This year WWDC by Apple is being heralded for several things the most important of which is the positive change Apple is bringing to its systems lineup. Apple is integrating everything now from the software through to the hardware and right down to the CPU. The intent here is slowly and to some degree quickly move off Intel and onto its own chips.
At the software level, significant changes are happening that is further pulling Apple’s devices together. Everything from the Mac to the iPhone and iPad and even the AppleTV is intended to work more seamlessly with each other. The architecture for this to happen is in place and the gist of the matter is this is the way Apple has been evolving for a long time. It is just now the drive won’t be from disparate systems but systems that are more alike than different.
Since its inception the iPad has been an amazing device and is really the only pad that dominates the market. First, the iPad brought to the table many unique attributes that drove different aspects of computing more easily. For instance, the iPad is an ideal reading environment. Reading a book on an iPad is almost the same as reading from paper and for some they prefer the iPad.
With this strength, the iPad could take on computing tasks but true computing was still best left to the flexibility and power of the computer. Regardless, people effectively used the iPad to do their mail, write documents, manage photos and music and more. The touch screen on the iPad is a delight to use but when combined with a keyboard either full time as both a protective case and keyboard or just as needed, the iPad took on capabilities intended for the computer.
With the introduction of the Magic Keyboard for the iPad, these computer qualities are continuing to advance. Further, the iPad does not just combine a touch screen, keyboard and a pencil for many things its CPU and system architecture have proved tremendously powerful. It runs cool to the touch and does not need a fan/s to do so.
However, the computer still is your main workhorse and few that use a computer for their productivity would give that up to the iPad. What many do though is use their iPad as adjunct to their computer. The computer’s capability comes from probably the best OS on the market. It is both friendly yet incredibly powerful. It’s multi-tasking capabilities as of yet have not been replicated on the iPad.
Thus, for the most productive of user they have both devices each working in tandem to harness their capabilities. Sync between the two is almost flawless. It ensures a synergistic result which in some ways only a few years ago would have seemed magical but is now a given.
Apple is so pleased with the performance of its own chips the A series and the power of the ARM architecture they are beginning the transition of their computer line from Intel to their A series of in house, custom chips. Not only will Apple have full control of its software architecture but they will have the same with their hardware architecture. The deep integration of the devices is guaranteed. For developers, the user and Apple this result will benefit all substantially.
The iPad, computer, iPhone, Apple Watch and the AppleTV will blend into each other beautifully. Apple’s ecosystem has often been called a walled garden but this garden ensures fluidity that is hard to come by.
With Apple’s capabilities so ensured, they can afford to be more open. That is, one of the criticisms that come from this walled garden is it is too closed. Apple has many services that would benefit a larger community and although someone might be using a different platform, the inclusion in this ecosystem can only benefit Apple. Apple is beginning to do well with their services such as AppleTV+ and allowing other platforms to use the service ensures a greater market for Apple. The same could be said of the Apple Watch and if it were allowed to run on Android again would increase its potential market.
The iPad Dominates the Tablet Space
Since the iPad was released in 2010 it has been by far the largest selling tablet in the market. To date 350 million iPads have been sold as can be seen in this linked graph. There is every reason to believe this will continue as the iPad becomes more versatile. As an example, multi-tasking on the iPad is becoming a reality bringing it even closer to a computer.
People prefer, by a long shot, reading documents and books on their iPad. Students are often seen carrying the device as it is so portable. Once home, frequently they take this information gathered in class and sync it to their computers where eventually it may become a research document. Others simply enjoy watching a video on the device in a comfortable spot.
Whether people will possibly use their iPads for everything including advanced computer tasks is not impossible in the road laid before us. However, the idea of a synergistic relationship with other devices better suited for certain situations and activities seems most probable. It is not comfortable reading a book on a computer. In like fashion, the computer has capabilities that make the production of writing a book far more effective. Using the appropriate device for the task at hand with the ability to sync seamlessly between these devices not only enhances productivity but it makes doing the various tasks more enjoyable.
WWDC Road Map
At Apple’s World Wide Developer conference a well received road map of the future of the Apple computing environment was presented. The power presented by the iPad Pro, which can outperform a MacBook Pro, understates one of the benefits Apple will make transitioning to its own A series chips.
The second major thing is by having the entire line of devices on the same platform allows apps to run natively across different devices increasing integration. This has always been important in Apple’s strategy.
Thirdly, Apple will have full control of not only the software environment but that of the key aspects of the hardware. A major shift, once again, is underway at Apple.
In such a scenario, the importance of the iPad can only increase. The device will be able to run apps natively from the computer. We should see apps configured to run across the entire line increasing integration. Devices will be chosen for what they do best with tight integration not leaving anyone out.
A doctor making rounds using an iPad has all the information needed at his beck and call. Students can choose what suits them best, and the office worker will still have those special adjuncts often needed when putting together a comprehensive report.
The iPad has done very well over the years and it has provided guidance back to Apple to make smart strategic decisions. The proof is in the pudding. The new OS has capabilities users have wanted for quite some time. They’re coming and with much positive feedback.
If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, having a computer for tasks which requires the output that it is best suited for, a long with an iPad with its key strengths, you can easily sit back and put each to their proper use thus enhancing productivity nicely. Add to this environment the iPhone to take the outputs with you and have the information on hand for others further enhances your capabilities. Finally, to have an AppleTV for a little R&R makes perfect sense. It all seems to be coming together however, Apple is in a position now it can afford to open up not leaving anyone out of the team. Such is happening and we may find, not in the too distant future, a stronger Apple that leaves no one out.