Monday, June 24, 2024

iPad Pro with M4 and The Small But Vocal Users Who Want to Run MacOS On It

I've ran MacOS on my iPad for a couple of years already through the Jump app. It worked great. In fact, it worked so well that I also got it for the PC at work and I have been using it to remotely work off my laptop whenever I need to. Of course, I used an external keyboard and mouse to get the full experience. Touch works but it was not ideal. So, why are iPad Pro users asking Apple to let them run MacOS or have more Mac like experiences on the iPad when touch and an on screen keyboard just does not provide the same experience as MacBook or the iMac with keyboard and mouse.

I think these users have a point. I got a new MacBook Air last Christmas but if my iPad had more of a desktop experience (windows, true multitasking), I really think I would have a brand new M4 iPad Pro instead of the Air. But there is still a reason why many people buy a laptop than an iPad or Android tablet. The productivity just is not the same. There is a certain methodology and muscle memory that comes with using Windows or Mac laptops for most of my life. For most of the life of many users around the world. I suppose the closest experience to working on an iPad as a laptop full-time are students who use Chrome. It works but something just feels off for the rest of us.

That is not to say that macOS on the iPad is impossible. I imagine that Apple can flip on the switch rather quickly if it decides to make it so. Remember OS X in Intel that had been running in Apple's secret labs for years before Apple made the switch from G4 and G5 to Intel? Course changes at Apple are common occurrences and people forget that. Like a battleship making a turn, it's a long arduous process.  
Moreover, there are a few issues that I think Apple found out about running a full blown desktop on a small enclosed tablet. With the newer, faster, and insanely efficient Apple silicons, I think we are closer than ever to see desktop experiences on the iPad. Imagine if iPadOS allowed users to use Mac apps back in 2018 when the first iPad Pro came on.
  • The apps run slow. And you still cannot multitask well and processes stop when you switch from one app to another. On the Mac, you can edit and process a video and then switch over to the mail app to answer a few emails. On the iPad, the moment you switch apps, the processes on the previous apps go into standby mode.
  • The battery life is sucked dry quickly. I think that is still a concern even with the M series chips today. Apple has kept the iPad battery life around 10 hours. It's amazing how Apple has managed that while iPads are faster and faster. 10 Hours of MacOS on the iPad? That could be a big challenge. So far, these power users who want MacOS experience on the iPad has not mentioned how the battery life might suffer as a result. In fact, on a podcast I listened to, one of the hosts simply suggests that if Apple wanted run MacOS on the iPad and still keep the battery life at 10 hours, it could do it. I suggest that host get a MacBook instead. 
  • Users would have more reasons to complain. Why has Apple not updated MacOS to the touch interface if they were for years that the MacOS would run on a touch interface? And this would be a complaint after Apple says that the iPad Pro would be turned into a MacBook only with the Magic Keyboard. People will complain and I imagine the people who designated themselves as "Apple Watchers" will be among the first. Some will be reasonable and suggest that Apple did tell them that they would need a keyboard and a mouse.
  • Just as some reviewers complain that the MacBook still comes with 8 GB of RAM, they will complain about the same issue with the iPad Pro running MacOS coming with only 8 GB of RAM.
There are times when I do want to be able to perform some tasks that I find cumbersome on the iPad. And Stage Manager takes a bit of getting used to. It still has a long way to go and coming from someone who has decades of muscle memories of working with the traditional desktop of windows, I do not know if Stage Manger will ever "get there" for me. I've been trying it on the MacBook and I find Stage Manager confusing a at times and wonder what purpose it serves. I think I will spend more time on it in the coming weeks and see if I can gain the muscle memory to use it more efficiently. It is doubtful though. I can only use it on my MacBook where instinctively gravitate towards 

So, will the iPad Pro ever run MacOS? At this point, I rather that Apple wait to improve the iPadOS and make it closer to the MacOS or eventually release a MacTablet. There is rumors of an all screen MacBook that can be folded. Perhaps that is the best Apple answer to users who want a tablet that runs MacOS.

Over all, I think the Apple pundits who claim to love the iPad Pro but are frustrated with Apple's effort, or perceived lack of effort to make the iPad more like the Mac, should really chill and appreciate what they already have. Sure, the iPad Pro cannot do everything the Mac can. For what the iPad can do, it does it so well. Even these pundits say so. But if they want to do traditional desktop computing tasks, well, they can turn to their MacBooks. 

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