So the other day, Apple held its first 2022 event. It was flashy and everything you’d expect from an Apple event. And yet again it showed that they really have lost all sight of their ‘pro’ users.
Sure they released the Studio Mac, avoiding adding ‘Pro’ to the name. It looks like an excellent machine. I’ll probably buy one next year (or maybe 2024) to replace my 2018 Mac Mini. Of course, I have less than zero hope that Apple addressed the Bluetooth issues that have plagued the Mac Mini form factor for the better part of eight years now.
What I really wanted to hear was how they were leveraging the iPad Pro. I wasn’t hoping for a new device, but a tease of something, anything coming in iPadOS would have been nice.
Instead, they released a new iPad Air that it spec for spec almost an iPad Pro, sans cameras.
I hadn’t thought too much of it, until this last Apple Event. Apple has a track record or releasing ‘Pro’ things, then letting them languish, being overtaken by their standard models until they quietly discontinue the.
The iMac Pro. Released in 2017, quietly End Of Life’d before the Mac Studio was released.
The iPad Pro has been refreshed over the years, but iPadOS has been virtually stagnant most of that time.
Sure we got some simplistic windowing, but it’s just that, simplistic.
As you likely know, when I’m not at my desk, I’m 100% an iPad-only user. During the Apple event, I was at the dining table of a rental in the mountains for a little retreat from the house.
The only way to watch the event, AND still work, was to float a firefox window over my workspace. Which as you can see obscured the compose window for Tweetbot, forcing me to constantly move the floating window from one side to the other just to see what I was doing.
I didn’t actually need to see what was going on, but audio can’t stream from background apps (that aren’t sports app or music apps… despite the iPad Pro having the same CPU as Macbooks and Macbook Airs [the M1]).
But they offer “side by side”
And it’s trash. You’d think, cool, I’ll have one app on one side, and the other in the other side. When you’re giving one app focus, you’d expect Alt-Tab to swap out just one pane, but not. It switches back to single app view, killing background audio. Because of course it can’t tell which pane you’d like to swap an app out of.
The ongoing Mac Pro Joke
Many folks in the Mac world joke that Apple releases a Mac Pro every decade or so. Whole new design, absolutely marvelous looking. Expandable and powerful…
Then they ignore it.
Then they release a wholly new Mac Pro and the cycle repeats, leaving the previous buyers with a beautiful retired product.
I’m beginning to worry that the iPad Pro is going to suffer the same fate. There’s an iPad (basic?), an iPad Air, and the iPad Pro. The last two are nearly identical unless you really fancy taking super pics with your tablet or holding it up to play AR games (if any are offered). The ‘Pro’ aspect of the iPad pro is just the name. The spec of the Air is the same, so why pay more for the ‘Pro’?
So what’s the point of a ‘Pro’ iPad?
Writing on the iPad is pretty straightforward. Everything else is an exercise in pain and suffering.
I was creating a slide presentation to end 360|iDev 2021. Keynote is a trash app on the iPad, using a browser to find images to use required saving them to files or the photo reel, tabbing back to keynote, which went into hibernation to save resources (why I don’t know) so I had re-open my presentation get to the slide, tap + then navigate to my saved image.
Try to do anything that requires more than two apps, and you’ll find one put into hibernation to save resources, usually forcing you to start over.
It feels like Apple is following Android’s ill-fated path when they released honeycomb as their ‘tablet OS’ separating it from Android proper only to offer a crappy experience and ultimately give up on the idea.
This was a long post, mostly to vent my frustration. Someone tweeted that Apple was really “The Mac Company” and that’s beginning to feel right. More to the point, they’re the “Powerful hardware, basic OS Company”.
I want to love Apple gear, I know many do, but it’s getting harder and harder to take it seriously.
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