The iPad was born as a tablet and has been around for ten years. Let’s say we’re back to where we started from and telling the first iPad users in 2010 that your tablet will turn into a computer with a physical keyboard and trackpad in ten years, which may be confusing to many people.
But after many positioning adjustments, Apple did choose the latter on the issues of ‘tablet’ and ‘desktop’ ten years later. As we can see, Apple has added a trackpad to the separately sold Smart Keyboard external keyboard and has also ported gesture operations on the Mac.
The reason is also very simple. Nowadays, iPad Pro wants to replace the daily office and become your next personal computer.
It is no longer a secret that Apple has made iPad develop into the professional field, especially since the introduction of the ‘Pro’ pointing device such as the iPad Pro, many people have begun to move it closer to ‘desktop computers’.
The problem is that even if the iPad Pro uses the latest custom chips every year, the performance can be doubled, but it has not been able to give satisfactory results in terms of efficient work.
There are many reasons behind this, but it is very important that the systems of the iPad and iPhone are insufficiently differentiated and share the same set of interaction logic. This makes the difference between the two just the difference in screen size, not office, design, etc. In some areas of expertise, iPad Pro shows its strengths.
Well-known technology journalist Dr. Walt Mossberg mentioned this issue when evaluating the original iPad Pro in 2015, ‘There are only a few apps that can take full advantage of the larger screen of the iPad Pro to show the ones that usually cannot be seen on mobile devices. Content or feature ‘.
Honestly, this situation still exists today. For the consideration of the overall number of tablet users, it is not difficult to understand why third-party developers are not interested in adapting to the iPad.
Following the same application ecosystem as the iPhone, the iPad Pro ca n’t bring the ‘professional apps’ it really needs. After all, smartphones are not originally used for work. Most of the time we spend on mobile phones every day is nothing more than playing games, chatting on WeChat, watching news, or cooking. Essentially they are doing ‘content consumption’.
Similarly, on the tablet, many people are probably spending time on the Internet and watching videos.
But as soon as you go to work and sit in front of your computer, you will inevitably need to work with ‘output content’ such as document writing, table processing, and even video rendering. Various office applications can also be considered as necessary software for installation. That’s why we call the PC a ‘productivity tool’.
The differences in usage scenarios are also related to the form of the hardware itself. No matter how large the screen of a mobile phone is, it is impossible to compare it with a 13-inch or 15-inch laptop. The limited area allows the smartphone to operate in single-tasking mode instead of on the screen as we do on a computer. Several software windows are opened on top of each other to provide sufficient efficiency to solve complex work problems.
But the iPad Pro is different. The screen size that Apple has designed for it has reached 12.9 inches, which is comparable to a 13-inch Macbook screen. This gives it the opportunity to discover office scenarios similar to PCs and use it as a portable computer. use.
The question is how many apps are willing to design a new interactive interface different from the traditional one for the iPad Pro touch screen.
This is not a simple task.
Most professional software on the market has already established a complete and mature interaction logic in the traditional PC era dominated by keyboard and mouse. Whether it’s Microsoft Office or Apple’s own iWork office suite, or Adobe’s family bucket, even if you iterate the new version and add new features, most of the quick operations and interface layouts rarely change significantly.
However, on the iPad Pro, developers often shrink the functions of such professional software to a certain extent in order to take care of touch screen interaction or gestures. And whenever you want to make some precise operations, just tapping and sliding with your finger, you always feel that it is not as efficient as using a small mouse pointer.
Redesigning a set of interactions is not only time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it also requires learning costs for users. Besides, the workflow that could have been easily completed with a PC or Mac, it takes new energy to toss on the iPad Pro, and it may not Efficiency improvement, why do we explore new interactions?
I once expected that Apple could explore a set of graphical interfaces with tap, swipe, and gestures as the core in the field of touch screen, and set a model for the next generation of personal computers. But at present, it seems that Apple is in this matter There is some hesitation. At least the current touchscreen operation has done little to help iPad productivity.
Some people believe that the operating habits of professional tools cultivated by users in the traditional PC era more than a decade ago have been doomed to make it difficult for them to conceive a better interaction mode than a physical keyboard + mouse on another interface.
In fact, there is nothing wrong with it, just like the joystick and the cross key handle are for game consoles. It seems a matter of course for us to work with a keyboard and mouse. And acknowledging the importance of keyboards and mice for productivity tools is far more meaningful today than trying to find ways to replace them.
This may be why Apple finally chose to design a physical keyboard and trackpad for the iPad Pro, rather than continue to hold the issue of adapting the large-sized touch screen.
Regarding the future of the iPad Pro, last year Apple has set clear development goals, and finally realized that ‘it ’s no use to improve performance, but also to solve the problem of the system’.
So we will see the emergence of iPadOS. This is also the first time that the iPad has realized the separation from the iPhone in basic functions and interactions, such as multi-window stacked display, more versatile drag and drop operations, and desktop mode browsing. And others.
It is foreseeable that there will be more and more changes in software for iPadOS in the future.
As for the iPad Pro’s actions at the hardware level, this is the keyboard accessory with a touchpad now. Previously Apple Pencil was only prepared for specific areas such as graphic designers, but now the addition of the touchpad and small cursors is facing all office groups, which is currently the largest use case of personal computers.
The future of the iPad Pro will inevitably compete with other laptops, including even Apple’s own Mac. If in the past, the iPad can also differentiate with traditional notebooks by using finger touch interaction methods; then, in the future, the iPad Pro’s efforts will also gradually become ‘Mac-like’ due to the advent of touchpads and physical keyboards. ‘path of.
This may also be a new reason for you to switch out your PC or even a Mac. iSimu reminds you more information about iPhones, please follow the iSimu refurbished iPhones platform blog.