Last month, Apple announced a new model of its iPad Pro line with the M1 chip. This is a proprietary chip moving away from Intel who supplied the CPU for the Macs.
It’s the company’s most recent effort to put its share of the ground in owning more of the Apple engine, but also how it can go further in its design and features across the product line.
However, the owners have been waiting for the tablet to finally separate from the iPhone’s operating system and become its own thing. With the M1 chip now included in the iPad, users are excited to see how the tablet will benefit from it, especially how it can be found in the new chip iMac and its multitude of colors.
While we wait for what Apple announces for WWDC in June, many are hoping the iPad will finally come due. So that the software matches the powerful hardware that is now available.
But we were actually on this path 22 years ago and hope that history repeats itself.
What was Mac OS 9?
In the late 90s, Apple was on the ropes. It was similar to the first half of Rocky III, tried the same techniques but looked out of date, even predictable.
There were aborted efforts to redefine the MacOS operating system by the name of Copeland around 1995, but with one confused goal across the company, nothing ever came about.
If you were in school during those times, you may have come across a beige Macintosh with a desktop that looked like a pixelated version of the current look of macOS alongside the classic six-color Apple logo.
After Copeland was abandoned, Mac OS 8 and 9 were released in the late 1990s as an intermediary between the classic operating system and what was to come.
Long-requested features such as file sharing over a network, custom fonts, and tabbed windows in the Finder had arrived.
But users wanted, no, needed something more. It still lagged behind Windows 98 at the time.
A rhapsody of praise
After Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1998, it was decided to use most of the code base from the company they bought from Apple to get him and his team back into NeXT.
This was the code name for Mac OS X, which was made available as a public beta in 2000.
There was a dock, an easier way to find your apps, a new user interface, and real multitasking support.
Now we’re on MacOS 11 with a redesigned user interface and features that mirror what we use on our iPhones and iPads on a daily basis.
We see the advantages of the M1 chip, not just its high-performance performance, but also that the iMac is the first major redesign of the product in years, along with rumors of a similar redesign MacBook Air.
iPadOS should have its rhapsody moment
The iPad’s operating system is on a tick-tock cycle – one year there will be a multitude of features, another year there may be a multitude of features and bug fixes.
It wasn’t until iOS 11 in 2017 that the iPad received its own dock in addition to a drag-and-drop function. But even now, multitasking isn’t easy to find and use while the Files app lacks certain features, some of which are as obvious as a progress bar when copying files to another folder.
While the operating system was renamed iPadOS in 2019, the feeling remains that Apple isn’t sure what to do with the platform. While mouse support arrived last year, it was hoped that support for external displays would arrive with the new M1 iPad Pro, especially since its USB 4 port can easily mirror a 4K display.
But it shouldn’t be.
We currently have a Reliant Robin engine in a Ferrari – the iPad can do so much, but the operating system hinders the entire product line.
If iPadOS 15 was to be a full reboot of the operating system, rather than just an obvious extension of iPhoneOS, it could be a platform that was really going to thrive.
It takes a Mac OS X moment of its own where developers and users can really transfer their muscles to the tablet without restrictions and without compromise.
What could be next
Apple may already be very aware of this, however, and we may see a redesigned iPadOS soon. In the meantime, however, there are numerous features that can help users and developers right now.
- Integration of Apple Watch and fitness widgets
- Podcast recording
- Proper support for external displays
- Widgets that are placed anywhere on the home screen
- Better multitasking
We can already see that macOS is thriving again from its low point in recent years. The MacBook Air, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini are finally coming due, and with the new iMac coming soon, many might be tempted to get on with their iPad and just look towards a MacBook Air. Right now that the M1 is Chip resides in both their computers and tablets, that line is blurring for some consumers, wondering which one could be the best for years to come.
Customers want to see this variation, this justification for why an iPad does certain things better than an iPhone and a Mac. For now, that line is getting confused, but when iPadOS finally sees its Mac OS X moment, we could finally enjoy parts of the iPad again and not wait in hopes of what might come to the platform.