Apple’s iOS 11-powered iPad vs. the Mac

“Tim Cook has long professed his faith in the iPad’s future: ‘The iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing,'” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note.

“In the Socratic spirit… I’ll take both sides of the argument,” Gassée writes. “It’s abundantly clear that the iPad will continue to replace the Mac. The latest hint? Six lovingly crafted videos that promote iOS 11 features that were designed specifically for the iPad and iPad Pro: a Mac-like Dock with Touch UI; a desktop-like Files app; neat multi-window multitasking; the ability to scan, sign, and send a document using the camera and stylus (pardon, Apple Pencil); the Pencil again to mark up photos and documents; and, lastly, using two hands on your iPad.”

“Not so fast. The Mac isn’t going away any time soon,” Gassée writes. “There are a wealth of high-end applications that require what Steve Jobs famously called ‘trucks’: Machines with no-holds-barred, unlimited thermal dissipation processors; muscular graphics chips; and lots of RAM and disk storage, an amount that the iPad will not approach in a foreseeable future.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For the vast majority of current Mac users and PC sufferers, Apple’s iPad truly could be their next personal computer, thanks to iOS 11.

As our own SteveJack remarked seconds after Apple’s Craig Federighi unveiled iOS 11’s new features (namely, Multi-Touch Drag and Drop, the new Dock, and the Files app):

Finally, the promise of iPad is realized.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, June 5, 2017

Listen, we want new MacBooks. We’re Mac users. We love Macs. We’ll be getting them (to replace our beloved 11-inch MacBook Airs). But, we won’t need them on the road anymore as soon as iOS 11 is loaded onto our new iPad Pros.

In fact, the new MacBooks might be the last Mac notebooks we ever buy. About that, of course, we’ll be a little sad, but we believe that the iPad is the portable Mac of the future. And, as Mac users, we like to push forward. As always, we have no respect for the status quo. — MacDailyNews, June 21, 2017

What’s more natural than dragging and dropping with your finger? It’s certainly more natural than doing so with a mouse. With iOS 11, many people’s biggest conundrum for their next road machines went from MacBook vs. MacBook Pro to 10.5-inch iPad Pro vs. 12.9-inch iPad Pro. — MacDailyNews, June 9, 2017

iPad Pro. The future of computing is here (or will be, as soon as iOS 11 is released this autumn).MacDailyNews, June 23, 2017

Apple’s iOS 11 turns the iPad Pro into the only device your family needs – June 28, 2017
Apple’s iPad Pro is now a true photographer’s tool – June 26, 2017
10.5-inch iPad Pro: Back on an Apple computing device, but not in the form I anticipated – June 23, 2017
Apple’s powerful, new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a typing champ – June 22, 2017
Apple’s iPad Pro and iOS 11 will finally kill the MacBook Air – June 21, 2017
How Apple’s iPad Pro’s 120Hz ProMotion technology works – and why it’s awesome! – June 21, 2017
Tim Bajarin: Apple’s iOS 11 finally brings Steve Jobs’ vision for the iPad to life – June 20, 2017
Macworld reviews Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro: ‘If any iPad replaces the MacBook, it’s this one’
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CNBC review: In the market for a new tablet? You should buy Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Pro – June 17, 2017
TechCrunch reviews new 10.5-inch iPad Pro: ‘Apple pays off its future-of-computing promise’ – June 14, 2017
Apple’s game-changing 12.9- and 10.5-inch iPad Pros arrive in stores – June 13, 2017
Jim Dalrymple reviews Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Pro: Highly recommended – June 12, 2017
LAPTOP reviews Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Pro: Amazingly fast performance beats most Windows laptops – June 12, 2017
Ars Technica reviews Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro: Much more ‘pro’ than what it replaces – June 12, 2017
These go to 11: Apple makes iOS more Mac-like and iPad’s promise is finally realized – June 9, 2017


  1. There are people who still routinely use Terminal on a Mac because using Terminal is the only way to get certain things done. Those people likely comprise well under 1% of all Mac users. (Go back to 1982–pre Lisa–and we were all “Terminal” users.)

    There are people who will use Macs (and real Mac Pro machines) today and even 10 years from now because that is the only way to get things done. While they do not constitute a huge percentage of Mac users, they are well above that 1% that are routine Terminal users.

    Someday, maybe 10 or 15 or more years from now, Mac users will be like Terminal users today. And, just like Apple still supplies, supports, and updates Terminal after all these years, I can only hope that 10+ years from now Apple will still be shipping state of the art Macs (well, as nearly state of the art as Apple has been for the last few years) for those of us that really need them.

    1. Absolutely correct. I don’t see any reason why the iPad couldn’t suffice for a lot of people, but those users probably don’t know what Terminal or more advanced functionality is, anyway. I don’t think they ever did, and honestly believe the PC market was artificially inflated due to the fact that they were a requirement for access at one time. Most people never ‘liked’ computers or delved deeply into them. iPads fit really nicely into a more complex workflow, too.

      Also, the professional (or ‘truck’) market has always been a slimmer margin. I remember when Silicon Graphics (or even Amigas) were the trucks of the day, and how absurdly expensive and specialized they were. Non-tech enthusiasts on more standard PCs probably hadn’t even heard of either of those companies (forget about NeXT!). I don’t see it being any different now, at least in essence, and but for the fact that Apple is now a household name.

      1. The moment Apple or anyone else thinks “one size fits all” (as in exclusively iPad Pro as the end goal) is the moment pro’s aka scientists, engineers, creatives, etc. jump ship to PC Workstations. There are different devices for different needs and that is precisely how Apple always needs to look at the market and never neglect ANY of it’s device market segments again. That said I LOVE my new iPad Pro and will love my new 2018 Mac Pro – even though for different reasons. Souped up Macs faster than anything we could dream of in 1984 will be with us for some time to come.

      2. the new Apple is all about making users . That is what the iPad represents. If all you do is social media and lightweight web surfing, fine for you. You don’t need a computer, you are looking for an internet appliance, which is what iOS devices are. Miserable standalone function. Inadequate local storage. Highly restricted I/O and file management. Constant pressure to subscribe to monthly services that pretend to fill in the holes in function that fully equipped modern computers offer.

        A capable like the Mac allows you easy ability to work online or offline, manage your own data for free, and sync your lightweight peripherals as much or as little as you want.

        The Mac should cost a lot more because it can so so much more. But the funny thing about the false economy of that the iPad keeps trying to push is that in short order, your costs for iOS, all the overpriced licensed IOS accessories, and all your rental software keep mounting. A Mac user can use almost any software produced in the last decade. You can use many standard cables, peripherals, etc without the absurd IOS tax. Aside from portability, there is nothing functionally that any iPad can do faster or easier than a Mac.

        Don’t even pretend that Apples A chips are on par performance wise with current Intel chips. Of course you can choose if that’s what you want to limit your capabilities to be. Lets stop pretending that the popularity of iOS has anything to do with performance. The iPad sells because iPhone users find the App Store easy. Then they find how dumbed down the apps are and they buy a Mac when Apple finally gets around to updating the hardware.

  2. I’ve had my 12.9 inch iPad Pro for a few weeks now (along with an Apple Pencil) and I have to say it’s one of the finest machines I’ve ever owned. As a graphic designer, I can do just about anything on it and in general everyday use it’s a dream. I’m still finding new things I can do with it on a frequent basis.

    Favourite bit at the moment is the split screen feature – I’m watching the big game on one side of the iPad whilst doing work or surfing the net on the other and it’s not a compromise due to my generous screen real estate. This thing’s fast as well – it crunches through stuff that would slow down a laptop and have I mentioned the screen quality? Gorgeous vibrant colours that make anything look good. Sorry if I sound like an Apple rep guys but if you can muster the cash, do yourself a favour and treat yourself to this ace piece of kit.

    And things are only going to get better with iOS 11 – lovely!

  3. I hope so – because a Mac represents freedom whereas an iPad requires obedience. On a Mac, one can use a safari plugin to copy an html5 video and save it to the hard drive. One can keep local copies of things that are not illegal but which one would not want to share knowledge with others. One can use one-off bits of software that do specific things that might not otherwise be strictly permitted. All that represents freedom – and for the masses. Children, teenagers, young adults – they all know how to use Windows or a Mac to do things, to tinker, to express themselves.

    I don’t knock an iPad in any way. But one may use only those applications that have been approved (or risk Apple bricking the device). Storage of files, ripped from the web is not so easy. Content is to be consumed only from legitimate sources.

    We will see how this all unfolds. I really like my iPad. But I also like my own freedom given to me be a Mac.

  4. “There are a wealth of high-end applications that require what Steve Jobs famously called ‘trucks’: Machines with no-holds-barred, unlimited thermal dissipation processors; muscular graphics chips; and lots of RAM and disk storage, an amount that the iPad will not approach in a foreseeable future.”

    And with a physical keyboard and mouse!… These two pieces of hardware make you much more productive than ‘touching and pinching’ screens…

    Can’t wait for the day when I take my iPhone, put it in a dock that has a monitor, mouse, and physical keyboard attached to it and use my iPhone as my personal computer.

    1. Umm..that’s called windows 10 mobile. Continuum has been there for a few years. And if people would’ve stopped shining apple’s #%! and simply supported another device’s App Store, you’d have all your dreams right now. But no, the world of regular users seem die-hard to choke down whatever fruit co offers. Never have understood it.

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