9.7-inch iPad Pro Stories April 8, 2016

I said in the final part of my iPhone SE diary that perceptions of iDevices are very personal, in part because of the role the product plays within our own personal Apple ecosystem – and that’s equally true here.

For someone who likes to draw, or handwrite, Apple Pencil support makes the upgrade from an earlier iPad a no-brainer. You’re getting a huge amount of additional functionality for your money. You could say that you’re getting an iPad Air 2 plus a sophisticated electronic sketching device, all in one box.

But I can’t draw, and I haven’t handwritten anything for years. So for me, the upgrade from my iPad Air is a less dramatic one. The question is whether the relatively modest enhancements can justify the fairly stiff increase in price … ?

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9.7-inch iPad Pro Stories April 6, 2016

If you consider your iPhone 6s to be a very good camera, then the 9.7-inch iPad Pro should equally be considered an acceptable camera in terms of quality. Both have 12‑megapixel iSight cameras on the back with True Tone flashes, 5-megapixel FaceTime HD cameras on the front with Retina Flash, and Live Photos on both sides, plus 4K video capture.

The only difference is obviously the form factor of each device: the iPhone’s candy bar shape makes it look like a digital camera, whereas the iPad may only be socially acceptable as a camera if no one realizes you’re actually taking photos. That’s kinda the trick for me; shoot with the iPad if I’m already using it for something else, otherwise go for the iPhone first.

That context is mostly around the house where no one can see (read: judge) me, but seriously using the 9.7-inch iPad Pro as a convenient camera has made me realize the iPad’s Camera app has a few drawbacks compared to the same app on the iPhone. Part of it is size, but there are some software tricks too that you’ll want to keep in mind to better utilize the newly improved camera system…

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

9.7-inch iPad Pro Stories April 4, 2016

The 9.7″ iPad Pro is an interesting new device. Fitting squarely between the 12.9″ iPad Pro and the 9.7″ iPad Air 2, it can be difficult to determine what the device actually is. Is it an “iPad Air 3″ or is it an iPad Pro mini? Well, to be honest, it’s a little bit of both.

The new iPad Pro will feel very familiar to current iPad Air 2 owners. For those of you that already own a 12.9” iPad Pro, the smaller version might feel like a downgrade in some ways. Certainly, it’s a downgrade in the most obvious area — size. But in other ways, primarily camera capability, it’s a huge upgrade.

Of course, iPad Air 2 owners who are envious of the iPad Pro’s ability to use the Apple Pencil have a definite reason to eye the 9.7″ Pro. The new iPad Pro also works with Apple’s new smaller Smart Keyboard accessory. In other words, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to the 9.7″ iPad Pro. Have a look at some of our favorite new features, along with a few of the disappointments that we encountered. expand full story

It’s been a year and a half since iFixit tore into the flagship 9.7-inch tablet from Apple, and now it’s finally time to look inside the smaller iPad Pro and see what it’s really made of. What you’ll find is your typical mix of components from Samsung, Bosch Sensortec, NXP Semiconductors, and others, plus a whole lot of battery. Cutting to the chase, iFixit rates the smaller iPad Pro’s repairability at a low 2 out of 10, which is the same as the iPad Air 2 it replaces but one point below what it rated the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last year. Here’s what’s inside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and why iFixit says it’s not so repairable…

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9.7-inch iPad Pro Stories March 31, 2016

When Apple launched the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it was a device I definitely wanted to try, but didn’t expect to keep. That gorgeous screen was more tempting than I’d expected, but it didn’t sell itself to me as a replacement for the smaller version, and in the end I decided I couldn’t justify keeping both.

The 9.7-inch version is a very different proposition. I absolutely love my iPad Air 2, a device that gets used for both consumption and creation, and the smaller iPad Pro retains the exact same form-factor while adding to its capabilities. For simplicity, I’ll skip the size references from now on and simply refer to it as the iPad Pro.

But will those enhancements be enough to make the upgrade worthwhile? I’m posting my first impressions today, and will report back again after around a week’s use. As ever, I’ll update in between if I have anything notable to say, but in this case I think that’s unlikely …

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9.7-inch iPad Pro Stories March 24, 2016

In a surprise move, the U.S. online Apple Store now presents Microsoft Office 365 as a recommended iPad accessory when you buy the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It’s unclear when this started happening, as The Verge notes that it also appears when purchasing the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, or iPad mini 4, but some readers report having seen it for a couple of weeks or more.

The move is surprising for two reasons …

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