How often have we cried out we want a touch screen for the Mac? How often has Apple been criticized because iPad was not yet a Mac and the Mac not yet an iPad? Well, maybe, ‘never the twain shall meet’ but it is beginning to look as if the iPad is the new Mac.
With some fanfare that may be overlooked by the great unwashed masses of Apple’s very large iPad customer base, the company’s latest operating system may prove to be a look at the future of personal computers.
Wait. What? Haven’t tablets been around about 20 years and iPad for almost a decade? Move along. Nothing to see here. Except that what Apple did is to set the stage for reinventing the personal computer along its own definition, vs. that of the clamshell design copied ad nauseam by Windows PCs notebooks and Chromebooks.
iPadOS. Yes, iPad gets its own operating system, and like all the rest of Apple’s underpinnings, it has roots. iOS was born of Mac OS X, therefore, ditto for watchOS, tvOS, macOS of course, and now iPadOS. To be fair, iPadOS may have closer ties to iOS running on iPhone and iPod touch, but that is about to change.
iPad is no longer just a big iPhone without the phone.
iPadOS changes the game and sets off on a course that someone at Apple has been thinking about awhile. The future of personal computing. No, the future is not handheld devices, or glasses, or other wearables, or even embedded chips that push images onto our retinas. The future– according to Apple– is about managing and integrating multiple devices. Where the Mac was once Steve Jobs’ digital hub where all our gadgets connected, Apple is home to all the gadgets that need to work together.
iPadOS brings a larger display to play. Duh. But that larger display needs more gestures and features to segregate it away from big iPhone status, and more in line with the kind of work we do on the Mac– but with our fingers instead. Fan out from the sidebar. Move apps to the same display, side by side. Add an extra app window beside another. Use Pencil to edit an entire document or full website (try that on an iPhone).
For years the iPad has been stuck between a rock and a hard spot; a tweener, if you will– the device Steve Jobs placed between iPhone and Mac. iPad is still there, but has come of age and now, with iPadOS, starts off on its own journey.
Hell, the 30 new keyboard shortcuts, combined with easier switching, and mouse and trackpad support are enough to lower the barrier to entry. Barrier? The barrier that once required Apple customers to own all three devices– Mac, iPad, and iPhone. For many, iPadOS closes the gap and turns iPad into a very credible, far less expensive, much easier to use and manage Mac-like experience.
With more power, easier capabilities, more apps, and built in ease of use, it’s beginning to look like iPad is the new Mac.