The long-fabled 12.9-inch iPad Pro from Apple is finally a reality and is a clear signal that Apple hasn’t given up the ghost on tablet devices being a defining force in the shape of computing for the next decade.
In fact, at the special Apple event in San Francisco today (9 September), CEO Tim Cook said as much: “iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing – it’s a piece of glass that can transform into anything.”
The new iPad Pro was unveiled alongside Apple’s new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones.
The new iPad sports what Apple said is the most advanced display it ever created. Upon 12.9-inches – its landscape mode is the equivalent of two iPad mini devices in portrait position side by side – the new machine presents some 5.9MP.
It features new oxide TFT materials that make it possible to light up photos quickly in uniform brightness and diodes separate from each other to provide accurate colour photography.
It features a new A9X chip that is up to 1.8-times faster than the A8X processor that would have featured in the most recent iPad Air. “This is desktop class,” exclaimed Apple’s global head of marketing Phil Schiller.
He said the advancement in the graphics alone represents an improvement of 360 times on previous iPads.
The machine, Apple’s largest tablet device ever, is faster than 90pc of portable PCs released in the last year, Schiller said, and features a 10-hour battery.
Smart keyboard and the Apple Pencil
To accompany the plus-sized tablet computer, Apple unveiled the new Smart Keyboard, which comes with a smart connector that magnetically clicks onto the iPad and intelligently detects the device’s presence.
The design of the keyboard features a woven fabric material and the device can be put into different positions to support the iPad.
Apple also revealed the new Apple Pencil.
“Apple Pencil is one of the most advanced technologies we’ve ever created in a simple form,” said Schiller.
The Pencil is a stylus that allows its user to render precise drawings in broad strokes or light shades.
Apple has clearly done its homework on this one and did the seemingly impossible by inviting the senior vice president of Microsoft Office Kirk Koenigsbauer onstage to demonstrate how Microsoft’s productivity apps work perfectly with the iPad Pro and the new Apple Pencil for rendering instant graphics for apps like Excel.
Eric Snowden also showed off new Adobe apps that take advantage of the Apple Pencil’s technology to edit photographs and produce perfect wireframe designs from a few squiggles of the Pencil.
Irish start-up on stage at Apple Event
Irish medical software player 3D4Medical – a former Siliconrepublic.com Start-up of the Week – was also brought on stage at the special Apple event. Irene Walsh showed how medical technology is being brought to live on devices like the iPad Pro.
3D4Medical was featured as part of Apple’s iPad Pro announcement with a preview of its Complete Anatomy app.
The iPad Pro, with its epic 12.9-inch Retina display and powerful A9X chip, raises the bar when it comes to what 3D4Medical can do, adding depth and detail that wasn’t possible before on a mobile device.
Additionally, with the new Apple Pencil, 3D4Medical has added powerful 3D cutting and drawing tools that allows students, teachers and health professionals to communicate in a whole new way. The Complete Anatomy Series will also be available on the new iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPad Pro.
Walsh demonstrated how doctors can access the complete human anatomy on the iPad.
“This will transform the way doctors and patients communicate from remote villages to the top hospitals in the world.”
Apple also launched the new iPad mini 4, moving the iPad mini 2 to be its new entry-level iPad.
The new iPad Pro will go on sale in November in three gorgeous metallic finishes, including silver, gold and space grey.