iOS Questions: Thinking About iPad Pro as My First Apple Device


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Feb 1, 2016
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Hello there. I'm contemplating between a SP4 (m3) and iPro. I have a first gen Surface which badly needs an upgrade and I'm thinking of going to an Apple Device for the first time which leads me to some questions about iOS.

What's making me think twice about sticking with Windows is the glitchyness I've had on the first generation Surface and the fact that it has bogged down a lot over the years with constant updates. I like the idea of ARM processors, but Windows RT was just too much for it. Even though the m3 is waaaay better and on full W10, the Surface in general just feels too small, cluttered and messy for every day usage when I would much rather just jump onto my desktop for those tasks. I really think iOS is compelling and changing the paradigm of computing by simplifying programs so you don't need strong hardware to do advanced things. I like that. A lot.

I'm also realizing I don't think I need legacy for what I do, which is mostly just browsing, writing, sketching, PowerPoint, light Excel, and listening to music. I like the idea of iOS because it's simple, fast and fluid for most tasks. The iPro's great digitizer is a huge plus as well as the fact that iPads also seem to age well and have minimal issues.

Here's what I'm not so sure of about iOS and primarily the reason I'm here.

I still know very little about the usage of iOS, what it is capable of, and just how much freedom I'd have to give up to have that consistent, streamlined Apple experience. I consider myself slightly advanced when it comes to working with technology, so I would like to be nit picky with certain aspects without jail breaking if possible. My major issue with iOS has been and always will be the fact that it locks down files and is primarily cloud based which I DO NOT want to do at all. I like "physical" copies of things and the ability to manipulate them. I like my music (FLACs and MP3s from my CDs) stored on my SD card or somewhere on the HD... I like being able to use my phone and thumb drives to throw files around my computers/tablets with relative ease and not always relying on the Internet. And most importantly, I like turning off the internet and storing all my personal writing and work on a Flash Drive without it ever touching the Web.

So I guess my questions are as followed: Just how much file freedom am I losing? Can I transfer files and keep my work offline and off of the iPro? Can I use one of those made for apple lightning USB flash drives with all kinds of files (.doc/.pages/Procreate files/etc.)? Will I always be required to go through iTunes to transfer things around and play my MP3s and FLACs? What other issues may I run into? Will the iPro work for me, or should I just go with the SP4?

Thanks for your time.


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Mar 9, 2010
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Great Questions and welcome to iMore! I too was struggling between the SP4 and the iPad Pro. I ultimately chose the iPad Pro because I appreciate the simplicity and reliability that iOS offers. I run restaurants for a living so having a device that is able to check email, utilize Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint) was something that was truly important. Having said that I am a loyal apple owner as well and subscribe to iCloud for all of my storage needs. When it comes to documents and music I am able to drop any file into my iCloud drive (Windows OneDrive works as well) and the files will magically be accessible on my iPad Pro, this includes music files of any format as well as documents. The VLC player found on the app store handles just about any multi-media format you can throw at it. I truly enjoy my iPad Pro and can't see myself leaving the device. In fact, I no longer take my Macbook Pro to work with me as I have found the iPad Pro to work just as well for my needs. The Apple Pencil has been fantastic and allows me to annotate Microsoft word documents on the fly (Something I cannot do with my Macbook Pro.) All in all I think that the iPad Pro is a solid device for my use case and I highly recommend it.


Well-known member
Oct 28, 2013
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Welcome to iMore!

I think having/using one device really depends on what you do & the environment you're in.

That being said, my iPad Pro (128gb LTE) is my go to device more so than any previous iPad I owned. I very rarely use my 2011 MacBook Air (still a great device & very fun to use).

What's interesting though, I am looking at buying a Surface Pro 3 because I'm in a Windows infested workplace and I use a Company issued aging Dell i5 laptop for the apps that mandate Windows.

The apps I use are primarily cross platform, but for the ones that I need for Windows only, the SP3 seems to be a very popular and incredibly fun device. So I'm going to have the best of both worlds 🤓


Dec 6, 2015
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i LOVE, Love, love the new iPad Pro and can never go back to a smaller screen and without the Pencil. Moreover, the SP4 reportedly has some significant hardware issues that MS has yet to fix (see Paul Thurrott reviews 1*) so the iPad for me was a better choice.

however, you may become disappointed with the Apple ios ecosystem if expecting a file system...on IOS, there is no access to document files through a usb device, only image & video files.

On IOS, file access can be through icloud, dropbox, itunes, etc. I have my Windows laptop/desktop, iPad and iPhone sync'd to allow working on any document on any devices. Also, have sync'd photos and videos in order to edit on IOS or Windows; have email, notes, contact & calendar all sync'd to Windows<>IOS.

So whether the IOS platform will work for you is really dependent on your preferences. iMore contributors have several articles on their "iPad Only" experiences. and lastly, the IPP is a new concept for Apple so who knows what the future will bring :>)
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Active member
Dec 5, 2015
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Welcome to iMore!

While I can't comment on the SP4, I can tell you about my experience with the iPad Pro (what I am using to reply to this). In the interest of full disclosure, I have owned microsoft products in the past (both hardware and software). Although I have owned more apple products because I love how they work a lot better than microsoft's stuff.

You will not loose anything from going to an iPad. I have yet to run into anything I normally do on a regular basis where I have missed having a file system or the ability to move files around as needed. You will have to learn new ways to do a few things, but that shouldn't be an issue. I used to use (no longer have a need to) a brilliant app that would let me move files between desktop and cloud file storage on my iOS devices. You can search the app store for some and I am certain folks here will chime in with some ideas.

If you find that you need access to a traditional desktop user experience, there is a solution for that as well. The 2 best apps I have found are screens vnc and splashtop; I use screens. It's $20 and once you install it on your iOS device and set it up on your desktop, it works very well.

Hopefully some of what I had said is helpful. Let us know what you decide! :)

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