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


But of course Apple will never allow external storage. So it’s not really people adapting to computers, but people adapting to OS limitations imposed to increase profit margins.


I’d be surprised if iOS 13 doesn’t allow for external storage.


There’s no way, not under Tim Cook.

The old Apple pruned the tree ruthlessly. The new Apple sees no reason to make the tree more attractive if a branch still makes a few apples.

Creating desktop level experience on iOS will cannibalize laptop sales. Creating iOS interactivity on MacOS will cannibalize iPad sales. So never shall the twain meet.


So why are they moving iOS apps to macOS? The two will merge at some point. They are going to move away from intel in the next few years and we’ll see arm based macs that blur the line.


They want that App store revenue on Mac. The Mac “App” store is a wasteland only superseded by the TV OS App store, where evergreen titles from 4 years ago are the only titles.


Apple has a huge profit margin on storage, that’s why they haven’t allowed external storage. But if they’re trying to say it can replace a laptop, it’s absolutely mandatory. Unless you’re a casual user or willing to work around the limitations of the platform, like Nilay and I’ve been sayin’.


Oh, sure, that’s what i would say. They would say, otoh, that you can buy a TB of built-in storage if you need more.


When the top-end iPad Pro costs more than their Macbook Pro, and outperforms it in many tasks, that’s fine.

Maybe you’re right and Apple will remain short-sighted about this, but they are facing increasing competition from Microsoft in the tablet-as-PC-replacement market, and from Microsoft and other vendors who have gotten their design shit together in the laptop market.

I hope and think that 2019 will be the year that iOS catches up with the hardware.


So, this may be an odd metaphysical philosophical argument, but every computing platform has some limitations. I can’t get iMac Pro speeds in a laptop. I can’t drag and iMac Pro around with me. I don’t get close to all day battery life on my MacBook Pro. I can’t run a Windows-only app on my Mac, and I can’t run a Mac-only app on Windows. My screwdriver can’t drill holes. My drill can’t pry open something. Chromebooks have limitations, but are often touted for fulfilling needs for students and the like.

I think it’s your “casual users” comment that irks me. Especially in the gaming circles, “casual” is often used derisively.

There are tasks I do the iPad is perfectly suited for. I don’t consider myself an iPad casual user. The workflow limitations that Nilay pointed out are valid. This is a limitation and shortcoming of the platform. However, if like me, you don’t need to deal with this at all, it’s not a limitation. The photo workflow I have works well on the iPad, but it is not the workflow Nilay uses. As my iPhone camera started getting close to what I can get on my DSLR, I started taking more photos on my phone.

I’m not saying there aren’t more limitations to iOS than other platforms. I can’t play WoW on my iPad, and that could be a limitation that’s a bonus.

EDIT: This would have been a good time for them to give a sneak preview of iOS 13.

EDIT 2: Panzer’s review also says what people are saying, that iOS needs to improve.


In a WTF moment, Viticci didn’t get a review unit. If anyone should have gotten one, it’s him.


Yes, this exactly. It’s the “casual = anyone who doesn’t work the same way I do” that makes it difficult to make meaningful statements about the target users.

For comparison, I could easily say, “A laptop isn’t usable as a portable computer, unless you’re a casual user who doesn’t really need the portability, or you’re willing to work around the limitations of the lack of portability.” And I could define “portable” in such a specific way that a laptop fails to meet those criteria, while an iPad perfectly fits those expectations.

But people who use laptops for their work don’t see any limitations. That doesn’t make them “casual”; it just means that their needs for portability aren’t exactly the same as mine.


I really don’t think that’s it. Apple has never been worried about cannibalizing their own sales. As Steve Jobs always said, if you don’t cannibalize your own sales, someone else will. This is the company that had the most popular MP3 player in the world, and completely killed it off by creating a new phone.

Apple has a vision for the iPad as an all-in-one standalone experience. If you have built-in storage expansion (an SD card slot, for example), then that could also limit that experience. How can apps use that space for storage? What happens when that space is suddenly inaccessible? Can you put apps on there? How does the UI react when those apps are suddenly gone? There are a whole host of UI compromises that occur when you suddenly have removable storage, instead of one unbroken block of storage that is always accessible.

I imagine that the iPad Pro will have access to external USB-C devices next year, but probably in a limited fashion (i.e. no loading apps onto external storage), and only if Apple can figure out a way to do it without compromising the overall experience. That is more of a concern than cannibalizing sales will ever be.


Casual use cases are not mysterious intricate puzzles to be deciphered. They’re obvious. Light office work, email, skype/facetime calls, social media, streaming media, and web browsing. All the stuff you might imagine your non-technical mom or uncle does on his computer. That’s what I use my iPads for.

Supporting removable storage, at its most basic level, is trivial now that the Files app exists. You see where it says Dropbox in that left column there? When you have a USB flash drive plugged in, it says “USB Drive”. And when you tap on it, your files show up.

This is really basic stuff but the Files app locations are accessible system-wide so it would actually be a really great improvement. You could plug an extremely cheap 128GB flash drive into your old 16GB iPad and watch movies for an entire flight. (And that’s why they didn’t do it.)


Speaking of “cases”, does anyone have recommendations on a case for the new ipad pro (11")? My last ipad is an old one from 5-6 years ago so I have no idea of the current case field. We’ll be using the pen also. Not sure if I’m interested in the one with the keyboard or not.



I use mine to write, draw, create presentations, take notes in meetings, edit photos in Affinity Photo, and create vector art in Affinity.

Let’s table this discussion until iOS 13. I don’t think your are right in why they don’t do it, but we will see. I think Apple’s iOS issues are bad decisions catching up to them, plus delaying planned features from iOS 12/


For a keyboard case, I would wait to see what Logitech releases for the 11" iPad before getting the Apple one.

Otherwise, sadly Apple no longer offers the smart cover, which only covers the glass front of the screen, you need to get the smart folio, which also covers the back (and is thus thicker). Since it’s such early days that’s your only option. Hopefully the magnets for the smart cover are still on the side so someone else can do it.


I actually like this. My iPad is pretty worn on the back from use. I was debating on my next Pro getting the back case also.


I guess the aluminium (Apple Al must be spelled this way) can get a bit scratched up, but my view is I only want to put cover on something that can shatter. If you want the back cover then it will be fine.


Thanks, will keep an eye on it!


Yeah, I mean sure there need to be limits. No apps on external storage makes sense. But you should be able to plug a USB drive in and move files on it to your apps or to a staging area in the OS that apps can see.

And really, the list of improvements to iOS that would make it a really good PC replacement (or an even-better one) is not that long. Things like:

  • Mouse support, even if that’s just in specific apps and not on the home screen. I’m not a technical guy, but the fact that they support pen input (i.e. you can touch the pen anywhere on the screen and move it with precision) seems like it would make this easy/possible
  • External storage support and accompanying expansion to Files app
  • Multi-monitor support so you can plug your iPad into a dock and have different apps on different screens
  • Bonus points for multi-user support, but that’s probably less likely

WIth those things I think you’d have a pretty dreamy device/OS combo that would let lots of people just own an iPad and get a fair amount of work done with it. Not coincidentally, that puts it practically in parity with what most people can do with a Surface tablet already, but in a superior device with a better OS for tablets.