By Matt Birchler
I've been writing here since 2010! Back when personal blogs were all the rage. Kids, ask your parents.

Just Buy a Mac

Mark Gurman has a new report out about advanced multitasking features coming in iPadOS 16, and while many in my feeds are happy about this, there is also some trepidation. Rene Ritchie, for example, expressed nervousness about this report, saying:

Iā€™m super nervous about this. iPad was made for people for whom even the Mac was overly complex and inaccessible   The iPad should become a better iPad. Never a Mac. If you want a Mac, buy a Mac. Demand a better Mac, even a touch Mac  But let iPad remain an iPad for everyone else

We go over this same thing every year:

  1. Rumors of iPads getting feature X that Macs have had for years.
  2. "You should just buy a Mac if you want X" opinions abound.
  3. Apple adds feature X to iPadOS, and it is implemented in an iPad-like way.
  4. Everyone is happy.

I mean, for god's sake, this is what my iPad looks like today:

I've got a mouse and keyboard, I've got a file system, I can be working in 3 apps at the same time, all things that were once considered by many in the Apple community to be "Mac things" that the iPad didn't need. The refrain is always, "if you want X, then get a Mac," but time and time again Apple is able to add these features in ways that make sense on the iPad. This is why we're here in 2022 and of course a mouse and keyboard makes sense on the iPad, even if that would have broken our brains in 2010.

This is why I can sit here and see a rumor that the iPad is getting more powerful multitasking this year and not freak out about the iPad losing its soul. Time and time again, Apple has added feature that used to only exist on Macs, that people insisted should not come to the iPad, and now we love them on the iPad. Absolutely nothing in the history of the iPad tells me that this time will be any different.

Even if Apple goes all the way and lets us resize windows and drag them anywhere we want on screen, I don't think this suddenly turns the iPad into a Mac. After all, macOS, Windows, and Linux all have resizable windows that work 95% the same, but no one is out there saying that these are all basically the same operating system.

Finally, can we talk about how iPads have had split view for more than half a decade at this point and many iPad users never ever use this feature? All those changes Apple's made to multitasking over the years and millions upon millions of users never even noticed because they don't need the iPad to do more than one thing at once. All these changes and their core experience has remained wonderfully intact. Why do we think that one more year of enhancements to this system is suddenly going to break this behavior for the less technically savvy users?

I hope this rumor is true, and if it is, I am exceptionally confident that advanced iPad users like myself, Christopher Lawley, Federico Viticci, Canoopsy, and many more will be over the moon, while your average user won't notice much of a difference unless they want to. iPadOS 16 will be unveiled in 4 days, so we don't have long to wait and see!

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Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love. You can also check out my side projects, Quick Reviews and Quick BIN Lookup.