WWDC: How will Apple change iPadOS for pros?

Apple’s decision to put an M1 Mac chip inside the iPad Pro surely means it’s about to make some big changes in the user interface for Apple’s pro tablet, making these systems an even better fit for business professionals.

Fast enough for anything?

Apple’s new iPad Pro introduces a Liquid Retina XDR display and the same 8-core M1 chip used inside over 50% of all the Macs Apple currently sells.

It promises 50% faster CPU performance and 40% faster GPU performance compared to the previous model. Prices for the 11-inch tablet start at $799, while the new 12.9-inch version starts at $1,099. 5G is available, but it costs $200 extra.

One of the best ways to assess what this power means is to look to the immediate improvements Adobe experienced when it introduced an M1-native version of Photoshop for Macs. It will be interesting to see what that application is capable of on an iPad, and it surely brings Final Cut Pro X for iPad closer to becoming a reality.

But hardware doesn’t tell the whole story. Most industry watchers seem to think that while the power of the chip is remarkable, what can be achieved with the device will be limited by the user interface. “Users are not able to take full advantage of Apple’s unifying hardware architecture yet,” observed Oppenheimer analyst Martin Yang.

The business case for iPadOS+

The potential for these iPads will be unlocked by what Apple does in the next iteration of its OS, which it will introduce at WWDC 2021, beginning June 7. At this point, we don’t know very much concerning Apple’s future plans to improve iPadOS with version 15.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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