Apple's iPad Pro Delivers New Features Needed to Spur Tablet Sales

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2015-09-09 Print this article Print
iPad Pro Debut

The support for multitasking required a new processor, in Apple's case the A9X chip, to be able to handle the processing requirements as well as being able to run the new high resolution screen. It also required some new engineering such as variable screen refresh rates as a way to save power by not refreshing screen images that don't change. These enhancements, among others, give the new iPad Pro a 10-hour battery life, Apple's presenters claimed.

The optional keyboard and stylus that Apple is offering with the iPad Pro accentuate the usefulness of this tablet for business. The new keyboard, which attaches to the long edge of the iPad using magnets to engage new power and data contacts, operates in much the same way as Microsoft's Type Cover. It will serve as a cover and a keyboard that appears to have been intended for actual typing. The Apple Smart Keyboard also acts as a support.

Perhaps as interesting as the hardware itself was the support from Microsoft. While Office has been available for the iPad for several months, Microsoft is fully embracing the multitasking capability of the iPad Pro. This means, among other things, that you can open Word and Excel side by side to copy data between them, just as you can on (gasp) Windows.

Other software vendors, including Adobe, also demonstrated the ability to take advantage of multitasking. But Apple and Microsoft seem to have developed a close relationship. Besides inviting Microsoft executives to take part in Apple's big presentation, Apple broke with its tradition of only allowing people to view the event video stream on Apple devices running the Safari browser by enabling the stream on Microsoft's new Edge browser running on Windows 10.

While there are a number of other interesting features that make the iPad Pro attractive enough to spur sales, I'll leave those to the news staff to describe. Finally, Apple has a tablet with enough new features that it gives customers a reason to buy to buy the iPad Pro.

Of course, Apple also announced other products including some updates to the Apple Watch and Apple TV, but the updates to the iPhone are more significant to most people. The new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are improvements on the devices they replace.

Those improvements include a faster processor, some new camera features, and something Apple calls 3D Touch, which means that the phone is sensitive to both touch as well as how hard and how long you touch the screen.

I'll look at the new iPhone in greater detail in a couple of weeks when I can get my hands on one. For many people, it may be worth the upgrade cost, but there's no question that the iPad Pro is good for more than just for the sake of upgrading to the latest model. It can bring in a whole new round of buyers.


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