Best gifts for iPad fans [Gift Guide 2018]

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iPad gift guide 2018
Buying for an iPad fan? Start here!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The holiday shopping season is upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to get friends and loved ones who have been good this year. Fortunately for you, Cult of Mac is here to help.

Gift guide 2018 bugOur gift guides are full of great products Apple fans are sure to love. We’ve hand-picked awesome accessories and glorious gadgets that we all use and recommend, so you know your money is being well-spent.

This guide focuses on the iPad lovers in your life, and there’s something to suit every budget.

Adobe Lightroom plays nice with new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

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Adobe Lightroom
Lightroom mobile updates bring Apple's latest mobile tools into the fold.
Illustration: Adobe

Adobe added fresh tasks to its iOS version of Lightroom so that it can be used with Apple’s newest mobile tools.

Beginning today, Lightroom Mobile will support both the latest iPad Pro models and the redesigned Apple Pencil. With the pencil, users can double-tap to switch between paint and erase modes with certain tools.

Watch an iPad Pro bend with embarrassing ease

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JerryRigEverything
Zach Nelson's iPad Pro teardown video was a snap.
Photo: JerryRigEverything/YouTube

An 11-inch iPad Pro and Apple Pencil were the focus of what seemed like a routine unboxing video. That is until the host used his bare hands to destroy both devices.

If you’re among the 2.7 million viewers to JerryRigEverything on YouTube, you’ve come to expect the unusual durability tests host Zach Nelson puts to the latest tech gadgets.

Who needs Apple Pencil when any old stylus will do? [Opinion]

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Apple Pencil vs dumb stylus: This old Wacom Bamboo is more than enough
This old Wacom Bamboo stylus is more than enough "pencil" for many people.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I’ve owned an Apple Pencil since I bought the first iPad Pro a few years ago. There’s nothing to touch it when it comes to drawing and painting on the iPad, but I found I didn’t ever use it for that. I mark up PDFs, make selections when editing photos, and sketch the odd diagram.

This time around, I’m saving my $130 by not buying the Apple Pencil mkII. Why? I don’t need it. Instead, I’m using the cheap, dumb stylus I found in my jam jar of pens and pencils. Let me tell you why.

One week working on the iPad Pro: Not just for professionals

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IPad Pro one week review
The new iPad Pro is Apple’s best ever portable computer.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

Since I got an new 2018 iPad Pro on launch day last week, I’ve used it exclusively. I haven’t touched my aging, decrepit Mac all week. I’ve used the iPad for work, and for play, so I’ve given it a pretty good workout. The short review is: It’s fantastic, and better in almost every way.

The long review? There are still plenty of annoyances.

Today in Apple history: iPad Pro makes its big debut

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The iPad Pro isn't ready to compete with Intel Macs... yet.
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!

The new iPad Pro might be too pro for you [Review]

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The new 2018 iPad Pro is a lust object you probably don’t need.
The new 2018 iPad Pro is a lust object you probably don’t need.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Every 2018 iPad Pro review I’ve read seems to be written by someone who doesn’t use the iPad like a pro. Most of the reviewers focus on using Apple’s new tablet they way most people do: reading the internet, doing some mail and watching lots of video.

Which is a shame, because there’s a lot to like in this iPad for “power” users, aka folks whose everyday carry is an iPad. People like me. The iPad has been my most-used device for years. I do everything on it. (Everything, ironically, except writing articles — but that’s because my ancient 27-inch iMac still works fine, and I like to use a trackpad for editing text.)

Rather than reviewing the iPad Pro from the point of view of a “normal,” I’m going to talk about this gorgeous new device like someone who uses an iPad for work every day.

Apple Pencil 2 requires a $1,000 charger

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An iPad Pro case can prevent your Apple Pencil from charging.
Be sure to store the Apple Pencil on the side of the iPad Pro.
Photo: Apple

The second-generation Apple Pencil has to recharge from a 2018 iPad Pro. No other method is possible. This meands people will have to depend on magnets securely holding this $129 stylus to the side of their tablet because there isn’t any other option.

People criticized the original Pencil’s method of recharging, but it turns out its replacement isn’t perfect either.

iPad Pro cases make charging new Apple Pencil a pain

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An iPad Pro case can prevent your Apple Pencil from charging.
An iPad Pro case can prevent your Apple Pencil from charging.
Photo: Apple

The redesigned Apple Pencil magnetically clips to the side of the 2018 iPad Pro, and even wireless charges when its held there. This is a feature many people have been hoping for, but it comes with a significant drawback. This new pressure-sensitive stylus won’t be able to charge through some protective cases.

Case-maker Speck has confirmed that its first offering for the latest iPad will interfere with charging the Pencil, and says many of its rivals will as well.

Apple’s 2018 hardware blitz! [Cult of Mac Magazine]

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What a week! New Apple hardware and an earnings surprise.
What a week!
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

This week was one heckuva wild ride for Apple fans. First we got new MacBook Airs, iPad Pros, Mac minis and Apple Pencils. Then Apple threw Wall Street a curveball during yet another surprising (and surprisingly positive) earnings call.

Get the scoop on the latest Apple hardware, plus reviews and how-tos, in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Then get ready to spend your weekend drooling over it on your iPad or iPhone. Grab your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes now.

Bonus: Don’t miss your chance to win an iPhone XR!