Apple has launched a new advert for its 9.7″ iPad Pro (you know, the smaller one – not the 12.9″). And it’s fab. I’ll explain why in a moment, but here it is:
The ad pitches the iPad Pro as a ‘computer’, and, had it been produced a few months ago, I’d have laughed this off. A computer? But… It hasn’t got a mouse!
I’m now making a conscious effort to use the 9.7″ tablet on a daily basis for pretty much every element of my work. And you know what? It works, almost flawlessly. There are one or two things which are a little cumbersome, and, occasionally, I reach for the trackpad that isn’t there, but on the whole, it copes pretty admirably as a computer for a content marketer.
There was one piece of the jigsaw missing until a couple of weeks ago, and that was the peerless Scrivener (review coming soon). Now the iOS version has dropped, I view the iPad Pro as every bit the laptop replacement it could be for a huge number of people.
As noted, iOS feels rather hamfisted when put to real work and the multitasking and split screen stuff still needs refining (scrolling through a humongous list of apps to launch in the second ‘screen’ is utterly daft). But this will improve as time progresses and with the likes of Microsoft and Adobe making apps that easily rival their desktop counterparts, there are very few tasks you can’t perform on the iPad Pro. It is a computer.
Perhaps its greatest asset is something that has been with the iPad from the start: focus. True full screen apps on a screen of this size force the user to focus on the work in hand and not be distracted by task bars and other apps lurking in the background. This is a clean computing experience that is Apple through-and-through and absolutely in tune with the modern user. Where it leaves the MacBook in a few years’ time is anyone’s guess, but it wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that the venerable macOS device’s days may well be numbered. Yes – you read that right.
Why? I desperately want the new MacBook Pro that is allegedly on the horizon, but the more the iPad Pro proves itself as a day-long work machine, the more trouble I’m having justifying such a purchase. I think the same will go for a great many people as the years progress. The MacBook won’t vanish from our shelves any time soon, but I really doubt it’ll exist in traditional computer form in five years’ time.
So, Apple – bravo. You’re nailing this tablet-as-a-computer malarkey. And, anyway, what is a computer these days?