Apple Event 10/30/18 (new iPads, Mac bump)


I miss the halcyon days where Apple would sell new stuff at the same prices as the old model. Now the old model is the budget choice.


As an aside, I finally got around to watching the rest of it. That photoshop demo was pretty slick.


What about the third kind, who uses the iPad Pro as a mobile drawing tablet instead of spending $1000+ on a Wacom Cintiq that still needs to be attached to a desktop computer (and is completely unwieldy even then), and also uses it as a kick-ass comic reader where the pages are 1:1 the same size as the published pages?

And I’m not sure what limitations you’re talking about. Too instant-on? Touchscreen too responsive?

Categorizing the userbase as “has very simple needs” or “Apple douche who listens to podcasts and treats the platform like a puzzle” seems very narrowminded.


That’s not a laptop replacement. That’s using it as a tablet.


I previously used a graphics tablet connected to a laptop. Now I use the iPad instead. I used to pull up a comic reader on the laptop. Now I use the iPad. I used to do mail, web browsing, audio, all that on the laptop. Now I use the iPad.

I guess I’m not sure why you’re singling out “laptop replacement” as a very narrow use case that is only for aunts or douches. Or, conversely, I’m not sure what you imagine a laptop can do that an iPad can’t.


“Drawing tablet” is not a standard laptop use-case, and plugging a cintiq into your laptop doesn’t change that.

I didn’t single it out, I was responding in the context of a post saying it was a laptop replacement. It isn’t, except for those two very different types of people.


A friend of mine in Scotland is an iPad-only writer. He wrote this piece about laptop replacements. It’s an interesting angle.


“Creating graphical content” is definitely a standard use case for a laptop, and choosing a specific input method doesn’t change that.

And of the two different types of people you mentioned, one is a casual user, and one is a type that you just manufactured as a strawman. “Person who just tries to work around the interface flaws” is not a use case.

And you keep saying that an iPad is not a laptop replacement, but you have yet to mention a laptop use case that can’t also be done on an iPad. Can you get into specifics?

This entire discussion reminds me of the excellent article, Can the MacBook Pro Replace Your iPad?


Most serious number crunching software will not run on an iPad or is severely limited on an iPad. There are many programs that simply have no iPad version or are gimped on the iPad (see Excel). There are some GUI’s that are easier to use with a mouse or trackpad. Not sure how USB-C will change things, but not being able to connect external drives to the iPad is also very limiting, as is the file system in iOS.


Xcode development
Needing the full power of the Office suite
Any work flow that requires Terminal prompts


I keep thinking, all I really need is the regular ole $325 iPad. It’s mainly just a consumption device for me where I do some occasional writing and finance stuff. I am only spending $1000 on the 11” with keyboard because I am idiot with money to waste. I do use an iPad a lot though, so that is how I rationalize it.


This is kinda where I am. The prices to what I’d need for a pro run into MacBook Pro prices with the Folio and new Pencil. I’m a little surprised the old Pencil can’t work at all.

I could get by with the low-end iPad and Pencil, and use my MacBook as the primary mobile device. It’s not a decision I have to make, but I can see having an iMac as my desktop, a 1-Port Macbook as the mobile laptop, and the iPad for reading and drawing. For me to get a Pro, I want the OS and apps to close more of the gap on macOS.

I can’t figure out if Apple is realizing the Mac is harder to kill off than it thought, or iOS development for iPad features slowed enough and it hasn’t taken over macOS, or we are still waiting for a chip transition that will allow a blend of iOS and macOS.


Well, their reasoning is the old pencil needed to jack into a lightning port to charge. But I agree, they should have allowed it to work regardless.


It’s less about the charging, and more about needing the Lightning port to sync. Still, you’d think they could use an adapter or something. Hopefully the new Apple Pencil design will be more future-proof.


Thanks Mark and Chris!

So a more accurate statement would be: The iPad is a laptop replacement for most people, except for the very specific cases of A) needing a full Office suite, B) Xcode development, or C) Any workflow that requires a Terminal prompt.


No. The iPad is a laptop replacement only for the two types of people I described, casual users and extreme power users.

There are a lot of casual users, by definition. The archetypical example is a non-technical family member who just sends email and facebooks. Whenever someone asks me for a recommendation for a new computer for their aunt, usually they start out talking about a dell desktop and I tell them to either buy their auntie a chromebook or an iPad.


No, once you head down this path you can get further use-cases:

  • Full version of AutoCad
  • Full version of Photoshop
  • Photo editing workflows that require external filters like Topaz filters.
  • Audio Production with Logic-type tools
  • InDesign
  • Illustrator

The general rule I have when I recommend iPads:

  • Your job is a mix of production and consumption. iPad is great for marking up PDFs, blowing through emails, light Word usage
  • You have an adaptable workflow. If you need something “Photoshop or Illustrator-like” the Affinity suite is good. On the other hand, if it relies on brushes or actions, or you truly need a native PSD, Affinity isn’t going to work.
  • Similar to the previous point, but the more you control the flow of what you do from start to finish. My day job as an Analyst has some very specific Word and Windows workflows. On the other hand, if I was a consultant creating the same deliverable, I could use iPad Word, OmniGraffle, and create a PDF for the client. If I do podcast production and I edit solo, I can use Ferrite. On the other hand, if I collaborate on edits, I might have to use Logic.

For me, if I take away access to Unix tools for security analysis, and didn’t need to play games when I’m not at my desk, I could go iPad-only remote.

Frasier went back to the Mac, so that didn’t really age well.

These discussions seem to have two themes: The iPad is an amazing tool and everyone’s job can be done on it; and the iPad is a toy. Mud then starts slinging on the definition of Pro work, real work, and edge cases. The problem with edge cases is, when it’s what you rely on, it’s not an edge case for you.


This statement doesn’t become true just because you keep repeating it over and over again, without providing any evidence to support your claim.

Yes, there are lots of casual users for whom an iPad would be perfect. There are also lots of professional users who would prefer an iPad over a desktop machine. And there are lots of professional users would would prefer a laptop, or a desktop machine. Everyone’s use case is different. I still have no idea why you’re trying to artificially limit the market to “two types of users”.


Because that abstraction is useful, and essentially correct.


Yeah, I’m not sure why anyone needs to define the iPad for other people. Saying “The iPad is only a laptop replacement for two specific types of users” is just as invalid as saying, “The iPad can do anything you need to do on your laptop or desktop computers.”

People who can do their work on an iPad probably already know about that as an option, and people who need a laptop or desktop have already ruled out iPad use. No one is going to read, “Oh, my iPad isn’t a valid laptop replacement?? Time to throw it away!”