Bloomberg reports that its sources say that Adobe is working on full versions of its desktop Photoshop app and other Creative Cloud apps for the iPad. Although Adobe has not committed to the October unveiling and 2019 ship date also cited by Bloomberg’s sources, its Chief Product Officer, Scott Belsky did acknowledge that the company is working on a new cross-platform version of Photoshop and other apps. Bloomberg’s sources say Illustrator is one of the other apps being developed for the iPad, which they say will be released sometime after Photoshop.
Belsky, noting that newer versions of Apple’s iPad Pro line are now capable of running Photoshop, told Bloomberg:
“My aspiration is to get these on the market as soon as possible,” Belsky said in an interview. “There’s a lot required to take a product as sophisticated and powerful as Photoshop and make that work on a modern device like the iPad. We need to bring our products into this cloud-first collaborative era.”
The addition of Photoshop and other Creative Suite apps to the iPad would be a significant step forward for the tablet’s push into the pro user market. Currently, only Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets is capable of running a fully-functional version of Adobe’s pro apps, making it the default choice for creative professionals who want to use Creative Suite on a tablet.
Today Apple launched four new 15-second ads, each of which highlights the iPad's capabilities in common domains – travel, notes, paperwork, and portability – compared to common tools in those same settings.
Two of the ads showcase the iPad's usefulness as a paperless solution in the workplace and at school. While other employees and students wrangle with messy desks full of disorganized papers, the iPad users in the ads access all their documents and books from the compact tablet. Another ad takes place on an airplane, where flyers have tray tables that are over-crowded with their meal and laptops – the iPad Pro user, however, simply collapses the Smart Keyboard and uses the iPad in tablet mode to free up more space. Finally, the last ad shows users packing overstuffed bags with items like books, while the iPad user easily throws their sleek device into a backpack.
Apple clearly wants to convey how the iPad can make people's lives easier and more organized – a fitting message during a season packed with travel and back-to-school plans.
At an education-focused event held in Chicago this past March, Apple previewed an app called Schoolwork for teachers and students, which the company released today.
By integrating features for teachers and students, the app is meant to serve as a central location for coordinating assignments and collaborating. The free iPad app allows teachers to distribute announcements and assignments to students as well as materials like links, PDFs, and other documents. Teachers can also create assignments that take students to specific activities within apps that support Schoolwork. Class performance can be monitored too:
Schoolwork and the apps supporting it give teachers new insight into how their students are performing, helping them tailor their teaching to the needs and potential of each student. Teachers have a snapshot of class performance and can check on an individual student’s progress across activities — progress within apps or projects they’ve created.
Students can use the app to access assignments, track their progress, and access materials from their teachers.
Schoolwork looks like an good way to streamline the process of distributing and tracking assignments between teachers and students. However, some of the most compelling features of Schoolwork require apps to support it. Apple says apps like Explain Everything, Tynker, GeoGebra and Kahoot! already support Schoolwork, and hopefully, others will follow suit.
Schoolwork should be available to teachers on the App Store soon. In the meantime, you can learn more about the app on Apple’s Education page.
Despite Apple's message that the iPad Pro can be a viable PC replacement because, among other features, it natively supports a dedicated external keyboard, its software still isn't fully optimized for keyboard control. This isn't surprising at all: iOS was designed with multitouch in mind; as long as the iPad shares a common foundation with the iPhone, it'll always be first and foremost a touch computer. The iPad Pro line, however, is nearing its third anniversary, and its external keyboard integration still feels like an afterthought that's hard to reconcile with the company's marketing.
Take multitasking for example: after three years, Split View, one of the iPad's marquee exclusive features, still can't be controlled from an external keyboard. If you buy an iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard and assume that you're going to be able to assign an app to a side of the Split View, or maybe resize it, or perhaps change the keyboard's focus from one side to another...well, do not assume. As much as Apple argued against vertical touch screen surfaces in laptops years ago, the iPad Pro ended up in this very situation: if you want to take advantage of all the great features iOS 11 offers to pro users, you will have to take your hands off the Smart Keyboard and touch the screen. There are dozens of similar instances elsewhere in iOS. For the most part, the iPad treats external keyboards as inferior, bolt-on input devices.
It's with this context that I want to cover Things 3.6, a major update to the task manager's iPad version that gives us a glimpse into what Apple could do with external keyboard control on iPad if only they understood its potential.
I've been able to play around with Things 3.6 on my iPad Pro for the past couple of weeks. This isn't another "keyboard-centric" update that only adds a handful of shortcuts to trigger specific commands. Instead, the developers at Cultured Code have focused on an all-encompassing keyboard control framework for the whole app, from task lists to popovers and multiple selections. With version 3.6, Things has the best implementation of external keyboard support I've ever seen in an iPad app.
I was editing a Markdown text file in Pretext yesterday, when it occurred to me how naturally I was able to create a document and upload it to GitHub without dealing with the limitations and workarounds that used to be commonplace in older versions of iOS. Here's a brief account of what happened.
Serenity Caldwell, writing on iMore:
To me, the 2018 base-model 9.7-inch iPad is a special beast: It hits a line drive right through the company's fabled intersection of technology and liberal arts — and at the right price point. The iPad Pro did it first, but at a cost unattainable for all but the tinkerers and serious artists, and without iOS 11's crucial multitasking features. At $329, the iPad offers a low-end tablet experience unlike any other on the market. Add an extra $99 for Apple Pencil, and Apple has created the best device for all-purpose education, period.
But it's easy to make that claim, and a whole other thing to explain why I believe it so whole-heartedly. As a result, I decided to try and prove it: Starting with a blank page in Procreate, I created an entire iPad review video by just using my 2018 iPad, Apple Pencil, and third-party apps. My Mac came into play only once — when I uploaded my video to YouTube.
I know what you're thinking – the new iPad is "boring" compared to the iPad Pro and you don't need to watch another video about it. But trust me, you'll want to watch Serenity's review because it's unlike anything you've seen for a new iPad. Only Serenity could put this together – including the music, which she composed in GarageBand; everything was drawn, assembled, and edited on a "boring" 2018 iPad. You can watch the video below and read Serenity's technical notes here.
In a recent episode of Connected, we rounded up some of our favorite "iOS little wonders" and Myke was surprised by one of my picks: the ability to launch individual notes on iOS through shared links. The ensuing discussion inspired me to assemble a list of tips and tricks to improve how you can work on an iPad with iOS 11.
Even though I covered or mentioned some of these suggestions in my iOS 11 review or podcast segments before, I realized that it would useful to explain them in detail again for those who missed them. From keyboard recommendations and shortcuts to gestures and Siri, I've tried to remember all the little tricks I use to get work done on my iPad Pro on a daily basis.
After several years of being iPad-only for the majority of my work, I often take some of these features for granted. And admittedly, Apple doesn't always do a great job at teaching users about these lesser known details, which have become especially important after the productivity-focused iPad update in iOS 11. I hope this collection can be useful for those who haven't yet explored the fascinating world of iPad productivity.
Let's dig in.
Tom Warren, writing for The Verge, poses an interesting question: if Apple is going to release a Home button-free iPad, are they going to implement the same Home gesture as the iPhone X?
At its launch back in 2010, the iPad was heavily criticized for being a big iPhone. iOS 11 and the iPad Pro proved that wasn’t the case. Things further diverged with the introduction of the iPhone X, which has led to some confusion for anyone who regularly uses an iPad. I’ve been using an iPhone X and iPad Pro together for nearly six months now, and I often feel lost when moving back and forth between the devices — one with a physical home button, the other with webOS-like gestures. The result is a vastly different user experience, even though they run the same version of iOS on large rectangles of glass.
Now, Apple is rumored to be ditching the home button on the iPad Pro in favor of Face ID. It’s a move that makes sense, and it will present Apple with an opportunity to more closely align its tablet with the iPhone X gestures or to further differentiate the iPad as an entirely different computing platform (one that’s wholly separate from the iPhone, in the same way that the iPhone is distinct from the Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch). Either way, Apple is facing an iPad gesture dilemma.
I'm not sure if Apple should strive for gesture consistency between the iPad and iPhone at all costs (personally, I don't find switching between my iPhone X and iPad Pro confusing), but this becomes a fascinating design discussion if the iPad is indeed abandoning the physical Home button.
Assuming Apple uses the same Home button indicator at the bottom of the screen (you can't use the side on an iPad, as that's dedicated to Slide Over), how is the dock going to coexist with a vertical swipe gesture to go back Home? Should you perhaps be able to swipe on the indicator to exit apps, and around it to quickly reveal the dock? Alternatively, what if the half-step swipe gesture to open multitasking on the iPhone X becomes the new way to show the dock on both the iPhone and iPad? If the rumor is true, I'm extremely curious to see what Apple does with gestures on the new iPad.
Paul Miller, writing for The Verge, argues that Swift Playgrounds, while an amazing tool to learn the fundamentals of coding and Swift, ultimately doesn't let kids build real apps:
The Swift Playgrounds fantasy of what ARKit is like is closer to an ad than a tutorial. I’ve actually worked on an app using Apple’s ARKit and SceneKit APIs directly. I got stuck when my API call to Apple’s sound playback system wouldn’t work, despite all my best efforts at debugging. Writing software with Apple’s APIs is a powerful but difficult practice, and Swift Playgrounds’ penchant for hiding true complexity makes it hard to recommend for someone who doesn’t want to just “learn how to code” but instead wants to build something.
Apple would do its learners a huge service by providing them an Xcode equivalent on the iPad. Not because it would suddenly be easy to make applications and release them on the App Store, but because it would give iPad-bound learners a chance to engage that challenge and grow into true application developers in time.
I agree with Miller. I've been crossing my fingers for an iPad version of Xcode ever since the first-generation iPad Pro in late 2015. From aspiring programmers who would have a chance to see their creations on the iPad's Home screen (without using a Mac) to developers who could create commercial iPad software on their own iPads, the iPad needs Xcode. If coding is as important as learning a language, the lack of Xcode for iPad is like not having a keyboard to express our thoughts.