PSA: Don't update to iOS 12.4 if you use apps in AB output slot or IAA apps that use the mic.
https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/34030/urgent-psa-hold-off-updating-to-ios-12-4-if-you-use-apps-in-output-slot-in-audiobus

The iPad Pro 11” vs 12.9” (2018) Dilemma

edited February 25 in Off-topic

Because Cubasis is not installed on demo iPads in the Apple Stores, I had to buy both Pro models to test them out. Did a project on both (so I won’t be biased) to see them in action and find out their pros and cons.

Color – these iPads come in a newer dark gray color which look stealthy.

Feel – very smooth and slippery.

Rounded corners - Most apps have a black bar around the edges making the apps look like they are shrunk and need updating by devs. These apps may remain so for a foreseeable future until they are optimized. Glad that Cubasis got updated so quickly which is all I need for my music video projects. Steinberg company (that was acquired by Yamaha) could release updates just when they are necessary. Other apps I know that are optimized for the new iPad are Apple apps, Microsoft apps (Outlook, OneNote, etc), Netflix, DirecTV NOW, etc.

Headphone Jack – You’ll feel the pain! You’ll be frustrated for times when you could have just plugged in the phones into the jack and now you have take out the dongle. If you don’t have the dongle around, it gets worse. The Apple dongle had some bad audio quality on 12.9” and the drums sounded weaker/bland without the punch/oomph in a project. Seriously, Apple?? They should have made it sound the same at the very least before taking out the jack! You won’t be able to use the dongle while recharging until you buy a hub with a charging slot and headphone jack. The 4 stereo speakers compensate to some extent while you are not able to dongle the headphones but not fully.

iPad Pro 12.9” – even with its smaller footprint, it’s not convenient, not manageable, not mobile and definitely NOT a one-hander. It keeps slipping/tilting in a few seconds after holding in one hand because of its thinner bezels and weight. I have strong arms but still feel it painful to hold it in one hand even for a few seconds. Hard to use it while laying in the bed due to its weight. However, using it on the lap or at a desk is the best way. Because of its huge size, web pages, videos, etc are easier to browse/watch with larger fonts. Because it is huge, apps “optimized” for its screen size would allow more vertical space and so less vertical scrolling. You can see 5 tracks in Cubasis along with the soft keyboard displayed or more than 8 tracks without the keyboard (full screen) at default track zoom. The optimization done in Cubasis for 12.9” with just 2 horizontal sections (upper and lower half) is not graceful – they should have followed how Apple optimized GarageBand with 3 horizontal sections.

iPad Pro 11” – this is the one I preferred even before it was released and it proved out to be the most ideal size with a “wider-screen” aspect ratio. It is really handy and manageable – still a little bit inconvenient to hold it in one hand for extended duration due to its narrow bezels but not as bad as the 12.9”. It is a significant size boost compared to Air 2 with more than 1.5” horizontally and 0.5” vertically. Plus, it will give wider screen-recorded videos which is what matters more as the end result to me. With Air 2 (and also 12.9”), the screen-recorded videos come out squarish. Its wide screen also allows for less scrolling sideways in Piano Roll editor and Timeline of a video editor with optimized apps. You can see more than 3 tracks in Cubasis along with the soft keyboard displayed or 7 tracks without the keyboard (full screen) at default track zoom. To scroll less vertically, we could pinch out the tracks vertically in Cubasis to see more tracks without losing much functionality (Arm and Freeze controls are rarely used and pinching them out would make more tracks visible). However, the tracks in Cubasis go back to their default zoom factor upon re/opening a project and you have to pinch out again.

@LFS , Steinberg should divide Cubasis layout into 3 horizontal sections (on all iPads) for consistency so it also becomes mobile-ready (like SynthMaster One). We really don't need a soft keyboard that occupies half of the screen. The 3 keyboards in SM1 (when Expanded) are the ideal layout with respect to their heights. You could have an option to zoom a horizontal section into 2/3rd of the screen (2X) and toggle back if desired for taller modules like the Audio Units, Mixer, Equalizer, Drum pads, etc.

Camera – Massive on both Pro models compared to Air 2 (where it looks like a mole). Haven’t tried them yet.

Folio Case – Not leather but good quality and precision-built with magnetic alignment and a different black/charcoal color. Easy to take off quickly to reduce heft without any wear-n-tear. Looks very beautiful and "Pro" with the sides exposed – handle with care! If you are buying these new Pros, you definitely need the Apple Protection Plan for accidental damages!! When folded backwards as a stand, the case offers a slightly raised angle compared to Mini/Air 2 case which I always thought as not high enough. The raised angle in the new case is better but could still have been a bit higher.

FaceID – the Dot camera is on only when the screen is woken up by touching it so there is no battery drain from objects moving in front of the camera while it is idling. If it fails to scan your face upon wake-up, it will retry scanning the face and authenticate when you swipe up when it goes into keypad mode to enter passcode (if it succeeds, no need to enter passcode - just swipe up to unlock). For apps such as Outlook that use TouchID, it seamlessly falls back on FaceID (because there is no TouchID button).

Pencil 2 – works great in Piano Roll, Synth knobs/faders, Timeline, etc. It needs frequent charging and it gets charged in about 30 minutes. However, a Bamboo Stylus is also good enough and needs no recharging or Bluetooth and its soft nylon tip leaves no smudges! If using Pencil 2, make sure you have screen protector as it could wear the coatings/layers on the screen on frequently touched areas because it has a harder tip. For instance, if you are scrubbing an audio track with the play-head in the same areas repeatedly, that could damage the coatings on the screen. I used the Bamboo Stylus with the nylon tip while scrubbing and other repeated touch actions at the same areas. NOTE: Pencil 1 doesn't work on the new iPad Pros and Pencil 2 doesn't work on the old iPad Pros :(

Screen Protector – Tech Armor Ballistic protectors are being re-engineered for the new Pros as the current ones are said to have some touch response issues. Their support is fanatic – if we buy the current one, they agreed to replace it with the newer model for free when it is ready in about a month.

My Preference – 11” Pro hands down. The new 12.9” (2018) is not mobile. If you want to open 12.9" at your workplace or inside your car for instance, it is a hassle every time. If you are into drawing, sketching, illustrations, digital art, this is the BEST - go for it. I did a project on 12.9” but was waiting to finish it so I could return it. Felt so happy when I returned it. I’m happy with the 11”. My old Air 2 now looks like a mini and my old mini 1 looks like an iTouch.

The Future – I speculate the new 4.3:3 widescreen aspect ratio is going to be the future standard for iPads and the 11” is just a precursor to what’s coming. There are rumors Apple is designing iPad 10” which is apparently a replacement for the 9.7” but with widescreen, thin bezels and rounded corners. They may turn the 7.9” mini into 8” mini and make it widescreen with thin bezels and rounded corners too. What would be left is the 12.9” which would also get redesigned into widescreen. And the 10.5" Pro is likely to be discontinued. Design stabilized – for another decade!

Even the Samsung S10 Fold has a 4.2:3 aspect ratio (a bit less wider than iPad 11” which has 4.3:3). Copycats are working hard, LOL :)

I'll post screenshots and photos soon...

What are your thoughts, which one did you prefer and why?

HTH


EDITS:

On the 11" Pro, you can see about 4 tracks in Cubasis along with the soft keyboard displayed or 7 tracks without the keyboard (full screen) at the default track zoom factor.

Pencil 1 doesn't work on the new iPad Pros 2018 and Pencil 2 doesn't work on the old iPad Pros :(

If you are buying these new Pros, you definitely need the Apple Protection Plan for accidental damages!!

Comments

  • edited February 22

    Nicely done @MobileMusic. Very comprehensive. Good luck with your new creative engine! Could you write a little about multi vs single core usage and value?

  • How much does in your experience the extra screen size affect workflow in cubasis @MobileMusic?

    Both in terms of Cubasis itself and programming synths and other audio units.

  • I just bought the newest 10.5 pro instead.

    Too costly and unreliable for me to jump straight to gear that doesn’t need a jack input.

    Surely it couldn’t have been that difficult to keep it? Seems like a money making exercise.

    Anyway, I’m happy with my new 10.5 pro 256Gb. All I need!

  • It's very personal and depends on your lifestyle I think.

    You can never have one best for every situation, but for me, I love the 12. I wouldn't want a smaller screen except when using as a secondary ipad, so I might upgrade my Air2 one day for an 11 inch. I imagine the newer 12.9 is even more mobile but I don't find the 2017 version un-mobile at all. I use it in bed and on the go with ease and use it for reading too. it's not heavy or huge, just bigger than the others. (Most of the time it sits next to my 23 inch touch screen and looks small for example, so it's all relative in a professional context).

    If you're trying to use it as a primary device, the bigger the screen the better. If you are using it in the studio (where I am most of the time), you want the biggest screen available. If you're mobile and It's a secondary device you aren't using all day then the lower sizes are all great for different purposes. Ideally you want 2 or three ipads for different situations but lets face it that's pretty expensive :)

    The main things I think 11 inch and below are better for is when in portrait mode (which I usually hate anyway on ipads) and when handheld sketching/ writing etc.

    I also really hope they don't go with more widescreen displays like the 11 and below as those formats are better for entertainment not productivity, so personally hope they stick with 4:3 ymmv etc :)

  • These new 2018 pro models are great...really a long time coming. Very happy with both the 11 and the 12. Hoping for a few more iOS updates to fix stuff...


  • My new kitty Lulu is keeping my hands full and busy. I haven't posted a project in the last over a month and haven't used it much. Hope to make things happen soon :)

  • I have the 11 and it's very nice. Had the previous Pro lineup. Big cpu boost, and the new design is nice. Love the Apple case (except the cost, but I got a discount). Yet to buy the new pencil


    Just bragging :D

  • edited February 24

    Using the optimized Cubasis, I can say the extra screen size on 11" is more comfortable to use/navigate with less scrolling than the 4:3. I think 11" is a good crossover between the 9.7" and 12.9" (Apple should have never released the 10.5" which has a very minor size upgrade and it may be discontinued soon). I think even a 11.5” would have been a perfect crossover between 10” (9.7) and 13” (12.9). Of course, we need optimized apps for the new aspect ratio to enjoy the benefits but most apps are not up-to-date and so, we still see the apps in their old 4:3 layout with wasted space around the borders. I guess when all the iPads go 4.3:3 widescreen aspect ratio, devs would be forced to update their apps.

    EDIT: On the 11" Pro, you can see about 4 tracks in Cubasis along with the soft keyboard displayed or 7 tracks without the keyboard (full screen) at the default track zoom factor.


  • The missing headphone jack is my only gripe and Apple should have retained it as iPad has so much space (at least a 2.5mm jack that the original iPhone came with) and left the charging port vacant as before. If the camera could have a bump, so can the headphone jack.

    In programming, we use modular design - one module for each functionality. But Apple's minimalist philosophy from the beginning is - a single module should perform multiple functionalities which is dumb (their old mouse with a single button that did multiple modes based on where we click and now the charging port for everything). I get mad when Samsung makes fun of Apple in every video saying their devices have headphone jack (and also memory card slot)! They made the same fun in their latest S10 Fold video.

  • edited February 24


    I guess the old iPad Pro 12.9" is easier to hold and "more mobile" because of its bezels than the newer one.

    Even the 11" Pro is hard and uneasy to hold in one hand for long due to its thin bezels - it keeps tilting down.

  • edited February 22

    EDITS:

    On the 11" Pro, you can see about 4 tracks in Cubasis along with the soft keyboard displayed or 7 tracks without the keyboard (full screen) at the default track zoom factor.

    Pencil 1 doesn't work on the new iPad Pros 2018 and Pencil 2 doesn't work on the old iPad Pros :(

    If you are buying these new Pros, you definitely need the Apple Protection Plan for accidental damages!!

  • edited February 22

    This editor in the new Vanilla forum is glitchy and did not link to Lars. Also, while trying to quote a 2nd comment, it won't load the editor unless we refresh the page. The quoted comment is shrunk and cannot be expanded in the editor to remove unwanted stuff.

    @LFS , Steinberg should divide Cubasis layout into 3 horizontal sections (on all iPads) for consistency so it also becomes mobile-ready (like SynthMaster One). We really don't need a soft keyboard that occupies half of the screen. The 3 keyboards in SM1 (when Expanded) are the ideal layout with respect to their heights. You could have an option to zoom a horizontal section into 2/3rd of the screen (2X) and toggle back if desired for taller modules like the Audio Units, Mixer, Equalizer, Drum pads, etc.

  • edited February 22

    Yeah could be, I need to try out the new ones to see how they feel. I'd certainly like less bezel but maybe there's an advantage with them when holding.

    The 2017 bezel does make portrait handling not practical though.

  • edited February 23


  • edited February 22

    huh, definitely a personal opinion but I would say the older 12.9 is far "less mobile" compared to the 2018 12.9 with smaller bezels. The decrease in size and weight makes the newer 2018 significantly easier to hold and use.

    The idea that "we need bigger bezels to hold on" really makes no sense to me. I only ever heard compaints about it before the actual device was available, not from anyone who has used both versions of the 12.9 pro.

    Only advise I would have is to try them both out.

  • edited February 23

    For the missing Home button, you could substitute it by enabling the soft Home button from:

    Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch > ON

    This displays a transparent/movable icon on the screen that offers options like Home, Lock Screen, Siri, Screenshot, Control Center, Notifications, etc. and you can add more options and gestures to it. Tapping twice on the soft Home button works just like pressing twice on the hard Home button (displays all open apps) and tap-holding on the soft Home button brings up Siri. I used Assistive Touch forever that also reduces wear-n-tear of hardware. On my iPhone, I lift it to wake it up, use TouchID to unlock, use the soft Lock Screen to turn it off - never touching the hardware Power button.

  • I just purchased a new 11” pro, 256g and I’m in heaven. It’s so so good. The only issue I have is of course the lack of a 3.5. This is unbelievable. I was so excited at the store when I was getting it that I completely forgot to pick up an adapter. I’ll get one tomorrow but is it the USB C to 3.5? It’s so frustrating that I just haven’t even payed attention to the blasted jack. Other than that this thing is unbelievable.

  • edited August 22

    The biggest issue with the missing headphone jack is that we have this single weak USB-C port/hole for everything and the adapter plugged in for most of the time for headphones and any amount of snapping the cord or torque on the cord while moving the device around can damage the port. So much grief from a flawed design as they failed to provide an alternative.

    In older iPads, we plug in the lightning adapter ONLY while charging (usually overnight) and use the headphone jack for listening and the headphone jack is stronger than the power jack and no issues there.

    Hope Apple realizes this issue with the flawed design of a single port for everything - it’s not modular - it is silly. That’s like coding a single function to do several things which is not optimal. We write separate functions for each functionality.

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