#446 - Procreate Dreams & the iPad

4 minute read

The iPad remains my favorite device I’ve ever owned. It just got new superpowers.

Procreate Dreams

Procreate is the de-facto standard application for creating digital art on the iPad. It’s the clear winner. So, when the team that built Procreate created a brand new app aimed at making animation, I was very excited. “Procreate Dreams” is out now. It’s a one-time $20 cost.

Procreate Dreams aims to make animation more approachable, more discoverable, and more fun. I’ve been playing with it for a week or so now. While I’ve got no specific goal in mind yet, I’m starting to get the hang of it. I’m looking forward to incorporating “animation making” into my tool belt of creative capabilities.

Honestly if you’re buying an iPad and an Apple Pencil, you should plan on dropping $40 for both Procreate apps. They’re the best.

Here’s a dumb little animation I made.


That’s it.

This Column was essentially just about the Top 10 & 5 below.

Top 10: iPad Use Cases

10. Taking Photos and Videos

You shouldn’t do this, assuming you have a phone. But you can.

9. Gaming

Between Apple Arcade and emulation, the iPad is a capable video game console. You can pair a PlayStation controller to it and go.

8. Doodling & Note Taking

There are a ton of apps for this. See Column #430. Infinite paper. Infinite canvas. Infinite idea capture.

7. Writing

This blog post was written on my iPad. It will be posted from this device, too. There are a vast number of apps you can use for writing stuff. Obsidian, Notion, and Google Docs all come to mind, but there are literally hundreds of others.

6. Music & Podcast Production

There are multiple levels of music production available on the iPad. You can use virtual instruments, or plug your keyboard, guitar, or whatever into it and capture your performances. Either way you can then edit it to your hearts content.

I recorded and edited my podcasts on my iPad. When I get another podcast, I will use the iPad again. Ferrite Pro.

5. CAD Modeling & Scanning

While people who make a living doing CAD work probably aren’t going to turn to the iPad as their favorite device for doing it, I’ve been very successfully using it for the past few years to model projects I build before I go actually try to build them. You can even use the iPad’s Lidar scanner to capture digital representations of spaces and objects.

4. Video Editing & Animation

Procreate Dreams AND Final Cut Pro have both come out for the iPad this year, and have turned it into a fully-capable video content creation platform.

3. Proper Digital Art

People use iPads for their professional productions. Procreate. Photoshop. You can produce amazing things, and the cost of admission (for Procreate, at least) is pretty low!

2. Solo Movie Watching

Such an underrated way to take in a movie. Headphones and an iPad. You’re locked in. It’s like airplane movie experience, but without the airplane.

1. Internet Browsing

The iPad is still my favorite way to browse content on the internet.

Top 5: iPad Use Cases that Could Be Better

5. Gaming

Despite being more powerful than the Nintendo Switch, the iPad’s gaming library lacks truly compelling entries. I think the main issue is the economics don’t work out to make games that depend on external controllers, which are 100x better for “proper video game” playing than using virtual touch screen controllers. Probably 90% of folks who own an iPad do NOT own a controller that paired with it. It’s a bit of an economic chicken-and-egg problem.

No games → no mass controller adoption.

No mass controller adoption → no games.

4. Audio Recording

One mildly annoying limitation of the iPad - your audio input can’t be used by two apps simultaneously. If you’re recording a podcast while on a Zoom, you cannot also use your voice recording app.

3. Multi-monitor Support

This is a mostly solved problem if your iPad is running one of the “M” series chips. Mine is from the generation riiiight before they announced the “M1” and thus my 2nd-screen support is limited to screen mirroring only, which is not useful.

2. Calculator

Honestly I am filling space. There’s no built-in calculator, which is silly.

1. Coding

The iPad is still a crappy computer for doing coding work. There are sort of workarounds you can use, but they all are so much worse than having a proper terminal, file system, and IDE.

Honestly if they solved this problem, I could easily see myself going in on the iPad 100%.


Moo-seum - is that a place where they have cows?  My 5 year old - I assume he heard this as a joke and didn’t come up with it himself,b but it caught me off-guard either way.