I was recently looking into this query, as many others have, about how to get AI denoise on an iPad Pro since the mobile version of Lightroom is missing that feature currently (at the time of writing), and Topaz isn’t available at all for iPad.
On Topaz’s own forum threads, a rep said that the AI features are too demanding and can only be run on computers, and the company had no plans to make them available for tablets.
Here’s where I think that reasoning is a bit flawed:
First, not all “real computers” are that stout. Saying “this only works on computers because of the power demands” is assuming that all computers have 16GB+ RAM and a powerful GPU, which is problematic. Yes, a professional who’s invested into typical hardware for high end editing likely does have these specs, but as a blanket statement it makes little sense.
For instance, what about someone who bought a cheap HP laptop? Nothing is stopping them from buying and installing an app like Topaz, regardless of that machine vastly underpowered for it.
Especially given that the M-series iPad Pros share the same CPU/GPU as base tier MacBook Pros — which I can attest personally are pretty capable for 4K video editing as well as photo edits. (Without even stepping up to an M2 Pro/Max.)
Probably the majority of folks asking for an app like Topaz on an iPad are those using such a tablet.
If the rep had said the constraints of iPadOS itself complicated their development, that’d be one thing.
But claiming that a powerful M1/M2 driven tablet running an even leaner OS than a “real computer” wouldn’t be able to handle AI denoise feels a bit shortsighted to me.
Consider this: In 2023 we finally saw both Davinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro come to the iPad Pro. Real pro apps that users had been seeking for years. All of which also deal with some demanding tasks — and all of which the iPad Pro handles pretty well from what I’ve seen.
In 2024 where pro features for high end tablets will only continue on all ecosystems, a company with a mindset that their software could never work on a tablet feels like a good way to be left behind.
Maybe not right away. For a while yet, plenty enough folks will contunue using high end PCs or MacBooks for apps like Lightroom, Photoshop, and Topaz.
But if the last couple years have shown us anything, people are working tablets into their workflows more and more, and this strikes me very much the kind of situation where companies not taking that seriously are placing themselves in precarious situations to come.