Tech-Talk | iPad Pro Review for the Traveling Creative
Lately, I have been doing a lot of traveling! I absolutely LOVE that I have a job that I can stay connected to remotely. I would have never in a million years thought that I would hop on a plane to make photographs, go to amazing conferences, and even speak at some!
With that…keeping up with work had an interesting learning curve! I have a 15-inch Macbook pro –(the Macbook Air is just too small to edit photos on for me personally.) Which is really hard to work with on a plane. I always work with a stylist pen – so using the touch pad on my laptop to do design work or edit photos was annoying for my traditional workflow. Between packing camera gear, my laptop, my Wacom Intuos tablet, and the bulky charger it came with, I needed to find another way to keep up with everything.
So I purchased an iPad pro, got the smart cover with the keyboard, and the apple pencil, left my laptop at home and traveled with just my iPad Pro going out of the country and traveling to different states, all while living in airports and different hotels. Here are the results.
Ease of Use:
Overall, I love how easy it is to use an iPad Pro! I purchased the 12.9inch version (Because I value all the real-estate!) and it’s the perfect size for a work surface. It takes the same charger as my phone (so no bulky laptop charger), and it is so compact, it made traveling so easy. From working on it on the plane, not having to take it out of my bag for security check (because it isn’t a laptop)…and to go from drawing tablet to a computer in a matter of seconds is great! I would go into meetings and conferences to take notes, without having to take up much table space, or none because for the most part, I would draw with it on my lap.
The battery life on this thing is pretty great, so I didn’t need to worry about sitting next to an outlet as much as I do for using my laptop.
Many say that there was a bit of a learning curve with it, but I didn’t really feel that. I have always used a Wacom Intuos or Cintiq tablet, so it felt very natural to me, however, if you aren't used to working with a stylist it might be a bit awkward at first.
The biggest con is that it is an iOS device – so my trusty adobe cloud suite I am used to using (and all my keyboard shortcuts!) had to be replaced with the iOS versions, or just completely different apps in general. Which was a big learning curve hit for me!
The Apple Pencil doesn’t have a battery life on it. So I never know if it is fully charged or running low. Also, the little top to the Apple Pencil can so easily be misplaced, and I am OVERLY paranoid about losing it! The way you charge it is a little awkward having a giant screen with a long skinny pencil sticking out if it, is a little weird.
Doing Basic Internet things (E-mail/Social Media/Blogging…etc.)
LOVE it for this! It is so easy for basic internet use, especially with the smart keyboard cover. I can just go through e-mail, plan out my social media posting, and blog just like I normally would. I was even able to make some basic changes on my Squarespace web-site using it! I honestly have no complaints here! It has been so easy to keep up with my clients and to implement basic marketing stratigies!
Okay, so there is a learning curve with this! But the iOS Premiere is actually pretty powerful, after shooting some footage, I would get the video in the iOS Premiere app, and can lay down the footage on a quick timeline, and let that connect to the Adobe Cloud and open it up in Premiere on my desktop for finer editing. I really like having that workflow! It is also really helpful if I just want to skim the story of the footage and play with a few tracks before I can really get to work on it.
It is a workflow addition but does not replace the fine editing that needs to happen on the desktop for more detailed work.
Apps for video editing: Premiere with the Adobe Cloud Suite (Honorable mention iMovie – but I usually just use Premiere)
This is where the iPad Pro is the most powerful. I use the Procreate App for the most part. I can easily do sketches, create final drafts, on the go without missing a beat. I use to not even try to attempt doing illustration or calligraphy work on the go because I never felt like setting up my laptop and getting out my tablet and stylist to get work done. Now it is naturally so easy for me to do so.
In the App store, you'll also find Adobe Sketch and Adobe Draw which connects to your Adobe Cloud, and you can open up the file you worked on from your iOS app, and go right into fine editing with the more powerful OS version, and it’s ALREADY a vector!
Though I have produced things in its entirety using only the iPad Pro, it isn’t a replacement for desktop usage. The iOS versions I feel like are more for the Hobby Pro than the “Professional”.
Apps for illustation+drawing: Procreate, Adobe Sketch, Adobe Draw
As the Photographer:
This is where stuff gets real sad…I have tried…I have tried SO hard, but using the iPad Pro for a Professional photographer just doesn’t even make a dent in my workflow. It is a total bummer! Even if I could cull through photos to edit later, would have been a good thumbs up in my workflow, but everything photo wise on the iPad Pro is super lack luster.
The iOS version of Lightroom is pretty useless. I have tried several workarounds to get my pre-sets onto it, which work…but it’s such a hack job workflow. And not being able to use Brushes to adjust things, just ruins the point of having a screen with a pencil. I typically edit my photos using my Cintiq Tablet, because I love “Drawing” on my photos to edit. And was really hoping for the same workflow. I have also used Snapseed, and if I had like…ONE photo that I would want to edit and share, it is okay…but that isn’t really what I was looking for. Because of this, I have to make sure I am up to date on my editing before I going out of town – or I HAVE to take my laptop with me.
I mean I am so disappointed with it, I can’t even really think of a pro for editing photos on the go with the iPad Pro.
Apps for photo editing: Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Snapseed
Overall the iPad Pro is a nice addition in my workflow. I love it…and if the photo editing workflow worked, I don’t even think I would own a laptop!
I hope that this review helped you if you are considering buying an iPad Pro! I will say it’s more of a “Professional Hobbyist” tool, than a professional tool. (Even though I have completed professional work from start to finish on the iPad Pro!) Just because, the iOS apps, just aren’t powerful enough to replace the desktop apps.
If you have any other questions – leave a comment – I would love to answer them! Also – if you have any workflow tips for traveling and keeping your business afloat I would love to hear them!