With iOS 11 Apple has signalled it’s desire to make the iPad more of a computer. In fact given the power being delivered in the new iPad Pro it’s probably fair to say an iPad is the best computer Apple offers at the moment.
MacOS has some advantages – it can certainly handle more of the high end photo, video and audio editing tasks you wouldn’t necessarily want to undertake on the iPad’s smaller screen (even the 12.9” version). That aside however, the group of users for whom a Mac is the best choice has been significantly diminished by the new iPad’s launch.
For those who are more mobile and able to work within the confines of the iPad’s app environment, running a MacBook or MacBook Pro means additional weight, bulk and a lack of flexibility – especially around the missing element of touch. iPad’s will have better multitasking, a greater choice of software and the ability to do many things in ways the Mac cannot hope for. When iOS 11 arrives these users will almost certainly be better off switching to an iPad as their primary computer.
On the other hand, for those who absolutely need real computing power at a desktop level, multiple screens, peripheral devices and full software, a Mac can’t compete with an equivalent Windows 10 PC.
Apple hasn’t been able to persuade its users that the Mac App Store is a good idea and its developers feel the constraints of publishing there far outweigh the potential benefits. Plus they are giving up 30% of their revenue to Apple for the privilege.
Whereas iOS apps lead the field in quality and variety, the Mac lags behind Windows 10 whether you’re considering Store or non-Store software.
Microsoft is growing the Windows Store, both in the volume of apps and the quality that is offered. Big name titles, which have previously been holdouts, are announcing their arrival, prompted by Microsoft’s push into education with Windows 10 S.
Microsoft is pushing out updates to Windows 10 at such a rate that MacOS looks older and more outdated every passing day. Whilst Mac users wait for their once a year major update, Microsoft manages to push two major feature releases a year and regularly adds functionality with monthly releases too.
In the end, MacOS is a distraction for Apple. iOS is where most of its customers live and where it derives most of its revenue and profit. How far down the road to being a full computing solution would the iPad be if Apple didn’t have to expend the effort of maintaining the Mac and MacOS?
In the last year alone Apple has had to apologise for the Mac Pro, has belatedly launched a new MacBook Pro line after making frustrated users wait for years, then updated the new machine within six months of launch. Apple just doesn’t appear to be able to do desktop or laptop products.
It’s a half-hearted effort that is preventing Apple from truly moving the iPad forward. Maybe it’s time for Apple to say enough and let the Mac go quietly into oblivion.