back to article iPadOS 14: Apple's attempt to pry fondleslab from toddlers' mitts and make it more businesslike

The iPad initially struggled to shake the perception that it was merely a bigger iPhone, good for bedtime Netflix binges and not much else. It was only later, with the development of a peripheral ecosystem and the release of iPadOS, that the image started to shift. Announced yesterday, the latest version of iPadOS looks set to …

  1. Robert Grant Silver badge

    This builds on business features added in iPadOS 13 which included support for USB memory sticks and other accessories

    If Apple create some good IT governance tools, they'll will be in a really interesting situation vs Windows in the workplace.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      iOS is supported by governance tools, including some from Blackberry. I'm saying that they exist, I don't know enough to rate them in any way. I know that the UK Ministry of Defence issues iPhones with Blackberry governance software.

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Sure - I meant more macbooks and ipads.

        1. Handy Plough

          Jasc - does the lot. Very good it is too.

  2. MrMerrymaker

    The image that it's just a large phone

    Well, professionally I don't think they're on par, albeit not unheard of.

    I am asking a lot of the average user but if I can't navigate a system with key combinations I'm not going to be as productive. That's faster than a mouse and faster than touch.

    To me they're consumption devices. Nothing wrong with that.

    But for production? Naah.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: The image that it's just a large phone

      Federighi announced that phone calls and Siri will no longer take up the entirety of the iPad's display.

      As I don't use an iPhone, I've never been able to use the iPad for phone calls nor for SMS/MMS...

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: The image that it's just a large phone

      Being either for consumption or production is a false dichotomy. There are plenty of uses iPads have been put to, such as live audio mixing. Unless you count 'Netflicks in bed', there never was a single 'killer application' for iPads, but there are hundreds of 'bloody useful applications' .

      Some tasks are better done with a keyboard, some are better done with a mouse. Some tasks are very well suited to a large multi-touch screen, but these tasks tend to be found more in the realms of audio and visual, rather than coding or accountancy.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: The image that it's just a large phone

        It feels like the browser is the de-facto killer app on iPads, it's just too useful to be able to pick up my ipad mini and browse for something instantly.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: The image that it's just a large phone

        I wonder whether this need to make the iPad more businesslike is actually destroying some of the selling points of the iPad when it ran iOS 4 and was taken up by those with accessibility needs.

  3. ratfox

    Why not give the choice to people?

    I find it annoying when designers decide they know better than you how you should use their product and what for. In general, this happens by removing features which I find useful, and adding others which make no sense to me.

    Admittedly, listening to users often results in designing a faster horse rather than a car; and Apple has had some success in designing products that were hugely successful even though nobody had asked for them. But they've been burnt a few times as well.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Why not give the choice to people?

      Well, I'm glad you acknowledge the pros and cons of giving the user choice.

      Some things are particular to me, and i know they are, and I modify my tools to suit.

      However, there are tasks where I cannot know the best or most efficient way of completing them until I have done them many times and effectively done a time-and-motion study on myself - which is as practical as it sounds! So there is a lot to be said for having these studies done by the tool vendor.

      I hope that designers spend longer thinking about a product than I do using it. So I expect the designer's understanding of the general principles to be superior to mine. Naturally, I'm best placed to understand the specifics of my situation.

  4. Pangasinan Philippines

    Samsung Galaxy Note

    Apple playing catch-up.

    Just saying

    1. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

      Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

      Not saying – just trolling.

    2. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

      Why's the Note relevant? Isn't that a big phone?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

        I'm assuming he means transcribing handwriting to editable text or mathematical notation. This is a feature the Note range has always had, and is a feature new to iPads, as per the article.

        He might have taken care to appear less trolly, but is point stands (albeit a moot point, since the question of who did what first is irrelevant to a user's experience).

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

          If Apple hadn’t created the "pencil" for the iPad 5 years ago, it would be fine. No handwriting support, no problem. But the fact they did and then totally ignored the obvious use case was pathetic. Particularly as good handwriting recognition Has been around for at least 20 years. So I think a bit of mild trolling/pisstaking is well justified.

          If Apple had just ignored Samsung's line of Note tablets and phones that would have been fine too. I’d have bought the iPad Pro when I bought my Air last year, if I’d have known they’d do this - and not leave the design half finished though.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

            I always saw Wacom as the chief forebear of stylus support on the iPad (especially the company Modbook who would take your MacBook and modify it by adding a Wacom digitiser behind the screen and optionally removing the keyboard - aimed at artists), and the Newton as chief inspiration for handwriting recognition - in concept if not execution. The Galaxy Note line I'm sure is good kit (I'm tapping this on a Galaxy S), but I don't see how it has that much influence on the iPad.

            Remember that relatively few people with an iPad also bought the Apple Pencil - the main use case was for graphics work. The number of people who might buy the pencil for note taking was likely lower still. So, handwriting support was a low priority for Apple, and something they must do well if they are to do it at all or else risk people making jokes about the Newton. Ipad Minis are more likely note taking devices than the original iPad Pros, and the Minis received Pencil support only much later.

          2. WhiteDragon43

            Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

            Not that many will remember - maybe just me, but there was a hand writing recognition tablet devised by Quest Automation in Ferndown, Bournemouth - late 70s. One of the reasons they didn't survive because of the investment - they had a good Emma photo plotter and an excellent PCB design system built on Data General Nova and Eclipse mini computers - seems being ahead of the curve with innovation is doomed to fail if there is no market demand - sigh!

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

              Information on the Quest Datapad is hard to find, most Google results being links to New Scientist books that mention the device. It's hard to tell how well it worked.

              This annotated bibliography below suggests that Quest were not working in a vacuum - there were other handwriting recognition projects around the same time, a few from countries that don't use an alphabet as we Reg readers do and so for whom a keyboard is not an easy option.


            2. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

              > innovation is doomed to fail if there is no market demand - sigh!

              Every good hippie knows that quality is in the coming together of the objective and the subjective. Making an innovative device is all well and good, but to really serve people you need to design the situation and the experience - the design of the actual device is only a subset of that.

              That said, it isn't your fault if you invent the pneumatic tyre before someone has invented the car.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news for android?

    Android has become dumber and dumber with each release. Seeing as they basically copy apple, maybe android will finally see some benefits too?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Good news for android?

      No, there is no great hope for Android on tablets. :)

      The reason isn't just Devs focusing on where the greatest paid-for app revenues are found (iOS), or even the cheep n cheerful kids n TV nature of most Android tablets. The reason is Google's own Chrome OS. Or possibly Google's Fuscia OS in the future (details of Google plans are scarce).

      Regardless, Chrome OS receives its updates directly from Google, not device vendors. It can run Android apps. It's often found on laptop and convertable big screened devices, so is a better starting point for using keyboards than Android.

    2. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Good news for android?

      Why would they need to copy this Apple product?

      I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. Years old. It has a stylus and even understands my wonky "you should be a GP" handwriting.

      It's almost as if you're an Apple fan looking for any stick to beat Android with..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good news for android?

        No, I'm an android user frustrated with how each version gets dumber and dumber.

        It started getting more and more closed after lollipop.

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