iPad Pro release date, news and features

Apple has done it again and released another great tablet

In iOS 9, you'll be able to use Apple Pencil to mark up emails and attachments. The YouMake app will let you create complex designs with exact precision, down to a single pixel.

The iPad Pro works with a larger on-screen keyboard, similar to the one found on Apple's MacBook notebooks, which features an additional row of smaller keys for symbols in the main view and numbers in a secondary view.

iPad Pro

You'll also be able to work in documents that run side-by-side in Portrait mode, a first for the iPad.

Apple teaming with IBM & Cisco

In order to further its lead in the enterprise space through BYOD, Apple partnered up with IBM to create new business-focused apps for iOS. This includes exclusive apps created by Apple and IBM in tandem ranging from data and analytics to device management and security.

Also joining the Apple team is networking giant Cisco who, last week, announced that it will "optimise business networks running on Cisco Systems so that Apple devices are more useful for enterprises".

While this move is currently just to increase the amount of existing iOS devices in the office, is there a better way to grease the wheels for a pro-centric iOS device? Not without spending a ton more cash, that's for sure.

Sticking with the business slant, a report by AppleInsider claims that the over-sized iPad is set to come with NFC functionality which will be allow merchants to take payments using Apple Pay. That could make it a boon for the legions of retailers that have signed up to Apple's tap-to-play platform in the countries where it has rolled out.

The competition is already heating up

Samsung beat Apple to the punch in unveiling its 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab Pro tablets during CES 2014. With that, DigiTimes expects Apple "to release its competitor by the end of the third quarter at the earliest." That was last year and obviously nothing happened since.

The question is: will the iPad Pro help fend off the Galaxy Note Pro and other rumored monster 13-inch tablets? Analyst house KGI reckons the answer is no. As spotted by 9to5Mac, KGI noted that while it's "confident that the expected 12.9-inch iPad model can create an improved user experience," it doesn't expect the device to "contribute meaningfully to shipments momentum anytime soon."

Coincidentally, Microsoft and Dell announced that they were teaming up to bring the Surface Pro to an enterprise audience, just 24 hours before the Apple event, perhaps to pre-empt the launch of the iPad Pro.

Toshiba also unveiled a prototype of a Windows 10 tablet at IFA, days ago, that seems to be primed to be a potential competitor to the iPad Pro. It is still a prototype but looked almost like the finished product bar the oddly placed stylus.