Ed Zitron writes for TNW, “The iPad Pro is a peculiar device. People don’t seem to know what it’s for. Is it a sketch pad? Is it a laptop replacement? Is it a big tablet? Is it a very small table?
MacDailyNews Take: Not iPad Pro’s fault.
“Turns out it’s all of these things and more. It’s a beautiful device, with a gorgeous screen, one that I’d argue outdoes the new MacBook. It has a responsive stylus,” Zitron writes. “When it works, I love this device so much. The problem is that I keep tripping over a string of dopey decisions.”
“Apple has completely screwed up with the iPad Pro, and it’s all their fault and it makes no sense,” Zitron writes. “Let’s break down the issues.”
• Inventory: It’s been reported widely how badly Apple stocked the iPad Pro Pencil and keyboard. The ones I ordered on launch day have only just arrived. How Apple, a company that has billions of dollars and is run by some of the greatest minds in technology, could screw up on this level again (Apple Music, though I like it, is buggier than a steak left inside a humid cupboard) is beyond me.
• Software: The useful thing that people actually want is split-view, which lets you have two apps on the screen at once. I can’t use split-view with Google Hangouts. I can’t use split-view with Apple Music, which is kind of funny. I can’t use it with Amazon. I can’t use it with the Google app (Chrome works). Multi-tasking is half-baked if it requires every developer to add whatever it is to whatever app.
• Customer Experience: Standing, for some reason, inside a Reno-based Apple Store, I watched a salesperson give an impassioned pitch of the iPad Pro, specifically the coolness of having the built-in cellular connection. He spent ten minutes giving it. At the end of the pitch the customer wanted one. Guess what? It wasn’t in stock. These theatrics were ultimately useless – a waste of the agent’s time, but worse a cruel waste of the customer’s time, one that will embitter him toward Apple. Chirpily, waggling something someone can’t buy in front of their face – when you can easily have said at first, “so, just so we’re clear, we’re out of stock of these ones, and the Pencil and the keyboard” – is just a shitty move.
• The App Store: The App Store is going to be the first place many users go. Here’s an idea: Have a honking great ad that says “new apps for your iPad Pro.” A big one. Make it the first thing they see. There was one, don’t get me wrong, but it was buried within separate categories or within the strings of slideable panels that are there I assume to trick you into downloading Clash of Clans.
[Apple] will be forgiven for these mistakes, hell, even by me, the moment they’re fixed,” Zitron writes. “But they are on a worrying trajectory that suggests they’ll keep making them, and one of these days it’s going to be bad enough that Google’s Pixel C might have a shot at hurting Apple.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As many of you know, we’ve been complaining of Apple’s readiness at launch when it comes to hardware stock and software quality for quite some time now. Hopefully, Apple’s executive reorg, which was just announced yesterday, will go a long way toward fixing many of these amateurish mistakes (not having enough stock, giving sales pitches for products you don’t have due to not having enough stock, UI issues, App Store neglect, etc.).
Developers simply have to do certain things to make sure their apps will work in split screen. That’s not Apple’s fault. More Split View-capable apps will come online.
As for the iPad Pro. It is a work in progress, as always. Certain complaints (“I want a cursor,” for example) are the result of users who’ve been steeped in a different way of operating and interacting with computers. iPad in the hands of the young are a completely different thing. They’d never think to ask for their cursor back, since they never had one to begin with; they truly know how to operate a multi-touch UI. They’re not stuck in old ways of thinking. When older users like Ed Zitron hit a minor roadblock (that isn’t actually a roadblock – there’s a way to do it, they just don’t know it) they immediately start screaming for their old tools. “I need a trackpad!”
Well, Ed, you already have one (this works for all iPads with iOS 9 and later): Turn your keyboard into a trackpad. Touch and hold the keyboard with two fingers until it turns light gray. Drag around the keyboard to position the insertion point. Lift, then touch and hold with two fingers to reveal the drag points. Move your fingers to select text. Tap with two fingers to select a word. Double-tap with two fingers to select a sentence. Tap three times with two fingers to select a paragraph.
The iPad Pro is not meant for older generations. Unless they are willing to completely unlearn and let go of old tricks and learn new ones. That’s very tough to do for some. Those are the people who ask questions like “Is it a sketch pad? Is it a laptop replacement?” iPad Pro and iOS are really for the young and for future generations. It is the future. Until the next paradigm shift, perhaps decades away, Multi-touch will be how most people compute, not with physical keyboards, mice, cursors, exposed file systems, etc.