Benefits of Using a Newer iPad
Since the iPad is such a critical part of the Matterport capture process, we are often asked “Which iPad should I use?”.
The easiest answer is just to use the best iPad you have available. This means the newest model with the most amount of storage. Newer iPad hardware also “future proofs” you for future Capture app functionality.
In this community post, we’ll elaborate more on these points (newest model, future proofing, and storage space). If you’re a holdout using a very old iPad, this will convince you to upgrade.
NEWER iPADS MEAN FASTER SCAN TIME
Time is money — the faster you complete a scan job, the less time you have to spend on site. This means you can move on to the next job to make more money, or just relax with a margarita.
The time it takes to capture a single scan depends on many factors. These include which camera you use (Pro or Pro2), the WiFi environment, your iPad, the complexity of the scene, and other previous scans you took.
Scan alignment (placing a new scan in the correct location relative to previous scans) has a major effect on total scan time. This is because alignment is a computationally intensive process. To speed up alignment, you’ll need an iPad with better processor and more RAM, which you can only find on the newer generations.
Another reason is because of the WiFi connection. The Pro2 captures more data than the Pro. So to keep the transfer time between the camera and the iPad the same or even faster, we configured the Pro2 to use 5 GHz and the 802.11ac WiFi protocols. Older iPads may not support 802.11ac, and so the transfer time is longer.
Let’s give some numbers to back up the claim that a better iPad helps you scan faster. The following chart shows real data we’ve gathered from tens of thousands of Pro2 scans.
The chart measures the individual scan time — the time from when you tap “start scan” on the iPad until the Capture app indicates “alignment complete.” Because there are many different factors at play, it is not always the same time and can vary. That’s why we show it as a distribution and not as a single number.
Compare the peaks of each distribution. The peak indicates the most common scan time. For the following combinations, the peaks are:
- Matterport Pro2 + iPad Pro2 = 48 seconds
- Matterport Pro2 + iPad Pro = 50 seconds
- Matterport Pro2 + iPad Air2 = 51 seconds
- Matterport Pro2 + iPad Air = 58 seconds
Notice the 10 second difference between using a iPad Pro (second generation) and an iPad Air. By itself 10 seconds is not a lot, but it adds up. Consider a large site that takes 120 scans to complete. If you save 10 seconds per scan, that’s 20 minutes total — 20 less minutes you have to spend on-site.
In fact, every newer model iPad moves the curve to the left, reducing the individual scan time. Less time on-site means more time sipping margaritas!
VERY OLD iPADS WILL NO LONGER BE SUPPORTED
Another reason to upgrade is because future versions of the Capture app will not work on older iPads. This announcement should only affect users with very old iPad hardware. If your iPad is three years old or younger, you are fine.
Future Capture app versions will only be for 64 bit iPads. Older iPads can continue to use the last supported version of Capture for 32 bit, but will not be able to upgrade to the latest Capture release.
32 bit and 64 bit refers to the processor inside the iPad. The difference between 32 bit and 64 bit is mostly invisible to users, but it has a big performance impact on how computer code turns into usable apps.
There’s an easy way to tell if you are using a 64 bit iPad — just update to iOS 11. If you can update, then you are using a 64 bit system. If you can’t update, then you have a very old 32 bit iPad.
We’re making this change because new and exciting future capabilities like the Leica BLK360 integration will only work on 64 bit iPads. In addition, Apple itself has been phasing out support for 32 bit apps (source). In fact, only a very small percentage of current Matterport customers use 32 bit iPads.
MORE STORAGE SPACE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO DELETE A MODEL
Finally, storage space is important too, especially if you are using a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera. This is because Pro2 scans are higher resolution than the Pro, and so take up more space on the iPad.
We recommend you use an iPad with at least 128 GB of total storage space. If that’s not possible, then use the iPad with the most amount of storage space possible. We also encourage you to only use this iPad for Matterport scanning, and to delete all other apps and data.
More storage space also means you can never delete a model from the iPad until it’s absolutely necessary. While unlikely, sometimes you have to return to an old model. For example, a client may ask you to add new scans to an existing space. Or a navigation bug or issue with the 3D mesh may require you to change a marking and reupload. If you deleted the model, then you’ll have to scan the whole property again. That’s why we encourage you to not delete models unless it’s absolutely necessary.
UPGRADE YOUR iPAD AND KEEP SCANNING FOR YEARS
In conclusion, for great scanning in the long-term, we recommend you buy the newest possible iPad with the most amount of storage space available. Typically, any iPad purchased within the last three years should work fine.
In addition, we will be phasing out support for very old 32 bit iPads. Remember, if you can update to iOS 11, then you are using a 64 bit, supported iPad.
iPad model and storage space are not the only things to consider. You might like a bigger screen because you can see more, or you may hate it because it makes the device too big to carry. Of course, price is important too.
Feel free to reply here with any comments or contact our support team with a specific concern.