Does anyone know what "Air" means?
I thought it used to mean smallest and lightest. But on the Mac the "MacBook" is smaller and lighter, and on the iPad we have the smaller iPad Mini, and the "iPad" is smaller and only 14 grams heavier.
From the MacBook Air line, we understood the definition to be "it's the cheap one", but that doesn't apply to the iPad line where it costs more.
So what does "Air" mean? It's there to "pad out" the product line? :/
iBook became MacBook then derived MacBook Air, a thinner version
iPod derived iPod Mini, a smaller version
Ergo iPad Mini is smaller than the iPad while iPad Air is thinner than the iPad
I think Apple are now simply using Air brand name on midrange devices.
iPad Pro > iPad Air > iPad
MacBook Pro > MacBook Air > Macbook
The current MacBook is thinner than the MacBook Air released after it though. The fact that they're different screen sizes muddies the comparison a lot though.
- Reading and annotating books and papers in PDF format (academic research has never been easier, I use a stylus too)
- Mounting to a tripod and recording video (e.g. professional presentations, with a lapel mic connected -- again, screen size makes it far better than a phone for reviewing a take)
- 3D anatomy app (whether you're working on massage therapy, posture, etc. -- nobody uses printed anatomy books anymore. Phone too small, laptop doesn't have touch)
- Playing video games (same games as on a phone, but so much better on the larger screen)
- Watching TV/movies while traveling (you can do it on a flight on a laptop, but it's hard in an airplane seat -- this is so much easier)
- Video calling (bigger view than phone, but more portable than my laptop)
- Doing light work in a coffee shop (writing, e-mailing, etc.) -- I pair it with the Bluetooth magic keyboard and do my work in Mail and Google Docs/Sheets -- it's way more lightweight than my laptop and just feels a bit more civilized than a big clunky laptop
It's honestly really surprised me how I can't imagine my life without my iPad Mini anymore. Turns out there really is a sweet spot between my phone and my laptop.
My activities are similar to the above, primarily consumption. I have been reading books on it despite having a kindle (I maintain my "no gadgets" position above -- it was a gift) because it is so convenient to be able to switch between a book and other iPad activities, like looking up something online.
I'll add that the screen is great, the battery lasts forever, and (as a programmer) I really appreciate the high software quality.
I have a Macbook Air and even with that, doing anything on an airplane seat is a gigantic PITA. The iPad is a breeze. I wanted to upgrade to the 11 inch but now will upgrade to the 10.5. Definitely worth it, just for travel.
Also when I'm on my tablet browsing news etc., time flies by really quickly without me having got a lot of things done. IMO if you're using an electronic device, you should aim for maximum productivity. Otherwise it's easy to engage yourself in low-quality activities without paying much attention.
The full content is ~$45 downloadable, but if you sign up without buying, you'll eventually get some promos in your e-mail -- I wound up buying it all for $10 during a back-to-school discount.
Oh, and because no-one uses android tablets, no one makes good apps for them. eg the nice pdf readers -- I use GoodReader -- are all ios.
Grabbing parts of a book out into the workspace is easy, and then you can quickly review your workspace of highlights and notes later for a refresher. Also, viewing two places in a single PDF is as easy as tapping and holding on two highlights in the workspace.
Also would recommend, if you want paid hosting, pay for a Zotero account with extra storage (run an academic group at George Mason University, aka the good guys). Don’t give money to Mendeley which is owned by Elsevier (definitely the bad guys).
The big advantage for me was that I could visit travel websites with lists of things to do, save website as PDF, made annotations of places I wanted to visit.
It synced seamlessly across all my devices along with annotations. I annotated on my iPad at the hotel, and traveled with my iPhone.
Of course, it can't be used as a primary instrument since it's not certified, but it's amazing paired with ForeFlight so you can see synthetic visualized terrain (you're stuck in clouds, and want to see where the ground is), you can see where other planes are in the airspace, their altitude and direction via ADSB-in, you can do flight planning on it and easily pull approach plates or pull up airport diagrams, it allows you to see the terrain profile of a planned trip much more easily than referencing the charts, and it can serve as a backup to your primary instruments if you have an electrical or vacuum failure in the plane.
My major complaint with the device is the poor IDE support. I think I would love to be able to use it with Visual Studio Code as it is much easier to carry around than my laptop and I don't need the powerful laptop all that frequently. It has basically replaced all of the functionality of my laptop except for my development work.
Hope you find that helpful.
* no airdrop
* poor development environment vs mac's unix
* apple ecosystem (this one, I really hate)
So instead I bought an iPad pro. I wish Apple would make something more like the surface book 2.
Problems I can think about: I want to be able to switch easily to tablet mode or to draw, and it's probably better to stay on windows for that. I'm not sure how well linux is supported on the surface book as well?
It doesn't have any ink simulation and I'm not sure whether there are apps/drivers that support it.
In general, any long-running environment that can generate a lot of garbage presents a risk of triggering the OOM killer, especially when you have to share your development environment with effectively a whole 'nother OS. Enabling swap helps mitigate that risk.
This surprises me. I'm not an engineer, but the main pain point for me with the iPad Pro is the crappy UX of Google Drive. Is there a huge difference between the Google suite and the MS suite on the iPad? I'm legit looking for a PC laptop right now because I need something to work on emails and Drive-type work, at the coffeeshop, and my MacBook Pro is not enjoyable to type on.
Using office apps on ipad went a long way to turning around my opinion of microsoft.
I don't use the 2nd screen as much as I thought I would though and there is a good chance any of the other iPads (which are all smaller) would have been better for me. Hard to tell exactly what size has the max utility. Smaller isn't better necessarily because my iPhone can do pretty much all of the same stuff but is too small to be useful. A good heuristic might be "large enough that the keyboard is comfortable".
* Spotify player at home. Gets passed around to friends during a get together.
* Fancy annotator - I use the Apple Pencil to draw directly on pictures or even create from images scratch by sketching it out.
* Books - I have several epub purchases that live in Apple Books app. I can read those books on ipad while I'm on the go, or on Mac while at work.
* Netflix watcher while flights - I download some stuff before getting on a plane.
* Youtube by the kitchen - Great for watching cooking related videos while in kitchen.
* Look at photos directly on it, or cast the picture to Mac Mini(my HTPC).
* Notes - I use Apple Notes as my main note taking application on Mac. I rarely find need to handwrite something.. in English or in my native language. Quickly take the ipad out to do just that and continue seamlessly on my Mac.
I think the mileage of use of iPad depends on the user. I for one cannot stand development work, or even writing scripts on the thing. Yes, I have tried/played Pythonista and the bunch of apps in ios.
I wouldn’t code on it, but for running scripts and checking servers — I can travel without my laptop.
There's a lot of market for kids too. Our 4yo has an ipad mini and our 12yo has an ipad pro. By the way, the 12yo loves to draw and the ipad pro + apple pencil is the first digital system she actually enjoys. She has a laptop too which she uses when she has to use specific software for school or do intensive writing, but otherwise most of her computing happens on the ipad.
I originally bought one for home use, so I would stop using my laptop to watch Netflix/YouTube/Prime and then get distracted by work (too easy to flick over to an IDE or GitHub when an idea would pop into my head when at home).
The iPad works really well for this but I now find myself using it in work too for almost the same reason. Rather than bringing my laptop to meetings and then getting distracted (same as watching Netflix at home) I now just bring the iPad to take notes or look up stats/analytics online(most of the platforms we use have pretty good iPad UI support).
It's been great at properly focusing on meetings, now if I have an idea on a problem I just write it in a note and get on with the meeting rather than finding myself jumping to VS code and trying to work.
Personal computing is probably phone first, work computing I would guess is still desktop, followed by laptop.
I bought the first iPad the day it came out because I’m a(n Apple) nerd. I loved it, because it was amazing. Then for a while I fell out of love with it, because I wasn’t sure what it was for.
Now I work from home and this thing (10.5” Pro, previous model) is like my pet dog. It follows me everywhere. It plays music via AirPlay, it plays podcasts from its speakers while I’m in the shower, I text on it, answer calls, do most of my casual internet, do most of my casual notes (Bear, with the Smart Keyboard), calendar ... everything.
I sometimes look at this device and really think that in many ways, here we are. The future. I have this impossibly slim, sturdy, beautiful tablet, whose battery life is extraordinary, which does everything I could possibly want. It’s a little bit Star Trek.
Now, for proper work, the MacBook Pro on the desk upstairs plugged in to the 27” monitor is the way to go. But I type this to you from my kitchen bench as I make my girl her morning coffee, and that’s just fantastic.
I'm a power user. I have a battered 17" Macbook Pro that's nearly 9 years old now. I use it for programming, photo editing (mostly Lightroom), and audio recording/mixing (I've produced about ten albums on that Mac). But now it's time to retire it, and...
I'm very seriously considering switching to an iPad Pro for a primary platform. I recently tried Lightroom on my old iPad Air 2, and it's in some ways better than Lightroom on a Mac, thanks to the touchscreen. I'm going to do a recording project in Auria and see if I can get good results with my usual record mixing workflow, and see what I can do about a terminal window and editor for programming. But an iPad is a very appealing alternative to dropping $2500-3000 on another Macbook, when I don't know if Apple is serious about maintaining the product or not. If I can do all the things that I "need" a Macbook for on an iPad these days... well.
I'm 24 years old, work in software. Neither I nor any of my friends uses a tablet for work or pleasure.
This is the main reason I don't "get" tablets. They're just more uncomfortable to use for me. You have to keep holding onto it and you get gorilla arm vs using a trackpad.
I currently use a MacBook (the 12" model) and it is close to perfect for casual sofa browsing. It has a decent enough keyboard, a perfect trackpad, good screen and while not a huge deal I still prefer macOS over iOS. Even when I use macOS in full screen model so it acts a lot like iOS I still find just having a mouse cursor much nicer to work with over a touch screen. I think this is mostly down to how awful the new oleophobic coating is on the new iPad's (Pro included). I can't stand seeing all those finger print smudges over the screen. Drives me up the wall!
I guess I am just too used to a laptop form factor and can't get past my own mental blocks?
At home my (coverless) iPad always sits on a 3rd party stand, so I simply put the stand on my lap. And maybe have a coffee in hand. And maybe a plate with a toast.
I use the app Termius to allow me to SSH into a VPS and my home server and do development. I don't really do web development in my free time so I don't have to worry about the pains of not having a js console. I also develop almost exclusively in vim, so paired with the magic keyboard it's basically a very lightweight laptop.
It's great for Lightroom, with a dongle (everyone's favorite thing) you can connect your camera and upload RAW photos, then edit them with Lightroom and upload to your favorite site.
It's wonderful for Plex/Netflix/Hulu. Offline viewing is amazing, battery life is better than my laptop by far so it lasts long spurts where I can't charge it.
For creatives, there are some amazing digital art apps. My friend hypes up Procreate every time we talk about iPads (he's also 25/software and loves his iPad Pro).
And lastly, it's about $1k cheaper than buying a MacBook Pro (which I had previously). I was able to trade in my 2013 MBP and old iPhone and made the final cost about $300, which is much more palatable than the extra $1k or so I'd need for a machine that doesn't really need that much computing power.
Disclaimer: I do use a MacBook Pro for work (running VMs, development in vim) and it's definitely easier (has JS console, can do development without internet, can use IDEs that don't exist on iPad).
I am 36, I had several iPads, but they always end up gathering dust in a closet. For work, I am several times more productive on a laptop, for occasional browsing, e-mail, etc. iPhones have become large enough. So, at some point I just sold my last iPad and never bought a new one.
My wife also has an iPad, but only uses it quite rarely. And when she does, she usually finds that she has to charge it ;).
Others have mentioned iPads as a kid's device. Our daughter (5) likes the iPad, and occasionally uses it to program her Micro:Bit. Other than that we've found that most iPad apps for kids aren't all that great, so we just prefer physical books, sketchbooks, paint, Lego, etc. She loves Lego and paper. She probably uses the iPad every month or so. She did get a Nintendo DS recently for playing games, though we do severely limit the amount of DS screen time though.
We are considering to buy her a NUC with Linux, just to tinker. My dad allowed me to poke his MS-DOS PC when I was about her age. I loved it and learned a lot. Since she likes her Micro:Bit a lot, I think she'd do well on some non-walled garden machine. No pressure though, we'll just put it there and see if she is interested or not.
It's now my primary personal computing device. My day job has me in front of a desktop with keyboard all day. I have little to no desire to do things resembling work when I leave the office. My iPhone SE is too small to use for extended periods (but I won't get a bigger one as I want to be able to use it one-handed and hands wont oblige), so the iPad (now an iPad Pro) gets all my outside-the-office attention.
Reading, planning holidays & booking flights, budgeting, Netflix, whatever.
For me it is mostly useless as a productive device (at best I use it to review some technical document on a plane or for minimal SSH work), but it's the best media consumption device I can imagine.
For web browsing and Netflix/Youtube/Twitch/Spotify client it has replaced my computer, and in many cases my TV.
Portability is the key, being able to carry it everywhere (bed, train, plane, kitchen, bathroom...) with minimal weight overhead, but still provide a decent screen real estate (unlike a phone) is priceless.
I personally have started using a surface for non-coding work and enjoy it for taking notes. It’s worth a try for that use case.
I can fast forward you a bit over a decade. As a techie that is old enough to have grown with the industry from the very beginning, no tablets here except an older Nook. E-ink will remain the best for reading.
I do think there's benefit to the 2-in-1 form factor. Samsung is on the top the heap here. The 2019 Samsung 9 Pen is the best of every world, it just hit the US market yesterday. The S Pen used in their 2-in-1 is as good as it gets today, being Wacom EMR based.
While I wouldn't bother with an iPad, I think there's a lot of value and use in this form factor for work. The Samsung Pen devices are the main thing that pulled me away from a Macbook.
Though there is also something to be said for the eye sight factor. I'm in my mid-40s and my focusing just doesn't work as well as it used to. Its becoming increasingly difficult to do a lot of reading on a small screen like my iphone 8+.
2) they're great for various sorts of low-end creative work, like making films (think: for kids or adults to learn the basics of shooting and editing on a single device capable of making something half-decent, not pro-level)
3) Good as a writing terminal, given an external keyboard. Better than a laptop in a lot of ways.
4) The 12.9" pro's the best device I've seen for reading comics, by far.
5) iPads are easily the best devices I've seen for reading PDFs (lots of non-fiction books and papers)
6) in a lot of important ways, they Just Work, unlike most other computing devices. More so than macOS machines, even, by a good margin.
7) it's where edutainment and casual science software's at now. Want software for some not-super-serious stargazing? You'll want an iPad. Edutainment programs for kids (like the Math Blasters and Number Munchers and Microsoft Dinosaurs! of yore) are mostly on iPads. Swift playground, for that matter.
8) can be positioned to take up a lot less space on a desk than a laptop while in use—nice when you need that desk space for other things, like books or notebooks.
9) portable second monitor for your macbook.
Actually funny thing is, it's iPad that led me to Apple ecosystem. I liked iOS a lot and then my old phone broke, so I had to buy new. When I realized, that I can buy iPhone 4S and have the same iOS that I'm using on iPad, it was almost a non-brainer and later I bought Macbook, because it felt pretty natural to keep using Apple product and I wanted to develop iOS apps. I shifted from macOS recently (Apple does not make any computers I would like to buy), but I'm still using iOS on my phone and I like it.
- Blink Shell and Mosh to do light coding in vim, remote scanning etc on my desktop at home while I'm away from home
- Effects processor in my music production/dj setup
- Paint/sketch in procreate
- Reading books
- Watching movies/series while traveling
- Control my Sonos setup
- Browsing the web obviously
So to answer your question; no it doesn't. The iPad product line is probably not for people coding during the day and playing fortnite at night.
I have no idea what the appeal is, there's none at all for me, but there must be a decent sized market out there. It's interesting to read the other comments and see what the appeal is for them
Here's what the appeal is for me:
1) A device I can use at the bed/crapper comfortably -- to read, check email, browse, etc.
2) I'm a hobby artist (from the Amiga days) and I love the digital painting apps and Apple pencil.
3) It's my main reading device. I have tons of physical books (several thousands), but its now cheaper and more convenient to read PDFs, ePub, etc books. I use Apple's Books and the iOS Kindle app.
4) Photography. It's great for sharing with friends nearby, casual edits on the road, having your portfolio in an easy to show, glorious screen.
5) Music apps. If somebody does guitar, piano, or electronic music, there are tons of apps, from amp modellers to complete DAWs, and tons of "VSTs" (AUs in our case).
6) Great for note-taking, drawing diagrams and so on.
7) Handy to watch a video in something less to carry around than a laptop and bigger screen than a phone.
8) Not bad for games too if you're not an AAA gamer.
9) For writing articles, book, etc, it's also good -- non distracting, lots of great editors (even Scrivener), and so on.
Same here. I've owned iPads since the very first one for work (app dev), but the closest I've gotten to enjoying using them is watching movies on airplanes. I'm always interested in seeing what other people put them to use for.
My theory has been that iPads appeal to "full-screeners".
I've been a Mac user since 1990 and the Classic MacOS was optimized to "right-size" your windows to your content so you could have lots of windows next to each other for UI affordances like drag and drop. Classic versions of Photoshop had palette windows that hid in the background, even early OS X used "inspector" palettes heavily. Until very recently, MacOS didn't even have a full-screen control. So I've always filled my screens with windows of stuff I'm working on, stuff I'm monitoring, chats, etc. I guess I thrive on info-ADD? If I use an iPad I feel claustrophobic. Made 10x worse by the lack of multitasking (no persistent background network connections, apps continually killed for RAM usage).
In contrast, Windows started out as a full-screen, split-pane OS, and Windows apps have always relied on the "MDI" UI with a containing window, optimally used at full-screen. So most users grew up with that. I see people buy those super-wide LG displays and then full-screen a Chrome browser and complain that their lines of text aren't 2 meters wide.
And kids these days grow up with full-screen mobile UIs.
So if you grew up with everything being full screen, an iPad feel familiar and useful. If you're used to being able to monitor a bunch of windows at once, the iPad will feel like a toy.
Docks are obscenely expensive but the quality of life improvement is high. You're unfortunately very limited with the MBA, though. Perhaps see if you can replace it with a MBP?
I DO like having my "work" machine be a powerful laptop in the event that I need to travel or some emergency arises where I HAVE to find a coffee shop and write a PR without monitors, as much as I won't enjoy the experience.
My desktop is a Ryzen 2700X with 32GB of RAM. I really would like to pickup a TB3 dock at a point but am currently using RDP to my work laptop. Which works well enough over the local network.
What I wanted to respond to was your point about having your work machine be a powerful laptop so that you're prepared. I've been mulling over ditching the desktop for a Thinkpad X1 Extreme for the same reason. While I could remote into my desktop in a rare coffee shop scenario, it wouldn't work out if it were happening often.
So, basically I'm spitballing and have no real answers to your questions, sorry. Just wanted to reply and tell you I'm probably wrong about there being MBA + dock issues.
I used a Dell dock for years alongside my desktop, using 2 monitors to my laptop and 1 for my desktop. I'd like to get a TB3 dock and do that just as you are. And while unlikely at this point, given how much I like my Samsung, I may eventually have a Macbook Air. Which is not the best device but definitely a top tier throwaway easy-chair machine if not a little limited for the money, not having a 360 degree hinge.
Unfortunately there's tons of issues with egpus in Bootcamp installed Windows. I didn't realize it'd be so drastically different from a vanilla install.
I loved my old Samsung S9 laptop. That thing cost a small fortune but it was so powerful for its size.
Not that this is totally up to taste. Some people love working on a single smaller monitor, with only a full screen editor or some terminals. More focus.
(I used to love it too, but I can't stand the modern MBPr keyboards, so I connect it to an external keyboard and monitor now. Note that I love the external "Magic keyboard 2", it's just the built-in laptop keyboard "butterfly" that I find crap).
A friend (age ~30) works on very large-scale climate model comparisons. He directs his model runs (done on a remote supercomputer, which is his version of a "real machine") from his 13" Air. I work with smaller datasets, and it's kind of amazing what power he can command from that little thing.
He uses a dock to make visualizations on a larger monitor when at his desk.
Otherwise most of her consumption is either watching videos on a larger screen that's easier to carry than a laptop, or drawing on the pro which is honestly pretty fun to do.
I've been meaning to pick up an ipad or a surface in the next year or so just for doodling / mock up functionality as well. reading ebooks on a tablet or leaving documentation open on them while working on a laptop is honestly kinda nice.
I keep wondering when Apple is going to simply drop their traditional laptop and desktop business in favor of things like this. It's not a great leap of imagination to think of a desktop version of an iPad ala a Chromeboxesque approach.
iOS is nowhere near good enough for Apple to consider scaling back their x86 line too much further. Hardware wise the iPad Pro is really nice, but it doesn't even have mouse support! Android has had that since 2011 at least, but it doesn't have the same ecosystem of good quality work apps.
All the designers at our company have personal iPads that they use for various things including illustration, taking notes, sketching concepts, wire framing, etc.
I’m not a designer but I’m a hobbyist photographer and I love using my iPad for editing photos in Lightroom, reading, consuming media, etc. I can’t wait until Adobe fills out their creative suite on iPad. They announced that a fully featured Photoshop will come to iPad in 2019 - we’ll see.
I wrote this comment on an iPad, in fact. I do use the keyboard cover though so don’t get the impression that I wrote this on the on-screen software keyboard. That’d be tough.
I tried using a Kindle Fire, but the pixel density on all those devices is terrible. I had an older Fire HD for a moment which was decent at 254ppi, but it bricked itself during an upgrade. Amazon offered me a discount on a "newer" unit with 189ppi. I gave up and got an iPad mini with a 326ppi display.
I mostly use it for reading books on public transportation.
I use my iPad a ton at home and when I travel (I travel a lot). I don't even own a personal laptop anymore -- I work on desktops with 3 monitors and at home.
I used to think that the iPad being purely a consumption device was too limiting, until I got an iPad Air 2 that was on sale at the time. It does everything I need just fine, plus it's lightweight enough to travel with.
(caveat: I don't do any dev work when I'm on the road)
the logic was it kept them from being stuck in the room with their computers. even laptops seem to find permanent homes but not a tablet. my father even figured out to use his cell phone as a wi-fi hotspot.
and for a baseline, iPhone use by age:
It's striking how uniform the distribution of tablet use was across age! There was a bump after age 25, though that was mirrored in the iPhone usage. This is really salient at the low and high end: age 0-18 was 20% of tablet usage and only 6% of iPhone usage, and age 55+ was 20% of tablet usage and only 14% of iPhone usage. Given all of this, it seems like tablets are quite broadly adopted devices
At work I've seen business analysts use it as a light weight laptop replacement to take notes (with the addition of the keyboard) and with the Apple Pencil to draw basic diagrams while on the go.
Photographers also use them to show off portfolios and do image editing editing on the go. You can get Lightroom and Photoshop for the iPad and other software vendors offer competing products to edit images on the go.
Also don't forget kids. For long car journeys, a tablet loaded up with a mix of shows and appropriate (often educational) apps can help them stop asking the dreaded "Are we nearly there yet?!"
- drawing and lettering in Procreate (this is what I do most of the time, I've been practicing lettering on paper before and this is just so much more convenient)
- writing notes in Notes app (that way I can see them on my iPhone) or OneNote
- browsing Pinterest (the app works better than the web app I use on Safari in macOS)
- YouTube (much more convenient to carry around home than my MacBook Pro)
I don't use iPad for messaging, because I mostly use my iPhone and MacBook for that. I decided I don't need a keyboard for the iPad ATM, but maybe that'll change in the future.
Source: I am a pilot.
It helps that I have to make educational videos, so I have a clear use case for the pro with the pencil. Can plug a focusrite audiobox in too, and power it from the usb c port.
Originally got an ipad as I used it for online tutoring with a whiteboard and a stylus, pre-pencil days.
Oddly enough I do a lot of email and text work on my imac. The ipad pros browser has a lot of subtle limitations compared to the desktop version.
I have one of the new 11" iPad Pro's that I use as a consumption device and it also replaced the Moleskine I kept in my laptop bag for notes/diagrams/whatever.
I was then very surprised by the long battery life and now also use it to watch Netflix.
This way, you can hold it with one hand, you don't need to apply pressure to hold the ipad, it is not tiring on your hands, and it is extremely stable. The cover I use I believe is this one:
Otherwise the ipad is splash proof, but I wouldn't bet on it being waterproof. And wet hands aren't too much of a problem from a touch point of view, but they leave drops that obstruct the display so you kind of want to have a towel around somewhere.
I also use it for watching lots of movies or TV shows.
I am pretty sure that most of people can use it as domestic media consumption device (it really is perfect use case), however when it comes to work, people I meet in my business use it for it’s compact size and battery life (great for travels and portability in general), as well presentation-wise possibilities.
When I move from my laptop to either toilet, cooking or the bed I simply bring it with me to consume some youtube. It's bigger than a phone, but more mobile than a laptop.
I use one, but only because it's a convenient media consumption device (e-reading, web browsing). It's entirely superlative to a phone + laptop though.
Remember when the tech prognosticators (some on this very site!) told us tablets were going to replace everything?
I think if I had a bigger iPad it might find some use, but I can't really justify the cost for the minimal benefit over simply using my laptop instead (even as someone with a decent income).
I didn't really see the need for one, until I bought one on a whim.
It's my main multimedia consumption device.
I use the mini far more, I like the bigger iPad but the mini is the perfect form factor for watching TV in bed and reading PDF's.
Will definitely be picking up the new Mini and the old one which is in perfect condition will go to the boy.
He loves his (1st gen) iPad but it's finally on the way out.
Doesnt' help that I stupidly bought the 16GB version, crippling it.
The other case I've seen, and a lot: children. Parents seem to give them to their kids to mollify them. (I had this choice and did not give into the temptation.)
About 43 million ipads in 2018: https://www.lifewire.com/how-many-ipads-sold-1994296
Chromebook is estimated to be under 11 million: https://www.computerworld.com/article/2476098/huge-chromeboo...
I couldn’t find 2018 unit estimates for the surfsce, but in 2017 the estimate was about 3 million: https://www.pcworld.com/article/3254235/microsofts-surface-p...
Surface revenue in 2018 was about 5 billion. Apple’s ipad revenue was a bit under 20 billion. And these surface numbers are for everything in the surface line, not just pros.
A more likely explanation for lower ipad sales is that they last a long time. My ipad air 2 from 2014 still runs beautifully and gets security and software updates. But in any case ipad sales dwarf the surface and and chromebook sales combined.
I like small phones. So I own a tablet for all the personal stuff at home. I use my PC for work, my Phone for messaging and travel and my tablet for everything else. It’s really the most comfortable way of consuming.
If you use your laptop a lot at home but don't really need to type that much, you'll probably appreciate a tablet.
Otherwise, it's probably not for you.
Super light-weight. Price of a trip to grocery store. Why wouldn't you have a tablet on hand?
I bet they'll replace that tablet with a phone, and continue to use a laptop/desktop for "real work".
 Ok, there's one use. Media consumption, but a $35 kindle tablet takes care of that for the rare (ie: airplane) times I want media on the go.
i stopped using anything but an ipad for media consumption/talking to family after i bought one
Apple keeps creating and extending these arbitrary transition periods. The old Apple Pencil should be in the past. Instead we have an entire other generation with it now. This sucks for developers too who have to continue designing for old technology. Same with lightning ports. Now every iPad accessory needs a USB-C version and lightning port version.
They’re using old components and designs where they think it makes sense, but are being uncompromising about the compute power (e.g. A12 Bionic, AR capabilities).
It means they can give lower-end customer what they want, without compromising the software capabilities of the devices or ultimately the margins of their business.
It makes sense as a strategy and obviously comes with trade offs which it seems like they’re willing to make. I mean, the old pencil isn’t THAT old. The new iPad Pros and new Pencil were announced only months ago.
These products just feel like “component pipeline optimization” instead of working backwards from customer needs. There should be 3 iPads, all with the same form factor, same connectors (can’t believe I even have to specify this): small medium large, and they should be called iPad mini, iPad, and iPad Pro. The iPad should serve the vast majority of the market. The pro should really feel like it’s for Pros. The mini should feel like it cannot be beat on a hike taking nature photos. Stories based on use, not price. The way I imagine them talking about iPad uses cases instead is: “imagine you want to buy an iPad, but you only have $399. Boom: iPad mini, the perfect fit!”
One thing I think it’s important to remember is that Apple today isn’t the same small, quirky company it was in 2007 when the iPhone came out.
It’s now one of the largest companies on the planet with a global customer base of over a billion people in hundreds of countries. They need to run a different strategy and they need to have more product choice at different price points. I think they’re navigating it the best they can - and obviously no business is without mistakes. They will make mistakes (iPhone 5C) and that’s OK.
However, trying to pattern match Apple’s decisions from the 90s and comparing them to decisions today is just poor thinking imo. That’s what people in this thread (not you @tolmasky, I’m just on a tangent now) seem to be trying to do. The Ballmer comparisons are poor as well, imo.
But, going back to the stories affecting the product design, I feel that increasingly Apple products rely on incidental and manufactured differentiation vs. essential differentiation. I can tell that they have refrained from putting the better chip into a certain model (since that better chip fits into an iPhone just fine), instead of the very nature of that model of course not allowing that sort of chip. I know this is harder, but fundamentally what I'm saying is "take the low end seriously". Like I mentioned in my other comment, if the "iPad mini" was more like an "iPad Active", and perhaps was more resistant to wear and tear (could survive being dropped if you're skateboarding for example), then all of a sudden the model takes on a personality. It is less powered, but more rugged, there is a tradeoff that feels earned. Instead, the tradeoff feels entirely driven by budget windows.
On the former, I do think they’ve lost the product/customer narrative in the last couple years and I think it’ll take another WWDC and another iOS update for them to find their way. They’re just now re-focusing on both iPad hardware AND software. For a few years (mid 2010s?) they doled out a few hardware updates that moved the needle moderately but the software didn’t (and you can argue still doesn’t to the fullest extent) take advantage of iPad to provide the functionality leaps it needs to have a compelling narrative. We’re just now in the past year or two starting to see the narrative develop with iPad Pro, Pencil, and iOS 11/12. A similar strong narrative probably needs to develop for the lower end iPads though I’m sure they’ll continue to sell simply because everyone else in the market is either asleep or incapable.
On the latter point, I agree with the spirit and I love how you phrased it. However, I’m not actually sure how much it matters in this case. I’m not completely convinced it matters to the extent you seem to think it does. I think the supply chain optimization is fine and the whole point is that it’s not crazy different from last-year’s iPad but it’s a lower price point and meaningfully more capable (think schools buying in bulk, etc). It would be nice if they FOCUSED on the lower end but that has never been Apple’s style and they are very very deliberate about what things they choose to focus on. It’s both the greatest strength of the company and one of the weaknesses - two sides of the same coin as things tend to be.
A ruggedized iPad mini is a great example of a differentiation that I can get behind and use. Right now, if I had to purchase a new iPad for my Mother I'm not sure which one I would get, and it almost wouldn't matter. Almost. But I'm not 100% positive which would be the best value+performance+portability+convenience combination. If there were "only" 3 the decision would be much easier. Heck, I could even tell her to "go to the Apple store at the mall and tell them you want the iPad Active (or whatever)". At this point I don't think I could guide her even if I was on the phone with her while she was standing in the Apple store surrounded by iPads. :(
I feel that the "MacBook Pro" name was a fundamental mistake, and the root cause of 15 years of "pro" naming issues.
Not only is it a bad name on its own , but "professional" is so broad that it can describe literally every working person on the planet, in some capacity. All that label is doing is causing everyone to say "This isn't a perfect machine for my professional use" and then try to shame Apple for it.
Half the professionals I know aren't even using "pro"-labeled machines -- it's neither necessary nor sufficient. It's just an awkward label that the internet is taking far too literally.
Of course, if they dropped it today, everyone would say "See? Apple admits they aren't making machines for professionals any more!" They can't win.
: "Apple marked the transition to Intel by discontinuing the well-known, long-respected PowerBook name. The Intel-based pro laptop is known as the MacBook Pro, a name that met with a less-than-enthusiastic reception at the Expo keynote." --lowendmac.com, 2006
In my mind, I'd build...
Two sizes of iPad Pro (12" and 10" roughly)
One iPad (10" and thin enough that an "Air" model is redundant)
One iPad Mini
All would use the same connectors (or, at least adopt them over time, as I'd expect Pro models to see new tech a generation before the iPad & Mini) and accessories (pencil, etc).
It was confusing to have so many options when tablets and smartphones were new, or when a person could say “I don’t really do computers” and have a successful career. None of those are true now; babies can and do use tablets, middle schools have carts of iPads or Chromebooks. My grandma has an iPad. She calls it her “Facebook,” but she has one.
Simplicity has its appeal, but I trust the market analysts at Apple have a plan for market differentiation with a wide lineup.
It's important to make a distinction here: I think there is certainly more room for configuration within a product line ($x upgrade for a faster version of product X), but this is very different than essential feature axises that define a product line itself. Some of them are unavoidable, sure, like a smaller form factor often needing to have less cpu/ram/whatever. However, that's certainly not the case here -- the iPhone Max is smaller than the iPad mini, yet much much faster. Per your own argument, why is Apple not serving the part of the market that needs the portability of the iPad mini but wants the best CPU? Well, because the real point of the iPad mini is to satisfy some budget window probably, not a deep empathy with the user.
Also -- I keep forgetting to bring this up in these situations, but I would not be surprised if the actual purpose of the iPad mini is point-of-sale terminals, conference room check-ins, and office visit terminals. That's the number one place I see these particular devices, and in fact the number one place I see iPads in general.
What is even worse (!) is that the iPhones and iPads still ship with a USB A to lightning cable, meaning even users inside the Apple ecosystem need a USB C/thunderbolt dongle with usb A ports to connect their iPhones/iPads to their computers. I have no idea how this decision was approved without thinking about this.
2) It's incorrect to say that "now" some iPads will have USB-C and others Lightning. That was already the case. This simply continues the status quo.
3) It's also incorrect to say that "users" in the Apple ecosystem will "need" a dongle. That's only the case for those with MacBook Pros. That's a minority of users.
4) You also got it wrong about the iPhone. You don't need any cable at all to connect an iPhone to a Mac; they connect wirelessly. For those who want to do this, the majority of users are still on Macs with USB-A.
1) here is one example https://ipadcarts.com/univault-charging-cart/ (although the one we bought had the power backplane installed already)
Why do you need to connect your iPad to your computer? I have never connected mine - everything goes through the cloud or Bluetooth. Are you developing apps on it? That's a pretty niche use-case.
Because it was initially designed and delivered that way?
Because they like manually managing music and videos?
At the very least apple should have shipped with a USB-C to lightning cable, not USB-A.
As well as every cable ISP that even with their gigabit home internet service caps upload bandwidth at 35Mbps.
They should also abandon LTE and only produce devices that work with 5G.....
For a simpler product for the majority of people.
They can't suit everyone! Are you annoyed you can't connect your iPad to your Amiga as well? They have a draw a reasonable line at some point.
The "use case" of connecting your devices to your computer is still alive and well, despite being in the era of cloud.
A niche but extremely important use case, isn't it? Without app developers the platform is dead.
(Lightning also seems prone to arcing or overheating damage to the power pins. Source: visual inspection of my many failed Apple and third-party Lightning cables.)
Strange enough I've not seen this happen to a lot of other people.
Yeah, I've never had that happen, and I've been using Lightning cables since they were a thing. I've rarely had any problems with Lightning cables, though. (The same couldn't be said for their predecessor 30-pin cable.)
I'm trying to think if there could be anything weird about your environment doing that, but I'm drawing a blank. "You're holding it wrong" seems even less applicable here than it would to antennas. :)
Unforced errors like this seem to be occurring more and more often. Seemingly minor pragmatic issues that will prevent many users from upgrading or leaving the ecosystem altogether, that could easily be avoided.
The 3rd generation iPad was heavy, slow, and had horrible battery life and was discontinued six months later as they transistionef to a better processor and the lightning port.
So what are tablet users going to leave the iPad for? All of the great Android tablets available?
Yeah, this is the sad thing about the current situation. The Apple lineup is a mess, but everyone's "competitive" devices are even messier.
I have only Android phones, but my tablet is an ipad.
The 3rd generation iPad was also the first iPad with a high res screen. I used it happily for many years, because I loved that screen.
Step back and think for a moment. How absurd is it that, suddenly, bigger = better? Not just for technical reasons but for marketing reasons? I think it demonstrates just how far gone Apple is.
There's a Steve Jobs quote in the Walter Isaacson biography to the effect of Tim Cook not being a product guy. Truest thing I've ever read.
And reducing the price for the iPad Air may prove to be crucial to help boost sales which have been in a slight decline for the iPad line as a whole.
Macbook, iPad, and iPhone: Mini, Air, Plus? Air, nothing, Pro? Why is it a Macbook Pro and an iPhone Plus and then a Max? They need one word and one world only for big and powerful, not 3.
Perhaps it's because the new Apple Pencil charges by docking with a host iPad, and there's no place on an iPad Air or iPad mini to put a dock.
The Surface line made it obvious years ago that the magnetic docking was essential.
Would have made much more sense to wait than to have two different pencils not cross compatible at all, I mean even if you bought the first iPad Pro and the Pencil then decided to upgrade to the next iPad Pro you can't use the old pencil with the new iPad with the excuse of it needing a lightning port to pair when plenty of other pens exist using wireless technology that just have a button to kick them into pairing mode.
For a company that claims to care about e-waste I find all this ridiculous.
Side note: can you seriously not use the original pencil with new ipads, even with a cable adapter of some sort to pair them? I was planning to pick up a used or refurb of the current gen when the next one comes out, but that might throw a wrench in those plans, unless I luck out and find one used including the new pencil, like I did with my Gen 1 ipad pro.