One thing that is clear here in San Jose is Apple’s renewed focus on the Mac and iPad. The argument that Apple has turned exclusively into the “iPhone company” no longer holds water. Maybe that is a result of the fact that Apple has literally saturated the entire planet with iPhone sales or just because Apple is catching up in terms of its own internal growth and more able to walk and chew gum but suddenly the Mac and iPad are getting lots of love from Apple.
We had a great episode of Mac Power Users this week where we interviewed Doug Brooks, the new Mac Pro’s product manager. One thing that came out of talking to Doug was the incredible amount of effort that went into the new Mac Pro hardware. They were even dragging it on and off trucks to see how it could handle a video production environment. I can only imagine the R&D costs of this new computer that will, in all likelihood, have a very small (but dedicated) audience.
Apple has now got a Mac all along the price/performance spectrum for just about everyone. I don’t thing we are at the end of this Mac hardware renaissance either. There are rumors of new MacBooks, presumably with a new keyboard, and ARM-based Macs, which would have insane battery lives.
Over the last few years, Apple has nailed down the iPad hardware again with options ranging along the price and performance curves. In my opinion, the new iPad Pros are unquestionably the best iPads ever made. I’m typing these very words on one.
For some time now, the problem with the iPad has been the software. People who genuinely want to use the iPad more, get turned off by silly friction points. My white whale on iOS 12 was how difficult the iPad made it to create a new folder while saving an email attachment to iCloud storage (something I do multiple times a day) and poor tag management. It looks like one of those two problems is solved by iOS 13. Indeed, iOS 13 looks to knock off quite a few of the rough edges for people looking to get work done on their iPad. I’ll report more on this once the iOS 13 betas get more stable and I can spend more time with it.
Moreover, with the announcement of iPadOS as a new operating system, Apple has publicly elevated the iPad operating system as something separate and distinct from the iPhone. In years past at WWDC, Apple has sometimes made iPad improvements a point of focus and other times ignored it entirely. By making iPadOS, its own thing, Apple appears to now be holding itself accountable for iPad improvements every year. I hope that means there are folks inside Apple now assigned to doing nothing but making the iPad better every day.
Regardless, I’m pleased with this renewed focus on Mac and iPad. I love the iPhone, but I get most of my work done on Macs and iPads and on both of those platforms there remains plenty of work to be done.