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Post-PC? Apple gives iPads Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro

Is the iPad a computer? Apple has now raised an even bigger argument that its tablet is a viable PC replacement with the introduction of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad.

These are among the pro apps frequently cited by those who claim iPads cannot replace computers, so the arrival of iPadOS versions for the tablet further undermines those arguments. The launch will certainly once again foster speculation that Apple could one day introduce Xcode for iPad. 

What Apple said

“We’re excited to introduce Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad, allowing creators to unleash their creativity in new ways and in even more places,” Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing said in a statement. “With a powerful set of intuitive tools designed for the portability, performance, and touch-first interface of iPad, Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro deliver the ultimate mobile studio.”

In a sense, it’s a natural progression. Ever since the iPad originally shipped, Apple has been engaged in showing how the system can be used to replace many of the tasks we once needed PCs to handle.

A touch of magic

Development of the apps must have been a really big deal for the company’s pro apps teams, who have clearly put a lot of effort into bringing the apps across from macOS. Until now, Apple has only offered iPad versions of iMovie and GarageBand, but neither tool delivers the full extent of features the pro uers need. Music and video industry professionals know that Logic Pro and Final Cut are key apps.

To bring them to iPad, Apple developed new all-touch interfaces and packed the solutions with critical features. The idea is that you can create and complete projects on the device using viable touch-based user interfaces for both complex apps. It’s also possible to work on projects across iPads and Macs.

Includes unique tools

Apple called out some interface ideas that are unique to the tablet. For example, it has developed a feature called Live Drawing that lets users draw and write directly on top of video content with Apple Pencil.

There’s also a Reference mode that exploits the XDR display, so video editors can view and apply color grades on their content and users can record movie footage in ProRes.

Logic Pro has a similar set of unique advantages, not least the ability to use the five studio-quality microphones in the iPad Pro to record sounds. Apple argues that this lets iPad users turn “virtually any space into a recording studio.” Otherwise, the user interfaces for both apps should seem familiar to anyone who has used an iPad app.

There’s also AI, for example. Final Cut Pro offers a powerful editing tool called Scene Removal Mask that lets editors remove or replace the background behind a subject within a green screen.

Coming May 23

Both apps will be available on the App Store starting May 23. Interestingly, both are being offered on a subscription basis, paid for monthly or annually. They cost $4.99 each per month, or $49.99 each per year; Apple is offering a free one month trial of both the apps.

System requirements include an M1-powered iPad or later for Final Cut Pro or an A12 Bionic powered chip or later to run Logic Pro. 

One more thing, of course, is that the introduction of both apps on iPads is likely to generate a huge amount of interest. After all, at $49.99 per year, this is going to tempt music and video professionals and aspiring creative consumers. This will also beef up App Store revenues, while boosting Apple’s bottom line in what the company has already flagged as a slightly challenging quarter.

It’s also one more nail in the coffin of the few remaining arguments against iPads being the Post PC creations some of us always knew them to be. The iPad is no longer a giant iPhone, as netbook makers once argued before iPads put them out of business.

The release of Final Cut and Logic on the platform once again drive home the message that in many cases the iPad is a full-fledged PC replacement. What is a computer, anyway?

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Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

This story originally appeared on Computerworld

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