Apple put itself in a unique position before the start of this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Not necessarily one it had to find a way out of, per se. However, a lot of people expected Apple to do just that.
That unique position is the 2021 iPad Pro lineup. Apple did what it normally does for the most part, tweaking just enough parts to make it (mostly) worthwhile to upgrade this year. Maybe not necessarily if you opted for a new iPad Pro in 2020, unless you upgraded to the new 12.9-inch mini-LED option for that display alone.
The important change came under the hood. Instead of going with a new A-series chip this year, Apple decided to switch to the M-series processor instead. There had been jokes and winks and nudges that the “M” in M-series was for Mac, and that would help differentiate this processor from the other ones Apple makes. But now the M-series chip is inside an iPad and all bets are off at this point.
The kicker is that the M-series processor is more capable than even Apple’s A-series. It make the iPad Pro lineup even more like a computer, even though Apple doesn’t want you to call the iPad (Pro) a computer. And with the adoption of the M1 chip, many people expected Apple to really show off the prowess of the chip, its capabilities in an iPad Pro, thanks to huge gains in iPadOS.
Before WWDC, I asked you all what you were looking forward to the most from this year’s conference. A big upgrade to iPadOS was one of the elements I highlighted, especially because of the M1 processor in the iPad Pro lineup. It certainly felt like Apple was hinting at some big changes for the software that powers the iPad experience.
I . . . don’t think Apple delivered. A lot of the primary changes that iPadOS 15 brings to the iPad lineup is also present in iOS 15, which isn’t too surprising. That’s usually how it works. Improvements to FaceTime, messaging, Memoji, notifications, Focus, bigger changes to Safari, and more. The list goes on.
But when it comes to iPadOS, the primary focus is multitasking. And that’s essentially just an evolution of how multitasking currently works in iPadOS 14. Apple is making the process easier. Streamlining it. And, honestly, I think it will be great to use on a daily basis. That’s when Apple is at its best: giving us new features/upgrades/tweaks that don’t seem like much, but, when you actually start using it, you realize you’ve been missing it all along.
But that’s probably not enough. Expectation is a killer, and I believe a lot of people were hoping for a lot more with the next big update to iPadOS. It’s been said so many times that the iPad lineup is great, especially when it comes to the iPad Pro, but it is iPadOS that holds it back. Do you think iPadOS 15 keeps holding the iPad back?