Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Sep 2017 21:52 UTC

iOS 11 has been released, and if you have an iPhone or iPad, you should really update right now. It's a big release, and especially iPad users will get to enjoy an overhauled user experience on their tablets. If you're not convinced, be sure to read the only two reviews you need: the one by fervent and enthusiastic (his enthusiasm for the iPad is infectious, in a good way) iPad user Federico Viticci, and the Ars Technica review written by Andrew Cunningham.

I've been using the betas on my 2017 iPad Pro 12.9", and it truly transforms how you use the iPad, to the point where I can use mine comfortably for work (translating, posting OSNews stories - like this one - and so on). No macOS or Windows laptop is as responsive and fluid as this iPad Pro, and the battery life of this machine is so good, it's probably illegal in 12 US states. Unlike macOS or Windows, I don't have to spend time fighting with iOS 11 to get it to do what I want, like fidgeting with windows, or anxiously managing battery life because otherwise I won't get through a day, or manage applications. And trust me, there's no PC - not even my own €4000 monster PC - that is as fluid and responsive as this iPad Pro.

The iPad Pro with iOS 11 is the truest realisation yet of it just works.

I'm not going to claim this is for everyone, or that you should ritually sacrifice your ThinkPad and run to the Apple Store and get the iPad Pro. However, after a few months of use, there's no way I'm ever going back to a traditional laptop. That being said - my only complaint about the 2017 iPad Pro 12.9" is an odd one: it's not a mobile device.

I am a sit down behind my desk kind of person. I work and compute behind a desk, with a large display at eye height and a comfortable chair. The iPad Pro isn't suited for this kind of work, as it forces you to look down, which due to back problems I cannot do for longer periods of time. What I really want is a small iOS box I can hook up a display, keyboard, and mouse to. Apple already makes such a box - the Apple TV - so I know they can do it. Mouse and keyboard support is probably coming to iOS over the coming years, and with the Mac Mini languishing, it feels like they might be working on just such a box.

I'd easily pay €500-700 for such a machine.

I know stating iOS is a great general purpose computing platform tends to be controversial - I myself have been skeptical about this very thing for years - but iOS 11 and the iPad Pro have utterly convinced me. This is the platform I want for laptop and desktop computer use. Windows and macOS feel like the past now.

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Affinity is better than Photoshop

Nope. Still some ways to go. It's RAW conversion is mediocre for anything other than iPhone and Canon files. It lacks Photoshop's 3D LUT support. More importantly, it lacks support for the extensive ecosystem of Photoshop plugins, nor does it have any decent resources online for aiding Photoshop users that would be considering it as an alternative. Lastly, the iPad version has issues with file management (can't open certain kinds of files from local storage and forces you to go through iCloud) and is still rather buggy (both Mac/Win and iPad versions) in places.

The iPad Pro's just not there yet for image editing. For starters, simply transferring the images (via Apple's Lightning-SD dongle) is painful. It just shoves everything into your Camera Roll. You can't specify a preferred folder. Color management across various apps is still a bit of an enigma, though at least the factory calibration out of the box is more accurate than almost any desktop monitor available. Adobe's own iOS apps are way too castrated compared to what their desktop offerings, which is a shame because Lightroom on the iPad Pro simply crushes the spec'd out 5K iMac in my office for speed rendering 1:1 previews.

Not saying there's no future on iPad for image editing - I want it to succeed - but it's just not there yet if you're even half-serious about photography.

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