Is the M1 iPad Pro worth it?

• 6 min read

An announcement for Tablet Habit. M1 iPads are here but at what cost? How to make handwritten notes into Craft notes, and loads of reviews for the M1 iPads and iMacs.

Is the M1 iPad Pro worth it?

Tablet Habit will be a paid subscription starting July 5th, 2021

As a quick bit of house keeping I wanted to inform you that Tablet Habit will be moving to twice a week and will be a paid newsletter costing $5/month or $50/year beginning July 5th, 2021.

TL;DR:

  • Tablet Habit will be a paid newsletter costing $5 a month or $50 a year beginning July 5th, 2021
  • There will still be a free original essay once a week, but Tablet Habit will be coming out twice a week to paid subscribers.
  • The newsletters from now until July 5th will be 100% free forever.
  • Subscriptions will become available in the July 5th, 2021 issue of Tablet Habit.

What’s happening?

Beginning July 5th, 2021 Tablet Habit will be posting two newsletters a week every Monday and Thursday at 9 a.m. ET. The newsletter will cost $5 a month or $50 a year.

What do I get as a paid subscriber?

  • 2 Subscriber-only posts a week plus full archive access
  • Workflows, tutorials, shortcuts, and more in every issue
  • Curated roundup of the BEST Apple and technology content from over 100 sources

What do I get as a free subscriber?

  • One original essay a week
  • Occasional unlocked paid newsletter

How do I subscribe?

Subscriptions will be available July 5th and there will be a link to sign up then. Until then, Tablet Habit will stay free for all readers.

M1 iPad vs M1 Mac Processing

In the reviews I have listed below, you will see for the new M1 iPads there is a through line. That through line is apparent to anyone who follows Apple and the saga of the iPad in recent years. It’s summed up to something akin to “The iPad Pros are incredible machines, but the problem is the software.”

There were a couple recent posts that I read that catapulted this topic to the top of my list. The first was from Andy Nicolaides writing for The Dent about how his Mac has been getting a lot more attention recently.

This new found affection and enjoyment I’ve been feeling for the Mac in recent months has led me to a bit of a quandary in what my next computer should be. The M1 iPad seems like the logical option for me, but will this iteration just be another example of the iPad hardware far exceeding the software capabilities of the device? There is a huge expectation on Apple changing the game with iPadOS capabilities come iPadOS 15 betas next month. I’d love to be wrong about this, but would bet a decent chunk of change that this years WWDC keynote will come and go again with little more than an iPad [home screen] update.

[…]

People always say that you should make a purchasing decision based on what a product can do now not what it could potentially do in the future. If you look at it with that framing, the 2021 iPad Pro seems like a bad choice as an upgrade on the older 2020 or even 2018 model.

Lee Peterson also had this to say on his blog:

I could get away with using iPadOS when I had my day job but it’s just not enough for me now as I do a different set of workflows. I guess for me the iPad unfortunately isn’t giving me the flexibility and confidence to use it daily for work related tasks.

It is clear that if Apples wants to call the iPad your next computer they need to provide better support for a number of things. I wrote about a number of them last month, and I am sure there are more that I didn’t mention. As someone that recently bought a Mac, there is one thing about the Mac that makes it far and away a better computer than the iPad, and that is background processing.

On my Mac I can export a video or podcast and go to a different app and work on other things knowing that the video/podcast will continue to export. If I were to do something similar on my iPad it would most likely fail exporting the moment I switched to a different app. While having only one app open at a time can be a benefit for someone wanting to focus on their work, it can be a hindrance when we want to multitask.

Another example for this is when I am uploading a file via a web app like WeTransfer or Auophonic. On a Mac this can be uploaded in the background and I can focus on writing my newsletter, working on my notes, or literally anything I wanted. If I upload something on my iPad it has to be open and turned on the entire time. If the screen falls asleep or I switch apps on the iPad I get to reupload that file all over again. Essentially, I feel like a babysitter for my computer at times, which isn’t what I want.

We won’t know what the iPad will be in iPadOS 15 until WWDC comes June 7th, but I can only hope that it blows us away and allows for more work to be done on the iPad. Otherwise, the M1 iPad Pro might not be the value everyone wants it to be.

Personally, I have high expectations. I expect Apple to use the M1 iPad as a setup to spike down a monstrous update to iPadOS 15. I am itching for things like pro apps, external display improvements, widgets, Home Screen improvements, background processing, and changes to how audio sources work to allow podcasting on the iPad. My hope is for Apple to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at this update and see what sticks with users.

Like I said, we won’t know until after WWDC21, but it is hard not to expect Apple to go all-in on the iPad this year.

Weekly Workflow - Handwritten Apple Note to Craft

As I record episodes of my upcoming podcast A Slab of Glass I have been finding myself using my iPad to write out notes by hand during interviews. I know that Craft offers support for handwritten notes on the iPad, but I often just tap the pencil on the iPad Pro screen and open up Apple Notes to write out a note or two. It is easier for me and has been muscle memory since it was released years ago.

What I capture can be something like a podcast topic I want to talk to the guest about, show notes I want to capture before it leaves my mind, or something else entirely.

Regardless of what it is I write it down and capture it. From there, I want to move this handwritten note into Craft. Apple Notes came out with OCR for your hand-written notes and the ability to copy them as text, and this has become a game changer for me.

Once I write my handwritten note I will then select the note and highlight the area I want to convert to text with my finger. Once highlighted, I will tap on it to bring up the pop-up dialog box and select "Copy as Text".

Once it is copied as Text I will run a Shortcut that takes the clipboard and creates a new note in Craft with the title of the note to be the date and time.


Weekly Roundup

M1 iPad Pro Review Roundup

M1 iMac Review Roundup

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