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iPad Pro (2023) review roundup: Highs & lows of Apple’s flagship 5G tablet
The new iPad Pro 12.9-inch reviews are out, and the 2023 tablet is unsurprisingly wowing with its punch of Apple Silicon performance, while also drawing a little criticism too. As ever with Apple’s tablets, the self-stated goal is to replace laptops altogether, but there’s a familiar hurdle that even this $2k+ tablet can’t quite overcome – at least, not yet.
The new display on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the main draw. It uses a Mini-LED panel now, rather than the LCD of the old version (and, for that matter, the 2023 11-inch iPad Pro which sticks with the old panel technology). Apple says that this “Liquid Retina XDR display” means better colors, better brightness, and smoother contrast. However you might not instantly notice that, depending on what you’re actually using the iPad for.
“The magic kicks in when you are viewing videos or photos in full-screen,” The Verge explains. “When you do that, the iPad Pro kicks into a different HDR mode (or in Apple’s parlance, XDR, for “Extreme Dynamic Range”) that really is stunning.”
Similarly high in potential is 5G, though whether you should be too excited about it depends on where you are. “Since 5G is still rolling out in most places, we don’t recommend 5G as a selling point for this device,” Ars Technica concludes. Most of the time you’ll be on LTE, which is still worth having integrated – and something many are hoping Apple will eventually add to their MacBook range as well.
Much the same has been said about the new iPad Pro’s upgraded camera, which is now far ahead what Apple uses in its laptop range. For the 2023 tablet, it now supports a new feature called Center Stage, which basically uses digital panning and cropping to keep you centered in the frame during video calls. Problem is, it may still need a little tuning to look entirely natural.
“The resulting affect is as if Apple has applied a Ken Burns effect to dramatize your video call,” Pocket-lint warns. “Or, as we found when being fairly close to the camera, it looks a bit like being on a boat and bobbing up and down with the tide. It can, at times, be very nauseating.”
Battery life isn’t quite what we were hoping for, either. “I was pretty unimpressed by the iPad Pro’s battery life,” iMore concludes. If you want a truly long-lasting Apple tablet, it’s best to look to the iPad Air.
If there’s a common question, it’s whether iPadOS is now the limiting factor significantly holding the iPad Pro back. Certainly, with basically the same power as a 2023 MacBook Air or a new 24-inch iMac, the M1-based iPad Pro isn’t short on processing grunt.
How iPadOS actually makes use of that – and whether it fits with how people like to multitask and the apps they rely on day to day – is the big issue. On the desktop side, macOS has always been about multitasking, but iPadOS, at least in its current iteration, isn’t quite there yet. “True, multi-window multitasking would be a great start,” Engadget suggests, “and wider support for professional video formats would be a huge deal for the creative professionals Apple caters to.”
Those pros will need to dig deep if they want to join the party, given just how expensive it’s possible to get with the new iPad Pro. The 12.9-inch model starts at $1,099, but by the time you get to the bigger storage capacities and add in 5G, you can be looking at well north of $2k for the tablet. That’s before you start to add in accessories like Apple’s Magic Keyboard with its trackpad.
As CNBC puts it, “most people are going to be totally happy with the iPad Air.” That uses the same chipset but is considerably cheaper, even if you sacrifice the Mini-LED screen and baked-in 5G.
Some, it’s fair to assume, will opt to wait it out instead. WWDC 2023 is not far off, and we’re expecting to see news on just what Apple has in mind for the next version of iPadOS. That’s almost certain to bring more power features to the platform, and could make justifying the laptop-esque price tag of this new 2023 iPad Pro a little easier.
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Earlier this month, Apple officially announced the 2023 iPad Pro lineup, welcoming moderate refreshes for both the 11- and 12.9-inch tablets.
And while Apple was more than happy to promote all of the changes coming to the new iPad Pro models, the reality is that most of the changes are minor in scale. Even the brand new A12Z Bionic processor is just a slight change from the A12X Bionic found in the 2023 models, even if it does welcome a change to the GPU. One of the biggest improvements is the camera system, as the new 2023 iPad Pro lineup welcomes a dual-camera design, and throws in a LiDAR scanner as well for robust augmented reality (AR) experiences. But that LiDAR scanner might be about the future more than the present, as some reviewers see it as a feature many owners might just not use all that much at all.
We’ve put together a quick roundup of some of the 2023 iPad Pro reviews out there, many of which focus on the larger 12.9-inch model. The general consensus here is what you might expect: the new iPad Pro models are fantastic, the displays are great, and the performance is what you should expect out of these tablets. The cameras are a worthwhile addition, too. But a lot of attention is being paid to the new Magic Keyboard accessory — but that’s not out until May.
It’s also worth noting that the biggest new addition to the iPad Pro isn’t just for the newest version of Apple’s most powerful tablet lineup. With the impending launch of iPadOS 13.4 Apple is welcoming more robust trackpad and mouse support, but that’s coming to all iPad models that support iPadOS 13.4, and not just the iPad Pro models. So while Apple is hyping up the new feature with its newest tablets, it’s not just for the newest models.
That being said, I’ll get out of the way and present to you a quick roundup of some 2023 iPad Pro reviews below:
Overall still, the iPad Pro is easily my favorite tablet again. And it’s not really close. Now, the new things they added — the A12z Bionic and camera system — while they’re not like huge reasons to upgrade for anyone who already has a current iPad Pro, they are still good things and they are solid little refresh’s updates.
Now, if we’re still asking the question ‘can this replace your laptop’? As of right now, with those accessories not out [Magic Keyboard], I don’t know the answer just for the iPad, has really changed. But I think it’s very clear that Apple has been thinking about that question with the cursor support in iOS.Rene Ritchie
…I get that Apple is working with different priorities, price points, and constraints here. But for an iPad Pro I would have loved to have seen the full on iPhone Pro cameras, with all the optics — including the telephoto. Maybe even a periscope zoom. Yes, I said it. That way you wouldn’t have to choose between the big camera on the iPhone or the big viewfinder on the iPad. You could mix-and-match for any project as needed.
Otherwise, these new cameras are still good. They’re great. The best iPad cameras ever, and by far. So good, the iPhone really is the only thing I’m going to compare them against.Wrap up
So, not a lot of surprises here. The camera improvements in the 2023 iPad Pro are certainly noteworthy, but maybe only because the previous cameras in the tablet lineup really weren’t that great. But the inclusion of LiDAR could be a huge step forward for the devices, especially as Apple continues to embrace augmented reality. Is it a feature that most owners will use? Time will tell, and each individual’s use cases are different, so it’s hard to say for sure.
The slight bump in the A12Z Bionic over the A12X Bionic may be minimal, but with an increase in graphics performance it might not go completely unnoticed by some. And the fact that the iPad Pro can still manage 10 hours of usage in a single day is definitely a strong point.
The question is: is the 2023 iPad Pro worth upgrading to if you have a 2023 iPad Pro? The general theme from these reviews seems to be that if you have the previous version of the tablet you’ll probably be just fine keeping it. Mostly because the new Magic Keyboard accessory that launches in May supports those devices, too. And so does iPadOS 13.4 with trackpad support, obviously.
But of course it all comes down to the individual and what they are looking for. A little bit more future-proofing, perhaps? Or just the newest option after owning the 2023 iPad Pro for a bit of time already.
The fact that these laptops work with Wi-Fi 6E is one of the most essential improvements. This version of Wi-Fi is faster and works more reliably than the one that came before it. Lori Grunin of CNET found that Wi-Fi 6E was faster than Wi-Fi 6, with a steady download speed of 483Mbps on 6E compared to an average of 392Mbps on 6.
The new MacBook Pros also have a new HDMI 2.1 port that can connect to an 8K external display. This means you can now connect your MacBook Pro to an 8K monitor and enjoy high-resolution images like never before.
The new MacBook Pros look the same as the ones that came out in October 2023, so you won’t notice any big changes in terms of how they look. The 14-inch model starts at $1,999, and the 16-inch model starts at $2,499. You can pre-order the laptops on Apple’s online store.Gizchina News of the week
Join GizChina on TelegramMacBook Pro 2023 Written Reviews
The M1 Max, despite having less raw power than its successor, was the obvious choice for shoppers trying to maximize their CPU power in 2023. The M2 Max is no longer that — the core-hungry shopper who never unplugs their laptop will have better options from Intel and AMD in 2023. What we don’t expect those options to have, in any capacity, is battery life. That’s where the M1 Max is the undeniable champion. And that’s the calculus that does remain unchanged from 2023: the MacBook Pro 16 remains the best combination of performance and efficiency that you can get. That’s why the M2 Max, despite being more powerful than the M1 Max, may target less of a “power user” crowd this year.
I generally get more reliable performance from 6E than 6, at least in my environment. For instance, a casual Speedtest run delivered a consistent 483Mbps download on 6E but an average 392Mbps on 6 (for 400Mbps service). The latter started higher but dropped partway through as well.
The previous MacBook Pro lasted 12 hours and 36 minutes during our testing, but the new model made it to 15 hours and 10 minutes. That’s a healthy step up, especially if you find yourself stuck on a long flight without any working outlets. Apple says that the new MacBook Pros can reach up to 22 hours of battery life, but take note that figure only refers to the 16-inch model.
Either route you’ll see fast performance and a high level of responsiveness with any app. When it comes time to export an HD, 4K, or even 8K video you’ll find that the application doesn’t require a wait for rendering something for playback and that export times will be cut down dramatically. Same goes for live-previewing an app in XCode, 3D animations, batch photo edits, or illustration exports as well.
If this review seems short, that’s because there’s not too much to talk about; this is essentially the 2023 MacBook Pro but 20–30 percent faster at some tasks, and with a few connectivity options upgraded to better match what is expected from a pricey laptop like this. And that’s OK because the 2023 MacBook Pro was excellent. The 2023 version is the same but slightly better. The M2 Pro and M2 Max’s performance and efficiency make them attractive devices for many people. That said, you shouldn’t spend this amount of money if you don’t need this much performance, and let’s be real: most people don’t. The MacBook Air or one of a few particularly strong Windows ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13 will meet many folks’ needs just as well, and for a lot less money—plus, they provide more portability.
MacBook Pro 2023 Video Reviews, Unboxings, and Guides
The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro 2023 models are great for tech fans who want a high-end laptop. These laptops will impress with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. Improved Wi-Fi 6E, an upgraded HDMI 2.1 port, and an extra hour of battery life.
Feature Request is a new regular 9to5Mac series where authors offer their opinion on how to improve popular hardware or software products.
With the introduction of iPad Pro, now is the time for Apple to finally bring Logic Pro to its tablet. Apple has long had Garageband available for iOS devices, offering what is essentially a feature for feature companion for the desktop Mac app, albeit with a user interface tweaked for the smaller touch display. But it’s not much help to pros that have their workflow in Apple’s professional audio editing suite for Mac, Logic Pro.
Especially with the iPad Pro aimed at a pro market and most app makers targeting pros, a Logic Pro suite for iPad would make the device much more attractive to audio pros like myself and a real valuable tool for in the studio and on the go.
Portable studio recording features:
At the minimum, what the app really needs to make it a useful standalone audio suite rather than just the remote for Logic on the Mac, is recording features.
Being able to record something quickly on an iPad, for example when out of the studio or on the road, and then have it synced to a session on the Mac via iCloud, is something that is currently a clunky experience at best using other audio recording apps on iOS. To make it a great experience, we need Apple to build Logic Pro for iPad (and or build APIs for iOS devs) with full cross-platform file support for syncing sessions and or tracks from within sessions between devices easily.
The ability to record some ideas when mobile and quickly transfer or sync to Mac is something we only currently have workarounds for. For now, we’re unfortunately stuck with bouncing tracks to audio out of third-party audio suites on iOS, and that’s far from ideal to say the least.
iPad Pro, Plugins and Split-screen apps:
And beyond just basic recording features, now that Apple has support for real audio plugins on iOS, split-screen apps, and the larger, faster iPad Pro, there’s even more potential for a full Logic Pro experience on the iPad.
With the iPad Pro’s larger display now in MacBook-size territory, audio plugins make a lot more sense— you can now have a plug-in open large enough to manipulate its controls while still having a full view of your session timeline or, for example, two or more plug-ins side-by-side. With all that extra real estate, fitting in a user interface with the complexity of Logic Pro and the plug-ins others make for it in general starts to become a reality.
It’s also likely going to make it easier to attract the popular plug-in makers from Logic on the Mac, many of which don’t have offerings on iOS, to build versions of their plugins that work on iOS too.
Controllers, customizable interfaces, touchscreen possibilities:
And likewise, the larger display iPad means lots of new possibilities for using the iPad as a virtual controller. The more screen real estate means the more potential for MIDI controllers with inventive and or customizable user interfaces. We could get a lot closer to a knob-per-function user interface for our favorite synth apps.
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Google’s new data control features, Instagram launches ‘Restrict’, fewer women in executive marketing roles, Burger King under fire for tweet and Twitter testing ‘Stream Tweets’
This week has seen Google announce a slew of new features designed for helping users better manage their privacy and data, all of which are now being rolled out.
Burger King has come under fire by the ASA for a tweet that was deemed to be irresponsible and condoning anti-social behaviour.
Twitter is reportedly testing a new feature to show tweets in real-time in users’ feeds.
We’ve got more info on all of these news stories below in this week’s roundup.Google launches new data control features
Google has announced a new set of data control and security options aimed at helping users have more control when managing their data. According to Google, “managing your data should be just as easy as making a restaurant reservation, or using Maps to find the fastest way back home.”
To help with this, Google has added four new controls that will allow people to better manage their digital presence.Incognito Maps
The first of these controls is incognito mode being added to maps, following on from it being added to YouTube earlier in the year.
Users will be able to activate incognito mode in the Maps app so their activity, such as the places they are searching for, won’t be saved to their Google Account. This means it won’t show in their app history or be used for personalization purposes.
Incognito mode can be selected from the menu when a user taps their profile picture. It can be turned on and off easily, allowing users to return to their personalized Maps experience. Android users will be able to start using incognito mode on Maps later this month, while it will be rolled out for iOS in the coming months.YouTube auto-delete
Google is also rolling out auto-delete to YouTube, allowing users to delete their activity on YouTube. Users can choose the time period for the app to keep their data – three months, 18 months or until it is deleted – and Google will take care of the rest.Google Assistant
Updates to Google Assistant have also been made, allowing it to easily understand and manage data. For example, users can ask Assistant “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” and Assistant will provide information on how data is kept secure.
People will also be able to control their data with simple voice commands within the next few weeks, meaning they can ask for Assistant to delete things that were said to it. These features will be automatically added to Assistant so users don’t need to do anything to activate them.Password security
Finally, Google is helping users strengthen their password protection with updates to its password manager. While password manager automatically protects passwords across different accounts, it is being made more powerful with the introduction of Password Checkup.
The new feature will tell users whether any of their passwords are weak or if they have been used across multiple sites, helping to promote better password habits. It will also inform users if their password has been compromised, such as in a third-party data breach.Instagram launches Restrict feature
This new feature is a great option for individuals who are having issues with other users but don’t want to deal with the repercussions of blocking them outright, helping to reduce friction and conflict.The number of women in executive marketing roles is declining
There has been a drop in the number of women working in marketing executive positions, according to the latest Diversity Best Practice (DBP) Inclusion Index and the #inclusion100 benchmark.
Looking at the results by race paints shows that there has been an increase in the number of Asian women being hired into executive roles, with a 2% increase compared to last year. The representation of black women in these positions has remained steady at 1%.
However, both white women and Latinx women saw a decline in executive representation, with figures now standing at 24% and 0.3%, respectively.
While it is a shame that the results have not been more positive this year, they do highlight where work needs to be done and can be used to call on companies to hire more women into executive marketing roles.Burger King milkshake tweet deemed ‘irresponsible’ for condoning anti-social behaviour
Following the incidents, one of which saw European MP Nigel Farage covered in milkshake, a number of establishments stopped selling milkshakes when election candidates were due to appear in certain locations. This included a McDonald’s in Edinburgh announcing that it would stop selling the drinks while Nigel Farage was at a rally in the city.
In response to this news, Burger King tweeted that it would still be selling milkshakes in Scotland, saying: “Dear people of Scotland. We’re selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK. #justsaying”. Burger King attempted to justify the tweet in a follow-up post, which said: “We’d never endorse violence – or wasting our delicious milkshakes! So enjoy the weekend and please drink responsibly people.”
The fast-food company defended the tweet saying that it was a “tongue-in-cheek reaction to recent events”. However, the ASA did not accept this response and was critical of the tweet, suggesting that it both encouraged and condones the anti-social behaviour. According to the ASA, 24 people complained that the tweet was offensive and encouraged violence.
“We considered the ad, therefore, condoned the previous anti-social behaviour and encouraged further instances. We, therefore, concluded that the ad was irresponsible.”Twitter testing new ‘stream tweets’ feature
This means that users can go back to life before the introduction of Twitter’s algorithm-defined feed. It could also enable users to see tweets sooner, leading to more timely reactions and conversations on the platform.
Twitter has made some small tweaks to its platform, The CAP has announced new gambling ad rules, Google showcases plans for US location expansion and Instagram investigates bug that caused follower counts to fall
There are no big platform changes to unpick this week, although Twitter has announced three tiny changes to its platform, one to create clarity, another to make it easier to view profiles and the third is especially for Valentine’s Day.
Google has announced its latest $13 billion expansion plans that will see it set up locations in a range of new states, helping to create thousands of construction jobs.
Finally, Instagram is looking into a reported bug that saw many users experience a drop in followers, with some of its most popular accounts seeing their figure fall by millions.
Find out more about each of these stories in this week’s news roundup.
As part of the refreshed design for Twitter, we’re replacing the Explore tab’s magnifying glass ? with the hashtag #⃣. Using the same icon for Search and Explore was confusing, so this makes it clearer!
— ashlie ford (@ashlie) February 13, 2023Twitter makes some tweaks
This week has seen Twitter roll out some minor updates, although sadly one of those wasn’t the ability to edit tweets and remove accidental typos. The small changes don’t really affect the functionality of the social media platform, but they’re worth noting as Twitter is obviously experimenting with different elements.An icon change
To start with, the explore icon has been updated and is now a hashtag rather than a magnifying glass. According to Ashlie Ford, a designer at Twitter, the decision to replace the icon was because it was also used for search, making things a bit confusing for users.iOS user preview
Another update is only being made available to iOS users at the moment but will make looking at someone’s profile from your timeline much easier. Rather than needing to leave your timeline (and risk losing the tweet you were looking at when it refreshes), iOS Twitter users can now tap a tagged user handle to open a preview pop-over window.
Ultimately, this will cause less disruption to your experience when browsing Twitter and could help lead to users making more connections on the platform. It isn’t clear whether Twitter will eventually be rolling out this function to Android users.Valentine’s Day
The final update was small and only related to Valentine’s Day, so the fun is already over for another year. Rather than a heart appearing when people used #valentines on Twitter, a red rose icon appeared instead for February 14th.More substantial updates?
While these changes might change a small aspect of the Twitter experience, it seems that Twitter could be spending its time more wisely. Other functions like saving searches and only searching your profile/timeline have been asked for by people but are yet to make an appearance.
On top of this, calls are still being made for Twitter to step up and police its users better, as issues with abusive content and profiles are still arising.New gambling ad rules seek to protect children
Google announces huge US expansion
Google is planning on expanding into several new US states, investing more than $13 billion into its latest expansion. The company will be building new offices and data centres across the US, including in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Nevada, helping to create more than 10,000 construction jobs.
This latest move marks a large investment in expanding Google’s US footprint, especially when compared to 2023’s facility expansion investment, which totalled $9 billion. It will also mean that Google has facilities in 24 states, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. He said that “2023 marks the second year in a row we’ll be growing faster outside of the Bay Area than in it.”
This latest move is an attempt by Google to create jobs that feel accessible to local communities. Positions in Middle America will primarily be data centres, but the majority of the company’s sales, engineering and marketing jobs will still primarily be located in the Bay Area, LA, New York and Massachusetts.
It hasn’t been announced how many jobs will be available in the new data centres or when the locations are expected to open.
We’re aware of an issue that is causing a change in account follower numbers for some people right now. We’re working to resolve this as quickly as possible.
— Instagram (@instagram) February 13, 2023Instagram bug sees millions of followers vanish
Instagram is investigating an issue that has caused a number of accounts to lose large numbers of followers. Some of the platform’s most popular accounts found that their follower counts decreased dramatically on February 13th, with some celebrities like Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez losing millions of Instagram followers.
Fast Company suggested that the losses were due to Instagram’s continued efforts to remove “inauthentic” accounts, but Instagram’s tweet about the issue seems to signal that this isn’t the case.
Instagram said that it expected the issue to be fixed by 9amPST on February 14th, but it hasn’t issued an update to say whether the bug has indeed been repaired.
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