So I have been thinking about the announcement from Apple in regards to the iPad Pro updates.
I have long held the belief, as has Apple, that tablets in some form will become the de-facto hardware for the majority of users and in doing so replace “traditional” laptops. In fact, I wrote this article about my iPad Pro 9.7 here where I concluded that indeed for the right person it could.
With the upgrade to the iPad Pro itself, processor, camera and ram not being a huge upgrade, especially if you own a 2018 model, my focus was on a usually overlooked accessory — the Magic Keyboard.
Despite not being available until May the very concept of this keyboard gives a new meaning to the iPad and levels the playing field with laptops.
The inclusion of a trackpad will give the iPad a much-needed boost in functionality with the ability to direct a cursor with more accuracy than by touch. If the initial promise shown on YouTube clips released by Apple here and Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Software Engineering for Apple here.
It appears to have been implemented in a way that marks a difference to the Mac trackpad experience which is a good thing because it is not a Mac!
One of the key areas Apple could target with the new iPad Pro set up could be the enterprise sector. A lightweight and secure OS with enterprise-grade apps such as the O365 Suite, G Suite Apps, Slack etc coupled with great battery, input options and because of the form factor it’s easy to travel with. Having a trackpad and a cursor makes working with spreadsheets a lot easier. Allied to all that the Pro’s have USB-C built-in allowing second monitor use and a host of peripherals which elevates it to laptop level.
Although sales of the iPad have increased, it had 36.5 per cent of the entire global tablet market in Q4 of 2019, it still falls short of laptop sales but cracking the enterprise market would go a long way in helping to change that.
However, there is one area the iPad has lost ground in and that is to Chromebooks in the Education sector especially in recent times, which is worrying as the tools used in education generally are the ones used later in life, the changes announced last week will not help to change that trend.
So although we have to wait until at least May (being in the UK as I write this the release date of the keyboard has yet to be announced) the demonstrations shown so far makes this an exciting time to get on board on the iPad train.
Personally I am looking forward to the journey.