I’m typing this on an iPad Pro. Without a doubt, this is the most powerful iPad yet. From a hardware perspective, it’s killer. In my time playing with a Pencil at the Apple Store, (where — annoyingly — you can’t actually buy the thing) I was impressed with the precision and feel of the input device.
24 hours into having one, however, I’m still unsure what I think about the iPad Pro as a product, but I had a thought today that has left me a little unsettled when I think about the future of the device.
But there’s no flagship app for it.
Apple prides itself on being a company that can join hardware and software to make products more special and more powerful than what other companies ship.
However, with the iPad Pro — and to a lesser extent, the new Apple TV — Apple’s launched a new hardware product without a great first-party example of what people should do with it.
The original iPad had iWork. The iPads 2 and 3 had iLife. iTunes gained CD-burning power the same time the iMac G3 did. FireWire made importing media into iMovie possible.
It’s impressive that the iPad Pro can sling around a bunch of 4K video in iMovie and Notes.app makes for a nice demo, the apps featured by Apple for use with the Pro-only Pencil are all by third-party developers.
While Adobe and Microsoft were demoed on stage, developers all over the world are looking at the realities of the App Store, weighing their options.
Will the iPad Pro — and its $99 Pencil — be a big enough hit to justify the investment of new development? Has Apple said enough about what the iPad Pro is for to sway consumers?
I’m not saying that a first-party sketching app or vector drawing tools would fix any of this, but they could help set the tone for what seems like to many just a bigger iPad. Apple leaving the fate of its newest product in the hands of third-party developers seems, perhaps, less than ideal.