As you probably know we are working on a fully laptop less workflow for photography and video based on the iPadPro.
In all honesty I was more than happy with my Huawei M5 tablet and didn’t feel any need to go back to Apple (I sold all my Apple gear a few years ago and are 100% satisfied with my P30Pro, Garmin VivoActive, ChromeCast and Windows Machines) but thanks to the iPad Pro, but mostly the apps, I decided to take the plunge and order an iPad Pro with Pencil 2. So far so good.
When the iPad pro 12.9 was released I was I think one of the first that hit refresh, refresh, refresh to order one, and a day later I could pick it up, the PRO ipad…. wow….. and what a disappointment. No apps that really used the iPad “pro”, it was literally just like the iPad just a blown up iPhone, nothing wrong with the iPad by the way I loved it, but it was a FAR cry from a pro device (what is it with that Pro title anyway, it seems soon I can Pro underwear and Pro socks or something).
So my first experience kind of sucked, Apple promised the heavens and it delivered a slight hell. A totally closed up system without any serious apps. But things have changed, not thanks to Apple (where is Final Cut Pro iPad for example) but thanks to companies like Lumatouch with Lumafusion (which is absolutely mind boggling), Adobe with Lightroom CC and soon Photoshop iPad and of course Affinity Photo. All great apps which are mainly focussed on iOs which I think is a bit of a shame because the Android tablets are very fast too, anyway long story short, when they announced iPadOS my interest was peaked, FINALLY an open file system.
Now why is that important
Try travelling with an iPad a few times and you know.
As long as you have blazingly fast internet… no problem but we recently visited Johannesburg and had to work with a stunning 2MB down and 0.09 up (yep I didn’t make a mistake really 0.09 up) meaning uploading my images to Lightroom CC was impossible, we started uploading 20 images at night and the next morning we hit 25%, Starbucks was my favorite place, but they only offered 5GB a month for free so uploading a vlog was impossible but for photos it was ok. But this shows the incredible limitation of iOS as it is. One could say… “use an external drive” well yeah… and no. You know copying with 100MB/s is ok but thanks to the limitations of the iPad pro I somehow never was able to break the 4MB/s to my harddrive (LaCie CoPilot) although uploading to the iPad worked ok with 20MB/s, connect it to my PC and it broke the 100MB/s with ease. So think about making a backup with 3MB/s of 25GB each day…. you get the idea I think. Add to this that you can’t let the iPad run all night with a harddrive connected because you can’t charge the bloody thing because it only has one port and with a dock the harddrive wasn’t recognized and you know why the iPad Pro with iOS is no pro device at all.
Which is a shame because as mentioned the apps are there. And in all honesty I can 90% of my work with those apps. So the idea of not bringing my laptop during travels is awesome (especially with the Apple pencil).
So what works?
Under iOS everything works, but getting stuff OFF the iPad Pro is a disaster, without fast internet, connect it to your PC for example and images can come off but videos are not seen (WHY) also it’s super frustrating to not be able to just use my downloaded music from talentsy/epidemic in Rush and Lumafusion without making two folders with the same content (come on). But it works if you stick to your workflow.
At one point even batch renaming was “semi” possible, still ridiculous no app or apple supports this and you have to use automator, but hey, it works (semi).
Powerpoint/keynotes work great, every projector and TV we used worked flawlessly, expect at my seminar at B&H we couldn’t get the ipad pro outputting a signal, but that was only once, luckily we had a backup and that one worked (phone and laptop). Shooting tethered wirelessly worked flawlessly with the Camfi (not stable/fast enough with the Sony app) and of course video editing and photo editing is no problem at all, if you can life with the photo apps from Apple (which is a disaster for a pro but ok).
Ok I didn’t want to install it while travelling and when we arrived back I decided to wait for the final release, but seeing it’s only end of September and it’s now the 14th and I use the iPad pro almost every day I took the chance and installed iPadOS. And lets see at what I think and found out.
- External drives
Yes it works, well semi.
You have to format your drives in ExFAT, don’t try anything else it won’t work, don’t try to format on the iPad pro… because it doesn’t have an app for that, which I think is ridiculous seeing harddrives come mostly not in ExFat when you buy them, so you still need a computer to format them.
- External drive speed
This is a HUGE disappointment for now, I hoped for a speedy way to copy my files or maybe even work straight from the hard drive, well forget about it. I did a quick calculation based on time and file size and I think the iPad pro tops out at max 25MB/s and this is with an SSD that tops out at 300MB/s on my desktop so it’s not the SSD.
- External tumbdrives
Works although I only tested a few, speed was nothing more than usable
- Open file system
This is not what I expected.
Yes you can use external drives and files (the app to browse etc) but it’s still very iOS (like) for example there is still no way to batch rename files, the files app still doesn’t show you the film roll etc but I have some tips for that
- Look and feel
Now for some people this is the biggest change but in all honesty I don’t really care for it, but I have to say, getting more apps on one page is awesome and well overdue, also the widgets on the home page is cool and of course Dark Mode and a full browing experience and semi multitasking is great, but that isn’t what I hoped for the most, but it’s cool don’t get me wrong.
Some tips for copying
For me the most important thing was getting files on and off and browsing via apps.
Well the most disappointing factor is that NONE of the apps so far use this option, Lumafusion still needs the import folder, Project Rush doesn’t even have the option for a folder or external drive (only cloud etc.) same with almost every other app I tried, BUT that being said this is still the beta so I guess the apps will be updated, if not…. I have to be honest I’ll go back to a laptop because this is just a very cumbersome way to work, that being said I’m almost sure they will update the apps so just wait for the final release and for now ignore that remark 😀
Ok so how do you go to and from the film roll.
Most apps use the film roll from apple for all the files, but how do you get files from the film roll to your harddrive and from your harddrive to the film roll when you don’t see the files/drives?
When you are in Apple’s film roll just select the files and select/copy. Now just leave the film roll and go to files and long press and use Paste. It took me a few minutes to figure this out because I expected actually to have it available a bit more obvious. Going from files to the film roll is a different story…. pffff.
Select the files and use SHARE, now under share use SAVE FILES and voila it saves it into the film roll. So it’s doable but it’s still very iOS like.
I still haven’t test a lot more like mouse support etc. because for me the most important thing is that file system.
So far so “good” I’m ok with how it works (when I figured it out) but I don’t feel like I’m working with an apple product and it hurts me to say this but I really feel Apple lost it’s way, and iPad OS so far shows this very clearly. For me Apple was always simple, easy to understand and very very clear how it works. At the moment (and it’s still in beta) we have a file system that works, but it’s not Apple worthy, it’s not impossible to use it (far from) but it’s more complicated that it needs to be, I only want to say… look at Android. For years I’ve been able to just connect it to my desktop and see all my files and copy back and forth without any limitations, also within Android most apps just let you select files from different locations. If you’re not careful it can become a mess but let’s be honest it’s the same on your desktop.
Apple has an amazing, magical (to speak in keynote words) device with the iPad pro, and I really mean this, it’s a kick ass device with incredible speed and battery life for what it does, yesterday I edited a complete vlog again and after editing, rendering and uploading with almost full brightness it only took a 18% battery hit, my laptop would be almost empty (remember these are 4K vlogs with edits in video and audio) and 10 Minutes vlog only takes 10 Minutes to render, my i9 on premiere pro does it in similar times so that’s just incredible.
What I miss is that Apple sauce. That very easy to understand interface, that interaction between the human and the machine (well you know what I mean), It seems like Apple is going backwards in a fast tempo for user interface but also going forwards in other departments like finally a full browsing experience (although on Chrome you can also ask for the full version of a website, but ok I’ll give them that).
What’s your opinion?
For me I just hope they make the copying to external devices much faster, 25MB/s in 2019 is really not from this time, we need at least 100MB/s and on USB-C that should be more than possible. Also I hope they open up the file system a bit more and make it integrate with the film roll like it should be. Or make the film roll an app like gallery and open up the folder film roll, now it’s really that it’s a fully closed app with all your photos which you can’t rename (still find that weird to the max) and can’t see on the iPad itself.
For now I think the iPad pro is an amazing device and a real game changer, the Apple Pencil 2 is just sick (in a very positive way) and the apps are more than adequate replacements/helpers for the desktop apps, it’s not that I really miss things, even skin retouching is easy with both Lightroom CC and Affinity (and soon Photoshop), but the file system REALLY needs some more work, but at least we now have something. It’s just a shame that a real Pro device is still a bit crippled by Apple that can’t seem to make up it’s mind if it’s fashion brand or a creatives dream company (which it once was).
Looking forward to your opinions.