Apple’s new iPad Pro is the twelfth iPad to be released since the original debuted back in 2010, and it borrows features from two of Apple’s existing tablets. The new iPad Pro has the size and weight of the iPad Air 2 – 9.7-inches, which Apple notes is by far the most popular of its three iPad size choices – while bringing over the power and accessories of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro launched last year. (Yes, the new iPad Pro and the existing iPad Pro have the same name – you’ll have to get used to identifying them by size.)
Apple’s event today was one of the most telling events it has held in years, and I specifically chose the new iPad Pro 9.7″ to focus on. As far as products and announcements go, the event wasn’t all that monumental; it was the tone and wording that really set this event apart from all others. This wasn’t Apple talking about new products today – this was Apple talking about how it sees the future of personal computing.
On several occasions during the event, Apple referred to the iPad Pro – both the new 9.7″ model and the old 12.9″ model – as their vision for the future of personal computing, and Tim Cook referred to the 12.9″ model as a “giant step” toward the “future of computing”.
Read between the lines of today’s event, and you could clearly see the writing on the wall: after letting the Mac and specifically OS X languish since the release of iOS, and after internal struggles about which of the two – or both – platforms to focus on going forward, it seems like Apple is letting the world know that it finally made a choice, and that choice is iOS.
I’m not basing this solely on today’s event, of course, but also on the lack of development on OS X, the lack of consistent Mac hardware updates over the years, and insights I’m getting from people who… Know Apple things better than we do. I already mentioned it in the previous news item, and I’m going to state it plainly and bluntly again to drive the point home: as far as Apple is concerned, the Mac and OS X are the past. Their eventual death won’t be sudden or clear-cut, but the gradual decline of the platform’s importance in Apple has been ongoing for a long time now, and will only accelerate from here on out.
I’m not saying this is either good or bad – those of you who follow me on Twitter and are intimately aware of my ‘life’ with iOS can guess in which camp I belong – I’m just spelling out what’s pretty obvious between the lines. I’ll leave it up to you if this makes you happy or sad.
We’ve got an interesting number of years ahead.
Until there is a development environment for iOS on iOS (Xcode for iOS?) I would say the Mac is pretty safe. Multitasking on iOS needs to improve a whole lot as well. The direction is there and I do like my iPad Pro but it is no way a Mac replacement as yet.