Other features that Apple has learned from Microsoft include the Files app that works a lot like Windows Explorer, including the ability to include third-party cloud storage.
Apple has also included a multi-touch drag and drop feature with iOS 11 that’s similar to the same capability in Windows 10. There is also deep integration with Apple Pencil that’s similar to the drawing features available on the Microsoft Surface models with the Surface Pen.
Of course the iPad Pro isn’t the same device as the Surface Pro, and each has its strengths. But with the speed of innovation in the mobile device market, this is an area where Apple is playing catch-up.
But at least Apple and the iPad have caught up. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro presents a thoroughly modern face to the world by not wasting space on wide borders and by promising performance that’s up to current standards.
In some cases, Apple will break new ground with iOS 11, such as with its ability to accept hand-written entries in iOS 11 and then to make them searchable.
In fact, the ability to use what Apple calls Instant Markup is a feature that will continue to make the iPad Pro useful in a business setting. The ability to add notes or editorial corrections to virtually any existing document and have that material stay with the document as it’s transferred between users will greatly ease workflow.
Other features coming for the iPad in iOS 11 will also enhance its usefulness in the work place. For example, there’s a document scanner that works with the new camera on the iPad Pro line. The scanner is able take a document that was shot at an angle and return it to a rectangular shape and then use the scanned image to incorporate the document’s contents into new or revised documents.
Part of the reason this can work as well as it does is because the new iPad Pro devices use the same front and rear camera as the iPhone 7 with a 7-megapixel camera on the front and a 12-megapixel on the back. The rear camera can shoot 4K video, and the front camera can shoot HD video for FaceTime and other video conferencing apps.
With all of the changes, Apple has developed a tablet that’s competitive with its primary market rival. But what Apple needs to do is pick up the pace of development so that the company can take the initiative back from Microsoft.
This is one situation in which being as good as the competition isn’t good enough. To stay competitive, Apple needs to be better than the competition in all important aspects.