THAT FEATURE IS SO COOL! I’ll never use it, though.

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Daryl Baxter writing for iMore: iPadOS 18 Looks Great, but It Still Doesn't Fix the iPad's Biggest Problem

I want to be clear — the features that Calculator brings to the iPad, as well as the Math Notes that you can use with Apple Pencil and Notes are fantastic. Users who struggle with sums and equations will benefit massively.

Everything else that's coming to iOS 18 and macOS Sequoia is also welcome — from the much-improved Messages to the new Safari on Mac, there's a lot to like.

Yet, for a major update called iPadOS 18, many users, myself included, were hoping for improvements to Stage Manager. Or at least, a new way of multitasking on iPad.

I feel like this is a common feeling for me about iPadOS things: the features they add are incredible…if you happen to need exactly that feature. I thought the Calculator segment of the WWDC keynote was an absolute banger. Instead of just bringing a boring calculator to the iPad, they brought an amazing calculator with some incredible smarts that truly takes advantage of the iPad interface. This is the sort of thing we love to see from Apple, and they blew it out of the water.

I felt similarly when Apple unveiled the new Final Cut Pro for iPad 2.0 a month ago, and they demoed a live multi-cam feature that was technically super impressive and unlike anything I’ve seen from other options out there.

What links these features in my brain is the fact that while I can academically understand why they’re so impressive and that some people will get massive use out of them, they aren’t valuable to me, so they don’t move the needle at all in terms of me being able to close up some of the friction points I have with using an iPad for all the things I’d love to do with any iPad.

This especially hurts with Final Cut, because while some people might say I’m not the target market for some features, I am a decades-long Final Cut Pro user and I would love to be able to bring my not-that-complicated workflow over to the iPad. The live multi-cam feature is amazing, but it doesn’t resolve my blockers of using custom LUTs, setting my own keyboard shortcuts, or using third party plugins, all of which are core to my use of the app. It’s like they teed up the golf ball and got an incredible hole in one, but they got it in the whole hole.

Again, I’m not saying these features are anything short of amazing, I’m just saying that they’re brilliantly solving for very specific use cases while the more general items get relegated down the priority list. Maybe this is as good as the general stuff is going to get for iPadOS, but I hope the journey isn’t done.