Last year, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro that is basically the same as the previous generation model, but this time with the faster M2 chip. While rumors suggest that none of the iPad models will get huge upgrades in 2023, Apple appears to be working on a “major revamp of the iPad Pro” for 2024. But at this point, the iPad Pro doesn’t need a major revamp, but better software. .
The current state of the iPad Pro and rumors about the future
The last major redesign of the iPad Pro was in 2018, when the company ditched the design with the Home button in favor of the new device with an edge-to-edge display. Since then, despite the addition of the Magic Keyboard and improved cameras, the iPad Pro hasn’t changed much.
Of course, something else happened in 2021. That was when Apple introduced the first iPad Pro with the M1 chip – until then it was a chip designed for Macs. And in 2022, the iPad Pro is updated again with the same M2 chip as the MacBook Air and the new Mac mini.
While the rumors about the 2023 iPad Pro aren’t exciting, bloomberg This week I reported that Apple is working on a major redesign for the 2024 version, which is also expected to feature an OLED screen for the first time on an iPad. In addition to both bloomberg And 9to5Mac I’ve mentioned in the past that Apple has considered bringing MagSafe to the iPad Pro.
But honestly, it’s not a new design the iPad Pro needs — not even a more powerful chip.
The iPad Pro needs better software
For years, the problem with the iPad wasn’t the hardware, but the software. Since the release of the iPad Pro 2018, Apple claims that its tablet is faster than most laptops. This is even more true today with iPads running the same chips as Macs.
However, the iPad software is a mess. Although Apple came up with the name iPadOS, it’s basically a version of iOS optimized for larger screens. With iPadOS 16, Apple tried to differentiate iPadOS from Stage Manager — a feature that brings windows to the iPad. While Stage Manager certainly enables a new level of multitasking on the iPad, it’s still more limited than what users find on macOS and Windows.
Users can only have four apps open at a time on each screen, which might be a reasonable limit for an iPad screen but not when you have an external display device connected. Just imagine having that limit on a Mac. And the stage manager is buggy and inconsistent. You can’t even freely move and arrange windows like in a desktop operating system.
But that’s only part of the problem with iPadOS. Since it is based on iOS, the system is more limited and restricted. The powerful software available on desktop systems requires access to some tools that Apple simply doesn’t provide on iOS. This results in developers taking more time or even considering whether it is worthwhile to release “professional” apps for iPadOS.
Even Apple, who likes to show iPadOS is a great platform for developers, never brought apps like Final Cut, Logic Pro, and Xcode to the iPad.
Will iPadOS 17 unleash the potential of the iPad?
It’s hard to tell at this point. With iPadOS 16 so focused on the features that turn the iPad into a computer, we certainly expect to see more of this with future updates. However, a recent report by Mark Gurman revealed that Apple has prioritized development of its new AR/VR platform over iOS 17.
In other words, users should keep their expectations about the features that come with iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. No matter how much Apple improves the iPad, makes it faster, or changes its design, none of this will solve its main problem: the “baby software” of the powerhorse.
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