For one thing, the introduction of an Axx Mac, with its forced coexistence of two versions of macOS and its applications, conflicts (“competes” may be a better word) with the recently unveiled Catalyst program that’s aimed at bringing iPad apps to the Mac. Over the last decade, Apple app developers have shifted their focus from the tens of millions of macOS desktops and laptops to the hundreds of millions of iOS devices. Catalyst wants to cure that imbalance, to restore some app momentum for the unchanged Mac.
In parallel, we have the very real effort to evolve the iPad into a full-fledged laptop alternative with an existing, not putative, forking of iOS into two distinct versions: The “historic” iOS for iPhones, and a new iPadOS that, all of a sudden, removes many of the old iPad limitations.
…I went to Palo Alto’s Fry’s store and bought a Microsoft 3600 Bluetooth mouse…I used Tom’s Hardware instructions to pair it with my iPad Pro running a beta version of iPadOS. The mouse paired right away, the setup instructions worked, and I now see a strange blob, the current iPadOS rendition of a mouse cursor:
…It doesn’t quite work as a classic mouse, which gets us to the laptop replacement question, one that I’ll courageously dodge as follows: For a long time now, some iPad users have argued that their tablets perfectly serve their work and fun needs. Others have no less firmly argued that Mac ergonomics, including a good keyboard and trackpad, are their preferred tools. I can only see the temperature rise as some will love the new iPad features while others point to the increased complexity and not-quite-complete feature set.
After arguing the two sides of the “to Axx or not to Axx” case, I think a simpler Mac evolution — no forks, stay the course with x86 processors — is the likely future.
Speaking of forks, yes, there clearly is one in the iOS world. In contrast to last week’s putative dual hardware and OS Mac transition, the fork I’m speaking of is a software-only divergence: As iPadOS lets iPads gain more use cases, especially in the realm of productivity, iPhones and their immensely larger number of devices will stay in the mainstream of iOS development. Undoubtedly, there will be unanticipated complications in some iPad uses, but the scheme feels more natural than last week’s convoluted formula.