The iPad Pro Is Already a Computer

Carolina Milanesi, Techpinions:

It was fascinating to have people point out to me after the event that the only thing that the iPad Pro is missing now to be a computer is mouse support. This to me is a symptom that shows how these people are not ready to transition all their computing needs to an iPad Pro. Either because of comfort or because of the kind of tasks they perform, a touch and pen first workflow would not suit them. This is why Apple continues to update its Mac line. But also, this is why Mac OS, while remaining a separate OS, will allow for apps to look and feel more like they do on iOS so that workflows could seamlessly go between an iPhone or an iPad to a Mac. The more you will be able to do that the more you will be able to consider an iPad Pro as your main computing device.

I saw many similar tweets and articles about what Mac features the iPad still needs before it can become a real computer. As Carolina points out above, these people are missing the point. The iPad is not slowly becoming a computer as we know them, it is redefining what it means to be a computer. The only reason we think mouse pointers, windows, menu bars, and right-clicks define computers is because that’s all we’ve ever known computers to be. That doesn’t mean a device needs those features to be a computer or just as powerful as a PC.

Of course there are “traditional” computer features I think the iPad Pro needs to gain in the next few years to improve its functionality: external USB-C storage support in the Files app, a file downloader in Safari, and further expansion of Split View to support more than 2 apps at a time would be top of my list. But the iPad doesn’t need mouse support to be good at Photoshop, or window support to be a powerful multitasking machine. Instead, I hope to see iOS 13 and future releases introduce new ways for iPad users to select text (some kind of trackpad support without a mouse cursor), work with large files, interact with external displays, and run multiple apps at once. That’s the future Apple is building toward with the iPad Pro and Marzipan.