The second tablet with an inexpensive iPad that starts at $329. Then, Apple did a hat trick with a revived iPad mini and iPad sales have turned around and more than double the Mac. Again. Look closely. The gap between Mac and iPad just got smaller.
The OS Line
The best news from Apple’s recent WWDC 2019 show’n tell is the one that did not make big headlines. Yes, there is Dark Mode for iOS; both iPhone and iPad. Yes, Watch gets all sorts of the features. Yes, macOS gets a new name for an island most of us have never visited (Catalina). Yes, Apple thrilled millions with a new Mac Pro that only a few dozen professionals can afford (starting at $12,000 with display and stand).
For me and the Miller household, and for many of Apple’s 300-million or so iPad customers, the news that didn’t make the headlines was the new OS not heard around the world. iOS for iPhone? Move over. Welcome iPadOS complete with dozens of Mac-like keyboard shortcuts, an option for multiple app windows to show up on the same screen, and a hidden but much desired Mac-like support for mouse and trackpad.
iPadOS takes up a spot alongside a growing number of Apple operating systems. iOS had foundations that came from Mac OS X. iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and now iPadOS. Did I miss one? There are so many that it’s becoming a challenge to keep track.
What iPadOS means is that Apple– publicly– has begun to close the gap between a Mac and an iPad. The argument has raged for a few years. Is an iPad a Mac? Is it a PC? Is it even a computer? The answer, of course, is, it depends. It depends on your needs and requirements and which of the two– Mac or iPad– is the solution that fits.
Apple has closed the gap to its narrowest point ever. iPadOS brings multiple app windows to iPad. Not as usable or flexible as on macOS, but an improvement. iPadOS brings mouse and trackpad support. Not quite the same as on macOS, but a definite plus, even for those who are not used to digging around in the Accessibility settings. And, iPadOS brings a few dozen more keyboard shortcuts to iPad. Again, not as powerful as the keyboard on macOS, but a big improvement.
The argument as to which device is the best to use will continue to rage on, but Apple itself closed the gap between iPad and Mac, and iPadOS may be the best iPad news ever and will affect a few hundred million more Apple customers than the new Mac Pro ever will.