I’ve never really understood them!
iPad remains an enigma to me – I just don’t get them.
Macs I’ve had a few, iPhone more than I care to remember, HomePods, Apple Watch…you get the picture, I like my Apple gear sure enough, but for some reason, I just don’t get iPads.
Lamb to the slaughter
I did buy one of the very early iPads as any good little fanboy should. I recall heading into London and setting it up in-store with a Genius. As with anything Apple, the experience was exciting and I felt I was one of the cool dudes with a shiny new white iPad tucked under my arm.
But not long after buying it, I started to realise that it was sitting there more days than not just as an ornament. And true to form – to get the shot at the top of this story, I had to charge my iPad mini up – it was June when I last used that iPad mini.
So for all my love of pretty much anything Apple why has the iPad just passed me by? What am I missing?
Mind the gap
I put it down to the fact that I sit working in front of a Mac most of the time- that’s why I don’t need an iPad right?
I wrote earlier this week that I’m using my phone less, and to some degree that is also because of the hours I spend on the Mac. Why would there ever be a time when I’d reach for a slower, smaller device to read emails on, check my calendar or search the web – it just wouldn’t make any sense, would it?
The phone though does have a role to play. In the car, it becomes my sat-nav and entertainment system and it is also a phone! So even though I use it less, the phone will always have its place.
But the iPad – now there is another issue. Pretty much anything I can do on there I can do on my phone and certainly on my Macs. I prefer macOS to iPadOS. I like a desktop – I like the speed of drag n’drop and working with files and folders seems way more intuitive to me on a Mac.
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I’d like to think I understand Apple reasonably well – but the sheer array of iPads is bloody confusing – or is that just me?
Checking out their store now you can buy a mini, an iPad, an Air or an iPad Pro – but that is just the start. The mini comes in two storage options and four colours. iPad is available in either the 9th or 10th Generation both with two storage choices. The Air comes in five colours and two storage options – and the Pro in two sizes and five storage configs.
That is a huge array to choose from and it smacks to me that Apple has lost sight of what they want from iPad.
Surely when Steve Jobs announced iPad it was all about one thing – being mobile and being able to keep in touch & work on the go.
And keeping that simple call to action in mind, what place does a 2TB, 12.9-inch iPad have in today’s world? Just because Apple can make such a powerful device doesn’t mean you are me actually need it.
Professionals working on large files & projects would rarely need to sit at an airport editing. Out of choice, you’d surely do that at a desk with a large monitor and a mouse.
Students like them you say – but if you can pack your kid off to uni with a MacBook Air wouldn’t that stand the test of time better? Anything you can do on iPad – FaceTime or iMessage for example you can do as well on equally light and small MacBook Air.
Standing looking at the iPad from a distance, this seems to be another area where it has become confused and bloated.
Window management is confusing and limited while multitasking which is where you’d want iPad to come into its own is still a mess. The latest attempt to sort this out was with Stage Manager but even the most loyal and devout iPad users don’t seem overly impressed with it.
Sitting writing this today, I can’t think of one colleague who uses an iPad seriously for any meaningful, productivity. Sure, the keyboard and pencil that you can add to the iPad brings it closer to being a genuine workhorse – and why? Because it’s then more like a Mac.
Apple seems as resolute as ever to keep a safe space between macOS and iPadOS – if they’d wanted the two systems to have worked better together then Apple surely are more than capable of making that magic happen. But they don’t as this way they hopefully get to have two bites at the cherry.
Happy as I am
So the reason I have never bought into iPad is only partly because of my workday – it’s also because iPad is still confusing. I just can’t see a reason that I’d ever need to pick one up and use it.
If I want to read a book then a Kindle is a much more comfortable experience and if it’s just for browsing on the sofa then the MacBook Air is the beast for me.
For a long while I’d thought it was me that was out of step – but now I don’t think that’s the case. The iPad has been squeezed from one side by the ever-improving and powerful iPhone and from the other by the most popular Mac Apple make – the MacBook Air. iPad seems redundant – powerful, but redundant.
Earlier this year there was much excitement about Logic and Final Cut coming to iPad – but the creators that I know have tried it used it once and never again since. One of the biggest failings is that in FCP you can’t back-save a project from an iPad to a Mac. So after all that clamour…
Apple needed to have pro apps on iPad almost as an excuse for the power iPad has – but in reality, again it falls under the banner of just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Yeah, the iPad is powerful enough to edit video on, but who’d want to?
I’d love to love iPad – I really would, but how or where would it fit into my day and life?
Is iPad forever lost?
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