Apple reiterates it has no plans to merge iPad and Mac

Posted:
in iPad edited April 22
Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak maintains that the iPad and the Mac aren't merging anytime soon, despite the inclusion of the M1 chip in the latest iPad Pro models.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The Cupertino tech giant on Tuesday unveiled a new 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro equipped with the M1 Mac chip, and a 24-inch iMac that looks conspicuously like an oversized iPad. That, naturally, has led to speculation that the two product lines could be merging in the future -- a claim Apple has denied.

In an interview with The Independent, Greg Joswiak and Apple hardware chief John Ternus again reiterated Apple's position that the iPad and Mac are two separate product lines, and will stay that way.

Joswiak said Apple has no plans to merge the products. Instead, the addition of the Mac-focused chip is part of the company's continual goal to make each product the best in their own categories.
"There's two conflicting stories people like to tell about the iPad and Mac. On the one hand, people say that they are in conflict with each other. That somebody has to decide whether they want a Mac, or they want an iPad. Or people say that we're merging them into one: that there's really this grand conspiracy we have, to eliminate the two categories and make them one. And the reality is neither is true. We're quite proud of the fact that we work really, really hard to create the best products in their respective category."
Ternus added that Apple isn't going to get "caught up" in theories about merging. "We're pushing to make the best Mac we can make; we're pushing to make the best iPad we can make," he said.

When asked about why Apple decided to equip the new iPad Pro models with an M1 chip instead of an updated A-series chip, Ternus said the iPad Pro models have always been equipped with the best Apple Silicon. At this time, the M1 is "the best."

As far as other tidbits, Joswiak and Ternus also called installing the new mini LED display in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro a "huge undertaking." Ternus also touted the Center Stage feature, saying that it is "liberating" when on a video call with larger groups.
n2itivguy
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 138
    I don't know man.  This feels like typical Apple: deny, deny, deny the thing.  Right up until the moment they introduce the thing.  I just feel like MacOS has been slowly but surely iOSified (iPadOSified if you will) more and more.  Could I just be reinforcing my preconceived notions with non-coincidental coincidences?  Probably.  Likely.  
    prismaticsmuthuk_vanalingambala1234GeorgeBMacdarkvader
  • Reply 2 of 138
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,058member
    I don't know man.  This feels like typical Apple: deny, deny, deny the thing.   
    Typical would imply that it's a regular thing. I recall video on iPod and music subscription services as two cases in the last twenty years. That's pretty much it, though. 

    And Apple were right about both: video on iPod sucked, and music subscription is a really, really shitty idea. But that ship has sailed.
    edited April 22 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 138
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,991member
    It sure looks to me like macOS and iOS are already merged. Apple made running iOS apps on the new iMac 24 part of their dog and pony show. Someone described the iMac 24 as an iPad on a stick and except for a touch screen that isn't far from the truth. By the way how DO you run iOS apps on the M1 Macs? Do you have access to the iOS App Store?
    edited April 22 Beatsn2itivguydarkvader
  • Reply 4 of 138
    amar99amar99 Posts: 56member
    lkrupp said:
    DO you run iOS apps on the M1 Macs? Do you have access to the iOS App Store?
    Apps which the developer has made compatible with running on Mac appear in the App Store. It’s listed that they’re compatible with iPhone, iPad, etc, along with your Mac. If an iOS app isn’t Mac compatible then it doesn’t appear in Mac AppStore search results (or if it does, it won’t let you install, can’t remember exactly which is true.)
    edited April 22 fastasleepn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 138
    iadlibiadlib Posts: 41member
    Uhhhhh they also said they had no intentions of releasing an iPod with a screen because who would want to watch video on such a small screen 🙃 and if the center stage feature is such a BFD, why not put it on the iMac?? Seems like a no-brainer. 
    Beatsn2itivguywilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 138
    spheric said:
    I don't know man.  This feels like typical Apple: deny, deny, deny the thing.   
    Typical would imply that it's a regular thing. I recall video on iPod and music subscription services as two cases in the last twenty years. That's pretty much it, though. 

    And Apple were right about both: video on iPod sucked, and music subscription is a really, really shitty idea. But that ship has sailed.
    You're absolutely correct.  Typical would imply regularity.  Anyone remotely familiar with Apple's history knows exactly what I'm talking about.
    The App Store.  We don't need 3rd party apps running on iPhones.  Devs can write Web 2.0 and Ajax apps.  No SDK needed.! - beep bop boop - App Store.
    NFC - We don't think the tech solves any problems.  We're going to offer Passbook with QR codes and stuff.  beep bop boop - NFC on iPhones.
    Small tablets - 10" tablet is the minimum for size for great tablet apps. - beep bop boop - iPad Mini
    Large phone - You can't get your hand around it.  No one's going to buy it - beep bop boop - big ass iPhones
    OLED  displays - They're awful - beep bop boop - OLED everywhere

    There's more, but I'm fairly sure you get the point I was making by now.  It's typical of Apple to say no or deny a thing right up until they release their version of the thing.  
    rrabuprismaticsdbvapormuthuk_vanalingamn2itivguyionicledarkvaderchiaargonaut
  • Reply 7 of 138
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,264member
    lkrupp said:
    It sure looks to me like macOS and iOS are already merged. Apple made running iOS apps on the new iMac 24 part of their dog and pony show. Someone described the iMac 24 as an iPad on a stick and except for a touch screen that isn't far from the truth. By the way how DO you run iOS apps on the M1 Macs? Do you have access to the iOS App Store?
    They're not merged though. They share libraries and frameworks and other things, more so than ever, but that doesn't make them merged. Apps aren't the OS. 
    StrangeDaysn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 138
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,264member

    iadlib said:
    and if the center stage feature is such a BFD, why not put it on the iMac?? Seems like a no-brainer. 
    Because the video chat use case for a desktop Mac is different from the use case for a mobile device like an iPad or iPhone, would be my guess why they didn't use an ultrawide camera on the iMac.
    mark fearingn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 138
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    Joswiak said Apple has no plans to merge the products. Instead, the addition of the Mac-focused chip is part of the company's continual goal to make each product the best in their own categories.
    "There's two conflicting stories people like to tell about the iPad and Mac. On the one hand, people say that they are in conflict with each other. That somebody has to decide whether they want a Mac, or they want an iPad. Or people say that we're merging them into one: that there's really this grand conspiracy we have, to eliminate the two categories and make them one. And the reality is neither is true. We're quite proud of the fact that we work really, really hard to create the best products in their respective category."
    There is some conflict in their marketing with this. They've shown ads about the iPad as a replacement for a traditional computer and they've heavily promoted Swift coding in education and talked about the jobs the App Store supports. Tim Cook said learning to code is more important than English as a second language:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/apple-ceo-tim-cook-learning-to-code-is-so-important.html
    https://www.smh.com.au/technology/why-tim-cook-wants-ipads-in-every-classroom-20180413-p4z9fc.html

    But you can't code outside of tutorial environments on an iPad, there are restrictions on dynamic code in the OS. Software development is one of Apple's largest segments of pro users. Dynamic code is also used for scripting and plugins inside creative software.

    Take a student of science and art. The iPad allows them to draw, paint and sculpt art in a convenient and comfortable way. The Mac allows them to develop software and have unrestricted access to the filesystem for data, backups, downloads and run all kinds of powerful software.

    What they are saying is somewhat true, both these products perform well at those respective tasks but a student of both has to choose between them or buy both.

    If they started with an iPad and allow it to run macOS when connected to a keyboard (no touch input) then it would behave no differently from a standard Mac laptop in that mode. It's not a merged OS, it's just allowing the same hardware to perform both functions. The only tricky part would be switching between them, whether the iPad mode is like an app inside macOS that goes fullscreen or it's an OS switch with suspend/resume or macOS runs as a mode inside iPadOS.

    Here's a video of how the latter option would look:



    The part with touching the macOS UI is obviously not a usable experience, the main Mac use would be around 5:00 with keyboard and mouse/trackpad.

    Microsoft has demonstrated that a converged device doesn't work well and this is always what Apple has said they won't do for years, which is convergence. The fridge-toaster:

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/tim-cook-customers-dont-want-a-combined-ipad-and-macbook/
    https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/04/tim-cook-on-windows-8-converging-a-toaster-and-a-refrigerator





    Where convergence goes wrong is when two products perform different functions (fridge and toaster) or are designed for different inputs (Windows with a touch UI). It works very well for things that are complimentary like iPod + GPS + phone + PDA = iPhone. Most of the functions of an iPad and Mac are identical, web browsing takes up most of the usage and is the same on both. Games, email, calendars and so on are the same on both systems. The biggest difference between an iPad and a Mac experience is how the user interacts with it, which is determined by how the user holds the device.

    If it's held it like a tablet, nobody wants to be poking at desktop UI elements with their finger, that requires different software.
    If it's in a dock like the magic keyboard cover, nobody wants to be poking at the screen at all, the keyboard and trackpad are much more comfortable.

    Look at the use case shown in the following video at 6:45:





    That's an iPad Pro hooked up to an XDR display. It looks amazing and powerful but in reality not usable at all as it's just mirroring the output and you can't use it like you could a Mac system. If that hardware allowed switching over to the Mac system in that environment, it could do everything a Mac could - run Final Cut, Logic, all the Adobe Suite, Da Vinci, Xcode, Node JS, Python, web servers, app publishing.

    It could lead to a problem where people end up preferring the power of macOS on the iPad and that would push towards the system becoming more of a converged mess. There's also the issue that a Mac system on a 10" tablet display is not a good experience either (although it could be scaled up a bit), it would mainly be useful on a 12" model and/or external display. But it would be a much better value product for a student or anyone that only wanted a single device to offer the best experience for both tablet and desktop use.

    Looking ahead at other products like AR, that can change things entirely because the interaction is no longer a choice between hand-held tablet or keyboard-based, it's a superset of both. The UI can be as big as it needs to be and allow for touch input.

    Maybe iPadOS will just continue to improve to the point it doesn't matter but it's now 11 years in and that would surely have been the case by now. Apple's preference is for people to do some things on iPad and some things on Mac and buy both if they need both. The spec of the new iPad Pro offers an opportunity to have those functions on the same hardware. It would be a neat addition to an iPad, even in a limited form to be able have the extra freedom and power macOS offers when the need arises.
    StrangeDaysmacplusplusmuthuk_vanalingampatchythepiraten2itivguyGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 138
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,513member
    Not merging because Apple is trying to supplant many Mac customers with iPads.
    This is not a bad or good thing it's just a thing.
    Does force both to pick a sweet spot and be the best product in that spot.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 138
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,423member
    I don't know man.  This feels like typical Apple: deny, deny, deny the thing.  Right up until the moment they introduce the thing.  I just feel like MacOS has been slowly but surely iOSified (iPadOSified if you will) more and more.  Could I just be reinforcing my preconceived notions with non-coincidental coincidences?  Probably.  Likely.  
    They've been denying for a decade since the introduction of the iPad.  I think after that long denying people should take a hint.  That said, what I do see happening is the merging of their development platforms around Apple Silicon + Swift / Swift UI allowing developers to more easily create apps for all Apple's devices => one app that works across all devices.  I don't think we'll see macOS coming to iPad or OS / device mergers.
    edited April 22 fastasleepStrangeDaysn2itivguyasdasdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 138
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,264member
    Marvin said:

    Look at the use case shown in the following video at 6:45:





    That's an iPad Pro hooked up to an XDR display. It looks amazing and powerful but in reality not usable at all as it's just mirroring the output and you can't use it like you could a Mac system. 
    It's not mirrored though, look — it's showing a full screen output monitor for the video app (Luma Fusion?), using the full 6K and no pillar boxing etc. I don't know why Andrew said mirroring after clearly showing something that wasn't being mirrored. Yes, apps have to support using external monitors, and you can't interact with them like separate spaces in the same way you do on a Mac, but saying you can only mirror is wrong.
    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 138
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,151member
    I don't know man.  This feels like typical Apple: deny, deny, deny the thing.  Right up until the moment they introduce the thing.  I just feel like MacOS has been slowly but surely iOSified (iPadOSified if you will) more and more.  Could I just be reinforcing my preconceived notions with non-coincidental coincidences?  Probably.  Likely.  
    It hasn’t tho. They’ve added a couple things on the surface, like the notifications center. But fundamentally Mac computing is a different use case and user experience. 

    They’ve been saying this perfectly clearly for years now. Does that mean there will never be a next-thing? No. But Jos was clear, just like Craig was clear.


    patchythepiratewilliamlondonasdasdargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 138
    I don't know man.  This feels like typical Apple: deny, deny, deny the thing.  Right up until the moment they introduce the thing.  I just feel like MacOS has been slowly but surely iOSified (iPadOSified if you will) more and more.  Could I just be reinforcing my preconceived notions with non-coincidental coincidences?  Probably.  Likely.  
    It hasn’t tho. They’ve added a couple things on the surface, like the notifications center. But fundamentally Mac computing is a different use case and user experience. 

    They’ve been saying this perfectly clearly for years now. Does that mean there will never be a next-thing? No. But Jos was clear, just like Craig was clear.
    You really like using that graphic huh?  As for the OS unification, I freely admit I could be wrong and admitted as much in the comment you quoted.  The clarity of their statements means little in this circumstance though.  Previous declarations about different things were just as emphatic, right up to the point they weren't.  As I said, it's just a feeling.  It's not a prognostication or anything grand.  If it turns out I'm wrong, no big deal.  If it turns out I'm right I'm an omniscient all seeing God.  I can live with either outcome.
    edited April 22 muthuk_vanalingampatchythepirateargonaut
  • Reply 15 of 138
    VijilVijil Posts: 4member
    Such silliness.

    The only reason they're keeping them separate is so you buy both. If they merge, they can only sell you one thing. It's about $. He even said in the article that they want you to buy both.

    If it was about the "use case" or whatever, they wouldn't be supporting external monitors, keyboard cases with trackpads, mouse input, desktop class apps and etc. on the iPad, even though they deliberately hamstring much of that functionality.

    It's also the same reason they wont add touchscreens on macbooks - they don't want to sabotage ipad sales. They come up with a bunch of BS about how nobody wants to touch a laptop screen, but I can tell you with certainty as a windows/linux user that it's super nice to have the option for things like scrolling and panning maps or web pages. Better by far than even a magic trackpad. I'll never buy a macbook for that reason.

    They could easily make the UI work (literally just have ipadOS become the tablet mode). The PC market has proved that 2-in-1s can be great devices - the issue is the software, not the hardware.

    But nope, that would sabotage sales, so no dice there.

    I refuse to buy both, so I'll stick with an iPhone and a 2-in-1 PC until they get real.
    edited April 22 muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 138
    There is NO reason to combine them in the next 5-10 years. Personally I very much like the different platforms. I don't need a mono-system. I don't need my toaster to run Windows either. I would hazard a guess that there are huge advantages of having the two platforms from marketing, to technology and research to very clearly seeing what each style of platform does best. I don't need the engine in my car on my lawnmower. I don't need a toilet in every room of my house. There are multiple types of trees and I don't only eat Cheerios for every meal. It's ok. It's best to allow them to each flourish.
    williamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 138
    Well they are denying it. Because they aren’t ready yet. 

    Sad day when they do. 

    Because, as evidenced by the recent iMac update, Apple is all about making the iPad into the most awesome tablet imaginable. 

    But they simultaneously devolve the iMac. 

    Case in point: nasty iMac chin could easily not exist as the m1 has no issues fitting behind the display. They stuffed an m1 behind the display in a 6mm iPad enclosure but refuse to clear any hurdles in doing so on the iMac in an enclosure twice as thick. It was an easy thing to do. They CHOSE not to. 

    The iPad Pro has beautiful Slim BLACK BEZELS which add contract from the world around the screen, versus the nasty cheap looking white bezels of the iMac which just scream in your face. 

    The iPad power supply plugs neatly into a wall outlet - the iMac used to also with an internal power supply. But now, Apple treats it all ghetto style with a power brick from 2002 that just sits on the actual freaking floor. No one on earth wants that. 

    The iMac is also no more powerful than the iPad now. Literally tons of room to make a truly powerful iMac and you get an bigger iPad on a stand, minus the elegance. 

    This makes zero sense - unless you know, Apple DOES plan to merge the two and is now artificially making the Mac into the less desirable choice. Subtlety but surely. 

    Hopefully the new iMacs don’t sell so Apple can learn that lesson in the next board meeting. 

    They could have added cores to the m1. They could have kept the power supply inside. Instead, they kind of defeated the point of have a desktop form factor. I love the thinness, but with a few extra millimeters, they could have made it sleek and elegant. As it is, they made it very thin, but without maximizing that thinness. Thin with a chin? What the heck...
  • Reply 18 of 138
    I don't know man.  This feels like typical Apple: deny, deny, deny the thing.  Right up until the moment they introduce the thing.  I just feel like MacOS has been slowly but surely iOSified (iPadOSified if you will) more and more.  Could I just be reinforcing my preconceived notions with non-coincidental coincidences?  Probably.  Likely.  
    Take a look at post 15. Even though it reads like the typical snarky anti-Apple post, the reasoning seems pretty sound. 

    All the examples you gave about Apple changing its stance resulted in additional products or enhanced products (iPod, iPod Photo. iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Pro, iPad Air) that gave more choice and resulted in greater sales. 
    If they merged iPadOS and macOS, it would result in less choice and fewer products being sold - unlike now, when so many people buy iPads and Macs. 

    From a pure commercial standpoint, it makes no sense for Apple. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 138
    spheric said:
    I don't know man.  This feels like typical Apple: deny, deny, deny the thing.   
    Typical would imply that it's a regular thing. I recall video on iPod and music subscription services as two cases in the last twenty years. That's pretty much it, though. 

    And Apple were right about both: video on iPod sucked, and music subscription is a really, really shitty idea. But that ship has sailed.
    Don’t forget ebooks. 
    williamlondoniadlibwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 138
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,624member
    lkrupp said:
    It sure looks to me like macOS and iOS are already merged. Apple made running iOS apps on the new iMac 24 part of their dog and pony show. Someone described the iMac 24 as an iPad on a stick and except for a touch screen that isn't far from the truth. By the way how DO you run iOS apps on the M1 Macs? Do you have access to the iOS App Store?
    Thats nothing like merging the two. macOS  has a different user interface to iOS, a totally different paradigm. A mouse driven paradigm vs a touch paradigm. A mostly open paradigm vs a closed paradigm. A desktop vs a mobile OS. 

    Yes they can run some iOS apps into macOS where they work badly in the absence of a touch screen ( but developers could always do that), but merging macOS into iOS would either remove macOS, annoying all of us who want a desktop system, or it would be macOS.

    macOS > iOs, at least in terms of software. In terms of hardware gimcracks iOS has haptic responses, GPS, accelerometer. Apps written for iOS using these are useless on macOS. 

     I have an M1 and I use the iOs apps very rarely. I just tried a weather app and it looks just about ok. It is is a resizable window but the layout isn't very Mac like. Tabs are at the bottom, not the top. Probably these should be in a sidebar. A dedicated Mac app would have a menu item as well. 

    (With SwiftUI they have handled this with the same code base producing different outputs. What appears as a navigation to a second screen on iOS appears as master details on Mac and iPad. )
    watto_cobra
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