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


Can you comprehend the idea that “serious work” for you is different from “serious work” for someone else? You seem to be assuming that everyone else works exactly the same way as you do, which makes your entire argument anecdotal. If you’re self-aware enough to admit that you don’t do drawing or photo editing on a computer, then it seems like you could make that mental leap to realize that maybe not everyone’s “serious work” is the same as yours.

Your logic is flawed: Many people don’t have desktop computers, therefore a tablet will be your primary device?? That doesn’t follow. Many people also have desktop computers at home that aren’t for gaming, or have a laptop that they can use at home but don’t want to carry everywhere. So yes, there are plenty of scenarios where your tablet isn’t your primary device.

…based on your specific use case, which you assume applies to everyone else in the world. The limitations you see are simply not there for other people. I mean, I illustrated an entire children’s book entirely on an iPad, but what do I know?? I must be a casual user, because my “serious work” isn’t exactly the same as yours.


Also, playing devil’s advocate to my own workflow, on non-iOS devices, there are likely multiple paths I can take to solving a problem. If an app doesn’t do it, maybe there is some open source tool, or a command line, or maybe just a better app.

On iOS you are bound by whatever Apple allows the device to do and what apps they allow in the App Store.

Also, right now a lot of developers still don’t take the iPad Pro seriously. There are few limitations on the iPad right now to handling AutoCAD, but AutoDesk isn’t willing to invest in creating a full version of even the LT app for iPad. While I’ve seen news reports of AutoCAD coming, the screenshots are still the existing app.


And by the same token, some developers are picking up the slack and making their own versions of missing apps. I used Photoshop on the desktop (with a Cintiq) for years, but now Procreate on the iPad does everything I used to use Photoshop for, and it just keeps getting better. Meanwhile, Photoshop is still at “Coming in 2019!”


Yeah, things are going to get interesting. These new iPad’s are crazy powerful, but the apps aren’t there yet to really tax them.


This is what is so frustrating about apples current product line. They’ve been converging the iPad and the MacBook (air at least) so much over the years that the distinction is really starting to get silly. Now you have an iPad that is more powerful than the more expensive laptop but you are hamstringing it’s capabilities so you can sell laptops.


In the Apple blog/podcast community though, there are people like Macstories Federico Viticci who talk about a “Mac replacement,” he was my first thought when you talked about people jumping through hoops to do it. But, the vast majority talk about the iPad being their travel computer. They have very much distinguished between the difference.

Regardless, it still seems you’re pigeonholing everyone who doesn’t have your same uses.


For a company the size and scale of Apple, it does seem strange that they suddenly want to not report details of by far their largest selling product.


I think it’s because sales of all of their devices have been relatively flat for a few years. Looking at the charts they are damn near a straight line other than the bump from the iPhone 6 sales. Also, there is a lot doom and gloom if sales slip by a little. Some of this is due to upgrade cycles being longer. I used to get a new phone every two years. This time it was 3 for me, and I will probably get 4 out of my iPhone 8.

Of course, increasing the price lets them make more per unit sold, but also drives the upgrade cycles longer.

I don’t really have much of a problem with not reporting on unit sales, but they are helpful to generally see how well a product is doing overall. But the breakdown wasn’t helpful anyway. They stopped reporting on desktops vs laptops, and the iPad sales also had the Pro iPads lumped in.


Back to general Apple/iPad/MacBook stuff.

I just finished a semester of grad school. There wasn’t an assignment the iPad could not handle. I used a web-based citation manager, Ulysses to write and export the file into the format the professor wanted. We had to do a final presentation that was mostly images that we spoke to. I did it on my Mac, but I created the graphics on my iPad Pro. I liked that PowerPoint on the Mac saw I imported an image and offered some visual theme suggestions that I used. I figured there was no way these suggestions were on the iOS version, but yep, they were. Over the two years I’ve been in the program, a lot of barriers to using iOS for this have gone away.

Sometimes limitations to platforms are strengths and not weaknesses. I could pretty much go iPad-only for the stuff I want to focus on doing. Not being able to play WoW on an iPad is a strength, not a weakness.

With the new iPad Pros, I really have a hard time not seeing better support for external displays, keyboards, and mice coming in iOS 13. My dream iPad would be one I can plug into a docking station like I do my MacBook and then pull it away. On the other hand, if iOS 13 doesn’t really move the platform forward, I’m going to wonder what the heck is Apple is up to. Next year’s WWDC is going to be huge, especially if they announce the beginning of the arm transition.


I think your mileage may vary depending on what grad school program you are in. I have the “fun” every year of telling my Mac loving students that they will need to learn how to bootcamp or use some other software solution that will allow them to run Windows 10 (or just get access to a PC). An iPad isn’t even in the equation (except for note taking or perhaps writing papers).


It’s an MBA, so I don’t have to deal with STEM-style apps


Not sure how your MBA is designed but if it has an analytics component, you will eventually need Windows or at least a Mac laptop (depends on how strict the Excel use is in your program). I worked at one university where they would not allow the Excel mac version to be used in a data analytics course.


The program I am in isn’t like that. It’s not a true MBA, but a curriculum tailored as part of a partnership between my work and a local school. An “MBA-lite” is about the closest way to describe it.

So, I don’t need to get that deep.



Well, I think that’s true. It’s the classic Facebook problem. The only way to expand your cellphone base is to move into third-world countries or wait for people to breed and make new people.

Everybody else already has a cellphone, and they very rarely switch between android and iOS.


The Wirecutter has been reading our laptop replacement argument.

Spoiler: they agree with @stusser.


I think the real problem is just that laptops/desktops still have their legacy as a very general purpose device - you can get them to do just about anything, so for me, I’ve gradually enhanced workflow with tools like autohotkey and batch/powershell scripting. Even on Android I can use things like tasker, get terminal access with enough work and my latest phone even has a slightly ridiculous device to connect it to a mouse, keyboard and monitor so you can have the netbook experience of underpowered hardware (Qualcomm, you suck). It also supports usb type-c docks for ethernet, keyboard, mouse vga/hdmi out, storage/etc. and gives access to a (mostly)fully featured filesystem. Apple is still very much against this level of control being afforded to the user - or rather, they are unwilling to give up their ‘editorial control’ so to speak.

I love having access to stuff on the phone, and I’ve spent over $500 on mobile apps over the last 8 years, but a touch interface is clumsy in many modes of interaction. Touch is at least sometimes superior, and I find myself getting used to moving between touch, keyboard and mouse in the same workflow. Stunned that Apple still refuses to do touch or pen on macs. 2 in 1 laptops are finally really good mainstream devices so that you can do mixed-mode interaction. Some even have great pens.


As a general statement I think the stusser stance is fine. There will always be unique use-cases and Mr. Bates arguments speak to them.

For me, I am constantly moving around files, organizing them, opening them, editing them. Word, Excel/xml, image, video and audio files.

Couldn’t do all that on an ipad without a mouse. But then I have a hard time playing first person shooters without a mouse. If they would just add a damn mouse, could take another look.

Procreate is awesome, and I can create lots of content that way. Some stuff is easier to use the mouse for though. I would argue selecting and dragging.

edit: on the same note, I use a laptop as primary work device and I also hate the trackpad. It’s a Mac too, so is better than most.


Part of the issue here is that technology has moved on. It made a certain amount of sense for Apple to say “though shall use an ipad this way and a laptop that way”. This protected them from complaints against the slower ipad speeds and smaller / crappier display.

That’s all changed. The processor is as fast or faster and the display is plenty good enough.


Ipad displays have been higher quality than most laptops for years now. Smaller, though, of course. The hardware has been sufficient for a very long time, the software is the blocker. And Apple knows that, and has improved on it quite a lot.