David Lewis Talking Tech & Audio
Search
Close this search box.

iPad, Let Loose and 40 minutes of madness

In the blink of an eye it’s over – but boy it packed a punch

iPad running Logic Pro 2

Let Loose – was much anticipated but did it deliver?

Oh boy, it did it ever!

I predicted that it would be a trim and tidy event, and so it was. Let Loosedelivered the information without any faff, fat or fillers and to my way of thinking was all the better for it.

This time around the rumours turned out to be more or less spot on and there were few surprises – but if it was iPads you wanted…then it was iPads you got.

Oh – and AI and machine learning are now officially part of Apple’s parlance!

Let Loose from the top

There was a quick update reminding us what has happened since their last event – namely that the Vision Pro and M3 MacBook Airs had both been released. But, that was the end of any padding and by the 5-minute mark, Tim was already talking iPads, starting with the iPad Air.

iPad Air

As expected the iPad Air is now available in the same two sizes as the iPad Pro – 11-inch and 13-inch and both have LED backlit Liquid Retina Displays. If you’re an iPad user that likes to work in split screen this larger screen will give you about 30% screen real-estate.

Performance-wise wise the 2024 iPad Air gets the M2 chip giving it a faster CPU, GPU and a much faster Neural Engine. All-in-all Apple claims that the M2 iPad Air is up to 50% faster than the M1 model. The Air is being positioned not only as a tablet for creators but also for gamers.

It was when we were hearing about the iPad Air and gaming both AI & ML were mentioned for the first time – get Apple now openly talking AI!

The front-facing camera is now placed on the long edge and the iPad Air also gets Centre Stage and the pair of stereo speakers which now deliver double the bass. iPad Air works with the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil and comes in four colours – Blue, Purple, Starlight & Space Grey. They get faster Wi-Fi and more storage options – the base level is now raised to 128 GB and you can also spec it with 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB of storage as well.

Prices start at £599 for the 11-inch iPad and £799 for the 13-inch version.

iPad Pro – let loose…

It’s thin – very thin.

The 11-inch model is 5.3mm thick whilst the larger 13-inch model is a ridiculous 5.1mm thick (or should that be thin!) which makes it slimmer than an iPod nano and the slimmest Apple device ever! The skinny iPad Pros are also light – 446 grams or 582 grams. For context, my 15-inch MacBook Air weighs 1.51 kilograms, and my iPhone 15 Pro Max weighs 221 grams. The body which only comes in the same two colours – Silver & Space Black is made from 100% recycled aluminium.

The displays did hold something of a surprise though. They were LTPO OLED as anticipated but they’ve developed some called Tandem OLED for the iPad Pro. The expansive displays in iPad Pro meant that a single OLED panel wouldn’t generate enough brightness to deliver genuine XDR performance.

So, to overcome this Apple is using two OLED panels and combines the light from both to deliver phenomenal full-screen brightness. They are going to be bright as well – with 1000 nits of full-screen brightness for both SDR and HDR content and 1600 nits of peak HDR brightness. The goal is to give better highlights, richer blacks and more detail in the shadows. There is even a nano-texture option for iPad Pro now – so if you work in bright or a highly reflective environment this will help overcome those issues so you can continue to work in a high-end, colour-managed space.

The engine room

Yup – M4 is coming to the new iPad Pro.

M4 Apple silicon is built on second-generation 3-nanometer technology which offers ridiculous power efficiency and pioneering technology that enables the stunning precision, colour, and brightness of the Ultra Retina XDR displays found in these iPads.

M4 offers up to four CPU performance cores and six efficiency cores all with next-generation ML accelerators. The 10-core GPU includes powerful features like Dynamic Caching and brings hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing to iPad for the first time. M4 Apple silicon delivers the same performance as M2 silicon but crucially uses just a quarter of the power.

The all-important Neural Engine is an IP-block hidden with the chip that’s dedicated to speeding up – you guessed it – AI workloads. The Apple silicon in these iPad Pros is quoted as being able to perform 38 trillion operations per second – how you prove that though I have no idea!

All told the M4 Apple silicon in this iPad Pro has more memory bandwidth, beefier ML accelerators in its CPU and greatly improved thermal efficiency which should truly mean that you can let loose your creative energy…

There are still four storage options – 256 GB/512 GB/ 1 TB or 2 TB.

iPad Pro – like the iPad Air and the accessories I’ll be looking at in a bit will be available from next Wednesday 15th May. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at £999 and the 13-inch version at £1299. Considering the OLED technology & M4 Apple silicon alone I’d say these aren’t bad starting prices and nothing like the scare stories that were being bandied about.

Getting Pro

Knowing they’d be criticised for having all this power but no power-hungry apps Apple has done their level-best to jump the gun on that one too releasing Final Cut Pro 2 and Logic Pro 2.

One of the headlines for Final Cut is a new feature called Live Multicam which allows you to connect and preview up to four cameras all at once, all in one place. A Final Cut Camera app is coming to iPhone and iPad which makes it easy and simple to connect iPhones and iPads. I’m not clear if that will be before WWDC or not.

Logic 2 has a new Bass and Keyboard Player which is similar to the existing Drummer feature and they’re built using AI. Another couple of new plug-ins for Logic 2 on M4 iPad Pro are ChromaGlow Stem Splitter which whilst for only a niche few at least go some way to making these apps on the iPad more pro level.

Camera

The camera is a 12MP ƒ/1.8 aperture back wide camera with a 12MP ƒ/2.4 aperture selfie camera which is now moved to the landscape edge, meaning there’s a completely new charging and pairing system for Apple Pencil Pro.

Quite a mention was made about adaptive True Tone flash making removing shadows from documents your scanning easier – honestly, I never knew that was a problem in the first place…but what do I know?

Accessories

The new Magic Keyboard looks much the same as the previous iteration but now has a larger trackpad with haptics that make it feel much more MacBook-esque and it also gets a row of function keys. The palm rest area as we thought is now aluminium. 

The M4 Magic Keyboard will cost £349 and comes in black or white.

Apple Pencil Pro gets some new party tricks. Barrel Roll for instance will allow users to squeeze to bring up a tool palette to quickly switch tools, line weights, and colours. A new gyroscope means you can rotate the Apple Pencil Pro for ultra-precise control of shaped pen and brush tools. There were stories that the pencil may charge in the hinge of the new magic keyboard – but instead, it will still charge on the side of the tablet itself.

Apple Pencil Pro comes with a new haptic engine that will provide a light tap when you squeeze, use double-tap, or snap to a Smart Shape. Apple Pencil Pro now supports Find My and costs £129.

Wrapping up

There will always be critics, but I’d say Apple has delivered with this event.

I was surprised outside of Logic, Final Cut and the True Tone Flash features that we didn’t get a few more AI apps shown at this event and also no mention was made of the Vision Pro being rolled out internationally.

But purely from an iPad perspective, we got a lot. Improved base storage and more storage options, M4 Apple silicon and OLED displays with nano-texture as an option.

What did I go for?

In the end, I ticked quite a few of the boxes and plumped for the 1 TB 13-inch iPad Pro in silver with 16 GB of memory with a nano-texture display. I also bought the Apple Pencil Pro and the new Magic Keyboard in black.

Never having been an iPad Pro user it’s gonna take me some time to begin to get to grips with it but I am excited about the prospect.

Wednesday 15th May that journey begins…

If you’ve noticed a load of duplicates on your iPhone or that it seems to be running slower than you’d like now is the time to show it some love. With spring in sight, why not give your iPhone a spring clean with MacPaws NEW CleanMyPhone? From the makers of the awesome CleanMyMac – it’s brilliant, simple to use and will declutter your phone in a matter of moments. Try it for yourself using my link which in turn helps support me as a writer.

Are you subscribed to Medium yet?

I am only one of a whole host of writers here on Medium, the premium blogging site. It is such good value, and you can join below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *