs that have shipped in the last 12 months, according to Apple’s Senior VP Phil Schiller.
“The iPad Pro is far and away the fastest iOS device we have ever made – its A9X chip beats most portable PCs in both CPU and graphics tasks, but is thin and light enough to hold all day,” Schiller.
“The innovative Apple Pencil and new Smart Keyboard enable users to customise their iPad Pro experience to the particular apps they use and the work they do, making iPad Pro ideal for everything from professional productivity to advanced 3D design.”
The Apple Pencil is designed specifically for use with the iPad Pro. It aims make drawing and sketching feel ‘remarkably fluid and natural’.
The touch subsystem of the multi-touch display in iPad Pro has been redesigned to work with Apple Pencil to reduce latency and deliver accuracy for activities like fine art illustration and detailed 3D design.
Advanced sensors in Apple Pencil measure both pressure and tilt for a ‘fast and fluid’ drawing experience.
Couple all this with iOS 9, which boasts new multitasking features designed specifically for iPad. Slide Over lets you simultaneously work in a second app without leaving the one you’re in and easily switch between your apps. Split View allows you to view and interact with two apps at the same time, side by side, and resize your view to prioritise one app over another. Picture-in-Picture lets you continue a video or FaceTime call while using other apps.
These are all things that are sure to annoy Samsung and Microsoft who have revelled in the past at the fact that users can’t run apps side-by-side.
With many businesses already preferring to use iPhones for their employees over the likes of Android and Blackberry, the iPad Pro seems to be making a pretty good case for itself in an enterprise setting.