Recently I have wrote about Mac and how I began to harness its unique power by using BBEdit, clipboard manager, Keyboard Maestro macros, custom launchers, modifying OS behaviour with BetterTouchTool, writing my own Perl and Swift tools.
This is all fine, as far as normal software developer concerned, macOS and its professional hardware gives us everything we need. We don’t want it to change in a fundamental way. We just need Apple to update it on regular basis. However, Apple can not stop on that. They need to empower even more people with technology.
Innovation to make Macintosh fully accessible with only a mouse instead of traditional keyboard was a great decision. This was copied by Windows quickly, so thanks to Mac, more people could use computers than ever before. Many years later, iPhone made computing even more accessible. Google had to start their own photocopiers, you know the story. Now even more people own and use computers (smartphones) daily.
So is there’s room for iPad? Can it compete with smartphone? I believe it can. You see, smartphone has replaced computer for many. But not replaced it completely. Smartphone is one of the greatest inventions of this century, and it’s not enough. Many people still have to rely on their unreliable PC computers to do the job smartphone can’t — access powerful web applications, work with multiple documents at the same time, access file system and connect external devices. This is perfect place for iPad. Assuming, it has third-party applications to support itself.
I wrote how iPad needs more professional applications back in 2014. Now it’s 2019, 5 years later, we have iPadOS with window managemnt, USB access and file system. We have Adobe making Photoshop for iPad and we have Catalyst and SwiftUI to help with native software on iPad and Mac. It’s a huge opportunity, and it’s going to attract new users. If you are developer, I would pay close attention to iPad.
So why would you think someone would replace Windows PC with iPad. I can think of some reasons.
- iPad is multi touch first. Irrationaly, it feels good to use it, and entry barrier is lower.
- iPadOS new features: window managment, mouse support, file system access, enables more profesionall use cases.
- It likely to get more professional apps in the next 5 years.
- Excellent battery life and mobility.
- iPad can compete on price.
I believe there’s market to be taken of people who didn’t use computers before or don’t really like them. This is people who own Windows PC laptop and looking for something better, faster and more powerful. I see the future where a lot of people would want to carry powerful iPad loaded with professional native apps with them — computer for everything, computer for the rest of us.