iPad Pro doesn’t need a major facelift, just better software

iPad Pro doesn’t need a major facelift, just better software

Apple last year introduced a new iPad Pro that is essentially the same as the previous generation model, but this time with the faster M2 chip. While rumors suggest that neither iPad model will get massive updates in 2023, it seems Apple has been working on a “major iPad Pro refresh” for 2024. But right now, iPad Pro doesn’t need a major refresh, but better software.

The current state of the iPad Pro and rumors about the future

The last major redesign of the iPad Pro was in 2018, when the company ditched the Home button design in favor of the new one with an edge-to-edge display. Since then, despite the addition of the Magic Keyboard and improved cameras, the iPad Pro’s hardware has never changed much.

Of course, something else happened in 2021. That’s when Apple introduced the first iPad Pro with the M1 chip, until then a chip designed for Mac. And in 2022, the iPad Pro was updated again with the same M2 chip as the MacBook Air. and the new Mac mini.

While the rumors about the iPad Pro 2023 aren’t exciting, Bloomberg reported this week that Apple is working on a major redesign for the 2024 version, which is also expected to feature an OLED display for the first time on an iPad. Also, both Bloomberg Y 9to5Mac have reported in the past that Apple has considered bringing MagSafe to the iPad Pro.

But honestly, it’s not a new design that the iPad Pro needs, or even an even more powerful chip.

iPad Pro needs better software

For years, the problem with the iPad hasn’t been the hardware, but the software. Since 2018’s iPad Pro, Apple has claimed that its tablet is faster than most laptops. Today, this is even more true with iPads that are powered by the same chips as Macs.

Still, the iPad’s software is a mess. Although Apple came up with the name iPadOS, it is essentially a version of iOS optimized for larger screens. With iPadOS 16, Apple tried to differentiate iPadOS with Stage Manager, a feature that brings windows to iPad. While Stage Manager certainly enables a new level of multitasking on the iPad, it’s still much more limited than what users find on macOS and Windows.

iPad Pro Software Scene Manager

Users can only open four apps at a time on each screen, which may be a reasonable limit for the iPad screen, but not for when you have an external monitor attached. Just imagine having that limit on a Mac. And Stage Manager is buggy and inconsistent. You can’t even move and arrange windows freely like on a desktop operating system.

But that’s only part of the problem with iPadOS. Since it is based on iOS, the system is much more limited and restricted. The powerful software available on desktop platforms requires access to some tools that Apple simply doesn’t provide in iOS. This results in developers taking more time or even considering whether it’s worth releasing “professional” apps for iPadOS.

Even Apple, which likes to prove that iPadOS is a great platform for developers, has never brought apps like Final Cut, Logic Pro, and Xcode to the iPad.

DaVinci Resolve iPad Pro

Will iPadOS 17 unleash the potential of the iPad?

It’s hard to tell at this point. With iPadOS 16 focusing heavily on the features that turn iPad into a computer, we certainly expect to see more of this with future updates. However, a recent report by Mark Gurman revealed that Apple has prioritized the development of its new AR/VR platform over iOS 17.

In other words, users should maintain their expectations about the features that come with iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. And no matter how much Apple improves the iPad’s hardware, makes it faster, or changes its design, none of this will solve its main problem: have “baby software” for a powerful device.

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