Today in Apple history: iPad Pro makes its big debut

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iPad Pro
The iPad Pro was a big step forward for the iPad.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

November 11: Today in Apple history: iPad Pro debutsNovember 11, 2015: Apple’s first iPad Pro goes on sale after months of speculation about the giant-size tablet. With its much larger screen, professional-oriented targeting and dreaded (optional) stylus, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro represents Apple CEO Tim Cook’s cleanest break yet from Steve Jobs’ vision for iOS devices.

And it turned out all the better for it!

How to draw with shape recognition in iPadOS 14

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How to draw with shape recognition in iPadOS 14
Shape recognition in iPadOS 14 makes your Apple Pencil even more useful.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Most people’s drawing skills peaked in first grade. Which means the diagrams we include in handwritten notes often look like they were drawn by a moderately skilled raccoon. Fortunately, iPadOS 14 offers shape recognition, turning our scrawls into the neat geometric shapes we envisioned.

Using this feature in Apple Notes or Email is easy. But there’s a trick to it. Here’s how to use shape recognition with an iPad and any stylus.

Apple explains the secret sauce that makes Scribble so great in iPadOS 14

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Scribble in iPadOS 14 was developed with machine learning.
Scribble in iPadOS 14 recognizes how you write, not only what you write.
Photo: Apple

Scribble handwriting recognition in iPadOS 14 is a more complex system than many might realize. Identifying letters and words goes beyond simply examining what someone has written. The iPad uses machine learning to recognize the writer’s intent through how they write, according to Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering.

When you want a desk done well, build it yourself [Setups]

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MacBook Pro Setup
That's how you build a desk on a budget.
Photo: @alexknollphoto

Alex Knoll is a professional photographer with some serious carpentry skills. When he couldn’t find a desk he liked that matched his budget, he decided to just build one himself. He sketched a plan on his iPad with the Procreate app and bought himself a few long slabs of pine and got to work. With a set of $100 table legs he bought from TableLegs.com, the total cost of the materials came out to roughly $300.

New 10.2-inch iPad bumps up to faster A12 chip for same $329 price

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New 2020 iPad
The same great iPad, only faster.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s entry-level iPad, unveiled Tuesday during the “Time Flies” event, is better than ever with a faster processor and graphics, and gigabit-class LTE. It’s also just as affordable as its predecessor.

Order yours today ahead of its release this Friday for just $329 (or $299 if you’re a student).

In praise of Apple Pencil [Cult of Mac Magazine 364]

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Apple Pencil is not just for artists anymore.
Apple Pencil is not just for artists anymore.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac’s Ian Fuchs says new features in iPadOS 14 make the Apple Pencil an indispensable tool — even for people who aren’t artists.

That’s the cover story in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Download it now for that story, plus the latest Apple news, leaks, how-tos and reviews. (In case you hadn’t noticed, Apple’s battle with Fortnite dev Epic Games is getting nasty.)

Scribble and Smart Selection make Apple Pencil way more productive

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Apple Pencil 2 in Hand
The Apple Pencil is fancy, and finally getting more useful.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Back when Apple introduced the Apple Pencil, the company positioned the stylus primarily as a tool for artists. And try as I might, I’ve never been particularly great at drawing. That said, it didn’t stop me from picking up an Apple Pencil to annotate documents, edit photos or use as an alternative way to touch the screen.

Then the Magic Keyboard came along with a fantastic trackpad experience. It offered a different way to interact with the screen without touching it with my finger. But now, with iPadOS 14, Apple has rewritten the story of what Apple Pencil can do, and it’s completely changed how I use my iPad once again.

7 features Apple should steal from Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
There are some features in the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra that Apple should put in the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Samsung’s newly unveiled Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will have to take on the iPhone 12 Pro Max after Apple launches it this autumn.

Samsung’s top-tier handset offers seven features iOS fans should hope will show up in Apple’s next flagship iPhone. But the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also has some real problems.

Best Apple Pencil alternatives for your iPad

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Adonit Note+ review
Apple Pencil isn’t the only iPad stylus. With Adonit Note+, you can draw Tippy. Or take notes, sign PDFs, and more.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPadOS 14 includes Scribble, finally allowing you to hand write text on an iPad with a stylus. If you don’t already have a stylus, there are some great options out there besides the very expensive Apple Pencil.

Here are some of the best available, so you can take full advantage of your iPad’s capabilities without paying too much.

See 5 stunning Beastie Boys posters flow from Apple Pencil

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Beastie Boys Story: Mike Diamond, Adam Yauch and Adam Horovitz in 1993 from an archival photo used in “Beastie Boys Story,” premiering globally on Apple TV+ on April 24.
Decades after they sprung into being, the Beastie Boys are still inspiring creativity.
Photo: Apple TV+

To promote its excellent Apple TV+ documentary Beastie Boys Story, Apple has debuted a short video featuring longtime artistic collaborator Geoff McFetridge discussing five posters he created for the band using an iPad and Apple Pencil. It’s pretty rad.

Check it out below.