What Would an iPad Pro Look Like?

by Josh Rubenoff Apr 19, 2010

I'm one of the few, the proud, the pathetic—basically, one of the only fans of groundbreaking technology who isn't immediately excited by the iPad. No, I'm not a JooJoo fanboy or that guy who NEEDS multitasking but still hasn't heard about iPhone OS 4. I make videos, and despite everything in my body telling me to ditch the idea of saving for a MacBook Pro, and get a touchscreen device that would do most everything I want it to with the added bonus of restoring a sense of childlike wonder to my mundane existence, I know that in the end I still need to spend $3,000 on a computer that can run Final Cut Pro, and run it well. So I'm immediately intrigued by the hypothetical that many creative professionals, whether they be photographers, videographers or musicians have been rhetorically posing lately: what might an iPad Pro look like? Here's one idea.

I don't think mobile processing power is going to be capable enough anytime soon to process RAW files at a tolerable speed, let alone render or compress video. But since the iPad currently functions symbiotically with a PC (to activate the device and sync media to it), there's no reason that a professional version couldn't function that way as well. I could envision "light" versions of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Lightroom that are feature-complete but can only edit and manipulate your footage/photos. In order to process/render them, you'd have to export the project file back to your computer so it could do the heavy CPU work.

Of course, for this idea to be feasible, the iPad Pro would obviously need a few spec bumps from what we know today. It would need a larger SSD (preferably somewhere between 128-512GB) or the ability to connect an external hard drive. It would also need a higher resolution display. When you're working with HD video and 40-megapixel photos, you need something a little better than XGA - not just to present your creative assets in a resolution you can work with, but to leave room for the UI as well.

But even if this never happens, there's an amazing potential for the current iPad to become a vital tool in any creative's arsenal - I'm talking specifically about using the iPad as a custom touchscreen control surface for a PC. There are tons of expensive input peripherals for everything from color correction to sound mixing, intended for more precise control and fine-tuned adjustment than a mouse can provide. If Apple, Adobe, Ableton or even third-party developers could write applications that emulate these peripheral controls for a touchscreen interface, that could be incredibly valuable - maybe not for the people who actually work on TV or Hollywood productions who need the precision and real estate that a physical interface can offer, but for the independent producers and prosumers who can't afford buying thousands of dollars in extra hardware.

When Apple announced iWork for the iPad, it was a revelation to developers, as it showed how real desktop-class applications are not just possible to create on this device, but a pleasure to use. I hope that Apple eventually reveals this potential for professional creative applications as well.


  • A controller app is definitely feasible, and it wouldn’t take a “pro” version of the iPad.  A friend of mine was thinking along the lines of a jog shuttle controller for FCP, plus a controller for Color.  I wouldn’t think it would be all that difficult either, whether it was tethered or over Wi-fi.

    As for any kind of pro-level editing, there are hurdles of course, not the least of which is storage.  But I have a Mac mini that bats around HD ProRes footage without a hiccup, so we’re definitely getting there in terms of lower-end hardware catching up to high-end video production.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Apr 19, 2010 Posts: 2220
  • It would fit perfectly in publishers’ lives quite easy, the Apple iPad Pro is a premium version of the iPad 2 and will feature front and rear facing HD cameras, and a higher resolution screen. Obviously there will be many more features and of course we will let you know them all as soon as we get confirmation.

    Yochanan Berkowitz

    Ana had this to say on Aug 16, 2011 Posts: 76
  • This can be higher performance than the current iPad 2 and it’s more neatly in the pro category. undermount kitchen sinks

    Undermount Kitchen Sinks had this to say on Sep 01, 2011 Posts: 11
  • Once you have installed your ice crushed machine parts, turned the water valve back on and made sure your freezer has been plugged back in to the wall socket.

    rbaggio had this to say on Sep 25, 2011 Posts: 95
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