A lot of people still remember the hype train and rumors flying left and right leading up to the announcement of the iPhone—the “Jesus phone” as some wags liked to call it. I too was very excited about the iPhone.
But not as excited as I was about the iPad.
The iPad was hardly the first tablet to get my heart racing. In the tumultuous period of the very early 2000s, Be had been attempting to pivot from marketing a PC OS to rival Windows and instead service the theoretical market of “internet appliances” — even naming their updated OS BeIA. BeIA was intended to run on a variety of form factors, some looking rather iMac (G3) inspired, but one looking essentially like an iPad with a few extra buttons (and an antenna!):
You can see a fascinating early look at various BeIA prototypes in this YouTube video.
At the dawn of the millennium I had been a huge BeOS nerd, so you can imagine my excitement at the thought of a touchscreen, wireless, internet-capable tablet running a variant of BeOS. I simply couldn’t wait to get my hands on one once Be’s hardware partners started shipping production models.
And then Be folded and the BeIA dream died. For roughly ten years—ten!—I remained lost in the wilderness. (Not really though, because I quickly dived headfirst into shiny new Mac OS X waters…kicking off my love affair with #Apple with the gorgeous Titanium PowerBook G4. The rest is history…)
So when the rumors started making the rounds that Apple was working a tablet of its own later that decade, I was quite intrigued. Of course in those early days, most people assumed a tablet would run a touch-and/or-stylus-enabled flavor of Mac OS X, and we all saw plenty of third-party mockups of a “Mac tablet” to whet our appetites.
Then the #iPhone landed, and suddenly the narrative began to shift. What if…just bear with me here…what if an Apple tablet wasn’t running a stripped-down version of Mac OS X, but a beefed-up version of iPhoneOS? Using all of the touchscreen awesomeness of the iPhone experience?
And as we know now, that’s exactly what happened. And my body was ready for it. (We later came to learn that Apple actually started development of the iPad first and ended up deciding to bring multitouch technology to market in the phone form factor initially with the intention of circling back around to tackle the tablet project.)
Once I had gotten my hands on an iPad, I quickly put it through its paces and—despite many obvious limitations—fell in love with the experience. It was only a year later when I embarked on a journey to revamp my “personal brand” and website development agency around “tablet-first computing”. I ended up building a whole new CMS and website hosting platform from the ground up which launched in late 2012. I would spend the next couple of years trying to reach product/market fit and unfortunately never did so. Mariposta was certainly an interesting product, but ultimately doomed to failure because the web never embraced “tablet-first computing” and instead went for the ultimately superior concept of “responsive design” — aka websites should look and function well on a wide variety of devices and form factors, scaling up and down as needed. (Apps too eventually went the responsive design route, and the dream of tablet-first app design and product marketing died a slow and painful death.)
So here we are in 2023, and while in some ways I’m disappointed the tablet ended up having far less of an impact on media and computing than I’d originally hoped (the laptop PC and the smartphone remain the canonical computing platforms for most people around the world), I nevertheless am extremely happy with my #iPadPro and use it every day to get real work done. The iPad is a fun product, a joyful product, and that I’m able to earn a living using it as a trusty companion to my desktop Mac is a noble conclusion to this story.
I still hold out hope that tablets will eventually mature into the “everyday computer” for the masses—more capable, powerful, and usable than a phone…more versatile and nimble than laptops featuring a far greater number of potential use cases and ideal scenarios. Certainly it’s true my children use iPads all the time, and tablets are every bit as central to their lifestyle as any PC-style device.
In summary, Happy 13th Birthday iPad! I love you and can’t wait to see what you’re capable of next.
I’ve been rocking the iPhone mini lifestyle since the 12 series debuted. I love my mini. I love that form factor. And I’m sad to see it go.
Nevertheless, time marches one and new iPhone models come out packed with new features. And the list of new features in the #iPhone 14 Pro is impressive indeed.
Dynamic Island (I always hated the notch. Byeeee!)
48MP Main Camera
OK, maybe that last one isn’t a “feature”, but I definitely love this color. I got to hold one at my local #Apple store and generally see the Dynamic Island at work, and it’s fantastic. It’s what the design should have been from the beginning. Farewell notch…hopefully forever.
I’ve heard some grumblings about the overall lack of progress in the standard iPhone lineup this year, and I get that. But for me it’s not an issue, because there’s no way I would ever upgrade from an iPhone mini to one of the standard iPhones. If I’m forced to leave the world of the mini behind, I’m going #iPhonePro. No question about it.
The one thing which has been so frustrating lately about iPadOS isn’t how far away the “pro” experience of #Apple#iPadPro is from what you get with a Mac. It’s how close it is. Tantalizingly close. You plug a modern iPad into a display, keyboard, and mouse, and if you squint a bunch and don’t try to accomplish too much all at once, you can kinda sorta see a powerful desktop OS at work. The “death by a thousand paper cuts” is what makes this experience so frustrating.
The word on the street (aka Mark Gurman’s latest reporting) is that Apple will be rolling out an advanced set of multitasking features for iPadOS at #WWDC, including an interface which will “let users resize app windows and offer new ways for users to handle multiple apps at once.” No mention of proper external display support, but it feels like that must be a given if you have a new windowing system.
Look, I’m not trying to replace my Mac. I love my Mac. The M1 Mac mini is an impressive desktop at an affordable price. However, I also want to be able to “KVM switch” myself over to an iPad desktop and enjoy everything about that experience as well. Because there are some tasks I really do prefer to perform in iPadOS vs. macOS. Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too? Hopefully Apple will soon have an affirmative answer to that question when it comes to the iPad.
So I’ve been sad hearing the rumor mill pontificate that the mini size will be going away due to middling sales numbers. However, the flip side to all this is I’ve never been a fan of the notch. Sure I understand why it’s there, and it doesn’t bother me in daily usage. Yet it’s always felt like a hack, a necessary evil, a stain on an otherwise “perfect” form factor.
The pill-and-hole design brings us much closer to perfection. There’s no visual interruption along the edges of the display. It feels much more symmetrical, especially in landscape orientation. Obviously I can’t come to a final conclusion without seeing the final product in the flesh (assuming the rumors are true), but I’m far more impressed by the mockups so far than with the iPhone X-era notch.
If that’s the new design language of the iPhone 14 Pro, I’m afraid I’ll have to kiss my mini goodbye and embrace the bigger size once again. The pill-and-hole styling is simply irresistible.
Even in its nascent state, Universal Control changes everything. Suddenly iPadOS becomes a true extension of #macOS…like many power users I’ve run an #iPadPro on a stand next to my desktop Mac for years, but ergonomically-speaking, switching between the two was a major pain. It became incrementally easier with the Magic Keyboard/Trackpad, but issues remained…not the least of which is transferring files and even bits of in-context data back and forth doesn’t always feel natural and smooth.
With Universal Control, you start to forget you’re running two different devices running two different environments…suddenly you’re just using “AppleOS” everywhere. Heck, I’ve even gone from desktop Mac (M1 Mac mini) to laptop (Intel MBP) as well when I need to do something on one from the other. And yes, you can span all three with nearly zero lag or fiddling—even when using drag ‘n’ drop!
This is without a doubt the biggest quality-of-life improvement #Apple has brought to its ecosystem since cursor support on iPadOS first appeared almost two years ago.
I was fairly surprised that the first impressions I’d had of the devices solely from watching the announcement keynote and glancing at marketing materials carried over intact to my hands-on trial.
I just don’t like any of the non-pro iPhone colors this year. And that’s disappointing because the rumor mill seems convinced that this is the last year for an iPhone mini form factor. And being a mini enthusiast, it sucks I have no interest in purchasing this year’s mini.
On the other hand, this may be my favorite lineup of iPhone Pro colors to date. All of the models look fantastic and quite premium up close, and they feel good in the hand. Graphite and Gold are definitely my favorites. Despite my love for the trusty mini, I’m sorely tempted to get a Gold iPhone 13 Pro as a holiday treat. (BTW, the Max size is laughably gigantic…I don’t know who buys phones this large! 😂)
Watching Apple’s recent event, I was blown away by the iPad mini. Clearly it was the star of the show for me. And holding it and seeing it in real life, the accolades are well-deserved. The size is delicious, the Apple Pencil 2 is an amazing note-taking and sketching companion at this size, and it’s just so light and “airy” (sorry iPad Air!). It’s the sort of device that simply begs you to use it and carry it around with you everywhere.
Having an #iPadPro already in my possession, I’m still thinking through where an iPad mini would fit in my life. But I have no doubt at some point down the road, it will join my collection. Well done Apple. The iPad mini finally gets its opportunity to shine.
This is a test of posting on my blog via my new #Apple Mac mini M1. If you’re reading this, it means the test was a success! 😎
My love affair with the iPhone has returned. It’s been a ways down on the list for some time, bested by iPad Pros & Macs alike. But this device has captivated me. I love just holding it and carrying it around in my grip.
Right before the keynote on Monday started, I posted “Things I’m most excited for at Apple WWDC 2019”. How did I do with the wish list? Well, let’s say it was a very, very good day. 😁 I just recorded a podcast episode where I break it all down and that’ll be going out later today. Stay tuned! #Apple#WWDC
Jim Dalrymple gets it. Leading up to the #Apple event and even afterwards, I noticed a lot of eye-rolling online about how this was just Newsstand all over again and how this would be a failure just as Apple’s past forays into the digital magazine space were.
But News+ is a totally different model compared to the previous “each-publication-is-an-app” approach. News+ is one app. No matter which magazine or newspaper you’re currently reading, you are using only one app with a consistent and unified reading experience.
And perhaps most importantly, you don’t have to manage a ton of different subscriptions to various publications…which adds the congitive overhead of trying to pick and choose which ones to subscribe to or not to maintain a sensible cash flow. With Apple News+, you have one subscription. That’s it. One charge per month and you have access to everything.
I’ve been surprised how much I’m using Apple News+…on my iPhone. Of course it’s a delightful reading experience on the iPad with its big beautiful display, but it works astonishingly well on iPhone. Apple even kicked off its News+ presentation showing the app running on an iPhone. That’s impressive.
I’m definitely paying for News+ past the trial period, and I’m excited to see how the service grows and evolves down the road.