Are Mac users jealous of the iPad Pro? [Opinion]

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Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Anyone who thinks you can’t get “real work” done on an iPad is nuts. Likewise, anyone who claims Apple’s tablet is not a real computer sounds like somebody arguing that the 1984 Mac wasn’t a real computer because it didn’t have a text-based command-line interface.

The iPad vs. Mac debate certainly isn’t new.  Only the devices have changed.

I think that the folks making these arguments are jealous of the iPad Pro, or scared that it will become more important to Apple than their Macs. They want to use it instead of their Mac, but at the same time they’re unwilling to change anything about how they work. Instead, they want the iPad to be a touchscreen Mac with a detachable keyboard.

The iPad needs a new kind of USB-C dock [Opinion]

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Friends don’t let friends get to this stage.
Friends don’t let friends get to this stage.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you have a new 2018 iPad Pro, then you probably need a new USB-C hub. Without it, you can only plug in one accessory at a time, and that includes the charger. With a hub, you can plug in an almost unlimited number of USB devices (and other gear), plus provide power for everything at the same time.

The problem is, almost all USB-C docks are designed for laptop computers like the MacBook. They’re designed with short tails so they can sit on a desk next to the MacBook’s desk-level USB-C port, and plug in without trailing a long cable all over the place. But these short tails are terrible for the iPad — especially if you use the tablet on a stand.

They result in a dongle dangling from the iPad, trailing all the cables and accessories hooked up to the hub. This puts a strain on the USB-C port, and reduces mobility for the iPad. It also looks ridiculous. Ditto those docks that clip to the iPad itself. They’re a disaster waiting to happen. Fortunately, I have a better idea.

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.

Why creative pros can’t rely on iPad Pro [Opinion]

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Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Futurists claim the iPad has already eliminated the need for a Mac. Realists say nah.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Since the new iPad Pro’s launch, debate about the powerful devices has become increasingly polarized into two opposing camps: futurists and realists.

The futurists argue that the iPad is the future computing. Apple’s tablet has eliminated the need for laptops, they say, and anyone who claims they can’t manage their workflows on iOS is living in the past (and should just get with the program).

The realists, on the other hand, retort that while the iPad may be cool, it remains limited by iOS in a lot of very important ways. Those limitations mean it is currently impossible to use the iPad as a primary workstation for pros.

So, who is right?

Here’s what the 2018 iPad Pro still can’t do [Opinion]

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If you buy the 64GB iPad Pro, you're getting ripped off.
The iPad Pro could be even better than a Mac — with just a few fixes.
Photo: Apple

The new iPad Pro is amazing. It’s lighter, faster, better looking, and all-around cooler than its dorky older brother. While the old 12.9-inch iPad Pro is ironing faux leather patches onto the elbows of its corduroy jacket, the new one is ripping holes into the knees of its vintage jeans.

But there are still some things that the 2018 iPad Pro can’t do. And these shortcomings aren’t down to hardware. They’re all down to software, and the limitations still built in to iOS 12. Let’s take a look.

Why Apple is smart to stop playing the iPhone numbers game [Opinion]

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Queue in Singapore
The obsession with iPhone sales numbers is now a thing of the past. Probably.
Photo: Apple

Apple shocked Wall Street yesterday when it revealed that it will no longer share information about how many iPhones sell each quarter. Instead, the company will provide the average sale price, which Cupertino claims is a far more useful figure to investors.

It’s a big change in strategy from a company that used to make a point of crowing about its landmark sales figures. But, while this move might disappoint some fans, it’s totally the right call. Here’s why.

Why USB-C on the iPad would be a terrible idea [Opinion]

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There’s no way I’m sticking that In my iPad’s hole.
There’s no way I’m sticking that In my iPad’s hole.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

At this point, it seems that everyone is agreed that the next iPad will replace the excellent Lightning connector with an inferior USB-C connector. But I’m not so sure. Not only is the “evidence” for this huge change sketchy and speculative at best, but USB-C would bring almost no benefit to anyone — not users, and not Apple.

Photoshop for iPad will be useless without the keyboard [Opinion]

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photoshop for iPad
A keyboard is as essential to Photoshop as a screen.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

When Photoshop comes to the iPad next year, it will apparently be the full desktop version, with the same code base, shrunk down to run on iOS. At launch, a few features will be missing, but the plan is parity between desktop and iOS versions.

But there’s one thing that will ruin the iPad version of Photoshop from day one — a lack of keyboard shortcuts.

Why Apple’s HomePod is poised to bomb

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Will Apple's HomePod smart speaker be DOA?

Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

HomePod, the first new Apple product of 2018, is about to arrive. And as a huge Apple fanboy, I couldn’t care less.

Apple’s been hyping its smart speaker ever since unveiling the device last June at the Worldwide Developers Conference. And yet HomePod has failed to really excite fans (except through leaks that gave us early details about the iPhone X). Apple bills HomePod as a powerful speaker that packs Siri to take your listening experience to an all-new level. But with its Feb. 9 release just weeks away, HomePod is looking more like Apple’s next big bomb.

Why the iPhone X needs its notch

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iPhone X notch
The "notch" is not a problem.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Ever since Apple unveiled the iPhone X, naysayers have been complaining about “the notch.” But in today’s video, I’m going to do my best to convince you that the controversial cutout at the top of the iPhone X screen is totally not an issue.

Here’s why I think the iPhone X actually needs the notch.