Adobe has killed the ‘iPad is not productive’ trope

“If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say ‘iPads are not productive’ I’d have a lot more dollars. And they’d still be wrong,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “Adobe next year will kill that myth completely, as it brings Photoshop and then its other creative apps across to Apple’s pro tablet.”

“Adobe apparently plans to introduce Photoshop for iPads in 2019,” Evans writes. “The company also intends bringing its other creative apps over to Apple’s tablets.”

“The fact that iPads can [soon] run a version of the complex piece of industry standard software that is Photoshop shows it has achieved this end. For most people, an iPad is becoming all the computer they need,” Evans writes. “To me, it seems clear Apple’s vision is that you’ll use powerful Macs for the toughest tasks, while tablets and other as yet unrevealed systems will become capable of handling everything else. Adobe’s decision to introduce Photoshop for iPad reflects and legitimizes Apple’s approach”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

We find that there are many older users longing to make iPad work like a laptop, because that’s what they know.

Take a look at a twelve-year-old who’s only really ever used an iPad for personal computing. It’s an eyeopener. It’s like looking into the future.

The answer isn’t to try to make the iPad into a MacBook. The answer is to provide all the tools possible in iOS for developers to make robust apps that can take advantage of the multi-touch paradigm. — MacDailyNews, May 16, 2017

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Apple’s iOS 11 turns the iPad Pro into the only device your family needs – June 28, 2017
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Tim Bajarin: Apple’s iOS 11 finally brings Steve Jobs’ vision for the iPad to life – June 20, 2017
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TechCrunch reviews new 10.5-inch iPad Pro: ‘Apple pays off its future-of-computing promise’ – June 14, 2017
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Jim Dalrymple reviews Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Pro: Highly recommended – June 12, 2017
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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



      The computing power in an iPad is not near as much as what is in a MacBook Pro or Mac Desktop or comparable PC laptop or desktop. That’s because the devices are designed to be as light and thin as possible and run off of a battery. So they must limit the processing power.

      Here is why, again, an iPad/iPhone is not a replacement for a laptop or desktop:

      -Non-precision input: touch is not precise. Period. A mouse on a bitmap screen is the most precise input method we have right down to the pixel. Moving a mouse arrow on a screen also means a person’s hands are not in the way of the screen.
      -Gorilla Arm: multi-touch creates gorilla arm in some sense in that you are reaching out to touch things on screen. It is not fast: it is much faster to fling a mouse arrow to hit a target. Multi-touch is hopelessly inefficient this way and takes longer to get anything done.
      -Processing power: iPads are weak for the reasons already mentioned.
      -Screen size, screen size, screen size: the size of the iPad screen pales in comparison to a 27″ iMac or even a 15″ MacBook Pro. Add on multiple monitors that people can work with to increase productivity and it’s no contest, and never will be. Such a small screen reduces productivity for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how it severely limits what content to UI can be reasonably displayed at any one time.
      -Stripped down software: Apps are a joke compared to the desktop counterparts. And this announcement by Adobe seems like smoke and mirrors. For starters, they will not port Photoshop. It’s going to be limited. Also, look at fonts: iOS supports a hair of available fonts in the world, making it a complete dud for any serious publication designer (e.g., InDesign).

      For all of these reasons and more, only idiots think that an iPad is a replacement for a laptop or even desktop. Real professionals use powerful computers with large screens and multiple of them.

      1. The most precision input device I use is my TrackPad on my MacBook. Sure Wacom make more precise stuff. My TrackPad is hundreds of time more precise then a fucking mouse. The iPad is also capable of touch by proxy (if you will) whilst most apps may have the item you are moving appear right under your finger, it’s entirely feasible for the item you are moving to sit vertically above the touch point. And it’s also just as easy for a touch to translate to a smaller movement of the item/arrow/pointer/sprite/ etc. just like in iOS when you adjust the playhead of a video and the further your finger is away from the playhead the touch becomes less and less sensitive. All of these techniques have been possible from the first iPhone but they are seldom used. Stop whining and let developers straighten this thing out.

        1. “Stop whining and let developers straighten this thing out.”

          LOL, reality is not whining.

          Straighten out the limitations of screen size, ram, processing power and gorilla arm imprecise finger input? Dream on …

          1. You don’t get “Gorilla Arm” using a touch-capacitive device such as an iPad sitting on your lap, or on a table top, you get it from using an upright screen such as a touch enabled laptop. (Including using an upright iPad).

            Are you honestly that stupid? Can your try and workout why you would and when you would get gorilla arm? Or are you one of America’s discriminated against “gorillas”. I am practically speechless that somebody could be so stupid.

            1. Hey stupid, I know all about gorilla arm and it is a figure of speech not a slur you PC putz. With a hot iPad in your lap it certainly limits the fatigue factor. Resting your arm at the proper ergonomic desk height with an elevated portion of a mouse pad is far better for your wrist and arm on projects that require long hours. I predict low success rate for anyone not an amateur. No professional worth his salt will give up dual 27” monitors and a Mac Pro on an iPad pipe dream …

            2. Put the iPad on a desk and use it with smart keyboard = gorilla arm. Also, using the iPad in many situations requires lifting the arm much more substantially than when using mouse or trackpad.

              It’s tiring and slow.

            1. Oh, what a cute screen name no doubt from a regular poster. 🤔

              I repeat: ”Reality is not whining.” What part do you not understand?

              Yes, the president is winning going back to being sworn in. Although the wins lately have been piling up in a short amount of time. His stature on the world stage is nothing short of remarkable and something no one anticipated. Compared to that girly man PC preacher and world apologist the last eight years.

              Still President Trump’s detractors won’t let go. Yesterday 13 Russians were indicted two days before a summit with President Putin, despicable! If anyone out there does not believe the deep state Washington swamp is out to take down President Trump — I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.

              Make America (Apple) Great Again …

        1. History does, so does the dictionary.

          The Personal Computer was liberating because it freed the individual of the authority of the mainframe. The individual, the owner, decided what to run, when to run it, and whether it was good.

          Now, on iOS, Apple is IT. That’s NOT personal.

      2. Amen!

        All points I was going to make and very well done. Unbelievable we are still having this pie in the sky discussion.

        One point I would like to add to your fine list: The physical size of the tiny screen alone will fill up with tool palettes and next to nothing in work area. Use two monitors side by side one, one for palettes and the 27” as the work canvas.

        No way working the better part of a day on a complex design with multiple layers and masks can be accomplished with an Apple Pencil with gorilla arm or leaning on the glass.

        “Real professionals use powerful computers with large screens and multiple of them.”

        Amen, again ..,

      3. (What is a trackpad? It’s basically an iPhone screen’s touch technology – why oo why couldn’t the exact same technology be used as an input device on an IPad?)


  1. Nope. MDN hopes to hold its nose and breath long enough for this to become true, but it aint. The iPad generally sucks for creation and is great for consumption.

    Are there a few exceptions. Sure. Pencil/Stylus based art creation is great. There may be one or 2 others.

    But what Johnny is doing is disingenuous. Saying it’s not true that there are no productive tasks is a straw man. Ok, there maybe one or 2 that it’s not like using mittens and tongs to do brain surgery with, but the vast vast majority of real work/creation is painful.

    This old and not true trope of watching kids work an iPad is just that. A trope. They consume on an iPad fantastically. They dont create anything worth squat and they themselves beg to use a laptop when they actually do have to create.

    This is an article where Johnny either got paid to lodge his head way up Adobe’s posterior, or just to make some clickbait via typical contrarian view. Who knows, perhaps Photoshop will become part of that tiny sliver of apps that is ok to use on the iPad to get things done. I doubt it. All pros would way prefer to use the desktop versions of current editing apps on the mac over the iPad, but hey, I’m open minded, lets give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But even if it does, the fundamental UI on the iPad, without trackpad/mouse input, will remain poop for real heavy lifting work production.

  2. I love the iPad. I will continue to purchase iPads periodically as updates warrant it.

    Nonetheless, they are no match for a full-blown general purpose computer a “real” OS. Bring me your best iPad/iOS user and give us a list of productivity tasks to take on and I guarantee I will complete them on a Macintosh while the iPad person is fumbling around with where her files are.

    The iPad is powerful, but it is also clumsy. The idea of UI consistency, that was long ago championed and made popular by the Mac itself is nowhere to be seen on the iPad. Sometimes things work sometimes they don’t depending on the application you’re using. I always have to go looking for how one app or another lets me activate AirPlay, omg and don’t even go from one video playing app to the next. Everyone invents their own controls.

    Is that the brave new touch world?

    Apple is not enforcing Human Interface Guidelines like they did with the Mac. Developers are consequently being, well, creative. Back when I would introduce people to the Mac for the first time, I would take pleasure in showing them how once I taught them the basics of one app, they had a good idea how to use the next. This is just not the case with the iPad and iOS.

    1. The problem is the HIGs need to be rewritten. If we followed the HIGs as they are, every app would look like it was made for the visually impaired and have no visual appeal. And all apps up until iOS 7 would have used that awful white and boring desaturated pale blue vertical pinstripe background in every setting view you ever did see.

      The HIGs are just that – they are guidelines and not hard and fast rules. If they were modern and considered visual cues they could be followed, but rather we feel the need to do it better which leads to ununifrom techniques and polices adopted on perhaps a per-developer basis.

      If you want to something about it, rewrite the HIG yourself and appeal to developers to follow them? Because it isn’t going to happen at Apple, look at their flat design – they don’t “get” flat design.

  3. Although I do believe you can get get proctuctivity done on an iPad it’s not going to replace the Mac anytime soon.

    A simple thing I use my iMac for is to rip cd/dvd/blu-ray’s to be served to my two Apple TVs. Some people might say “Why buy physical discs when you can stream from Atv Apps?” My answer is the net doesn’t have my family cine films. They were filmed in the 70’s & 80’s, tranferred to dvd in the late 90’s then ripped to mp4 in the 2000’s. Soon I’ll have them re-transferred to 4K at the same time the colour can be corrected and dust & scratches touched up. An iPad can’t do that.

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