By: Chad Burton, CEO of CuroLegal
It seems like 95% of blog posts reviewing the new iPad Pro can be summarized as follows: “OMG, the iPad Pro is, like, so disappointing. Tim Cook is sooo basic. The Pro doesn’t replace a laptop.” (Yes, when I read most reviews, I substitute in my oldest daughter’s voice.)
Before I get into why most people misunderstand how the iPad Pro can replace the traditional computing model, I want to be upfront about a significant challenge with the largest iPad in the history of mankind: Compared to the iPad Mini, if you are lying down and fall asleep reading or watching Netflix, the Pro hurts like hell when it hits you in the face.
Now, a bit of substance:
The iPad Pro is more powerful, bigger and has great graphics and sound capabilities. You take the hardware upgrades + iOS 9 and you have a beast of a device. The Pro is built for hardcore consumption and production.
People seem to get hung up on whether an iPad can “replace” a laptop. I think people expect to have the exact same experience as a laptop when you slap an external keyboard on the iPad. It is not supposed to be the same experience. Your interaction with the hardware is different. On mobile, you get to add touchscreen, unique tools such as Siri or Google Now and location-based notifications, all while you are drafting a brief or clearing out that bottomless pit of an email inbox.
Let’s look at the primary apps that lawyers need on a computer / device to run his or her practice:
– Communication apps (email, texts, instant messaging, videoconferencing)
– Document management (creation, editing, collaboration)
– Practice management (time entries, invoicing, calendar, contacts, tasks)
– Financials (bank accounts, bookkeeping, expense tracking)
Are there meaningful options to tackle all of these items on the iPad? Absolutely. Lots. For example, you can knock out most of them by using an integrated model of Office 365 (or Google for Work), Clio and Quickbooks Online. All have related stand-alone apps or with the large iPad Pro screen, you can access the full site off a browser, such as Chrome or Safari.
To be clear, effective mobile technology is cloud-based. Externally accessing desktops or onsite servers can be clunky and limited on an iPad. Strategic tech implementation is key.
So, is the iPad Pro some dumb Apple blunder? No way. Most reviewers are either looking for weird drama or have not thought through the tech infrastructure necessary to turn the iPad in a primary computing device.