4 Reasons Why ONLY Apple Should Fix Your Broken iPhone Screen

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Going to a third-party vendor for iPhone screen replacements (or doing the repair yourself) may seem like a great idea. But trust us, it’s not. Despite the fact that it’s probably cheaper, getting your iPhone’s screen replaced by a third-party will instantly void your warranty and might damage your handset if it’s not done properly. […]
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Zuckerberg: Most of Facebook’s 2 billion users should assume their data has been compromised

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today revealed that all of its 2.2 billion users should assume their public data has been compromised by third-party scrapers. The source of this vulnerability is Facebook’s search function, which allows anyone to look up users via their email address or phone numbers. Users have to opt into it, via an option that lets their names come up in searches. The security settings have this option on by default. In a blog post from CTO Mike Schroepfer, Facebook hinted at the scope of the problem: However, malicious actors have also abused these features to scrape public…

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IoT Adoption Is Weaker Than It Should Be

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Never underestimate the fickleness of a tech enthusiast. Drop $ 100 on an Amazon Echo? No problem. Pay about half that for a smart lightbulb like LIFX Color? Not a chance.

Frankly, price isn’t the reason only one in 10 households is connected via the Internet of Things. Rather, Gartner’s 2016 survey found that 75 percent of consumers are content to leave their recliners to manually adjust the thermostat or blinds. Give up Alexa? No way — Americans love their smart speakers, with 42 percent calling them “essential” for daily life. Yet they’re indifferent to the many IoT innovations that make smart speakers worthwhile.

So what’s going on? Are Americans no longer dreaming of the Jetsons-esque future they once were? Or are tech firms simply struggling to get the word out about their IoT offerings?

Well, considering that tech companies sink more of their revenues into marketing than those in any other sector, the issue isn’t consumer unawareness. In fact, it’s a trio of issues — clumsy integrations with the user’s life, lacking data security and privacy protections, and dubious value propositions — that can’t be solved simply by boosting budgets or buying ads. To up the adoption ante, IoT firms need to learn some important lessons in product design and consumer protection.

Making IoT Adoption a No-Brainer, Not a Migraine

Part of the reason Americans aren’t adopting IoT devices en masse is that IoT integrations take work. A “Star Trek”-worthy home simply isn’t a priority for a young mother chasing down sleep, no matter how much she loves technology.

Instead of removing barriers for that mother — “eliminating the jump,” so to speak — most IoT companies expect her to wade through jargon, create new accounts, and fumble with supposedly cooperative interfaces. Part of this is inherent to IoT products, which must coordinate with other software or hardware, but the bottom line is that consumers crave simplicity.

Unsurprisingly, the tech companies that make adoption easiest tend to be the ones with the most adopted products. Everyone uses Google products, for example, because they play so well together. When I ask Google Home to add events to my calendar, I love that it also pushes reminders to my phone or smartwatch. It’s seamless, smart, and hype-worthy.

Expect IoT companies to become better at fueling the hype engine. Not only will they learn to master the “efficient handshake,” bringing easier-to-use products to market more efficiently, but they’ll tap tools like Kickstarter to secure buy-in from fans, creating trust through transparency and a sense of shared investment.

Putting Consumers in the Data Driver’s Seat

Even IoT companies that make adoption easy, however, face a trust barrier. Consumers have seen connected Jeeps hacked on the highway, cardiac implants compromised, baby monitors broken into, and more.

Although stronger device security is paramount to greater adoption, IoT companies must go a step further: They need to put consumers in control of their own data. People who’ve put their trust in an IoT company shouldn’t have to jump through hoops or pay to “request” their own data. And they certainly shouldn’t have to parse legal documents just to discover how the IoT company will share that data.

Right now, when an IoT user shares their information, they’re essentially surrendering it for sake of marketing. Customers avoid doing so because not only do they not benefit, but they also put their data at risk of being stolen or used against them later by an insurer, employer, or financier. The IoT world needs something akin to the restaurant and ride-sharing industries’ online rating systems. Both users and businesses in those sectors derive value from customers sharing their experiences.

Even IoT health and wellness companies, which have an even greater responsibility to be good data hosts than their peers, can’t claim to put users in control of their own data. Fitness tracking companies, including Fitbit, were caught flat-footed when InformationWeek reported that their accompanying apps leaked customer information and left the door open to data forgery. For Fitbit or any other IoT company, better data stewardship could be a real differentiator.

Distinguishing Between Distractions and Enhancements

Data protections, however, can’t solve the problem of gimmicky IoT products. Voice apps that work with Amazon Echo or Google Home may be cool, for example, but do consumers really need them? Evidently, consumers don’t think so, with just 3 percent of first-time users continuing to use the apps two weeks later.

That’s the ugly truth about many IoT devices: They just don’t solve a real consumer pain point. If more than one in 10 homes is to be connected to the IoT, then costly “smart home” products must do more than just dim the lights.

Take robot vacuums, which operate — and provide fodder for amusing cat videos — in 20 percent of homes. Even that isn’t a great adoption rate, considering how long they’ve been available, but there’s a reason they’re twice as common as connected homes. Everyone sees value in a machine that can autonomously pick up dust from his floors.

IoT is still a young market, but it needs to flush out the offerings destined to go nowhere. A simple safeguard is a “shoe first” strategy that allows stakeholders to try out prototypes. Tech firms tend to be great at prototyping for the stakeholders, but they all too often forget about consumers. Consumers tend to think about “cool” when testing a product, while stakeholders often consider things like adoption, data security, and iterative potential.

So is the world ready for the IoT? More so, I think, than today’s adoption numbers imply. The truth is that many IoT companies aren’t creating secure products with real value and customer data protections. The products that tick those boxes best are being adopted, but they’re in the minority. Until that changes, don’t expect IoT adoption rates to, either.

The post IoT Adoption Is Weaker Than It Should Be appeared first on ReadWrite.


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8 Basic iPhone Photo Editing Tasks You Should Know How to Do

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Editing photos right after you take them, then posting them to the web, is one of the greatest conveniences of our time.

Forget ride sharing apps, on-demand entertainment, and wearables that might save your life. Being able to show millions of people what you had for dinner is what technology is really about.

Snark aside, knowing how to edit and improve your photos before sharing them with the world is a valuable skill. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

1. How to Edit a Photo on iPhone

iphone photo editing - edit link

Once you’ve taken a photo using your iPhone’s camera app:

  1. Launch the Photos app and find your image.
  2. Tap on Edit in the top-right corner.
  3. Use the controls to make any changes you need (more on this shortly).
  4. Tap Done to save your work.

Remember that your edits are non-destructive, which means you can always revert to the original photo. To do this, tap Edit and then Revert to ditch your changes.

You can edit your photos using a range of apps, but today we’ll focus mostly on the built-in Photos app provided by Apple. Check out our list of top iPhone photo editors for something a little more powerful.

2. How to Crop and Rotate Photos on iPhone

iphone photo editing - Crop and Rotate

Cropping means to cut a photo down to size, or discard parts of the frame you no longer need. To crop an image:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to crop.
  2. Tap Edit then hit the crop and rotate icon (box with two arrows) from the row of controls at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Manipulate your image by grabbing and moving the corners of the frame. You can also pinch to zoom in and out.
  4. Tap the Orientation button in the bottom-right to restrict your crop to a particular ratio or shape.
  5. Tap Done to save your changes.

Rotating an image can mean making subtle adjustments to fix a wonky horizon, or rotating the image by 90 degree increments to correct an orientation issue. To rotate an image:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to crop.
  2. Tap Edit then hit the crop and rotate icon from the row of controls at the bottom of the screen (far left).
  3. Select and drag the wheel at the bottom of the screen for minor adjustments.
  4. Press the 90 degree rotate (square with arrow) icon in the bottom-left to rotate the entire frame.
  5. Tap Done to save your changes.

3. How to Apply Filters to iPhone Photos

iphone photo editing - Silvertone iPhone Filter (Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa)
iOS Photos “Silvertone” black and white filter.

Applying a filter frequently involves an app, but there are ways you can add instant style to your images using the basic Photos app:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to edit, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap the Filters icon (three circles) at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Scroll through the available filters. Choose one, then hit Done to save.

This only provides access to Apple’s filters (above), which look great but are somewhat limited. To add filters from compatible third-party apps:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to edit, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap the ellipsis icon (a circle with three dots) then hit More.
  3. Enable any compatible apps by toggling them On, then hit Done.
  4. Tap on an app’s icon to load the various photo editing controls and filters.
  5. Make your changes, then hit Done to save.

Many apps, like Instagram, won’t play ball with Apple’s extensions in the Photo app, so you’ll have to open the app instead. Check out a few of our favorite photo filter apps if you’re in need of inspiration.

4. How to Convert iPhone Photos to Black and White

iphone photo editing - convert to Black and White

If you don’t want to rely on a filter, you can convert to black and white manually and modify the intensity, contrast, and grain individually:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to edit, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap on the adjustments icon (a knob dial) at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select B&W then Intensity, and adjust the slider to modify the effect.
  4. Tap the list icon (three lines) on the right-hand side of the screen to reveal other controls: Neutrals, Tone, and Grain.
  5. Adjust the various settings till you’re happy, then tap Done to save.

Note: Any changes you make to the Light controls (contrast, highlights and shadows, and so on) will be retained when working in B&W mode.

5. How to Mark Up or Draw on an iPhone Photo

iphone photo editing - iPhone Markup Tools

Sometimes you may want to scribble on an image, obscure an address or face, or draw attention to something with an arrow or circle. You can do this with the Photos app:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to edit, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap on the ellipsis icon (a circle with three dots), then tap Markup (see note below).
  3. Use the various tools to make changes to your image. Tap the plus icon to reveal options for adding text, a signature, various shapes, and a magnifying loupe.
  4. Tap Done to save your changes.

Note: If you don’t see Markup under the menu, tap on More then enable markup from the list of apps.

Apple provides a decent array of tools. From left to right there’s a: standard pen tool, highlighter, pencil, eraser for removing your markup, selection lasso for moving your markup, and color picker.

6. How to Edit a Live Photo on iPhone

iphone photo editing - Edit Live Photo iOS

You can edit a Live Photo on your iPhone like any other, with a few added options. To change the Live Photo animation:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the Live Photo you want to edit. Select it and scroll down to reveal a new set of options.
  2. Choose between the various Live Photo animations: standard Live, Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure.
  3. Scroll back up to preview the effect.

If you tap Edit in the top-right corner, you’ll see a film roll at the bottom of the screen. Here you can pick a new key image from the Live Photo data. Tap a frame to select it, then tap Make Key Photo.

7. How to Remove Red Eye From iPhone Photos

iphone photo editing - Duplicate Still Photo on iOS

Red eye is less common with slower LED flashes, but it can still happen. To fix red eye for still (not Live) images:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to fix, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap the red eye tool icon in the top-left corner.
  3. Touch each affected area to heal the image.
  4. Tap Done to save your changes.

If you’re trying to correct a Live Photo, you’ll first need to duplicate it as a still image. You can extract a different image, based on the key photo (see “How to Edit a Live Photo on iPhone” above). To extract a still:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the Live Photo you want to convert.
  2. Tap the Share icon in the bottom-left corner, then choose Duplicate.
  3. Select Duplicate as Still Photo when prompted.
  4. Use the instructions above to remove red eye using the Photos app.

8. How to Remove Geotag Data From iPhone Photos

iphone photo editing - Share Photo Without Metadata using Koredoko

If you’ve approved your iPhone camera access to your location, your photos will store location data based on where your images were taken. You might want to remove this information if it poses a privacy risk. To do so:

  1. Download Koredoko from the App Store, launch it, and grant access to your photos.
  2. When prompted, enable Extention (sic) features. You can also do this from the app’s Settings.
  3. Tap the list icon in the bottom-left of the screen to view your photos, with the most recent at the bottom of the list.
  4. Find your photo then tap the small blue i button next to it.
  5. Finally, tap the Share button in the top-right, then choose Share without Metadata.
  6. Choose whether to share the image directly to a service of your choice, or save the image to your Camera Roll for later use.

Note: Stripping the image of metadata will remove not only your geotag, but camera information like manufacturer and the settings used to capture the image.

To stop your iPhone from geotagging images altogether:

  1. Launch Settings, then tap Privacy.
  2. Tap Location Services, then select Camera.
  3. Change Allow Location Access to Never.
  4. Repeat as necessary for any other camera apps you use.

iPhone Photo Editing Basics Covered

With these tricks under your belt, you should be prepared to undertake most common photo editing tasks on your iPhone. If you want to take your images to the next level, consider shooting and editing RAW files which consume more space but provide more scope for adjustments in post-production.

iPhone and iPad – MakeUseOf

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Opinion: Why emerging markets should choose GSM LPWAN for IIoT projects

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OPINION Neil Hamilton, VP of Business Development at Thingstream, explains why businesses in emerging markets should choose GSM-based LPWAN connectivity to realise the full potential of IIoT projects.

iob new conectionsNEW CONNECTIONS

An occasional series of vendor perspectives on the world of connected business – because it’s all about making new connections and starting new conversations.

The rapid adoption of consumer and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications in developed markets, powered by the cloud, has already changed the way in which services are consumed, and their potential is vast. However, the potential for the IIoT in developing markets is also enormous; IDC predicts that projects in Africa and the Middle East alone will grow to a market valuation of $ 7 billion in 2018.

However, fragmented connectivity and infrastructures in these regions are still significant barriers to deploying effective, widespread IIoT systems.

The challenge in emerging markets

Current low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) struggle to provide full coverage outside of major cities and towns even in developed nations, so overcoming fragmented rural connectivity in emerging markets is far from easy.

While cellular data connectivity in most developing markets remains limited, it is still more prevalent than other LPWANs offered by unlicensed providers; these still need to connect to a cellular network to communicate with the IoT ecosystem.

This is why businesses need a cost-effective, reliable, secure, and low-power option that provides ubiquitous connectivity, using the existing infrastructure.

There are many industries in these markets in which cellular or unlicensed technologies severely restrict the deployment of IIoT applications, largely due to a lack of roaming coverage.

For example, an organisation that wishes to track its assets across borders in rural areas will be unable to have full visibility of goods whenever connections are lost. Similarly, for fixed-location services where there is a lack of coverage, regularly sending data to the cloud isn’t always possible. And when a network is available, cellular roaming charges can be prohibitively expensive.

GSM-based low-power connectivity

The most ubiquitous network is the established GSM voice network, which is now available in more than 190 countries and is increasingly reliable, especially when compared with cellular data.

IoT devices can automatically connect wherever GSM connectivity is present, using the strongest network available. This avoids disruption when moving between carriers on a cellular signal, ensuring worldwide connectivity. So it makes sense to leverage this network, as other internet-based options are unable to compete in terms of cost, reliability, and coverage.

One solution is low-bandwidth messaging, achieved through a Message Queue Telemetry Transport for Sensor Networks (MQTT-SN) system. Communicating across a USSD messaging protocol that’s available on the GSM voice network, this lightweight publish/subscribe protocol can send tiny packets of data –160 bytes or less – providing true ubiquitous IoT connectivity.

This is boosted by the inclusion of integrated Quality of Service (QoS), allowing an MQTT-SN protocol to handle the transmission and re-transmission of messages, guaranteeing delivery to the corresponding ‘thing’ or application. The level of QoS is fully customisable for IoT adopters, depending on network security and application logic.

Furthermore, IoT sensors can be programmed to communicate almost any type of information that can be carried across a low-bandwidth signal, avoiding the need to have multiple devices that further clog the network.

The power issue is also circumnavigated, thanks to the way in which the devices can work. By sending data only when needed, a device’s on/off setup enables battery longevity to be maximised, not only for months, but for years, creating a true LPWAN.

This is also advantageous in emerging markets with unreliable power grids, where outages are more commonplace. Instead of sending data at regular intervals, data can be delivered when parameters have changed. For example, this would allow for remote condition monitoring of equipment, allowing for maintenance to be better planned for and more predictable.

Furthermore, data is not communicated using the internet, greatly improving cyber security by having no need to use IP addresses between devices and the connectivity platform, helping to keep connectivity levels high and costs low.

For devices that are remotely connected via the internet, the issue of securely bridging the ‘air gap’ between operational technology and IT systems continues to prove a major challenge for the safe transfer of data, which again favours GSM connectivity.

Choosing the right connectivity for emerging markets

The emergence of LPWANs, such as a GSM voice-based network, has forced businesses in emerging markets to change how they approach IoT deployments. This is because they need to think about what data is actually required from devices and how often that data is needed.

If this can be included in 160 bytes or less, why pay for an energy-sapping internet connection that is costly to implement and run, while also being visible to potential hackers?

An alternative, GSM voice-based network is the strongest and most reliable option that offers true global connectivity for IoT devices to communicate in emerging markets. Using a network with an already-established infrastructure offers huge advantages in scalability, connectivity, security, and cost.

Choosing such a network can enhance efficiencies in a variety of sectors, such as agriculture, logistics, and utilities, all of which are economically crucial in emerging markets. This type of connectivity will enable IIoT projects to be quickly accelerated in developing countries, helping to create a truly global supply chain.

Internet of Business says: This opinion piece has been provided by Thingstream, and not by our independent editorial team.

The post Opinion: Why emerging markets should choose GSM LPWAN for IIoT projects appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Which iPad Pro should you buy: 10.5-inch or 12.9-inch?

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The differences have never been fewer between Apple’s two Pro models, yet the decision remains a tough one.

In 2017, Apple not only introduced a new size of iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch screen, but it also completely overhauled the internals of both models.

They now have identical screen technology, processors, RAM, and GPUs; USB-C quick-charging technology; cameras; and Touch ID sensors. This makes it easier than ever to focus on the actual size of the two devices as your primary differentiator, rather than twiddle your thumbs over which model has a True Tone display.

  • Display:
    • 10.5-inch or 12.9-inch Retina display
    • 600-nit brightness
    • Anti-reflective coating
    • ProMotion refresh technology (120Hz)
    • True Tone
    • Wide Color (P3)
    • Full-screen virtual keyboard
  • Chips:
    • A10X system-on-a-chip
    • M10 integrated motion co-processor
    • 64GB – 512GB SSD storage
    • 4GB RAM
    • USB-C connection speeds
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP, f/1.8 iSight rear camera with OIS
    • 7MP, f/2.2 FaceTime HD front-facing camera
  • Battery:
    • 10-hour battery life
    • ProMotion smart refresh adjustment (to save battery life)
    • USB-C fast-charge support (optional; not included in box)

Even with all their similarities, the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads are for distinctly different audiences. How do you decide which camp you fall into? Let’s take a look.

Are you upgrading from an older iPad or iPad Pro?

While we have a separate guide available for those considering an upgrade to a new iPad, it’s worth touching on a few points here, too. If you’re considering upgrading your current iPad or iPad Pro for a 10.5- or 12.9-inch model, you’re going to want to consider spec improvement. As I mentioned above, both now have the same internals across the board, but certain upgrade paths are now much more appealing.

Previous 12.9-inch iPad Pro owners, for example, will see much bigger improvements between those first- and second-generation models than moving from the discontinued 9.7-inch iPad Pro to the new 10.5-inch model — and if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars replacing a relatively new tablet, that boost may be necessary to justify the cost.

Should you upgrade to the new iPad Pro?

Do you need a standalone computer?

If you’re planning on using an iPad Pro to do most of your daily work, it’s hard not to appreciate the 12.9-inch model. It’s the only tablet in Apple’s lineup that offers two full-sized iPad apps in the horizontal version of Split View; that extra screen real estate also plays a part in providing a better experience digitally typing on the iPad or drawing with the Apple Pencil.

From our FAQ:

When using iOS’s multitasking features, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro uses the Compact size class when going into Split View. This means that after you set two apps into Split View, those apps will display iPhone-style interfaces when set side by side in a 50/50 split, and one iPad, one iPhone-style when in a 25/75 or 75/25 split.

The reason for this is simple: The 10.5-inch iPad Pro isn’t wide enough in landscape mode to fit two regular-sized apps without their interfacesI overlapping. Apple would need an extra 15% or more of width to make the apps scale effectively, which would make for a mighty strange iPad indeed.

In contrast, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro uses the Regular size class when going into Split View. This means that after you set two apps into Split View, those apps will display iPad-style interfaces when set side by side in a 50/50 split, and and one iPad, one iPhone-style when in a 25/75 or 75/25 split.

Both iPads have 4GB of RAM, allowing them to pull up a maximum of two Split View apps, one Slide Over app, and a Picture-in-Picture video, all on the same screen and in focus (all are useable at the same time).

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s size also means that it takes up the space of a computer in your bag and may weigh you down further if you choose to add compatible accessories, like a keyboard case.

Do you want a computer companion?

Apple’s Mac line isn’t going anywhere, and people who argue for either Macs or iPads are missing the point. The true brilliance of these devices is how well they work in tandem, with different devices suited to each task. If you believe this (as I do), the 10.5-inch model makes for an excellent companion alongside your iMac or MacBook Pro. Its 1-pound weight and slim frame are perfect to dual-carry with a laptop, and the larger 10.5-inch screen offers enough portability without sacrificing usable space.

The improvements to the 10.5-inch’s software keyboard are also welcome; The virtual keyboard takes up less room on the screen and the keys are bigger, avoiding much of the cramped typing experience that the 9.7-inch iPad provides.

Do you want the best accessories right now?

The 10.5-inch iPad is a beautiful addition to Apple’s iPad lineup — but accessory makers are still making new options for it. As such, there are only two real Smart Connector keyboard cases available for this size, including the Smart Keyboard (which is pretty good, fabric feel aside) and the Logitech Slim Combo (which I really didn’t enjoy).

Here’s why the 10.5-inch iPad Pro won’t fit in a 9.7-inch case

Best accessories for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro

The 12.9-inch iPad, in contrast, can use most of its old casewear so long as the cutouts are big enough for the tablet’s new camera system. As a result, new 12.9-inch buyers have a much wider assortment of accessories available to them than their fellow 10.5-inch fans.

Can the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro fit in 1st-generation cases?

Best accessories for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Do you want to save money and get more storage for your buck?

It’s always nice to try and save a few dollars while investing in a giant purchase, and the 10.5-inch model sets users up for a very nice discount on price per gigabyte. The $ 749 256GB 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes out to just $ 2.93/GB, while the same storage option on the 12.9-inch $ 899 model costs $ 3.51/GB.

Note: You’ll notice I’m excluding the 64GB models: Both of them have absolutely terrible price-per-GB ratios (ranging from $ 10-$ 12.50 per GB), and I refuse to recommend them to anyone who actually wants an iPad Pro. If you can’t afford the extra $ 100 to go up to 256GB, I’d personally recommend waiting and saving up the money over buying a device whose storage you’ll quickly outgrow.

Storage and cost-saving shouldn’t be your primary concerns when picking up a new computer, but it’s always worth a mention — and it’s hard not to highlight the 10.5-inch model’s cost-effective pricing, especially given its respective hardware.

Which iPad storage size should you get?

Do you want rose gold?

Spoiler: The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is the only Pro model in Apple’s iPad lineup that you can purchase in rose gold. Womp womp. If you’re a fan of the color, you’ll need to go for the 10.5-inch model — or, y’know, just get an appropriately pink case.

What iPad color should you get: Silver, space gray, gold, or rose gold?

Who should buy the 10.5-inch iPad Pro

The happiest 10.5-inch iPad Pro users are going to be those who need an iPad to augment — rather than replace — their day-to-day workflow. They might be artists who return to a Mac at the end of the day; they might be writers who occasionally want an ultraportable machine for travel; they might be cost-conscious students who need an iPad Pro with enough storage but not the price tag of a 12.9-inch model.

I ended up buying a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which now travels with me alongside my 13-inch MacBook Pro. I find it an excellent combination, and best of all, I can use the 10.5-inch as a second monitor while on the go.

See at Apple

Who should buy the 12.9-inch iPad Pro

If you’re considering a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you’re likely someone who’s considering committing to a tablet-only workflow — or someone who’s already had experience with it and wants the ultimate iPad for their day-to-day experiences. The 12.9-inch currently excels at being a replacement laptop for certain tasks, especially with iOS 11’s multitasking features like Drag and Drop, the Files app, and the new App Switcher.

See at Apple


Still undecided? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to help you out.

Updated March 29, 2018: Updated for iOS 11.3 and the 2018 iPad.

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Exploring a controversial net neutrality opinion: Not all data should be treated equally

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Washington recently became the nation’s first state to pass net neutrality legislation, a law in which violations by all internet service providers (ISPs) are enforceable, under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. Net neutrality, or the principle that all internet data must be treated and delivered to consumers equally, was repealed at the federal level and remains a source of great debate across the tech industry.    Several states are already exploring passing similar legislation, though it’s worth noting that these laws are widely considered a symbolic move as federal regulation prevents states from passing their own net neutrality legislature. While we…

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What iPad color should you get: Silver, space gray, gold, or rose gold?

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Which of the iPad line’s space gray, silver, gold, or rose gold finishes is right for you? Let’s take a look.

When it comes to choosing a color (or, if we’re being honest, metallic finish) for your iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro, there are a few factors worth weighing. Do you want a white bezel around your screen, or a black one? Do you crave the rarest of iPad colors, rose gold? And does color even matter if you plan to hide your iPad in a case?

You may not need a guide to pick the iPad color right for you, and that’s okay. But if you do, we’ve got you covered no matter your coloration concerns.

Fade to black vs bright white

Before you consider your iPad’s rear case color, consider the hue around your screen: The silver, gold, and rose gold iPads have white faceplates, while the space grey iPad models use a black bezel.

Some prefer the look of black — which, like almost all TV sets these days, lets the border practically disappear into the screen. But a black faceplate is also prone to showcase fingerprints and smudges and may prove distracting to brighter content. In contrast, if you use your iPad as a personal reader, a white bezel can prove easier on the eyes when reading websites, documents, and ebooks with bright or white backgrounds.

Ideally, the faceplate shouldn’t prove too distracting in practice for all but the pickiest of eyes, making it more personal preference than anything else.

  • If a white faceplate catches your eye — and not in a good way — you’ll want to consider the Space Gray iPad line.
  • If you find a black bezel too constraining or contrasting, stick with a white faceplate and the Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold rear casing options available for it.

Discoloration vs damage

A big concern with white, silver, and other brightly-colored products is the chance for discoloration; dark colors have their own issues, too, with casings often showing scratches, chips, and smudges more easily.

Apple spent much of 2010 figuring out how to make the white iPhone resistant to UV and typical sources of discoloration. The iPads have used the same process for years, making them just as resistant. Still, if it’s a major worry, there’s no harm in sticking with Space Gray.

Likewise, the iPhone 5 and iPad mini taught Apple that black anodization was more susceptible to damage than it ought to be; instead, all other devices — iPads included — get space gray, a lighter (but tougher) anodization that rates about the same as other colored aluminum shells where scratches are concerned. That said, space grey still tends to show dust, smudges, and fingerprints more than the other colors in Apple’s iPad line.

  • If you’re concerned about picking up excess dust and smudges, or you have to photograph your device often, stick to silver, rose gold, or gold.
  • If you’re worried about color discoloration, you shouldn’t be — but space gray may allay your fears.

Popularity vs. personality

Black is almost always the most popular color when it comes to electronics and electronics accessories. And while Space Gray may not look as cool as “true” black, it’ll likely still be the default color for many. That said, lighter-colored iPads can stand out more, especially with brightly colored cases; Space Gray iPad models tend to let accessories be the star.

There’s also the exclusivity factor to weigh: The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is currently the only iPad that comes in Rose Gold, which means if you want the latest color option, you’ll want to pick it. (That said, the 2018 iPad’s gold hue is also fairly coppery-rose, so you can still get a reddish iPad hue if you want.)

  • If you want a reliable (and popular) color, it’s hard to resist Space Gray.
  • If you want to stand out from the crowd, consider the 10.5-inch iPad Pro or 2018 9.7-inch iPad’s Rose Gold or Gold options.

Case vs clean

Apple’s iPads are more durable than ever, but they’re still large pieces of glass. We generally recommend that if you plan to use your iPad anywhere you might risk a drop, a case is a good idea. But even if you’re planning on locking your iPad Pro, iPad, or iPad mini up the moment it leaves the box, you’ll still see much of the device’s original color.

For one, most cases don’t cover the faceplate; others, like Apple’s Smart Cover and Keyboard, protect the screen and keep the rear casing entirely unprotected.

Choose a color you love, then add a case you dig to complete the look. (After all, they’re accessories because they accessorize!) If you already have a great case, pick the iPad color that either makes it pop (black) or helps it shine (white). Either way, make sure you love the iPad you get, regardless of accessories you may or may not add to it later.

Who should get a space gray iPad?

Get a Space Gray iPad if you want color that…

  • Won’t distract you when you game or watch video
  • Absolutely won’t discolor, even if it does show wear and tear a little more visibly
  • looks timeless (though more reserved)
  • You can get on any iPad model

iPad — See at Apple

iPad Mini — See at Apple

iPad Pro — See at Apple

Who should get the silver iPad?

Get a Silver iPad if you want a color that…

  • Draws more attention in its own right (without being overly fussy about it)
  • Provides a good bright bezel for e-reading activities
  • Might be more of a distraction but doesn’t show as much damage
  • Works in tandem with accessories for a great finish
  • You can get on any iPad model

iPad — See at Apple

iPad Mini — See at Apple

iPad Pro — See at Apple

Who should get the gold iPad?

Get a Gold iPad if you want a color that…

  • Stands out from the crowd with a little tasteful bling
  • Provides a good bright bezel for e-reading activities
  • Might be more of a distraction but doesn’t show as much damage
  • You can get on any iPad model (and get it rosy on the 2018 iPad!)

iPad — See at Apple

iPad Mini — See at Apple

iPad Pro — See at Apple

Who should get the rose gold iPad Pro?

Get a Rose Gold iPad Pro if you want color that…

  • Is exclusive to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro model
  • Brings extra luxury atop the champagne gold model
  • Provides a good bright bezel for e-reading activities
  • Might be more of a distraction but doesn’t show as much damage

iPad Pro — See at Apple

Still undecided?

At the end of the day, we aren’t going to be able to make the color decision for you — buy what you like, and what makes the most sense for your computing habits.

If you prefer black, go black; if you want a bit of popping color, choose silver, gold, or rose! Everything else is manufactured anxiety. Just close your eyes, picture your iPad in your hand, and carefully look at what color you’re picturing. And hey, if you feel any buyers’ remorse, Apple offers a pretty comprehensive 14-day return policy — so you can always try out one color and swap it if you’re not feeling the look.

Updated March 30, 2018: Added information about the 2018 iPad.

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Which iPad should you get: iPad, iPad Pro, or iPad mini?

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So you want an iPad — but how do you know if you need to go Pro?

Apple’s iPads are the best-selling tablets for a reason — dollar for dollar they deliver more performance and a far more robust app ecosystem than any of the competition.

Though there are a number of striking differences between Apple’s various iPad models, choosing which iPad fits your needs can be tricky. Apple’s iPad Pro models push the limits, offering both faster chips and high-tech displays; the base-model iPad offers Apple Pencil support and decent speed at a much more affordable price; and the iPad mini provides one of the best LED Retina screens out there for reading. Which one should you pick? Let’s break it down.

The raw specs

Like looking at spec charts? Boy do we have a spec chart for you.

Device iPad mini (7.9) iPad (9.7) iPad Pro (10.5) iPad Pro (12.9)
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Space Gray
Size 8″x5.3″ 9.4×6.6″ 9.8″x6.8″ 12″x8.68″
Capacity 128GB 32/128GB 64/256/512GB 64/256/512GB
Weight 0.65/0.67*lbs 1.03/1.05*lbs 1.03/1.05*lbs 1.49/1.53*lbs
Depth 0.24″ 0.29″ 0.24″ 0.27″
Battery 19.1-watt, 9*-10 hrs 32.4-watt, 9*-10 hrs 30.4‐watt, 9*-10 hrs 41‐watt, 9*-10 hrs
Cellular* LTE LTE LTE Advanced LTE Advanced
Display Retina (2048×1536, 326ppi) Retina (2048×1536, 264ppi) Retina (2224×1668, 264ppi) Retina (2732×2048, 264ppi)
Laminated? Yes No Yes Yes
Brightness 450 nits 511 nits 600 nits 600 nits
Refresh Rate 60Hz 60Hz 120Hz (ProMotion) 120Hz (ProMotion)
True Tone No No Yes Yes
Wide Color (P3) No No Yes Yes
Apple Pencil No Yes Yes Yes
Smart Connector No No Yes Yes
Bluetooth 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.2
Speakers Stereo (dual) Stereo (dual) 4-Speaker 4-Speaker
Touch ID 1st-gen 1st-gen 2nd-gen 2nd-gen
Taptic Engine No No No No
Chip A8 A10 A10X A10X
Motion M8 M10 M10 M10
Rear Camera 8MP f/2.4 8MP f/2.4 12MP f/1.8, P3 color 12MP f/1.8, P3 color
Video (Rear) 1080p (30fps) 1080p (30fps) 4K (30fps) 4K (30fps)
Front Camera 1.2MP f/2.2 1.2MP f/2.2 7MP f/2.2 7MP f/2.2
Video (Front) 720p (30fps) 720p (30fps) 1080p (30fps) 1080p (30fps)

*Only pertains to the cellular model.


Perhaps the biggest differentiator between Apple’s four iPad models is size: They range from 7.9-inch diagonal screens all the way up to 12.9 inches, and each has its own pros and cons.

The base-model iPad (starting at $ 329) has a 9.7-inch display with a 2048×1536 screen; the iPad mini 4 has a 2048×1536 screen as well, but it measures 7.9 inches diagonally, offering a compact display with better pixel density (326ppi versus 264ppi).

Fun fact: The mini actually beats every other iPad in the line on pixel density, including Apple’s iPad Pros. That said, better pixel density is tough to notice with the naked eye — all iPad displays bear Apple’s Retina moniker, which means that their pixels are already hard enough to distinguish between without magnification.

Speaking of displays, the $ 329 iPad’s display isn’t fully laminated and lacks the antireflective coating found throughout the rest of the lineup, making it more prone to reflections in bright lighting. (In contrast, the iPad mini 4 has a fully-laminated display with antireflective coating, as do both iPad Pro models.) This isn’t a huge deal if you’re not used to laminated displays or you don’t do a lot of work outdoors, but it’s worth noting.

Relative screen sizes, left to right: 9.7-inch iPad, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

The iPad Pro displays are larger and have more pixels: The 12.9-inch model is 2732×2048, and the 10.5-inch model is 2224×1668, each offering a Retina-quality pixel density of 264ppi. Each also sports True Tone technology: The iPad sports an extra sensor that determines the color temperature of the room, and adjusts the display’s color to provide a proper match. The displays also take advantage of the wider P3 color gamut; you’ll notice it most in images with bright colors, especially vibrant reds and oranges.

Finally, the Pro models have what Apple calls ProMotion: It dynamically changes the image refresh rate of the display from 24Hz to 120Hz to provide faster scrolling and smoother drawing with the Apple Pencil when you need that speed, and save battery life when you don’t.

Apple’s ProMotion is going to change how we use our devices

Processor speed

No surprise here: The iPad Pro line has the best processors on the market. Both iPad Pro models come with a A10X system-on-a-chip; Apple boasts 30 percent faster single-core benchmarks than its predecessor, and it simply blows away the A9X in multicore benchmarks. This 64-bit chip delivers laptop-class performance, and that’s partially why all the reviews of the 10.5-inch and second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro are so positive:

10.5-inch iPad Pro review: Beauty of a beast

To compare that with the non-Pro iPads, the 9.7-inch iPad has an A10, Apple’s fifth generation of 64-bit A-series SOC previously found in the iPhone 7. It’s faster than the A9 of its 2017 predecessor as well as the A9X of the first-generation iPad Pro models, but it won’t beat the current generation.

The iPad mini 4, however, is still running on an A8 processor. That’s slower than the aging iPad Air 2, and Apple will likely stop supporting it with iOS updates earlier than the other iPads being sold today. But it’s still a 64-bit chip and supports iOS 11.

iPad mini 4 review


Both the base-model iPad and iPad Pro line support the Apple Pencil, Apple’s low-latency and pressure-sensitive stylus. The Apple Pencil is sublime and better than pretty much all other Bluetooth-enabled, pressure-sensitive styluses out there, and it enjoys robust app support, too.

The best stylus for iPad

The main difference in Pencil support between the base-model iPad and the iPad Pro models is the latter’s ProMotion technology, which halves latency when you’re using the Pencil. It’s not something most average users will notice, but it’s a huge boon for those who frequently draw, writer, or illustrate on their iPad.

Exclusive to the iPad Pro line is the Smart Connector, which uses magnetic technology to connect and charge keyboard accessories and docks like Apple’s Smart Keyboard.

The Smart Keyboard offers a few advantages over a Bluetooth keyboard or keyboard case: Since the Smart Keyboard clicks directly into the Smart Connector on the side of the iPad Pro, you never have to bother pairing the Smart Keyboard in the Bluetooth settings, or remember to charge it or power it down to save battery. Snap it on and it’s connected, snap it off and it’s off. Simple.

The Smart Keyboard for the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro features full-size keycaps.

Will the first generation Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard for 12.9-inch iPad Pro fit the second-generation model?

The base-model iPad and iPad mini don’t have the Smart Connector, so you can’t use the Smart Keyboard. But you can still use a Bluetooth keyboard and any kind of stand, or look for a case with a Bluetooth keyboard built in.

Best Accessories for the 9.7-inch iPad (2017 & 2018)


The difference in each iPad’s storage capacities is striking: The iPad Pro models start at 64GB, and you can quadruple that to 256GB for an extra $ 100, or max out at 512GB for an extra $ 300. Having 512GB of storage in a tablet is huge—Apple’s own MacBook Pro lineup starts at just 128GB.

The lower-priced non-Pro iPads offer smaller storage sizes: The iPad mini 4 is available in a single configuration (128GB) for $ 399. The regular 9.7-inch iPad is $ 329 for 32GB of storage, but your best value is actually $ 429 for 128GB of storage.

If you plan to use your iPad as a laptop replacement — storing lots of large files like photos, movies, music, and using desktop-quality apps — you might find this easier to manage on an iPad Pro.

Still, cloud storage is cheap these days, and products like the SanDisk iXpand let you keep some files on a detachable flash drive that’s still accessible in iOS. So it’s possible to juggle files on and off a lower-capacity iPad (it’s just kind of a pain).


Are you using your iPad to take photos or videos? (Not at rock concerts, please…) The iPad Pro’s cameras are better: The rear-facing camera can shoot 4K video and 12-megapixel photos with optical image stabilization. They also can capture the wider P3 color gamut, and feature a quad-LED True Tone flash designed to light up the scene without harsh changes to skin tones.

The rear-facing cameras on the 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini 4 have none of those features. They each shoot 8-megapixel stills and 1080p video, with limited slo-mo support (720p at 120fps, while the iPad Pro boasts 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps). The 9.7-inch model can take Live Photos, but the iPad mini 4 can’t.

The front-facing FaceTime camera is much better on the iPad Pro too, taking 7-megapixel stills and recording 1080p video, while the smaller non-Pro iPads only take 1.2-megapixel stills and 720p video.

If the very idea of shooting photos and video with an iPad turns you off, you may not care. But plenty of cool apps take advantage of the iPad’s camera, and the iPad Pro will deliver a better experience.

Who should buy the 9.7-inch iPad?

The 2018 iPad’s specs don’t match the Pro line, but they’re an excellent value for the price. The A10 chip ensures you’ll be able to multitask, email, surf the Web, read, stream movies and TV, and play games with ease. And support for accessories like the Pencil gives a whole new price tier access to the many amazing handwriting, drawing, and calligraphy apps on the App Store.

And unless you’re upgrading from a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, you probably won’t notice its lack of True Tone display or fancier camera features.

This iPad is also particularly well-suited to families and education: Kids simply love iPads, and this lower-cost iPad ($ 329 for 32GB, and $ 429 for 128GB) is a godsend for parents who want to let their kids use the tablet but limit their possible loss should a mishap occur that even AppleCare can’t cover.

See at Apple

Who should buy the 10.5-inch iPad Pro?

Apple’s smallest Pro tablet is a clear favorite for its combination of powerful performance and svelte portability — it’s barely bigger than the 9.7-inch iPad, but sports a much larger screen. That makes it a great laptop alternative or secondary screen, and it’s a better value than the bigger iPad Pro too. It’s the perfect iPad for almost everyone who can afford it (unless you really need the bigger 12.9-inch screen or want to save money with the (still capable!) non-Pro models).

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is $ 649 with 64GB, $ 749 with 256GB, and $ 949 with 512GB of storage, Wi-Fi only. Add $ 130 more for cellular—which is a good idea if you love to work remotely, and don’t want to tether your iPad to your iPhone.

See at Apple

Who should buy the 12.9-inch iPad Pro?

Apple’s biggest tablet, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, offers the same specs as its 10.5-inch sibling — and a bigger screen, too. That’s heaven for people who love to draw and paint with the Apple Pencil, or anyone who needs a lot of screen real estate for editing large photos or video. People who love using multitasking mode might also appreciate the biggest iPad — when you divide its screen in half, each side is about the size of the iPad mini.

Of course, you’ll pay for that extra screen space. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro costs $ 799 for 64GB, $ 899 for 256GB, and $ 1099 for 512GB. Those are Wi-Fi only prices—add $ 130 for cellular.

See at Apple

Who should buy the iPad mini 4?

The iPad mini 4 is kind of a strange bird in this lineup: It’s the same model that debut in 2015, and today finds itself squeezed on one side by the big-screened iPhone 8 Plus, and on the other by the sixth-generation iPad, which is both less expensive and more powerful. Sad to say, the iPad mini will probably never see another refresh.

Apple sells one SKU of the iPad mini 4, $ 399 for 128GB of storage. But if you want 128GB of storage, we think you’d be better served with the 9.7-inch 128GB iPad for $ 429. (It’s got a faster processor, after all, along with the extra screen space.) And if you want to spend as little as possible on an iPad, the 32GB iPad for $ 329 is the cheapest.

You should get an iPad mini if you need an iPad solely for an excellent reading experience and don’t want to rely on a larger iPhone. If you can afford the extra space in your bag, however, go for a 9.7-inch base-model iPad — you won’t regret it.

See at Apple

Your picks?

What iPad are you thinking of buying? How did you make your decision? Is there anything else we can do to help? Comments are open!

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Should you upgrade to the iPad Pro (10.5 or 12.9)?

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If speed and having the best drawing features matter to you, Apple’s new iPad Pro models are worth your money.

Apple’s 2017 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models are bigger, better, and faster than any other iPad — but are they worth your hard-earned cash? Whether you currently have a first-generation iPad Pro, considering buying your very first Pro-model iPad, or weighing the 2018 base-model iPad over a Pro, here’s what you need to know.

See at Apple

Capacity & Color

Both the 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models start at a baseline 64GB of storage space — a welcome doubling of the iPad Pro’s previous storage capacities — and go all the way up to 512GB at their highest configuration. (For reference, the base MacBook Pro model starts at 128GB.)

Colors is the only place where the two new iPad Pro models differ: The 12.9-inch model is sadly lacking a Rose Gold option; otherwise, the two share the same Space Grey, Silver, and Gold color choices.

If you need more storage on your next iPad and cloud-based storage won’t do, both of these iPads are great improvements — 512GB of storage is the largest ever offered on an iOS device, and it’s especially nice given the storage needs of iOS 11 and the Files app.

Screen & ProMotion

The Pro models are all about that screen technology: The entire line now carries a 264PPI Wide Color Retina display with True Tone (which allows it to intelligently detect and adjust outside light to match the screen tone to your environment); like iPads Pro of old, it also sports a laminated display and anti-reflective coating.

But the big deal here is ProMotion, Apple’s screen refresh technology. Like Retina and Wide Color, the tech specs of ProMotion are interesting, but not really necessary for the average user to understand. What’s important: ProMotion makes the iPad Pro screen feel fast. Blazingly, blisteringly fast. Scrolling feels more responsive, opening apps is faster, and Apple has made another gigantic leap forward in digital sketching technology. Drawing with Apple Pencil still won’t feel exactly like drawing on paper, but the company is inching ever-closer to that goal.

ProMotion alone is worth an upgrade to the new iPad Pro for plain screen speed, but if you like drawing on the iPad Pro, the upgrade is almost mandatory. This sounds like hype, but I mean it truly: Once you try a screen with ProMotion, you’ll never want to go back.

A10X Fusion Chip

If faster screen technology wasn’t enough, the iPads Pro also get a super-powered processor in the form of the A10X. Every year, Apple iterates on its chipset, but 2017 was a particularly impressive one for the iPad Pro: The chip now has three fusion cores and a 12-core graphics processor, and uses that technology to blow away the 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s previously rather impressive metrics:

  • Single-core: 3,935 (9.7-inch: 2,675)
  • Multi-core: 9,299 (9.7-inch: 5,015)
  • Metal: 27,131 (9.7-inch: 15,161)

That chip is paired with Apple’s M10 motion co-processor and a standard 4GB of RAM across both iPad Pro sizes, giving the device even more power and memory to work with.

If you need a tablet that can hit faster speeds than some of Apple’s entry-level Macs, this is the iPad Pro for you — no question.


Let’s get this out of the way: I’m not a fan of people shooting video and photos with the iPad. Why would you shoot with an overly large and cumbersome display when you have a perfectly good IPhone or Android device in your pocket? But I know there are those it makes sense for, largely those who need a large preview of their content (like location scouts or macro photographers), and Apple has improved the camera for that market.

The iPads Pro now have the iPhone 7’s 12MP iSIght camera and 7MP FaceTime HD front-facing camera, with all their bells and whistles: optical image and video stabilization, a True Tone flash, 5x digital zoom, Wide Color capture, and a six-element lens.

Why did Apple choose the iPhone 7 camera system over the 7 Plus’s dual cameras? I’d guess it was primarily a cost decision — not enough iPad photographers out there to warrant the extra component pricing.

If you’re an iPad camera buff, this is a welcome improvement; for most, however, you’ll likely only notice these camera improvements when chatting on FaceTime.

Home Button

If you’re looking for a Taptic Engine-based Home Button on the new iPads Pro, prepare to be disappointed: The new iPads continue to use physical buttons, though they both get Apple’s speedier second-generation Touch ID sensor to make up for it.

Apple’s Taptic Engine is difficult to do on an iPad for a number of reasons, largely technical — the bigger screen presents problems in effectively generating the right haptic feel, among other issues. So until Apple conquers that, we get physical buttons on the iPad.

Faster Touch ID may not be the sole reason anyone should upgrade, but it’s a nice perk; speedier authentication means that you can access your device faster, pay for items faster, and download games faster.


Like all iPads before them, these iPads Pro continue to boast a 10-hour battery life (9 on the cellular models). The internal batteries themselves have been slightly altered given the power needs of the new iPads: The 10.5-inch iPad now has a 30.4-watt-hour battery, while the 12.9-inch continues to have a 41-watt-hour battery.

Apple Pencil

People have been making stylus pens for the iPad for years, even ones that tried to emulate pressure sensitivity through clever use of Bluetooth and code. Apple Pencil, however, delivers real pressure sensitivity. It also plugs right into the Lightning port to charge, in case you run out of juice at a coffee shop or park bench.

Apple’s 2018 base-model 9.7-inch iPad offers support for the Apple Pencil, but it lacks the ProMotion technology found in the 2017 iPad Pro line. With it, you get a digital drawing experience unlike any other, rivaling Wacom.

If you regularly draft, scribble, write, sketch, do calligraphy or technical drawing, or otherwise express your creativity in ways previously only possible on paper, you’ll be happy with either model of iPad Pro. If you only want to use the Pencil occasionally (or not at all), the base model iPad may be more up your alley.

Smart Connector & Keyboard

All iPad Pro models have a Smart Connector, which allows you to wirelessly connect to a keyboard, dock, or other accessory for quick powered access. Accessory manufacturers have largely used this to make great keyboards for the iPads Pro, including Apple itself. The company’s second-generation Smart Keyboard is very similar to the first: It lets you connect and charge directly without having to worry about Bluetooth or batteries. As keyboards go, it’s divisive — some love the ultra-light laser-ablated fabric keys and others hate them. But those considering Pro iPads will be happy to know that the Smart Keyboard is a full-sized model for both the 10.5 and 12.9-inch — no miniature keys here.

Should you upgrade?

There are a number of compelling reasons to get the new iPad Pros if you’re considering upgrading your older device: They’re much faster and offer a brilliant screen that you’ll want on all your other devices. They come in bigger sizes and offer a camera package equal to the current-generation iPhone. And for artists, ProMotion is a game-changing technology for drawing on glass.

If you’re upgrading from a non-Pro iPad

As long as you have the cash to make an iPad Pro purchase work, you should 100% consider a new iPad Pro — the benefits you’ll get from the processor, RAM, ProMotion, and more are worth it.

If you’re upgrading from a first-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Even without a form-factor change, the 2017 12.9-inch iPad Pro is a big update: Its screen now has True Tone, Wide Color, and ProMotion technology; the camera system is greatly improved; and the speedier A10X processor will allow apps to truly roar on the larger size. If you can afford an update and need any of these features, the 12.9-inch is worth the buy.

If you’re upgrading from a first-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro

This upgrade is a trickier sell, largely because the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is still quite good. It shipped with True Tone and a 12MP rear camera; the only real reasons to consider an upgrade here are the blazing fast A10X processor, ProMotion, the 2GB increase in RAM (up to 4GB), and the new wider screen. In honesty, those are still pretty compelling reasons — I purchased a 10.5-inch myself to upgrade over my 9.7 — but they’re not for everyone. If you don’t think you’ll need either the extra screen real estate, chip upgrade, or ProMotion, you may be able to eke out another year or two with the 9.7-inch iPad without issue.


Other questions about upgrading to the new iPads Pro? Let us know in the comments!

Updated March 29, 2018: Updated to include reference to the new 2018 base-model iPad.

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