Tuesday, November 10, 2015

iPad As a PC Replacement: It's Already Happened for Many But It Does Have A Long Way To Go

Post from The Verge arguing that the iPad Pro, or any iPad isn't ready to replace the PC yet.  This is arguable but the post seemed to argue against itself.  At the end of the day, it's what you use a computer for, whether this computer happens to be in a PC or tablet form factor).

The article said that people are not upgrading their iPads because their older iPads are simply adequate for what they need to do with it.  And for the most part, I think I would be happy with my iPad Air (I skipped the iPad 2, 3, and 4 and got an iPad mini).  I recently got an iPad mini 4 because I just wanted something small for media and ebook consumption.  And honestly, I'm done. 

I'm interested in the iPad Pro but I'm more looking forward to an updated 12" Macbook, whenever Apple decides to ship it.  Why?  Keyboard, mouse, and productivity tools that are available only on the Mac and that I'm more comfortable with certain things on a laptop form than on a tablet:  mouse and keyboard.  Sure, I can hook up a Bluetooth keyboard up to an iPad but I'm just more used to a mouse and being able to flip easily from one app or screen to another.

And here's the irony of it all for the iPad as far as Apple is concerned.  Apple is not putting touch interfaces on the Macs because Apple argues rightfully that people don't want to poke at their monitors or LCD screens. And yet, it is asking iPad users to do just that when they are using them in laptop form (with a BT keyboard).  Wouldn't it be easier with a mouse?

And this is where The Verge is arguing that the Surface Book from Microsoft is hitting all the right notes.  And on this front, based on my needs and habits, I agree.  The Surface Book seems to say that it wants to bridge the best of both worlds.  And it does - it runs Windows 10 and you can use it as a tablet or laptop.  And yeah, it sits comfortable on your lap. You cannot say the same thing about the iPad in some scenarios. 

At the end of the day, you just wish that maybe Apple would come out with a MacPad running OS X that works as a tablet and can quickly transform into a Macbook when it is sitting on a laptop-like dock just like the Surface Book.

Whether the iPad is a PC replacement depends on the user.  It already is for many folks.  It is for me for the most part except the 20% of the work I do that requires a Macbook - some out of necessity and others out of how productive I want to be.  The Verge seems to suggest that the iPad and the Surface Book will evolve and converge to meet somewhere in the middle.  Perhaps, but it is awesome to see just where that might be.

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