The M4 iPad Pros


no hurry, no pause.


A commentary by John Gruber:

iPadOS is what it is. Whatever you (or I) think of it as a productivity platform, you’re a fool if you think it isn’t beloved by many. It’s popular, even for some “professional” use cases, not despite iPadOS’s guardrails but often because of them. Those guardrails feel limiting to meoften very much so, but those same guardrails are liberating to others. There is tremendous power in having a computer that is simple not merely by suggestion but by hard and fast technical constraints.

Should you only buy what you need, or splurge for what you’d most enjoy? A Lexus instead of a Toyota. A first-class seat instead of coach. Craft IPA instead of Budweiser. In other aspects of life, few question the mere existence of premium-priced superior experiences. But with the iPad, those unsatisfied by the nature of iPadOS seem to think those who do love iPadOS don’t deserve a premium tier of hardware.

And there are professional apps used for serious work on iPads. Apple’s own Final Cut and Logic for iPads are not toys. Both are very serious siblings — and for non-extreme projects, peers — to their respective Mac versions. For visual artists there are a plethora of serious iPad apps: DaVinci Resolve (video color grading), ZBrush (3D sculpting), Procreate DreamsAffinity DesignerFrame IO. Arguing that “no one can do real work on an iPad” reminds me of Yogi Berra’s “No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

A “pro” device that goes pro by getting thinner and lighter, not heavier and thicker, is not a non sequitur. Or at least not necessarily. What makes for a better iPad is simply orthogonal, in many regards, to what makes for a better Mac. Way back in 2010, when the iPad was new (and ran what was called iOS) and it felt like the Mac’s days might be winding down, I wrote, “It’s the heaviness of the Mac that allows iOS to remain light.” I meant that figuratively. But these new M4 iPad Pros mean it quite literally.