Starting a week with an iPad Pro

Something I’ve always wanted is a Wacom Cintiq

While my brother is a professional artist and animator, I’m more of a hobbyist. But that doesn’t stop me from ogling all the cool gadgets.

The issue for me has always been investing money into a device that’s sole purpose is for drawing. As a hobbyist, I couldn’t justify the cost of a device with limited, albeit powerful, capabilities. I’ve watched professionals at work on a Cintiq and it’s mind-blowing.

But it fits such a niche role, it would spend 90% of its time sitting idle on my desk.

I really wanted a digital drawing and painting device, but I needed it to be capable of doing more than just artwork. I wanted something that I could use as a sketch pad, digital painting canvas, handwritten notes – preferably all three AND put all of them together. Something capable of a replicating a physical notebook and journal.

Alas, it didn’t exist, so I waited…

Then last fall Apple announced the 12.9″ IPad Pro and showed off all the wonderful things it does.

My jaw dropped. Was this the holy grail? A writing, drawing, painting, productivity machine all-in-one? I mean, there’s no way the Apple Pencil works like that.

No way…right?

So being the skeptic that I am, I set off to see the wizard in person.

And HOLY SHIT it was AMAZEBALLZ!!

But that price…and no pencils available…and no keyboards available…and no Scrivener for iOS…and…and…I just couldn’t do it.

I’d tried an iPad Air 2. Kept it for three days and returned it because it didn’t DO anything. It was great for reading, browsing, and playing games, but I’m a professional. The things I buy need to be useful for creating something or improving the work I already do.

I couldn’t spend that much money on a large format media consumption device. In other words, a toy.

And then, a few days ago, Literature and Latte made this announcement on their blog :

Next week, I shall—at long last—be submitting Scrivener for iOS to Apple’s TestFlight beta-testing program.

WHAT?!

Scrivener on iOS, the vapor ware many of us have been hoping for, is finally going to see daylight.

So, yesterday, I returned to see the wizard and picked up a new 12.9″ iPad Pro with 128g of storage, and Apple Pencil, and a Smart Keyboard.

And so far it’s been a brilliant experience to have the device in hand the last 24 hours.

It’s light-weight, screen is gorgeous, keyboard is easy to use and functional, multi-tasking support is tremendous, genuinely a laptop replacement for nearly everything I need.

While there are some things the iPad Pro won’t do, like high-end video editing (I do some professional video editing on occasion) or hardcore software development (my day job), for nearly everything else it’s perfect. Many tasks are easier and more intuitive thanks to the touch-first driven design of the UI and integration with iCloud.

For instance, writing this blog post.

I fired up the WordPress App and got started rather painlessly. Adding images has been MUCH easier than using my laptop where I have to search Google, find the image I want, click ‘View Image’, then save the image to my computer, then upload the image to WordPress, then insert the image into my blog post, then….then…

Nope, now I just get started typing. Pull up Google on a second screen, tap and hold to save the image I want, then insert into the body of my post.

Done.

The pencil is beyond belief. This morning while doing some design work, I took a few minutes to doodle this:


That’s all digital with no post-processing using the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro.

Color me impressed.

Now the question becomes, how good will Scrivener’s iOS implementation be?

My hope is to use the IPad Pro as my primary writing, planning, and notetaking device, with the Scrivener desktop application used primarily for formatting and exporting my finished screenplays and novels.

As the days go by, I’ll move past the honeymoon phase with the iPad Pro. My thoughts and opinions will change. I’m sure to find plenty I don’t like about the workflow, but I’m glad to have the device in my hands so I can have a more in-depth experience.

There’s only so much you can tell about the iPad Pro in a few minutes poking around with it at the big-box stores.

The one thing I am sure of, the iPad Pro is NOT a toy. It gets real work done, and gets it done well.

It’s not a laptop, and that’s a good thing.

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