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We Want to Turn iPads into Macs, Apple Still Wants You to Buy Both

WWDC2021 and iPadOS 15 are killing my dream of replacing my Mac with an iPad


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Charles Tumiotto Jackson

3 years ago | 3 min read

I have been a hardcore iPad user since the iPad Pro came out.

I loved the product. I loved the display. I loved all the possible workflows. I loved using the Apple pencil for photo work. I loved how the design of iPadOS makes you more productive by limiting distractions and multitasking capabilities.

My dream was to replace my Mac with the iPad.

The iPad is lighter, smoother, and more pleasant to use than a regular computer in my opinion.

I wrote a few articles about turning my iPad Pro into my main computing device, and it made me realize how much people were wanting to do the same thing.

There is a giant community of creatives online that love using the iPad and that wished that it could do as much, if not more, than their regular computer.

And for a while, it seemed like Apple was trying to turn the iPad into more of a computer.

Take the Magic keyboard for example. It adds a full trackpad and a keyboard to your iPad. Giving you the same interface than a MacBook while giving you the looks of an iMac.

More recently, Apple added the powerful and mighty M1 chip into the iPad, turning the iPad in a machine that’s faster and smoother than most computers.

But at the same time, Apple hasn’t addressed the most requested feature, the one that would be a major game-changer for most iPad users: external monitor support.

This limitation really impairs users to use their iPad Pro for more demanding tasks like serious video editing, photo work, or even complex file management tasks.

The iPad is an Overpowered Machine that Can’t Do Much

iPads are more powerful than ever.

In fact, they’re as capable as MacBook Pros and iMacs now since they are equipped with the same chip.

They also almost cost the same price.

Yet they can’t replace your main computer because the iPad app world is still limited.

You can run Final Cut Pro X on your M1 Macs and the program runs super smoothly.

But you can only run Lumafusion on your iPad that has the same chip.

Lumafusion is great don’t get me wrong. But for some uses, it is simply not enough.

And now that there is a full mouse and keyboard support on the iPad, it seems crazy to me that you just can’t have access to Mac apps like Final Cut Pro or a decent Photoshop version.

We’ve hoped that these apps were going to come to the iPad in the future.

And all the recent innovations from Apple (the Magic Keyboard, the M1 chip and so on) made it seem like that was Apple’s plan.

Universal Control Make the iPad and the Mac Codependent.

Universal Control is coming to iPadOS 15 and MacOS Monterey and was announced yesterday at WWDC2021.

It allows you to navigate your mouse seamlessly from your M1 Mac to your iPad Pro.

Move your mouse to the edge of you Mac screen, and see it pop out on the screen of your iPad that’s seating next to your Mac display.

Looks magical. Looks highly practical. Looks well-designed. Congrats Apple.

The demo said it all: Craig Federighi dragged a design he made in Procreate on his iPad Pro into a Final Cut Pro project he was working on on his M1 iMac.

That’s super impressive and I will be totally using this kind of workflows.

But this is the nail in the coffin: if the iPad had a decent video editing software, he wouldn’t have needed to drag that design to a Mac.

This feature is going to make the iPad and the Mac codependent.

They will be able to communicate seamlessly, while only one of the two device could be necessary.

You Just Can’t Own Only One

I gave up on my dreams of only owning an iPad.

I bought an M1 MacBook Air a few months ago. I don’t regret my purchase, it’s a fantastic computer.

But I still believe the iPad Pro is underleveraged by Apple. It sits so awkwardly between being a less capable computer, and just a phone with a giant screen.

Apple could have made it into a hybrid machine, but they purposefully decide to limit to sell it alongside their desktop lineups.

But now it feels like we have Macs that could be as snappy and fun to use as iPads, but just aren’t. And iPads that are so powerful, but still feel like toys when it comes to pro apps.

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Charles Tumiotto Jackson

Content Marketer, willing to put the “social” back in Social Media. Forget about “Hacks” and obscure secrets to grow on social media → http://bit.ly/2v7Ks6q


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