Adobe says iPad Pro can't replace a laptop for creative work, and it's okay

In the future, tablets like the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4 have the potential to replace dedicated artist tablets, like Wacom's Cintiq line.

"But I don't think that's happening quite yet because the technology hasn't been quite there yet," Macy mused about this future. He does think that these new slates will create a convergence of devices for creatives, and that this will happen once people begin to experience the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro and understand the technology's capabilities.

"The solution is much more mobile than the combination of a desktop or laptop computer and a Cintiq, and it's beautifully integrated," Macy said.

As Director of Mobile Product Marketing, Creative Cloud, Macy had access to the tablet pre-launch through Adobe's relationship with Apple, but he is still waiting for his personal device to arrive. "I'm very encouraged by the access that I've had," Macy said of the slate, adding that he looks forward to receiving his personal tablet and using it as his "primary computer."

iPad lineup

Macy also hinted that Adobe is examining bringing other parts of its Creative Cloud to iOS, including the possibility of bringing a video editing workflow to mobile devices that would integrate with Adobe Premiere Pro.

Users are also finding new ways of doing things on a mobile device that may not completely replace what they've done in the past. Hollywood may not use the iPad Pro to edit video, but a cinematographer could use the slate to plan scenes, and then pass the project to someone in the studio to continue the editing.

"We're constantly in communication with Apple to figure out what's possible and what's not possible in the future, and giving our input on that."

iPad Pro versus Surface Pro 4

There has been a lot of comparison between Apple's and Microsoft's flagship tablets. Both offer the pen integration that's integral to creative workflows, and both slates come with large, high-resolution screens that addressed the shortcomings of early tablets for artists. So what device would Macy recommend you get? It all depends.

"To me, they're both great devices in different ways," Macy said. "A lot of that decision will be in the preference of OS. For people who use Windows, those are the ones that will steer towards the Surface Pro 4. A lot of creatives don't use Windows in their work at all. They use Mac OS, and they tend to have iPhones, and they're the types of people who will gravitate towards the iPad Pro."