iPadOS 16 makes significant changes to how an iPad operates, but it isn't enough

Posted:
in iPad edited June 15
Stage Manager and virtual memory enable a lot of new capabilities for M1-equipped iPads running iPadOS 16, but there are still plenty of limitations Apple needs to address in future updates.

iPadOS 16 introduces Stage Manager, a window management tool for iPad
iPadOS 16 introduces Stage Manager, a window management tool for iPad


The evolution of iPad and its operating system has been slow moving. Everything from having multiple apps on the same screen to a manageable file system had to be added over the past seven years.

Apple has recently positioned the iPad as a computer replacement, even posing the question "what's a computer?" Fans and professionals alike have embraced this vision of a modular device that becomes a tablet, laptop, or desktop on command, but with some sacrifices.

With the 2022 WWDC keynote behind us, iPad fans have to evaluate yet again how things have changed. Below, we examine what we had with iPadOS 15, what's new with iPadOS 16, and what still needs to be done.

A brief overview of iPad's evolution

The iPad started as a consumption device in 2010 meant for watching videos and reading media. It wasn't until 2015 that Apple acknowledged that users might want to use the iPad for productivity, but the updates came slowly.

Split View let users place two apps side by side
Split View let users place two apps side by side


Split View, Slide Over, and Picture-in-picture arrived in 2015 alongside an iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil. This interaction paradigm didn't change much over the years, even when iOS and iPadOS split in 2019.

With iPadOS 13, Apple added the Files app and support for attaching external storage. Later, in iPadOS 13.4, proper cursor support was added and the Magic Keyboard for iPad was introduced.

Jump ahead to 2022 and customers can purchase a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 1TB of storage running an M1 processor. Yet, despite costing over $2,000 with the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil, there were tasks just out of reach that even the entry MacBook Air could handle.

iPadOS 15 and user requested features

Apple's announced updates for iPadOS 16 are still months away from reaching a majority of users, so iPadOS 15 is still the iPad's reality. Updates made throughout 2021 and early 2022 didn't do much to change how the iPad worked or what could be accomplished.

App Library, Home Screen widgets, and multitasking buttons didn't make iPadOS much more productive
App Library, Home Screen widgets, and multitasking buttons didn't make iPadOS much more productive


Apple improved multitasking by making it more discoverable, but little else was addressed. With iPadOS 15, users could tap an ellipsis at the top of the screen to select various Split View configurations.

So, with seven years of iPad Pro and three of iPadOS, users have seen a slow trickle of improvements. However, there's still plenty that fans want Apple to address.

AppleInsider asked various iPad users what they wanted from a future update before WWDC, and this is what we found:
  • Window-style multitasking with multiple apps on screen
  • External monitor support with extended 16:9 interface
  • Improved background task abilities
  • Audio intent control for selecting input and output
  • Clipboard history and management tools
  • App side loading with Gatekeeper similar to macOS
  • System-level tools from developers like Bartender or CleanShot X
  • Pro apps from Apple like Final Cut

What's new with iPadOS 16

Apple managed to give us three of the requested features with iPadOS 16 -- windowed multitasking, external monitor support, and better background tasks.





The new windowed multitasking system is called Stage Manager and it is reserved for iPads running an M1 processor. So, the 2021 iPad Pro and the iPad Air 5 get the feature while any older models were left out.

Proper external monitor support is a direct result of Stage Manager and also requires an iPad with an M1 processor. Older iPads running iPadOS 16 can connect to an external monitor but will only get the previous mirrored 4:3 experience.

As for better background tasks, Apple addressed this in two ways, though more details will be needed to understand the implications fully. First, M1 iPads can now access virtual memory, and second, some processes can be run from the Lock Screen.

Stage Manager allows up to four apps to be on the iPad screen at once
Stage Manager allows up to four apps to be on the iPad screen at once


Previously, if all the available RAM of an iPad was used up, an app or process would get kicked off and restarted. Now, apps can switch to virtual memory, utilizing a portion of the device storage as temporary RAM.

Apple announced a new Lock Screen for iOS 16 that isn't coming to iPadOS 16, but the new Live Activities notification widget is. Developers can build Live Activities notifications for their apps so some piece of information appears on the Lock Screen.

We have learned that a small amount of the app's code is running in the background for Live Activities to work. That means some processes will be able to continue with the device locked as long as the app supports the new feature.

Everything Apple still needs to address

We'll need to finish the beta cycle and see what developers release in the fall to understand the impact of iPadOS 16 fully. However, several things still need to change with future updates.

Some iPadOS 16 features are exclusive to models running an M1 processor
Some iPadOS 16 features are exclusive to models running an M1 processor


Now that WWDC is over, the most obvious issue people have taken with iPadOS 16 is nearly every new feature relies upon the M1. There's little chance this limitation is going to change, instead, Apple will just introduce M1 to more iPads in the future.

So, customers who use older devices, even the recent 2020 iPad Pro, won't have Stage Manager or virtual memory and likely never will. This is a direct result of the technology involved and how apps for iPadOS are written.

AppleInsider has a podcast, and we'd love to record the podcast entirely using an iPad. However, there is no system for choosing audio inputs and outputs. That means we can't make a Skype call and record microphone audio at the same time, it is one or the other.

Keep track of things you copy with tools like Paste for the Mac
Keep track of things you copy with tools like Paste for the Mac


One tool that makes a significant difference in writing workflows is clipboard history and management. Even with iPadOS 16, you get one item in your clipboard at a time. Copy something else, and the previous clipboard item is lost forever.

That brings us to system-level apps from third-party developers. We love to utilize tools like Clean Shot X to make amazing screenshots on macOS or Bartender to control what we see in our Menu Bar, but those can't exist on iPad.

On Mac, if an app doesn't exist in the App Store, users have the option of going to Safari and downloading an app directly from the web. This option doesn't exist on iPad, and Apple claims it is for security reasons. However, on Mac, security is maintained by using a tool called Gatekeeper, and users have requested such a system come to iPadOS.

Toolbar customization isn't exactly what we hoped for when Apple discussed 'desktop apps'
Toolbar customization isn't exactly what we hoped for when Apple discussed 'desktop apps'


Finally, users want pro apps on iPadOS. Some powerful apps like LumaFusion and Affinity Photo exist on iPad, but users have been clamoring for Logic and Final Cut to make their way to the platform.

Apple did say something about "desktop-class apps" during the WWDC keynote, but it was referring to customizable toolbars and new app updates. Sure, we can finally edit Contacts Groups on iPadOS over a decade later, but we still can't run pro Apple apps that work fine on the M1 MacBook Air.

Things can change rapidly during Apple's summer beta testing, so some of these complaints may be addressed by the fall. For example, there's a small chance that DriverKit for iPadOS might make controlling audio intents possible from a third-party app.

The line between iPad and Mac

After Apple positioned the iPad as a "pro" device, gave it its own operating system, and advertised it as a Mac alternative, users can't help but expect more. So far, however, changes seem to come in two-year intervals, and even then, those changes only address a small portion of user requests.

Apple wants iPadOS to redefine what a computer is capable of, yet it seems to borrow more from macOS each year
Apple wants iPadOS to redefine what a computer is capable of, yet it seems to borrow more from macOS each year


Top-level Apple executives continue to insist that the company has no intention of merging macOS and iPadOS. It isn't clear what that means exactly since it seems both are on a trajectory to intersect the other.

Some have asked for macOS to run on iPad Pro in a "docked desktop mode," but most of the AppleInsider staff and readers we've spoken to believe this isn't the right path. The iPad is an entirely different interaction paradigm from the Mac, and it should stay that way.

Apple continues to say that iPadOS and macOS will not merge
Apple continues to say that iPadOS and macOS will not merge


Apple intends the Mac to continue to exist as a high-end workhorse for development work and incredible tasks requiring loads of RAM. Macs are desktop-class machines that can have fans and live on a desk, and that's the paradigm they exist within.

However, Apple's vision -- and advertising -- for the iPad is much more complex. The iPad can be a tablet, a laptop, an artist's workstation, a desktop, or a handheld notebook, depending on the context and accessories in use.

Apple has referred to the iPad as the future of computing. We expect more updates, over time, to achieve that vision.

For now, use the computer that best suits your needs, and don't buy an iPad hoping for some future update to make it suitable for your workflow.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,250member
    The process of Apple making the iPad a better desktop have been slow and confusing.  For some reason, the have been adding elements like multitasking, and mouse / trackpad support in a limited way.  If a device as the Surface Pro X, with a slower processor, is capable of a full desktop experience, I suppose the iPad, at least could do the same with its more capable specs.  

    After having a Surface Pro 4 and iPad for years, I can say the iPad is a better tablet. But the Surface Pro is a better device when you work with a keyboard + trackpad / mouse. 
    edited June 15 entropysdarkvaderanantksundaram
  • Reply 2 of 30
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,451member
    The iPad is definitely the better tablet.
    that said, the OS constraints are annoying.
    How come a proper hierarchical file manager that interacts with MS server wasn’t on the list?
    edited June 15 muthuk_vanalingamdarkvaderanantksundaram
  • Reply 3 of 30
    rraburrabu Posts: 259member
    Biggest missing feature is multiple users. I can buy a surface or MBA and various family members can use it. IPad is tied to a single one of my kids appleid.
    boboliciousboboliciousdarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    looplessloopless Posts: 249member
    That wish list is coming from a bunch of developers. Not the much larger community of regular users. Side loading of apps? Really? That’s the last thing consumers need.
    foregoneconclusionBeDifferentDAalsethwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 30
    This article is written as if Apple doesn't have any ideas for the iPad themselves and are just grudgingly following the demands of tech media. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,476member
    The thing that tech enthusiasts who'd love for Apple to just throw every feature they've ever seen on a desktop computer onto the iPad can't fathom is that, when you're going down a path to creating an entirely new (simpler) computing experience, it takes time to realize that vision.  Think about the original 1984 MacIntosh and how long it took to fully realize the vision of a point and click GUI.  I'd argue that it really didn't come into it's own until the early 90s given all the limitations of those early systems.

    The early iPads had similar limitations and now are finally coming to a point where they have the same power as desktop computers.  But Apple has also worked hard at trying to simplify the desktop computing experience, which again, takes vision and time to realize.  Not surprising that people who can only see as far as the need for a faster horse can't fathom the automobile that Apple is building.  They'll probably only see it when Windows 25 clones it (a reference to how Windows 95 finally made people realize that a GUI was better than DOS, despite Apple having realized that over 10 years earlier).
    danoxbestkeptsecretwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    rrabu said:
    Biggest missing feature is multiple users. I can buy a surface or MBA and various family members can use it. IPad is tied to a single one of my kids appleid.
    ... does this encourage hardware sales ...?
    sloth77
  • Reply 8 of 30
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,245member
    This article is written as if Apple doesn't have any ideas for the iPad themselves and are just grudgingly following the demands of tech media. 
    I get that sense as well. 

    It may be a shock to some folks to know that Apple actually knows how to build a fully functional desktop/laptop operating system that has everything that is being requested. It's available today and it's called macOS. The iPad was never intended to be just another form factor device capable of running macOS. As great as macOS may be, it's still very much rooted in being an operating system layered on top of a piece of industrial machinery that requires the user to adapt to its needs, not the other way around. People are not born with a notion of files growing on trees or burying personal documents and photos in deep hierarchies of folders. The PC paradigm and many of the UI interactions are based on getting the user to conform to the needs of the machine, or at least to conform to artificial paradigms created by operating system programmers, in some cases, many decades ago. Calling industrial machines that require trained humans to operate "personal computers" was wordplay and a total croc. 

    The iPad was intended flip the script on the relationship between people and computers. The iPad attempted to make a version of a computer that conformed to the needs of the person who owns it without bringing along the industrial baggage. When a person writes a letter they just pick up a piece of paper and start writing. When they are done they put it back down on the desk, or maybe slide it into a drawer or a file cabinet. They may turn on some music at the same time, or pick up a newspaper or magazine. I doubt many people are going to lay out 16 magazines on their desk at the same time, alongside the partially completed letter to grandma.

    These are probably not perfect analogies, but I believe the original intention of the iPad was to remove as much of the machinery and claptrap that we've had to conform to in order to use computers effectively from a computing device centered around serving our more personal needs. Calling even the original iPad a consumption-only device is disingenuous and narrow minded. It's always had a built-in ability to produce personal and sharable content including documents, drawings, schedules, reminders, inventories, and other such content. Being considered a "production" or "work" tool doesn't have to involve industrial-scale content creation, application development, movie editing, etc. Planting a shrub in my yard is productive, but I don't need a backhoe or excavator to do it, just a hand shovel.

    Final point - the iPad never was intended to replace traditional, or what I'd call "industrial based computers with trained human operators." As pointed out in the article, Apple isn't trying to merge iPad and Mac. They may have touted the notion that the iPad could in some cases replace the need for an industrial computer for some folks. But merging one way or the other, including putting a version of macOS on the iPad, would effectively destroy either iPadOS or macOS.

    I think the real question boils down to - did Apple succeed in making its vision for what the iPad should be something that a lot of people really want to buy? I'd say yes, and especially so with the massive push they've gotten from the iPhone side. But it's not 100% or universal. The allure of industrial computers is as strong as ever. Generations of people born after PCs and Macs became pervasive have acquired the training and skills to operate those machines. They've made the investment and are motivated to continue to leverage their acquired skills not only in their work but in their personal life. I feel that way at some level too, just like I very much miss driving a car with a manual transmission. At least with Apple I feel like I have the best of both worlds. The Mac and macOS is still around and as exciting and challenging as ever, but so is the iPad, which I vastly prefer for things that are more personal and more immediate and needing a bigger screen than what the iPhone makes available. 
    bestkeptsecretfreeassociate2watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 30
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 512member
    Even my sister, a very basic user, when forced to use her iPad full time while her Mac was in for repair said that she felt like one of her arms was cut off trying to get her work done on an iPad.
    muthuk_vanalingamMplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 30
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,581member
    dewme said:
    This article is written as if Apple doesn't have any ideas for the iPad themselves and are just grudgingly following the demands of tech media. 
    I get that sense as well. 

    It may be a shock to some folks to know that Apple actually knows how to build a fully functional desktop/laptop operating system that has everything that is being requested. It's available today and it's called macOS. The iPad was never intended to be just another form factor device capable of running macOS. As great as macOS may be, it's still very much rooted in being an operating system layered on top of a piece of industrial machinery that requires the user to adapt to its needs, not the other way around. People are not born with a notion of files growing on trees or burying personal documents and photos in deep hierarchies of folders. The PC paradigm and many of the UI interactions are based on getting the user to conform to the needs of the machine, or at least to conform to artificial paradigms created by operating system programmers, in some cases, many decades ago. Calling industrial machines that require trained humans to operate "personal computers" was wordplay and a total croc. 

    The iPad was intended flip the script on the relationship between people and computers. The iPad attempted to make a version of a computer that conformed to the needs of the person who owns it without bringing along the industrial baggage. When a person writes a letter they just pick up a piece of paper and start writing. When they are done they put it back down on the desk, or maybe slide it into a drawer or a file cabinet. They may turn on some music at the same time, or pick up a newspaper or magazine. I doubt many people are going to lay out 16 magazines on their desk at the same time, alongside the partially completed letter to grandma.

    These are probably not perfect analogies, but I believe the original intention of the iPad was to remove as much of the machinery and claptrap that we've had to conform to in order to use computers effectively from a computing device centered around serving our more personal needs. Calling even the original iPad a consumption-only device is disingenuous and narrow minded. It's always had a built-in ability to produce personal and sharable content including documents, drawings, schedules, reminders, inventories, and other such content. Being considered a "production" or "work" tool doesn't have to involve industrial-scale content creation, application development, movie editing, etc. Planting a shrub in my yard is productive, but I don't need a backhoe or excavator to do it, just a hand shovel.

    Final point - the iPad never was intended to replace traditional, or what I'd call "industrial based computers with trained human operators." As pointed out in the article, Apple isn't trying to merge iPad and Mac. They may have touted the notion that the iPad could in some cases replace the need for an industrial computer for some folks. But merging one way or the other, including putting a version of macOS on the iPad, would effectively destroy either iPadOS or macOS.

    I think the real question boils down to - did Apple succeed in making its vision for what the iPad should be something that a lot of people really want to buy? I'd say yes, and especially so with the massive push they've gotten from the iPhone side. But it's not 100% or universal. The allure of industrial computers is as strong as ever. Generations of people born after PCs and Macs became pervasive have acquired the training and skills to operate those machines. They've made the investment and are motivated to continue to leverage their acquired skills not only in their work but in their personal life. I feel that way at some level too, just like I very much miss driving a car with a manual transmission. At least with Apple I feel like I have the best of both worlds. The Mac and macOS is still around and as exciting and challenging as ever, but so is the iPad, which I vastly prefer for things that are more personal and more immediate and needing a bigger screen than what the iPhone makes available. 
    I think iPad is growing toward being a viable laptop replacement, but in a way that is unique to what the iPad is.  This article does a good job of explaining

    https://yourappleupdate.substack.com/p/why-running-macos-on-an-ipad-isnt?s=w
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Wesley HilliardWesley Hilliard Posts: 65member, moderator, editor
    This article is written as if Apple doesn't have any ideas for the iPad themselves and are just grudgingly following the demands of tech media. 
    I really don't understand this take. What does this mean? The article is wishlist from users followed by what we got and what we still would like to see. Seems Apple is building iPadOS however they like and we're just along for the ride.

    If Apple was building iPadOS based on tech punditry, they'd have just shipped macOS on iPad years ago. lol
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 30
    The more iPadOS is trying to be macOS, the more obvious its shortcomings are.

    At least the older versions of iPadOS didn’t attempt to be a laptop replacement, and the iPad hardware was clearly positioned for a different use case.

    Only when they introduced iPad Pro alongside never operating system versions, users started to long for a laptop because the tablet and its use cases were growing closer to a laptop.

    In comparison, nobody is asking for their iPhone to be a laptop. 

    Which is why I find the regular iPad to be a superior product to the Pro. It’s clearly positioned alongside a laptop instead of a replacement and the cost is lower to fit with that proposition.

    Ps: selecting text in this forum on a phone is a disaster!
    edited June 15 dewme
  • Reply 13 of 30
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,245member
    This article is written as if Apple doesn't have any ideas for the iPad themselves and are just grudgingly following the demands of tech media. 
    I really don't understand this take. What does this mean? The article is wishlist from users followed by what we got and what we still would like to see. Seems Apple is building iPadOS however they like and we're just along for the ride.

    If Apple was building iPadOS based on tech punditry, they'd have just shipped macOS on iPad years ago. lol
    Both of your perspectives as well as my own seem to indicate that Apple's grand vision for the iPad product line isn't totally clear to its customer base. Or perhaps we aren't listening to what their pricing strategy is saying in clearer terms.

    The base iPad is still the iPad that is closest to sticking with the original iPad vision, or what I call "Steve Jobs on the Couch" (SJOC) vision of iPad. The latest base model iPad delivers on the SJOC vision in superb fashion and is something I consider an amazing value for the price. 

    The iPad Pro is an absolute beast in the tablet marketplace. It doesn't come cheap but Apple keeps adding features that seemingly justify its place in the top most echelon of the tablet market. Viewing the iPad Pro in the SJOC framework does not even make sense because it goes so beyond anything envisioned at the iPad's inception. Laser rangefinder, desktop class processor, windowing UI, highly functional camera array, expansion capability, ... really? Depending on your point of view and expectations, all of this power and price is knocking on the door of the laptop market, or at least the MS Surface-equivalent market. If Microsoft can deliver a decent laptop experience along with a mediocre tablet experience with the Surface, why can't the iPad Pro crush the Surface on both fronts? The iPad Pro is already a stellar tablet ... and Apple knows how to do the desktop better than Microsoft ... so what is holding Apple back from delivering a MS Surface killer?

    The iPad Air and to a lesser extent the iPad mini live somewhere in the middle, with the Air dipping its toe into Pro space by virtue of having the M1 and the mini reaching a little bit outside of the base iPad territory with a few bells and whistles.

    I guess it's time to wave the white flag and admit that trying to nail down where Apple is going with iPad and its relationship to Mac is never going to resolve into a single point. Heck, it's becoming clear that iPad and iPad Pro are also on divergent paths with the iPad Air floating somewhere in the middle. As I mentioned earlier, choosing between buying an iPad Pro + Magic Keyboard versus a MacBook Air is very difficult thing to do, which provides a certain level of justification for keeping them both around. Apple could remove the ambiguity in any number of ways, including adding touch to the MacBook Air (or making it a convertible 2:1 device) or putting a beefier OS to iPad Pro. This could eliminate one of them from the competition. The question is, which one does Apple want to see go away?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 841member
    loopless said:
    That wish list is coming from a bunch of developers. Not the much larger community of regular users. Side loading of apps? Really? That’s the last thing consumers need.

    On the contrary, installation of software from any source of the user's choosing is a CRITICAL feature if the iPad has any chance of ever being taken seriously as an actual computer, or really anything more than a toy. 
  • Reply 15 of 30
    danoxdanox Posts: 952member
    entropys said:
    The iPad is definitely the better tablet.
    that said, the OS constraints are annoying.
    How come a proper hierarchical file manager that interacts with MS server wasn’t on the list?
    Only Geeks care about that, it’s like wanting a better bigger enclosure than that crappy Mac Studio enclosure.

    Or how about a Rack Mac Enclosure same thing, it’s not made because of a internal Apple marketing decision.

    The Surface is a me too hardware project by Microsoft, to convince the gullible that they are on par across the board to Apple.

    The Pixel phone serves the same purpose for Google….
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    danoxdanox Posts: 952member
    darkvader said:
    loopless said:
    That wish list is coming from a bunch of developers. Not the much larger community of regular users. Side loading of apps? Really? That’s the last thing consumers need.

    On the contrary, installation of software from any source of the user's choosing is a CRITICAL feature if the iPad has any chance of ever being taken seriously as an actual computer, or really anything more than a toy. 
    Being a Geek, that is a Geeks lament (want), Apple with everything they do from a Geeks perspective will only take two steps forward and one step back….
    edited June 15
  • Reply 17 of 30
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,877member
    This article should be flagged as [Opinion]. It makes no sense to me. If someone needs a full computer, then buy a computer. If they want a tablet, then buy a tablet. Why is the lack of the tablet being a full computer a flaw agains the tablet?

    The success of the iPad is *because* of Apple's methodical, calculated evolutionary plan.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,877member
    darkvader said:
    loopless said:
    That wish list is coming from a bunch of developers. Not the much larger community of regular users. Side loading of apps? Really? That’s the last thing consumers need.

    On the contrary, installation of software from any source of the user's choosing is a CRITICAL feature if the iPad has any chance of ever being taken seriously as an actual computer, or really anything more than a toy. 

    Your argument is flawed.

    If every app that a particular (professional) user needs is available from the App Store, then it's not a toy? Sideloading is the only thing that differentiates a toy from a non-toy?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 30
    Wesley HilliardWesley Hilliard Posts: 65member, moderator, editor
    coolfactor said:
     If someone needs a full computer, then buy a computer. If they want a tablet, then buy a tablet. Why is the lack of the tablet being a full computer a flaw agains the tablet?
    It's almost like that was said in the final paragraph. lol

    "For now, use the computer that best suits your needs, and don't buy an iPad hoping for some future update to make it suitable for your workflow."
    dewme
  • Reply 20 of 30
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,250member
    dewme said:
    This article is written as if Apple doesn't have any ideas for the iPad themselves and are just grudgingly following the demands of tech media. 
    I get that sense as well. 

    It may be a shock to some folks to know that Apple actually knows how to build a fully functional desktop/laptop operating system that has everything that is being requested. It's available today and it's called macOS. The iPad was never intended to be just another form factor device capable of running macOS. As great as macOS may be, it's still very much rooted in being an operating system layered on top of a piece of industrial machinery that requires the user to adapt to its needs, not the other way around. People are not born with a notion of files growing on trees or burying personal documents and photos in deep hierarchies of folders. The PC paradigm and many of the UI interactions are based on getting the user to conform to the needs of the machine, or at least to conform to artificial paradigms created by operating system programmers, in some cases, many decades ago. Calling industrial machines that require trained humans to operate "personal computers" was wordplay and a total croc. 

    The iPad was intended flip the script on the relationship between people and computers. The iPad attempted to make a version of a computer that conformed to the needs of the person who owns it without bringing along the industrial baggage. When a person writes a letter they just pick up a piece of paper and start writing. When they are done they put it back down on the desk, or maybe slide it into a drawer or a file cabinet. They may turn on some music at the same time, or pick up a newspaper or magazine. I doubt many people are going to lay out 16 magazines on their desk at the same time, alongside the partially completed letter to grandma.

    These are probably not perfect analogies, but I believe the original intention of the iPad was to remove as much of the machinery and claptrap that we've had to conform to in order to use computers effectively from a computing device centered around serving our more personal needs. Calling even the original iPad a consumption-only device is disingenuous and narrow minded. It's always had a built-in ability to produce personal and sharable content including documents, drawings, schedules, reminders, inventories, and other such content. Being considered a "production" or "work" tool doesn't have to involve industrial-scale content creation, application development, movie editing, etc. Planting a shrub in my yard is productive, but I don't need a backhoe or excavator to do it, just a hand shovel.

    Final point - the iPad never was intended to replace traditional, or what I'd call "industrial based computers with trained human operators." As pointed out in the article, Apple isn't trying to merge iPad and Mac. They may have touted the notion that the iPad could in some cases replace the need for an industrial computer for some folks. But merging one way or the other, including putting a version of macOS on the iPad, would effectively destroy either iPadOS or macOS.

    I think the real question boils down to - did Apple succeed in making its vision for what the iPad should be something that a lot of people really want to buy? I'd say yes, and especially so with the massive push they've gotten from the iPhone side. But it's not 100% or universal. The allure of industrial computers is as strong as ever. Generations of people born after PCs and Macs became pervasive have acquired the training and skills to operate those machines. They've made the investment and are motivated to continue to leverage their acquired skills not only in their work but in their personal life. I feel that way at some level too, just like I very much miss driving a car with a manual transmission. At least with Apple I feel like I have the best of both worlds. The Mac and macOS is still around and as exciting and challenging as ever, but so is the iPad, which I vastly prefer for things that are more personal and more immediate and needing a bigger screen than what the iPhone makes available. 
    I think iPad is growing toward being a viable laptop replacement, but in a way that is unique to what the iPad is.  This article does a good job of explaining

    https://yourappleupdate.substack.com/p/why-running-macos-on-an-ipad-isnt?s=w
    If you ask me, that unique way is not good at all compared to a full desktop OS. 
    ctt_zhcanukstorm
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