iPad minimum requirements and recommended specs

Congratulations to Daniel and team first of all on the launch! It’s a little surreal that both Dorico and Sibelius come out with an app for iPad within days of each other … something tells me these two companies are keeping each other on their toes! :slight_smile: Which is always a good thing for the end users.

Question: I don’t know anything about Apple products, and I don’t have an iPad.

  1. What are the minimum technical requirements to run the app smoothly?
  2. Will it run on a previous generation iPad? How far back?
  3. Is the pencil recommended, does it help with the workflow in any meaningful way?
  4. Do I need the elicenser plugged into the iPad? Is that even possible?

I spent a good deal of money on a Surface Pro a few years back, and while it is a very cool product, I really haven’t used it a lot. Battery life is poor (and the battery cannot be replaced), I never got the hang of StaffPad, and frankly Sibelius and Dorico run better on a regular laptop with a larger screen and a proper keypad.


Any iPad capable of running iPadOS 13 will run Dorico for iPad, but I would recommend an iPad Pro (any generation, but obviously the newer the better, though you don’t need to go nuts and buy the M1 version), iPad Air (3rd or preferably 4th gen) or iPad (preferably 7th or 8th gen).

You don’t need the Apple Pencil for Dorico right now, though it can still be useful as a high-precision finger, but in general you’ll find it useful for other apps on the device, and perhaps you’ll be able to get the hang of the peculiar gestures the Sibelius team have chosen for editing notes with the Pencil.

I think the thing is that if you’re happy with using Sibelius or Dorico on your laptop, and your laptop is sufficiently portable, then there’s no reason to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on an iPad. Yes, Dorico for iPad does include some cool new features, but they will all make their way to the desktop version in due course (and that update will itself cost some money when it arrives).

You don’t need to worry about the eLicenser: apps on the App Store cannot use any kind of third-party licensing technology. You simply download it onto any iPad on which you have signed in with your Apple ID. There’s no limit on the number of devices you can run the software on, provided you downloaded it using that Apple ID.

Thanks so much Daniel for the quick reply!

I have two new laptops which are technically “portable” (though the one that was custom built by PC Audiolabs is a heavy monster). I personally like the big 17" screens and the big keyboards and the endless hardware connections … so I think I’ll leave the iPads for the cool kids for now.

But I love all the new developments and technology.

Hope you and your family continue to stay safe and sound!

Daniel is right on, but in the two days I find the iPad a great complement to the desktop version. I’m on a much older Pro iPad and it runs fine, and am contemplating upgrading. For the price though I could get a light portable laptop, but I’m still thinking the iPad is maybe the way to go. Why? It just fits that niche between paper and machine pretty perfectly.

I have an ancient iPad Mini 4 (definitely Antiques Roadshow material) and, with my squidgy rubber tipped pen thingy, it works fine. It’s very comfortable to have on my lap, with earphones in, whilst my wife has the TV on. Mind you, I’m on the verge of ordering an iPad Air 4 (as soon as they’re back in the refurb store) just for the larger screen size. Bottom line, the new Dorico app is terrific!

Thanks everyone.

I’m thinking of maybe buying a refurbished iPad on eBay, something that works well enough but doesn’t cost too much money. It would be just for the Dorico app and the Sibelius app.