April 8, 2020
iPad Pro – A designer’s review

iPad Pro – A designer’s review

– In today’s video, I
want to share my thoughts on the iPad Pro and the Apple pencil and how they work within
my design process. I’ve had a lot of questions
about using this device because you’ve seen me using it in vlogs and people are wondering if
they should get one themselves. How it’s useful for design, etc., so hopefully I can shed some light on that and we can have a chat about some nerdy hardware stuff today. Quick note before we get into it this video is sponsored by Squarespace they are my favorite all in one platform for building whatever type of website you think you might need,
so thank you Squarespace and let’s get into the review. (funky music) First off, the reason I
bought this iPad was mostly because I wanted to be
able to do lettering and I wanted to be able to
use the app called Procreate. It’s essentially a drawing
app where you can have a bunch of different brushes. It’s got some great controls and it’s been mentioned by a
lot of hand lettering artists as an app that’s really useful to use and quite like true to
life when you’re using the Apple pencil in it. I’ve been interested in hand
lettering for quite a long time but I’ve never been that good at it. I’m still not that good at it I would say but what is good is that
I enjoy it much more now doing it on the iPad, I feel
like I have more control and that it’s easier to
fine tune the lettering and clean up little mistakes without having to redraw the whole thing. I think because of that enjoyment factor just simply I love using Procreate and I love drawing in it. I’ve been looking for excuses
to bring hand drawn elements into the rest of my design work because obviously I’m not a
hand lettering artist as a job, I am mainly a web designer and you wouldn’t think those
two things would fit together but I have found ways to make them work. For example, the imagery
that we’ve been doing lately on the ConvertKit blog this year, it’s a new style of imagery that I created and it was inspired mostly
because I had the iPad and knew that I could easily
draw on top of images. We needed an imagery
style that was going to be easy to create and yet stand apart from other tech company blogs and I’m really proud of the style and a lot of the reason
why we were able to do it and have these special looking images is because of the iPad. It made it really easy for
me to quickly create them and get them out the door. I think the web can easily
get really boxy and perfect. I think we’re seeing a
shift away from that lately. People are appreciating
more organic shapes in web design and they’re not as easy to create on the computer Because if you draw a line
in illustrator for example it’s automatically going to
try and smooth itself out and try and make it perfect and obviously as a web designer too I’m always want to align
things to the pixel grid and get them looking pixel perfect. But at the same time, it’s lovely to bring a more human organic element into things. I’ve been really enjoying
trying to add some hand drawn touches to our
website wherever possible. Things like these little
envelope dividers. I’ve drawn some plants
on our pricing page, some little sparks on this page here. This is still a work in progress for sure. I’m still looking for new ways to bring some hand drawn
stuff to the website but it’s fun to explore that and the iPad’s definitely
enabled me to do it. So as you can probably tell, Procreate is the app that I
use the most on this iPad. I’m also using it to design the font that I’m going to be selling. I use it for my video thumbnails. I just really like it as an app. I think I will do a more in depth video, focusing just on Procreate later on, but for now I do just want
to give my overall thoughts on this device. So let’s move on to some other things. Another one is Concepts,
I use this for wireframing because it’s got an infinite canvas, unlike Procreate where you
have to set a canvas size. I really like wireframing on paper. That’s definitely still my favorite way to wireframe a website. I like getting A3 paper and a Sharpie and just going mad like that. But it’s really handy
to be able to wireframe on the iPad as well, when I’m in a cafe for example and I can’t really spread
out all these pieces of paper all over the place. It’s nice to have a place
that I can still draw and get my ideas out because I do think it’s a good start to the web design process. Then most recently, I’ve
tried an app called Astropad, which essentially turns your iPad into a graphics tablet so that you can be using your Apple pencil like on the iPad to control what’s on your screen on the computer. I just bought the standard Astropad which I think is $29.99 or something from the app store and you download an accompanying app on your Mac and then you can see whatever
is on your computer screen on the iPad which is pretty amazing, and work with it with the Apple pencil. It’s been awesome to use in illustrator especially when I’ve
been working on my font. You just use the pencil
tool to refine vectors which is amazing, you could use it to draw in Photoshop. You could even use it to arrange things in Sketch if you wanted to. I was just trying things out. So overall, I do tend to
use my iPad for drawing. Whenever I’m using it,
I am pretty much using the Apple pencil with it. But some of the other
apps I like having on here are InVision so I can
check up on my prototypes and the comments on them. I’ve got all of my work apps on here for communication like
Slack and Basecamp and Zoom so I can essentially have
meetings from this if I need to. I generally do my writing
on my 12 inch MacBook but if I do need to write on the iPad I love the app iA writer
it’s super nice and clean and it uses markdown. I don’t know, I’ve got Google Drive, to do list apps, whatever but honestly the main thing
I do use this for is drawing. And the sort of thing that
I can’t do on my computer. I’m not the kind of person who would use the iPad as my main device because I do still work in Sketch daily as my main software that I use and I do still code and
while I think there are apps for coding on the iPad, I don’t think it would be ideal for me. I like my set-up that
I have on the computer. I don’t know, perhaps it’s something that I could look into in the future. I think iOS works really well on the iPad, as you can see now they
have this doc functionality which you can put apps in or it just shows the most recent ones that you’ve used down there. You can do multi-tasking with it. They’ve done a lot with
this operating system to make the iPad super powerful and I can see how some people use this as their full-time device. Now in terms of hardware, I bought the small iPad Pro, I can’t remember what
size it is, 12 something, 10 point something, whatever, it was the smaller one of
the two sizes that they have. I wanted the small one
for portability, mostly. It’s nice and small,
it’s not overly heavy. It can fit in my backpack
and I can take it along with my 12 inch MacBook along to a cafe or whatever without too much added hassle. I also didn’t get the
smart keyboard cover. I had a lot of people asking about that. I just have the regular smart cover and that’s because I don’t really intend to do much writing on this. I’ve got the MacBook for that that I would have with me anyway for doing design work. I would love if the iPad
didn’t have a camera to be honest because it feels weird to have this bump in something that you’re going to be putting flat on the table to draw with. I guess the iPad is
used by different people for different reasons but I feel like on the iPad Pro perhaps people are not gonna be really using that to take a picture of
their family on holiday. You know, you just get the
regular version of the iPad if that’s what you want to do. Oh that’s another thing. The cover is great because
you can fold it like this and set it on the desk and then you’ve got your
screen slightly tilted for drawing on. I love the Apple pencil,
I think it’s great. It is expensive, but I think it works well as a stylus. It can feel a little strange
to draw on the glass. I’ve heard that putting
a matte screen protector on your iPad can really
help it feel more like you’re drawing with an
actual pencil on paper, but I don’t really mind it to be honest. I’ve gotten used to it ’cause it’s the main way that I work now. You do have to be careful
not to lose the cap because the way this
charges is pretty hilarious. You stick it in to the bottom of the iPad and it goes like that. But yeah this kind of has a
nice weight to it in your hand and it’s a good size,
it’s nice and smooth. There’s no like ridges that are going to cut into your finger
or anything like that. The battery life lasts
quite well on it as well. Because I’ve never used this constantly. I’ve never used it straight
from like full to empty, like I have with my phone,
that needs to charge everyday. I feel like I only charge
my iPad about once a week. Actually, I will confess that probably the second biggest thing
that I use my iPad for if I’m not drawing with
it is watching Netflix. It’s a great little
Netflix screen, but anyway. The multi-tasking is kind of cool too because sometimes I can have
Netflix on in the corner while I am drawing something in Procreate. That’s pretty fun. So overall, I love having this iPad as a part of my design toolkit. I think it really helps me
to add a more organic feel to my designs and it’s really helpful for being able to draw on the go, to do wireframes without needing
to use up a bunch of paper. I use it as a supplement
to my design process, rather than for the whole thing. If you’re a designer who wants to get better at hand lettering, or get into it in general, then I think this would be a
really great device for you. I’ve found it amazing for that. It makes me feel more confident drawing, so that’s what makes it worth it for me. So that’s my overall review of the iPad. If you’ve got any questions about it leave them down below in the comments. But now I want to show
you some hand lettering in action, while I tell
you about Squarespace. So, like I said, Squarespace
is an all in one platform for creating websites, which means that you never
have to install a patch or upgrade anything, it
all just happens for you behind the scenes there. You can have complete
control over the design of your website on Squarespace, which is obviously
really important for me. They have beautiful
templates you can start with but then you can completely
customize them as well which is a lot of fun. And all of the templates come
pre-built to be responsive, which means that they’re
going to look great on your computer, on your phone, or even on your iPad. I think Squarespace is especially great as a portfolio tool because it’s really easy to get set up, nice andfast so there’s no excuses for not having your portfolio done. It’s easy to add to it over time and they make it easy to get set up with a custom domain as well, which is just gonna make your site look more professional. Obviously, though, you can use it for whatever type of
website you want to make. And they’ve got 24 seven support so they’ll always be
there to help you out. If you want to head to Squarespace dot com you can get a free trial and then when you’re ready to launch go to squarespace.com/charliemarietv and you get 10% off your
first website or domain. I hope you enjoyed seeing those pieces of lettering in action. Like I said, I think I’m
gonna do a full video about Procreate and how I use it so I can give you some more
background on that there. But thank you for watching this video. Hope it was useful, hope you enjoyed it. Give it a thumbs up if you did, thumbs up. If you’ve got an iPad Pro of your own, I would love to hear about how it fits in with your workflow and what your favorite apps are so how about you share them
down below in the comments. Thanks for watching and
I will see you next time. Bye. (upbeat music)

100 thoughts on “iPad Pro – A designer’s review

  1. Charli, we're waiting for the Adobe xd review especially after the new update that comes with layout grids and design specs. By the way you're awesome and I love how active you are.good luck

  2. Thanks for the review. I've talked with a co-worker frequently and he's told me lots about the ipad pro. I feel ive been won over by the split screen alone. thanks for the added tips, showing the other apps that you use for the design process.

  3. Awesome work combining web design with lettering and doodles, they go very well together 🙂

    Nerdy designer question: what font did you use at 0:36 to write "iPad Pro"? It looks very nice

  4. I bought the ipad pro 9,7 2 months ago, at it was all the money worth. Love procreate, especially for typography, which I do a lot!
    I need to use it for other stuff, because it just sits there when i am not lettering

  5. Now I suddenly want to buy an iPad Pro. One question – can you animate drawing the letters in Procreate or another app to make animated titles like the ones in your video?

  6. Great review, thank you! Quite inspiring too.
    Love my iPad Pro. It‘s now an essential device for me, especially for photography (editing & organizing) and a lot more. There‘s not a single other device that can compete with it. iPad Pro is definitely the one and only best tablet.

  7. We use the iPad Pro at work, but it’s more for managing social media accounts and quick photos etc rather than design

  8. I’ve been thinking of getting an iPad Pro, still researching Astropad and ProCreate. Video is great, thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. I have this same iPad and LOVE IT! It’s actually how I watch all of your videos. My husband gave it to me as a gift one year. I was nervous bout it’s size but have ended up loving it.

  10. The Apple Pencil does come wit a charging adapter right? So you can plug it into the wall. Plugging it into the iPad I thought was only for getting a little more juice in it if it dies while on the go. It gets 30 minutes with 15 seconds of charging or something.

  11. I’ve been loving your hair so much lately! The colours keep fading into such pretty shades. Also I really enjoyed this video… even though I cannot possibly afford an iPad Pro and really don’t need one hahaha

  12. Hopefully you see this and answer me *fingers crossed*… I study industrial design, I like to sketch and edit on Ps and Ai, would you recommend getting the ipad pro and use Astropad or just stick with a wacom tablet?

  13. Ooh super interesting to see what apps you used, have literally just gone an downloaded Concepts! It's only been 2 weeks but it seems my iPad will be important for my work too. In the small space of time I've been there I've already used astropad for doing photo retouching and then procreate for doing lettering for newsletter graphics! I think the longer I'm at the company, I'll use it more/be assigned tasks that will specifically work better with a "graphics tablet" type interface but will see!

  14. I bought an iPad Pro a few months ago and I mainly wanted to get it for working on the go (esp. uni), for writing, and for drawing. I will eventually get Procreate but for now I’m working with the free app Adobe Sketch. I haven’t done much lettering but I want to get into it eventually, for now I just draw for fun. So far I’ve designed a couple of my friend’s tattoos with that app and for a free app it works great.
    I did buy the Apple Smart Keyboard and I am absolutely in love with it. Anyone who’s thinking of getting a keyboard for the iPad Pro, get that one! It’s expensive but it’s the best out there. For writing I use Word or Scrivener because I can easily sync it to my MacBook.

  15. Great video! Here's a few of my tips for the iPad Pro:

    • The Smart Keyboard is a dream. I was nervous about getting it at first, but it keeps everything nice and light and compact. It's great to write on, both for apps like Ulysses and for everyday internet use. Highly recommended.
    • I did a minor modification to my Pencil buy putting a clip from a Micron Pen on it. Gives it a tiny bit more heft and top weight, which I really like, feels more pen-y.
    • Also, definitely use the adapter for the Pencil for regular charging on a cable. Charges faster and not super janky hanging off the iPad.
    • I'm one of the people who uses a matte screen protector, primarily because I don't want to scratch the screen, but also because it give a really nice texture for using ProCreate. Highly highly advised if you're using the Pencil a lot.
    • Trying to develop on the iPad is okay, but it's not great if you have a local or staging setup and want to quickly make changes. I prefer my laptop for that stuff since I can run my processes better, but I hope it'll be a better tool for devs in the future.

    A few other thoughts other viewers may find helpful 🙂

  16. I had an iPad Pro 9.7 and I really loved it. but due to long hours of use, reading, writing etc I had constant headaches and eyestrain with it, so I sold it after a couple of months , didn't you have eyestrain?

  17. I use the iPad for drawing and buying a clear rubber backing case makes the bump go away from the camera! In case that is helpful at all 🙂

  18. I use an iPad Pro (9.7”) as my primary portable device instead of a laptop, and have a Mac Mini at home and iMac at work. Ideally I would like to transition to a MacBook Pro for things like Sketch, but the iPad can do a lot still. Although it’s not as powerful as Sketch, I have an app called ProtoSketch which has a lot of the same functionality and is aimed at UI design. They don’t have a desktop equivalent of the program yet, but it’s in the works. Pixelmator is a good portable Photoshop alternative if you need to do something quick. I would also recommend Duet, which allows you to use your iPad as a second Mac screen. Not has powerful as Astropad for using it like a graphics tablet, but can be good for multitasking and having two monitors. If you want to do web coding, Coda is a good iPad app that has full FTP functionality. None of these apps are really as good as their desktop counterparts, but they are pretty good and can get the job done if all you have is your iPad at the time, and maybe as time progresses they will continue to improve.

    Also, I have the Apple Case for the iPad (the back part, not the cover), and it makes the screen bump no longer an issue for me 👌

  19. Squarespace takes jobs away from designers especially Web Designers. I️ don’t understand why every “design” Youtuber is sponsored by a company that hurts the design industry.

  20. I love it! But… It sucks that is all pay and in dollars. In Argentina the dollar is 17+ pesos and it is becoming very difficult . That’s why I use the adobe featured in Ipad pro and which if you are already paying for the Adobe CC, these apps are free! How about including apps that are free to use? I will though, download some of these, because they seem awesome, but I think it will be a Santa’s gift.

    BTW what bag pack is that?? It’s so cute!!

  21. I have the 12.9 first gen iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and use it for drawing comic book art. I use an app called Medibang which is free. This combo is awesome together for this kind of work. I am also a web UX designer and I am going to try out Concepts. Awesome video.

  22. Funny you just posted this. I'm a UX/Interaction designer and have been contemplating upgrading to the pro. I've used concepts for wireframing with an ipad mini, but the pro + apple pencil makes a huge difference and I've been eyeing the 9.7. The 10.5 is largely a gimmick, the difference in ability is negligible and not worth it for designers using these apps. What they dont tell you is that there currently arent apps available that are capable of maxing out even the 9.7, which is a sizeable screen (the 12.9 isnt a mobile or portable device as it's large, awkward and unwieldy). The new 120hz "promotion" is only a nice feature but fluid view is only useful natively (launching apps, navigating) and most apps, video, media and web experience will still be the exact same. There arent even games capable of using this functionality yet. Between astropad, and being able to pair it as a portable second monitor clamped to the side of my macbook makes it invaluable and more than just a "nice to have" tool. It's a necessity for designers. Thanks for this video.

  23. Hi Charli! What size iPad Pro do you have? Bit baffled by the 64gb vs 120gb. Don’t think I need extra space as most work is held on my MacBook but trying to gather research to help my decision. Love your videos!

  24. fyi, u can just little set of accessories like this to extend Apple Pencil's charging setup by adding a female-to-female adapter which allows u to plugin common lightning cable to charge instead.  Other little parts r just cap holder and tip/nib cover.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H6Q03IY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01

  25. I’m a desk/office bound type person and yes, I’m finding all sorts of excuses to use this gadget at work too. Do I need it, nope – do I want it to fit into my workflow, absolutely. I use all sorts of productivity apps (Office 365 and email mostly). I read and sign everything using PDF Expert by Readdle.

  26. Actually the camera is very useful for artists too. I have seen a variety of used but in my case I've used it especially to photograph sketches and doodles done by hand (my preferred way to sketch) and then refine or paint over them in a very cool mix of traditional and digital; as a way to get on the spot references for materials like rusted metal, cloth, or tree bark that might be useful for a painting I'm doing, and to use a random photograph as color palette — when I'm out of ideas I just look around, snap a picture and let my environment give me the colors I will use.

    I know I could do all of that with my phone and then transfer the images to the ipad but 1, why to go through all the hassle and waste time selecting and transferring images via bluetooth? 2, my phone is always full of images already and its storage doesn't compare with my ipad's.

    As for the camera bump I never draw on the ipad as a flat surface. I use the smart cover same as you, so I roll it back into a triangle and use it with a slight inclination that rests on the curve of the ipad and not on the camera.

  27. thanks so much for you input, charli! always love your review videos. i love my iPad Pro, and i also use it mostly for lettering in and creating handmade elements in procreate. but i 100% agree that it makes a perfect netflix viewing device.

  28. I've been wanting to get an iPad for ProCreate for lettering and illustrating, but I honestly hate using screens for typing (i.e I need a keyboard to type) and I'm worried that if I get an iPad that it'll just turn out to be a glorified Drawing Tablet/Stylus… I'd be really interested (if possible, you're choice!) if you could do a "must have drawing tablet" video – I've heard a lot of designers recommend Wacom but which model?

    I hope this makes sense! You've convinced me to get an iPad, all that's holding be back is the price tag!

  29. Definitely appreciate you taking the time to review the iPad Pro. I will be receiving one soon and having app recommendations and ideas on how to use the iPad for design helps me save a lot of time and effort. Keep up the great work and thanks again!


  30. I’m in love with the iPad Pro, and I want it so bad… But, how can I get the money now? Hahaha that my only problem!

  31. when you talk about using the ipad as a graphic tablet, you said "using it on the computer", would this work with Windows or is it something working on mac exclusive? I am hard thinking if I should buy an ipad pro or a microsoft surface pro. The main thing is actually the price. I do not really need a whole laptop device but I want to draw digital on the go and in university. The Problem is that I only use Windows Pcs and minding problems in connecting both systems. If I go for the surface I would buy an more expensive one wich actually has a good enough performance to run all programs I use on Pc so the price would just be double the price of the ipad pro I want (I would go for the smaller one because it would be better on the go).
    anyone here can give me a good advice on these thoughts?

  32. Excellent review (and I've watched a tonne) but yours included some of the best app recommendations. You pretty much sold me on getting an iPad Pro.

  33. Thanks Charli from Block 10 at Massey Uni Coca Wellington XD This is the next thing I wanna buy!!! Wohoo! TC my friend!


  35. I surely want one of those too. Have to wait till the used ones get cheaper. I am wondering which size to buy? Is the bigger one light enough to hold and paint at the same time?

  36. Hey Charli! Love your videos! Also not sure if you’re a Kiwi, but love to hear someone from home!
    I’ve long been debating with myself whether I should get the iPad Pro or not. My intention to get it really is to use the pencil to create better fluid or curves in my UI. The input method of a pencil comes more naturally to me than a mouse with a bezier tool. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this, and if so, what apps you use to draw UI on the iPad and transfer into Sketch.

  37. The camera is great for document scanning, whether for business purposes or as a student (uploading notes to cloud or working on them). It comes in quite handy tbh

  38. A quick glance at your videos and I couldn't see a video focused on this (though might have missed it), but have you ever considered doing some videos on how to move to another country and start working in what I assume must be quite a competitive field. I'd be curious to learn. Do you freelance, or do you have a permanent position?

  39. I had always loved the freedom of creativity & technology. I started not so long in web development. I want to transition into design, but I’m not an artist. Do I actually need to know how to draw to become a designer?

  40. can you use photoshop and illustrator? or can the files from the apps transfer and be edit by photoshop and illustrator? What is the different between ipad pro and mac? what do you recommend for a long-term main machine for design between mac, ipad pro, microsoft surface book/pro?

  41. Most of the iPad Pro cases and protectors surround the camera lens which ends up making the bottom of the iPad completely flat and level. Looking forward to that "How to Procreate" video.

  42. Hi, what iPad Pro is this? How much GB did u get? Thanks. Helpful video, I hope to do the same for my design work.


  43. Thank you so much for this video! I love you mention the apps you use too… This was also really helpful! 😀

  44. We're thinking of getting an iPad for sketching, but our desktop uses Windows OS and we have no other Apple products. How difficult would it be to move our iPad sketches to a computer using Windows OS?

  45. i tried this but i found the pressure for brush to be too much :/ i have to push very hard for solid color.. its kinda not real to be honest

  46. You know the 12.9 isn’t much bigger than the 10.5 right? I don’t understand how it’s way more portable to have the 10.5…

  47. have never been using apple products. what about ipad 2018 for Maya rendering and zbrush 3d painting compare with surface pro 6 and surface book 2? more/less performance. any thoughts r welcome

  48. Do you think the iPad is good for someone learning to draw, vs a pro artist? If I get good in a years time or improve my skills, should I wait to get the 12.9 new iPad pro? I've ordered the 11" without thinking but I think it should be suitable for procreate and all that just fine, or am I wrong?

  49. Why don’t you design up a app for coding? So that all of the things you are not able to do on the iPad Pro at the moment you can then do, I have been learning how to use my new iPad Pro it’s really good, I am going to download the apps you have recommended and I will have a little play with them as I am designing dress patterns, and have been designing bags but haven’t found my zone yet with the apps I have been using =) it’s like oh I like that colour but I can’t get that sheen to make it look a certain way on paper for the presentation board. I have also been to a business gateway event to get the vibe of thing,once I pass my my driving test I will be up and running in a year. Only seems like yesterday I was watching your video in my HNC class at Nescol =) I got my cover from Tesco the pink sparkles one it works the same way, I have the Apple Pencil that is magnetic.

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