Apple: The rebirth of the iPad
It might finally be possible “to get real work done on an iPad,” said Vlad Savov in TheVerge.com. Apple’s tablet has always felt a bit like an oversize iPhone: nice to have, but nothing that could replace your laptop. That may change now that Apple has unveiled an updated version of its iOS mobile operating system that’s dedicated almost entirely to making the iPad more useful. The new iOS 11 makes it easier to multitask on your iPad, with the ability to quickly switch from one app to another and drag and drop files between them. The updated software, combined with a new 10.5-inch version of the powerful iPad Pro, makes it look like “the lines between mobile and desktop software are being eroded into nothing.”
Apple is still trying to figure out what it wants the iPad to be, said Steve Kovach in BusinessInsider.com. When Steve Jobs first unveiled the device to oohs and aahs in 2010, there were predictions that the tablet would upend entire industries. Alas, that “would not come to pass.” Digital magazines have been a bust, with high-profile experiments like News Corp.’s iPad-only publication The Daily fizzling. Interactive textbooks also haven’t caught on as Apple expected, and e-book sales have been “plummeting by double-digit percentages” as consumers cling to print books. At the same time, “iPad sales have been in free fall since 2013,” because consumers don’t feel the need to upgrade every year as they do with their smartphones. Apple’s new updates might finally give the iPad a raison d’être. “A device as powerful and capable as a laptop but packed in an ultrathin, portable package: No one has cracked that yet.”
Apple still believes the iPad is “the future of computing,” said Navneet Alang in TheWeek.com. The current consumer narrative is that devices such as the iPad are great for doing things like watching movies, playing games, and reading articles, but you need a traditional computer for actual work. The truth is that most people don’t need a traditional computer to do their jobs. “They email a lot, do word processing, use basic spreadsheets and presentation software, touch up photos, make videos.” All that can be done faster and easier using a tablet with an attached keyboard. You’re probably still going to need a powerful computer to do things like animating movies and designing software, said Mike Murphy in Qz.com. But for everyone else, the newly improved iPad is beginning to look like a legitimate laptop replacement. “The iPad has always been the awkward middle child” between the iPhone and the Mac. It might finally be growing up.