Fool Me Once…

Back in April 2021, the new M1 iPad Pros were announced. At that time, I wanted the largest screen iPad Pro I could get, so I ended up getting the 12.9" model. There was so discussion surrounding the hardware story: the latest processor – just like the Mac – and a Magic Keyboard to make it just like a laptop. Most of the stories at the time focused on one key thing: the potential.

Depending on who you ask, what you read, what you listen to, you'll hear a bunch of opinions across the spectrum on how that device did: it was a disappointment or it was a phenomenal modular computer and everything in between. Some of the initial thoughts on where this device was going got great updates: proper external monitor support, additional multitasking in Stage Manager, and the start of desktop-class apps. It started to feel like things were improving for the better.

But then it stagnated and felt incomplete.

And here we are again three years later. The iPads Pro with M4 chips are the latest in chipset. We have an all-new Magic Keyboard that gains a function row and some additional premium feel thanks to the aluminum on the inside. We have an amazing screen, now for the first time with OLED and nano texture – like I have on my 11" model that I'm now in love with. With external monitor support, I ended up going back down to the 11" size because it suits my needs best: I can always plug into a larger display if I need it, but most of the time I need the more compact form factor. The Pencil Pro improvements are awesome, and I'm not even a pro-user of the pencil in any sort of capacity. It's a solid upgrade year for sure.

But with all of the improvements it feels like the story is once again incomplete. The hardware of the iPad Pros have been great ever since the introduction of the 2018 iPad Pros. But the software is the part that really needs to coalesce around the idea of what the iPad Pro really wants to be. It's ok if the idea is to be an in-between device between the base iPad and a Mac. It doesn't have to do both. But like most that have used the iPad Pro as their main computer for years, I do want the iPad to do more. There are improvements to the current implementations that can be done. There are new features that should make their way to this platform. But it really is up to Apple on what they want to do.

I didn't buy this new device based on a promise of a new future with it. I bought it to suit my needs. I'm working on not getting my hopes up, and I can't stop thinking that there's still more to this iPad Pro story, but I feel like I did back in 2021 all over again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Let's wait to finish that and see what's coming next week at WWDC.