Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Something Really Pro for iPadOS 17

Most iPad Pro users appreciate Apple's effort to give us reasons to get the iPad Pro. For years, other than bigger screens, cameras (which I'll get to), keyboard and mouse support, and, in the past year, Stage Manager, there really is not a whole lot of other reasons why we need to get the iPad Pro.

Please note that this is not a complaint article. We have no idea how much resources Apple is pouring into making the iPadOS experience that much better year after year both on the hardware and software side. I do agree with many of this year's review of the iPad Pro and iPadOS that if you already have the iPad Pro with the M1 chip inside, you are not missing anything with the 2022 iPad Pro upgrade with the M2 chip. And it is not likely going to make a big difference when Apple eventually release the iPad Pro with the M3 chip as well.

So, what makes the "pro" in the iPad Pro then if we are not seeing a significant user experience? For me, it  has come down to Stage Manager.

As I use my iPad, the Pro portion of the iPadOS experience is the ability to duplicate some of the ability to create contents that I am currently doing on MacOS. I'm still learning to code on my 2016 MacBook with Xcode and other tools that I currently cannot do on the iPad. From what I know, coding on Playgrounds is not the same experience as coding on Xcode.

We know that Apple is going to continue to update iPadOS until the end of time. Not all are going to be here until the end of time. So, I would  like to see Apple really make the Pro part of the iPad Pro happen sooner rather than later.

  • Apple has not brought over many desktop apps to the iPads. If anything, Apple give iPhone and iPad users what I call "lite" versions - one of the first one is GarageBand. People have want to have Logic Pro on the iPad for as long as I can remember. I am not a Logic Pro user and I only use GarageBand sparingly. And even still, GarageBand band files (I don't know if it's all GarageBand files) are not compatible between the MacOS and iOS/iPadOS. At the version least, if I create a file using GarageBand on the Mac, it should be able to run seamlessly on the iPad as well.
  • Playgrounds. I think this is one of the best app Apple has ever created. I am able to learn programming on an iPad away with my Mac. It's one of the reasons why I have not find a need to get a new Mac because given my skill set at this time, I don't need a new Mac to code. However, tons of developers want a much more robust coding tool on the iPad. I think Apple should give it to them. 
  • Windows and desktop - Just let people have more freedom to move files, folders, and apps around. Stage Manager is cool first step but it needs to be opened up more. I envision features that will need to be turned on in Settings to let Stage Manager have a more open environment when Apple comes to the realization that its users are creative and they will be able to more wonderful things if you let them. 
    • At the very least, Files should be integrated into Stage Manger or allow users to access files and apps directly within Stage Manager.
    • Search feature should be readily accessible in Stage Manger. Not everyone will have a keyboard to type in command-space to get the search prompt.
The iPad Pro has the M2 chip inside. So far, there is nothing in the App Store that really comes close to making it sweat. Benchmarks do not count. And you know what? That's okay. the iPad is to an Mac after all and the MacBook Air is not the MacBook Pro. You want to make your machine work - pick the MacBook Pro or Mac Studio.

What most of us want is being able to do more with our iPad Pro. And that is something definitely Apple should be able to accommodate.

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