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The new iPad Pro wows designers AND augmented reality lovers alike

One of the most exciting improvements announced at WWDC 2017 were the iPad Pro updates.

The biggest (literally) news was the introduction of the brand spankin’ new 10.5-inch (26.6 cm) iPad Pro, alongside the updated 12.9-inch (32.7 cm) iPad Pro.

Described as being “a whole lot more to love”, the 10.5-inch Pro has a 20 percent larger retina display than the 9.7-inch BUT it’s not heavier. It’s still less than half a kilo.

And the 10.5-inch screen manages to squeeze in a full-size onscreen keyboard, which is bonkers!

The new range of iPad Pros benefit from the iOS 11 updates. One of those improvements is ProMotion, which is billed by Apple as “the most advanced displays on the planet”. They’ve introduced a 120 Hz refresh rate, which is so dramatically different from current displays that the projector showing the demo at WWDC couldn’t accurately display the scroll speed.

It’s clear that Apple has poured their energy into creating a high-quality experience that matches users’ high standards. According to Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing, “Together with iOS 11, these new iPad Pro models will radically change what users can do with [the] iPad.”

How will iOS 11 improve the iPad Pro?

Designers worldwide are going to drool over the performance possibilities that the new iPad Pro can offer, as will developers who love augmented reality. Apple has created a tablet which is slowly becoming an incredibly powerful computer in its own right.

The introduction of fast, responsive and adaptable augmented reality functions through AR Kit is expressive of Apple’s close relationship with developers. It’s hoped that AR Kit will “help [developers] bring high-quality AR experiences to iPhone and iPad using the built-in camera, powerful processors and motion sensors in iOS devices”. Apple’s augmented reality is tipped to become “the largest augmented reality platform in the world”.

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The AR looks incredibly realistic and is able to react dynamically. It features fast and stable motion tracking, and is able to automatically recognise scale through understanding the context of the environment. It’s incredibly impressive, and I’m sure hundreds of developers are already previewing the many wonders of iOS 11 right now, via the Developer Program. The public will be able to play around with it later this month via Apple’s beta testing portal.

Some of the common frustrations of the iPad, like the limited taskbar, have been demolished. The taskbar is customisable and makes use of predictive technologies with three suggested apps on the right-hand side. Nothing which is currently on the market offers the seamless experience of the iPad Pro’s ‘Drag and Drop’.

Combined with powerful new iPad features in iOS 11 coming this fall, like the all-new Files app, customizable Dock, improved multitasking and deeper integration of Apple Pencil, iPad Pro gives users the ability to be even more productive and creative.

iPad pencil

The iPad Pencil, along with the Notes upgrades deserve their time in the sun. The implications of the CoreML introduction are much more wide reaching than they first appear. Through deep learning, Notes recognises what you’re writing, in your own handwriting.

Also, it seems like such an inconsequential feature, but scanning a document by taking an angled photo and then signing it seamlessly is impressive. Particularly if you have to manage lots of paper trails, like I do. There are apps that do this well enough, but Notes seems to have it down.

iPad Pro - both sizes

iPad pricing – Australian availability

  • New iPad Pro models available to order online from today and will start delivering to customers next week.
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts at RRP A$979 inc. GST for the 64GB with Wi-Fi model, and starts at RRP A$1,179 inc. GST for the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at RRP A$1199 inc. GST for the 64GB Wi-Fi model, and starts at RRP A$1,399 inc. GST for the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
  • Apple Pencil RRP A$145 inc. GST.
  • 10.5-inch Smart Keyboard RRP A$235 inc.GST
  • 12.9-inch Smart Keyboard RRP A$245 inc. GST
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    Larissa is Techly’s Assistant Editor. She watches so much Youtube that she’s narrowed down her favourite categories – goats, innocent dads getting pranked, and toddlers falling over.

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