13 Pro Apps for the iPad Pro

Nearly three years ago I wrote an article highlighting 9 Pro apps available for the iPad Pro. After three months of trying to fit the iPad into my workflow, I came to the realization that it wouldn’t work. I needed a Mac.

A lot has changed since then. Not only has the iPad Pro changed dramatically, but so has my lifestyle. My job has changed significantly, as has the tasks I do on a daily basis. I’ve moved into a new house. Not to mention, my daughter is now three years old.

Late last year I walked into Wal-Mart to grab some groceries and saw the new iPad Pro. Up until that moment I purposely avoided going into the local Apple Store because I knew if I saw it, I would want one. As I walked past the display in Wal-Mart, I felt compelled to take a look. And so I did.

Shortly afterwards I bought a new iPad Pro. I should clarify I did not buy my iPad Pro at Wal-Mart. Instead, I drove to the Apple Store to pick it up right from the source.

Re-introducing the iPad Pro into my lifestyle three years later has produced dramatically different results. Maybe it’s because I’ve changed, or maybe it has to do with choosing the larger 12.9 inch display this go around, but the iPad Pro has taken over my life.

I’m not going to dive deep into why the iPad Pro has become so useful for me (more on that in a later post), but I did want to revisit this article and highlight some of the apps which I have been using. Some of these are new additions and some aren’t.

Without further delay:

For Professional GTD’ers: Things

When I first published this post, Omnifocus was my task manager of choice. Since then, Things has now taken back it’s spot on my homescreen. It’s nothing against Omnifocus, it’s just that Things is so well-designed I can’t not use it. It feels right at home on the iPad, especially with all these useful keyboard shortcuts.

For Professional Writers: Ulysses

There are a few things an iPad is better at than a Mac, and one of those things is writing. Solely because of the portability and lack of distractions when writing on iOS, I prefer to do the bulk of my writing on my iPad.

Ulysses is my text-editor of choice because of its organization and customization options. On the iPad, Ulysses has all the same options as the Mac version with fantastic keyboard shortcuts.

Case in point, this article was written on my iPad Pro using Ulysses.

For Professional Graphic Designers: Affinity Designer

Out of all the categories in this article, this one more than any other may show how far iPad apps have come. Previously I recommended designers to check out Bez. It was a powerful application at the time, but couldn’t handle full-time vector-related tasks. Fast forward a few years and Affinity Designer has proven that you don’t need a Mac to do design work. This is a full professional tool with all the power of the Mac, formatted to work beautifully on the iPad.

For Professional Developers: Coda

For engineers and developers on-the-go, Coda is a fully capable code-editing app which allows you to write and edit code away from your Mac. I love the comfort of being able to leave my Mac at home and edit code on the iPad when necessary.

For Professional Photographers: Lightroom, Affinity Photo and Pixelmator Photo

This is the hardest category to choose just one winner, so I won’t. There are many powerful options for photo-editing on the iPad that match or exceed the flexibility offered by the corresponding Mac apps. If I had to choose just one, I’d choose Affinity Photo. Not only is it great for editing pictures, but it can easily be considering a full-on Photoshop equivalent for the iPad.

For Professional Artists: Procreate

Procreate was one of the first apps I downloaded to my iPad Pro, not because I’m an aspiring artist, but because I knew it was the best app to test the functionality of the Apple Pencil. I can’t imagine a better drawing tool than an iPad Pro, Procreate and an Apple Pencil. Artists have come up with amazing pieces of art on the iPad, and I don’t think they are going to stop anytime soon.

For Professional IT Managers: Screens, Jump Desktop

While I still love the beautiful UI of Screens, Jump Desktop has taken the spot of the most useful remote access tool for iPad. Despite it’s less attractive UI, Jump Desktop has the ability to automatically change the resolution of my Mac to match that of my iPad as soon as I connect remotely. That feature alone has sealed the deal for me.

For Professional Video Editors: LumaFusion

LumaFusion is a great example of how real work can be done on the iPad Pro. While it may not be a complete match to Final Cut Pro in terms of functionality, it’s pretty damn close. I challenge anyone who regularly edits video to try using LumaFusion on the iPad. While it may take some getting used to, it’s no slouch.

For Organization: Mindnode

It took a while for me to see the benefit of a mind-mapping tool, but once I did, I was hooked. Mindnode is a great example of how an iPad can accomplish the same tasks that a Mac can. Regardless of whether you’re working on Mac or iOS, Mindnode offers the same experience on both platforms. It’s truly astounding how they were able to design a product for two different platforms without sacrificing functionality or usability.

For Students or Business Professionals: Agenda

Let’s get real, everyone takes notes. I’ve long used Bear as my default notes editor, but when I first heard of Agenda, I had to give it a chance. In order to understand the appeal of Agenda, you have to completely forget everything you know about note-taking. The developers behind Agenda have created a note taking experience completely different from any other app. With it’s tight integration into my calendar and it’s unique categorization methods, Agenda has become the perfect tool for me in my day job. Not to mention, it feels right at home on the iPad.

There are so many other great iPad apps I could’ve included on this list, but I’ll leave those for another time. Soon I will dive deeper into each of these apps and explain in more detail why they have changed my mind about the iPad Pro. For now though, I feel reinvigorated. Once again I’m excited for the future of the iPad Pro. If we see another advancement in three years like we did the last time I wrote this article, I think we’ll all be looking at the iPad Pro in a much different light.

Things Review

Despite how many task management apps and services I’ve used over the years, I still remember Things being my first. Paired with a beautiful interface, it had just enough features without being too complicated.

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Cardhop for Mac Review

In my day job, managing contacts is one of the most time-consuming things I have to do. It’s also something I’m terrible at.

These days, new CRM tools are popping up left and right, promising to make it easy to manage your contacts. Despite all of these advances to CRM tools, one tool that has remained untouched is the address book. It’s built into iOS and Mac, and yet, it’s been stagnant for years.

Then Cardhop was released.

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Apple To Remove Abandoned Apps From The App Store

Techcrunch:

It’s cleaning time in the App Store. Apple sent an email to its developer community indicating that there will be some upcoming changes in the App Store. If an app no longer works or is outdated, it’s going to get removed from the App Store. And it’s about time.

“We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated,” Apple wrote.

It’s about time. Apple isn’t stopping there though, they are also targeting apps with spammy names as well:

For instance, if you search for “Instagram” on the App Store, one of the first results is an app that is called “[app name] Photo Collage, Picture Editor, Pic Grid, F…” and then it gets cut off.

Could The New iPhone Support The Apple Pencil?

Tim Cook on the Apple Pencil in an interview with NDTV:

NDTV: Has that voice never come to you? For example when you launched the pencil and you know what Steve said,’ if you see a stylus they blew it’, when you launched that pencil?

Tim Cook: Well we launched a pencil not a stylus, first of all, and there’s a big difference and the things that people are doing with this pencil, I think that Steve would have loved. He loved to help people create. And if you’ve ever seen what can be created on an iPhone or an iPad with that pencil is really unbelievable. You should really show some of these to your audience.

My hunch is this is an error on Tim’s part, but I’d love to see Apple add Pencil support with the next iPhone.

America Votes With Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity:

Today, we’re letting America choose between two new expansion packs about either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

At the end of this promotion, Cards Against Humanity will tally up the sales of both packs, and depending on which pack gets more support, we will donate all the money in support of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Hilarious.

One Billion iPhones

Apple:

“iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history. It’s become more than a constant companion. iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day,” said Cook. “Last week we passed another major milestone when we sold the billionth iPhone. We never set out to make the most, but we’ve always set out to make the best products that make a difference. Thank you to everyone at Apple for helping change the world every day.”

There has truly never been another product like the iPhone.

Apple’s Hard-Charging Tactics Hurt TV Expansion

The WSJ:

Mr. Cue is also known for a hard-nosed negotiating style. One cable-industry executive sums up Mr. Cue’s strategy as saying: “We’re Apple.”

Apple is playing the long-term game with their TV service. It’s only a matter of time until the TV industry is forced to make a change.

The Last VCR Will Be Manufactured This Month

Quartz:

Japan’s Funai Electronics, which makes its own electronics, in addition to supplying companies like Sanyo, will produce the last batch of VCR units by July 30, Nikkei reported (link in Japanese). The company cites difficulty in obtaining the necessary parts as one of the reasons for halting production.

VCRs were launched about 40 years ago. With the rise of DVDs, Blu-ray and streaming services like Netflix, they’ve become completely obsolete. At its peak, Funai sold 15 million units of the home video system, Last year, it reported 750,000 in sales.

And yet, vinyl is still going strong.