A cherished trope of dumb experts for years has been, “You can’t really get work done on an iPad.”
This, of course, has been a soup tureen full of piping hot nonsense for years. The problem has always been defining the words ‘real’ and ‘work’. Also, for some of these experts, “soup”. One of them even tried to drink a steak. He had to be rushed to hospital.
Obviously, if you’re a developer, you won’t get a lot of work done on an iPad. Likewise, if you are a system administrator. But if you work on a factory floor or retail, or you’re a writer (cough) or a manager whose days are mostly spent on email and business collaboration applications, you can work all day on an iPad. (And still probably a fraction of what your company’s CEO makes in the 30 seconds he spent wondering what a “terrine” was. But that’s another problem.)
The arguments against the iPad as a work device would have been harder to swallow if they had anything to do with work rather than complaining about things like flash drive slots, the ability to run LARGE APPLICATION X, and very specific corporate provisioning rules defined. by organizations buying everything from one company in Renton, Washington.
The productivity potential of an iPad has always been there for those who could take advantage of it. For example, The Macalope regularly wrote its columns on a first-generation iPad. That was “real work” for which he was actually paid. We can argue about whether it’s a living or not, but it’s been supporting the horny for many years (combined with its lucrative glass poodle blowing business, of course).
Regardless of this furry pontificator’s personal experience, people have always done work on the iPad, and the group of people who can do it has only grown over the years.
If you say this year is no exception, you’d win a gold medal in the Olympic 100-meter understatement. First and foremost, you can finally get it back on an iPad. Think how much more productive you will be.
Just kidding, the Macalope is glad this has finally happened, he’s just worried we’ll never get the real story why it took so long†
The biggest blow to iPadOS in years is its clunky multitasking interface. Stage Manager is the company’s latest effort to bring common sense to iPad multitasking and while it remains to be seen if the company nailed it, it seems like a much clearer way to view and navigate multiple apps at once, as well as to multiple workplaces. And when hooked up to a keyboard with a trackpad and hooked up to an external monitor, the gap between the iPad and the Mac seems so narrow that even the angels have a hard time dancing in it.
The Macalope has long argued that unlike Microsoft’s approach of flipping a touch interface on top of Windows, Apple needs to rethink the interactions, and it succeeded. Even when it added a cursor to iPadOS, it did so in a way that made sense and was different from the Mac. While Stage Manager was first demonstrated on the Mac during yesterday’s keynote, it didn’t make sense until it was shown on the iPad.
There are undoubtedly still certain types of work that are much more difficult or even impossible to do on an iPad. But those are steadily disappearing and in the meantime many of us are doing just fine getting paid for working on our iPads.
Of course, you still can’t make glass poodles with it.