Testing out an iPad Pro 12.9"

2 minute read

I’ve been using the wonderful Mobilesheets Pro on my Android Tablet (a Lenovo Tab 4 10) for my choir(s) that I’m a member of. The best thing since slided bread! (well, not really, but it does allow me to easily take a lot of sheet music along without having to drag around several binders).

The only bad thing is the size of the tablet. The Lenovo Tab 4 10 is - as the name suggests - 10”. Which is a lot smaller than a standard A4 piece of paper.

I’ve been looking around for a replacement tablet, but on the Android front this seems to be difficult to find, definitely if you don’t want to settle with a tablet that runs Android 5 (which came out in 2014(!))

So, after being convinced by a friend, I got an iPad Pro 12.9”, to see if this would work for me. The iPad together with the Apple Pencil 2, since I do make a lot of notes on the tablet itself.

This was also my first foray into iOS… and probably the last unless Apple decides to make serious changes. I returned the device before two weeks were over.

It’s an amazing piece of hardware, helt back by iOS and the limitations which date from the very first iPad / iPhone in my opinion…

The pro:

  • Amazing screen - super sharp
  • Stylus worked well and it’s nice that it just snapped to the size
  • Battery life is good

The con:

  • Heavy. Ok, it’s a 12.9”, so that’s actually acceptable.
  • No decent sort of multitasking. You can drag stuff to the side of the screen but it just doesn’t work fluently
  • No multiuser capabilities to speak of - wtf?
  • No way to have an app have a wakelock (keep the display on?) or have a rotation lock (keep the display always in portrait)
  • Mission control isn’t. Sorry, it isn’t.
  • iOS seems to decide for you all the time what you want to do. If I want to switch off the bluetooth, I want it off. Not in some semi state that it’s still on but not really either. Yes, I know my pencil won’t work. I KNOW!
  • Testing apps seemed to be impossible without buying them immediately (this seems to be a rather recent addition to the Apple Store)
  • Trying to get a certificate installed in iOS is a challenge. After searching for quite a while I finally figured out that you need to do this using Safari - since there’s no way to get files on this thing, I had to put it on a webserver to get it.
  • Apps seem to be focussed mostly on appeal vs usability. ForScore (touted by many of my choir colleagues as THE app for sheet music) is extremely pretty… but incredibly inpractical to use.
  • Base functionality seems to be missing. It feels incomplete.

People will probably disagree with me and say that it’s the tablet, but… not for me.