May 4, 2024

Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams on the Upcoming iPad Event

The event is here, the rumors are out, the bets are here. Here’s what’s expected:

  • Thiner iPad Pro’s with smaller bezels and OLED Screens. Either M3 or M4.
  • New 12.9 iPad Air
  • Both iPad Pro and Air will have front camera on the side.
  • New Apple Pencil
  • New Aluminum Magic Keyboard

The iPad is a magical device. Ever since I saw the introduction livestream in an Oslo Bar with by Opera buddies, I’ve been a defender of it. A few months later when I held mine for the first time, it absolutely clicked with me.

While its linage as a Newton MessagePad 2100 descendant is likely more wishful thinking on my part, the fascination comes from the same belief that it was the future of computing.

Almost a decade and half later, the future is certainly not, and there’s been up & downs on the claim the iPad is even a future of computing. I’m still a believer, though. As I watch Robie — my 8-year-old transition his iPad use from a video streaming / gaming screen to a Shortcuts and Swift Playgrounds device, I see the potential.

But the same source of optimism has brought doubts recently. As Robie delves deeper into computing”, he keeps borrowing our home server 2015 13in MacBook Pro. He’s a beautiful prototypical oldest son: responsible and formal, and he might be copying my MacBook is for work, iPad for everything else” practice. But I think there might be something more.

On the other hand, my wife Ana has used an iPad Pro as her main computer since the pandemic. So much so that we didn’t realize her MacBook 12in drive had died until a couple of weeks ago. She’s a real user: Google Sheets, Canva, Zoho business, email, research, etc. All from the comfort of an 2018 iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard she swears by.

For me, an iPad mini 2021 has been my everything-not-on-a-desk device. If there’s an Apple product I can squint and see the Newton DNA is this little marvel. I even use the Newton Keyboard when write on it1… once a year, maybe.

And that’s my iPad problem. Every time I try to really use it as a computing device, the experiment fails. I put some serious effort during the MacBook Butterfly dark era. It was fun, until it really wasn’t.

What do I want from Tuesday event? In no particular order:

A clear iPad lineup. The tables have turned, a few years back I wished for the Mac the clarity of the iPad lineup. For me, Apple is best when you can describe the lineup with pricing as reference but not as a quality. I find it difficult to explain the current iPads without falling into: the expensive one, the less expensive but less good one, the not-so-cheap but good one, and the cheap-don’t-buy one.

True iPad Pro/Air versions. Give me tradeoffs as with the MacBook line. Not simply fewer features as you go from Pro to Air.

iPad Pro as in Provocative. Awe me, pull us to a future. An iPad and keyboard so thin that it looks like a MacBook. Make it run macOS when paired with a Pro keyboard. Obsolete the amazing iPad Pro 2018 so buying any used version since feels like buying an iPhone with a home button.

I’m excited for Tuesday’s promo video. An introduction a month away from WWDC means both things don’t fit together. This speaks of a full bag at WWDC, but also of significant enough iPads that a press-release won’t do.

I’ll be idiot, clapping at his desk and hoping that all iPads under our roof depreciate massively this week.

  1. Narrator: footage not found.↩︎

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