iPad Pro 11“ impressions

So I replaced my iPad Air 2 with a 11“ today. I still haven’t tested everything, but here are some tidbits I haven’t seen addressed yet.

  • The missing home button and the new app switcher don’t really affect music apps, even older ones. Updated apps like BeatMaker 3 (lol) can block the app switcher at the bottom so it doesn’t interfere with the keyboard. You have to swipe up to activate the switcher first, and then you can return to the home screen (swipe up) or switch apps (swipe left/right). If you don’t swipe, the active switcher (dark grey or bright, depending on the background) goes inactive (light grey) again after a few seconds. That’s pretty great! In older apps like TC-11 the App switcher stays active all the time, but it didn’t seem like a big deal in my first test.
  • Of all the apps BM3 (again: lol) seems to be the only non-Apple app to support the new ratio. Great! The iPad Pro 11“ isn’t 4:3 anymore, but a bit more widescreeny. So in BM3 the keyboard feels a little bit shorter than before, but actually the keys seem to be exactly as long as they used to be. All in all, you get the same keyboard as before, but everything — pads, AUv3s etc — is bigger thanks to the bigger display. See screenshot below.

  • Older apps don’t fill the screen completely. You get a black status bar at the top and the app switcher (~ 20 pixel) at the bottom. Not that big of a deal imho, but the new rounded corners look nice still.

  • I opened a BM3 project my Air 2 could barely handle: a bank with drum shots and 3 banks with Zeeon each. I added a Moog Model 15 and a few plug ins (RoughRider2, Limiter etc), and, unsurprisingly, it went without a glitch. Needs more testing though, it’s all about how stable the whole system is (looking at you, BM3).
  • IDAM between the 11“ and a MacBook Pro 13“ with an USB-C to USB-A cable works as you’d expect.
  • The speakers are far, far better and louder than on the Air 2. Still no bass, though.
  • Paradoxically, the 11“ feels just a tiny bit thicker than the Air 2, although it’s 2 mm (iirc) thinner. It’s also a tad heavier, but that’s barely noticeable.
  • It‘s still an iPad with iOS. The discrepancy between the obvious potential of this magical device and reality is getting ridiculous now. It’s not that easy, I guess, but imho Apple has to address those glaring shortcomings: we need an OS far better optimized for iPads (it’s a Pro after all!), we need access to external storage, Time Machine and some kind of a Finder, and Apple has to start listening to app developers and make it possible for them to sell $ 600+ apps with demo versions, paid (but cheaper than the initial price) upgrades etc etc etc. This machine is more than capable to run pro software, but there’s a reason we’re still missing Ableton, Native Instruments or a version of Cubase on par with the desktop version. Unless Apple starts working on it, I doubt it’ll ever change.
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Comments

  • edited November 8

    Huh, I didn’t even realise the 11” had a different aspect ratio! Why have Apple done that?! It just makes everything thing more difficult for devs and may deter them from making apps for iOS, thus losing Apple potential app sales. It also makes the decision to get the 12.9 a bit easier.

  • ^ Not to mention we’re missing bitwig! 🤖 I’m hopeful it’s it’s just matter of time for Apple to unify Mac OS and iOS, and that this would be the time for them to open the floodgates. Fingers crossed, now that rhe greater public has evidence that A chips can eat intel chips for breakfast, there will be more public pressure for apple to adopt them for the rest of their line sooner than later, which would be a sensible point at which to bridge the os gap. (AFAIK that has been apple’s plan eventually because they cost them so much less than intel’s, but they are taking their sweet time.)

    Oops, i got side tracked! Very helpful review!

  • Thanks for this review. Do options exist for using a controller and wired headphones at the same?

  • @brice using a usb-c hub has worked for me

  • @Beathoven said:
    Huh, I didn’t even realise the 11” had a different aspect ratio! Why have Apple done that?! It just makes everything thing more difficult for devs and may deter them from making apps for iOS, thus losing Apple potential app sales. It also makes the decision to get the 12.9 a bit easier.

    I have no idea why Apple has done that. And tbh, the fact that even BM3 managed to support the new display ratio so quickly gives me hope. It’s all about those old apps, but, as I’ve said, it’s not that big of a deal (I was quite sceptical myself at first). You only notice it when you’re actively looking for it.

    However, afaik this isn’t limited to the 11“. All apps have to be updated to account for the rounded corners.

  • @ohwell said:
    I’m hopeful it’s it’s just matter of time for Apple to unify Mac OS and iOS, and that this would be the time for them to open the floodgates.

    I‘m pretty confident Apple won’t ever do this. And it‘s a good thing. I don’t want an unruly hybrid on my iPad and MacBook, I want a modern touch OS - simple and intuitive, yet powerful. If there’s a single company capable of solving this puzzle, it’s Apple. Go for it!!

  • edited November 8

    I’m really interested in the pro and cons in the 10.5’ vs 11’ iPads.

    I mean from a musician perspective, I know the technical specs. 😎
    Is it worth to upgrade?

    Thanks a lot for comparison! 🙏

  • I've tested Samplist on the simulator and it worked with the new aspect ratio out of the box because I use auto layout and apple scales it automatically.

    Though I'd appreciate it if you can test it out on a real device. If you don't have Samplist I can send you a code

  • edited November 8

    I think with the new USB C hubs we can connect more stuff to it than with that stupid camera adapter right ? Or does it still need to be powered?

  • @alecsbuga said:
    Though I'd appreciate it if you can test it out on a real device. If you don't have Samplist I can send you a code

    Sure, just drop me a DM.

  • Really digging my 11" Pro too. I like the new shape of the sides a lot, it feels easier to hold on to. The Face ID camera is super quick too, definitely a noticeable improvement over the one in my iPhone X. The fact it works in landscape mode is great, though there's been a few times I accidentally had my thunb over it and had to get prompted by iOS to move it.

    Related to that, as mentioned a lot of apps are letterboxed with the new resolution. Visually it doesn't bother me, but I noticed the black bars on the side of the screen are still responsive to touch input even though they have no graphics. So a couple times I've scrolled or "rocked" an interface up and down accidentally. Just something I need to get used to I think, since with the letterbox bars it's easy to think you're holding an older iPad with the larger bezels still.

    USB-C to headphone adaptor is smaller than I thought, but works and sounds fine. I used a USB-C to USB adaptor to connect my studio's USB-3 hub, and my audio interface and controllers were all detected just like they were on the iPad Pro 10.5 this is replacing. BTW, I used the Apple branded adaptor and a super cheapo Aukey adaptor from Amazon and both worked fine.

    Maybe it's just me, but charging the iPad seems a lot faster with the new PSU now too. As well as charging straight from my MBP via the USB-C cable.

  • @alecsbuga said:
    I think with the new USB C hubs we can connect more stuff to it than with that stupid camera adapter right ? Or does it still need to be powered?

    Afaik the iPad can power certain devices, but only to a certain point (I have no idea where the point is exactly, sorry :smiley:). In any case yes, we can connect more stuff, although the eco system isn’t quite there yet. But this will change quickly, I think.

  • @Tarekith said:
    Related to that, as mentioned a lot of apps are letterboxed with the new resolution. Visually it doesn't bother me, but I noticed the black bars on the side of the screen are still responsive to touch input even though they have no graphics. So a couple times I've scrolled or "rocked" an interface up and down accidentally. Just something I need to get used to I think, since with the letterbox bars it's easy to think you're holding an older iPad with the larger bezels still.

    You’re right, that can be irritating. Only in landscape, though. I‘ve just tried it with the Dolphin browser and YouTube, and it’s quite easy to accidentally trigger something.

  • Oh yeah, and my Maschine MK3 was instantly detected and works fine as an audio interface, contrary to what some reviews said.

    Another nice benefit of the larger 11" Pro is getting an expanded, larger keyboard too.

  • @brice said:
    Thanks for this review. Do options exist for using a controller and wired headphones at the same?

    Brice, here's an option that's working for me:

    Headphone audio out and USB-C power pass-thru:

    https://www.amazon.ca/Charging-Splitter ... e+splitter

    Then run this into a hub such as:
    https://www.amazon.ca/HooToo-Adapter-10 ... b_title_ce

    The headphone dongle has the audio output jack (for my wired headphones/feed to my speakers), and it has a USB-C pass-thru jack into which I then plug the hub. Actually, using the headphone dongle alone, I can monitor via wired phones and if I plug my MIDI keyboard into it via a USB-C to USB 2.0 Standard-B plug (which interfaces with the Minilab) I can play it too.

    If I use the hub fed from the audio dongle, I can then use a more standard USB 2.0 cable into the hub from the Minilab, and at the same time, plug my charger into the USB-C input port on the hub which then feeds power back thru the two devices to power/charge the iPad.

    Hope this makes it more clear? Cheers, mate!

    Simon

  • @Tarekith said:
    Oh yeah, and my Maschine MK3 was instantly detected and works fine ...

    good news.

    so... is this directly connected with a USB-C to USB cable with no power? or standard USB cable going to the Apple mulit-port hub? some other hub? with extra power?

  • No, I always use PSU that came with the MK3

  • I managed to connect the MK3 to my iPad Pro 10" (2nd gen) but unfortunately Maschine is not a Core Compliant Midi controller. It needs drivers.

    Luckily, the Deluge does work :D

  • @sch said:

    @brice said:
    Thanks for this review. Do options exist for using a controller and wired headphones at the same?

    Brice, here's an option that's working for me:

    Headphone audio out and USB-C power pass-thru:

    https://www.amazon.ca/Charging-Splitter ... e+splitter

    Then run this into a hub such as:
    https://www.amazon.ca/HooToo-Adapter-10 ... b_title_ce

    The headphone dongle has the audio output jack (for my wired headphones/feed to my speakers), and it has a USB-C pass-thru jack into which I then plug the hub. Actually, using the headphone dongle alone, I can monitor via wired phones and if I plug my MIDI keyboard into it via a USB-C to USB 2.0 Standard-B plug (which interfaces with the Minilab) I can play it too.

    If I use the hub fed from the audio dongle, I can then use a more standard USB 2.0 cable into the hub from the Minilab, and at the same time, plug my charger into the USB-C input port on the hub which then feeds power back thru the two devices to power/charge the iPad.

    Hope this makes it more clear? Cheers, mate!

    Simon

    Thanks Simon. The two links did not translate, though. Mind re-linking?

  • I heard a rumor that ios 13 will have a more accessible files app and open up external hard drive usage. Fingers crossed.

  • @ion677 said:
    I heard a rumor that ios 13 will have a more accessible files app and open up external hard drive usage. Fingers crossed.

    The only direction.
    Problem. This way the iPad could really become a substitution for my notebook. So Apple could be afraid that people won’t buy these MacBooks anymore?!?
    Nonetheless a better filemanagement is the only way to go...

  • @brice said:
    Thanks for this review. Do options exist for using a controller and wired headphones at the same?

    IMO the usb-a headphones amps we can get for cheap these days are so good that it’s worth trying to do everything through usb hubs without built in headphone jacks. (It’s ridiculous how much better most half decent headphones sound through a good amp/dac.) I don’t know what usb a to c hub/converter is best though, or how to best handle the power situation with these new ipads. (I use this one in particular, it uses the same chip as the first gen dragonfly usb stick headphone amp, but costs 30$.. https://www.amazon.com/Portable-USB-DAC-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B01FQHBDI4/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1541704363&sr=8-6&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=sabre+dac&dpPl=1&dpID=41QUIk9seYL&ref=plSrch)

  • edited November 8

    Bend test - sadly, iPad Pro 2018 it is the most bendable Apple product! Why does it have to be 5.9 mm - why not 6 mm or 6.5 mm and offer more durability and battery life? Apple is so obsessed with making the slimmest products at the cost of durability, battery life, etc. Why make something thinner when it was thin enough already?

    Apple could have performed this bend test before designing it!

  • edited November 8

    Foldable/curved technology is here! Apple did it - even before Samsung!!

  • @MobileMusic said:
    Bend test - sadly, iPad Pro 2018 it is the most bendable Apple product!
    Apple could have performed this bend test before designing it!

    My 12.9 is going into the upcoming Otterbox Defender case as soon as it's available. Not overly worried about bending as I'm always super careful, but holy shit, it is so frickin' slippery!

  • Dammit! Now what am I going to do with these huge pocket JNCO pants?

  • This video is a waste of time. Don’t drop your iPad and you’ll be fine.

    Anyway, I played around a bit, loaded multiple instances of Model 15, Model D, Zeeon and Quanta as well as a couple of plugins, mostly by Audio Damage, and didn’t ran into any problems overall. However, Model D‘s user interface is broken in BM3. A reboot didn’t help. cc @GeertBevin @mathieugarcia

  • The 11 inch iPad Pro has a completely new resolution. We received ours yesterday and are already working on supporting it. We plan on having an update out for Model D and Model 15 soon. Thanks for your patience.

    @whiteout said:
    This video is a waste of time. Don’t drop your iPad and you’ll be fine.

    Anyway, I played around a bit, loaded multiple instances of Model 15, Model D, Zeeon and Quanta as well as a couple of plugins, mostly by Audio Damage, and didn’t ran into any problems overall. However, Model D‘s user interface is broken in BM3. A reboot didn’t help. cc @GeertBevin @mathieugarcia

  • @MoogMusicInc said:
    The 11 inch iPad Pro has a completely new resolution. We received ours yesterday and are already working on supporting it. We plan on having an update out for Model D and Model 15 soon. Thanks for your patience.

    Great news. Thanks!

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