Emergence of Robots Will, Remarkably, Force a Change in iPad Design


| Editorial

Apple Tools For the Future

Apple is good at creating tools for the developer. However, one of the issues, in my opinion, that’s come up lately is how Apple is approaching the education market. By design, Apple only builds the best computers. In many cases, that puts MacBooks/Airs/Pros out of the reach of very young students. By necessity, Apple is pitting iPads against other more conventional PC products. See: “Apple’s iPad Fights For the Education Market.

Chromebook from Lenovo.

A used Chromebook or PC notebook for $100 is a mature, affordable tool for the student. Image credit: Lenovo.

Students first exposed to iPads will tend to adopt them as their preferred life-long tools. Unless, of course, the iPad doesn’t meet their needs in the course of self-employment.

From what I’m seeing, young students perceive the iPad, because of its limitations, as a fun internet browsing tool that allows them to read, learn, communicate and play games. But the key element, as they mature, that of using the iPad as a gateway to the creation of products that earn an income, is still in its relative infancy. The evolution of those money making skills requires a steadfast development of various creative skills: programming, video production music, quality apps, story telling, and/or product development. In that respect, iPad design is perhaps barely adequate and maturing too slowly compared to robot technology.

Disheartening is the size of the App Store, the difficulty of finding quality apps, and the amount of revenue that an individual or a small team can generate. The sense of this is going in the wrong direction. That is, only the larger companies with great resources can generate substantial revenues. The little guys struggle. Being a lone wolf app developer is, generally, not a path to home ownership and a family. We punctuate that meme by noting how many young developers live in their parents’ basement.

Modern Education

Modern education, in general, is still geared towards teaching skills that teachers know how to teach. These skills, such as they are, are often inadequate to bring students to a level where they can support themselves in a lifetime of learning, skill development, and entrepreneurial thinking. Those students who fail to develop those required skills in high school and college won’t have the traditional service and labor jobs to fall back on, thanks to the quickly emerging market for robots, and that will create new social problems.

Summary

The iPad was developed, in a way, as a supplemental tool for the Mac/PC users. Initially, it addressed certain problems nicely, such as browsing, email, shopping, social media, videos, music, games, and some educational basics. Even today, the current marketplace emphasis is on using iPads and iPhones as consumer toys for content consumption and social exchange, not personal skills development.

However, if the iPad is going to fulfill its ultimate destiny as the preferred tool for those who want to earn their own living, it will have to get dramatically better, quickly, at replacing the Mac and PC.

Otherwise, students who are merging into the modern workforce will turn to other devices and tools (from other companies) to help them succeed. I think Apple’s competitors in education and creative markets sense this already.

When I see observers of Apple complain that the iPad isn’t evolving fast enough, this is one factor I think they’re are worried about. It worries me as well.

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geneking7320
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geneking7320

Taking Jhayden’s idea and going further –
How about naming those Mac tablets after a different variety of apple?
Then Apple could sell Macs, iPhones,iPads, and maybe Jonathans.

webjprgm
Member
webjprgm

vpndev Using a mouse with an iPad could work like it does in the iOS Simulator. It is not as comfortable of a UI interaction paradigm but it kinda works. Multitouch gestures like pinch-to-zoom require cooperation with the keyboard and are not the most intuitive to use for the masses. I also think Apple doesn’t want anyone designing iPad software that is designed to be better with a mouse.

vpndev
Member
vpndev

I agree with the “Steve no vertical touch” idea. It just doesn’t work.

Yet there are a number of times that you’d like to use an iPad a bit more like a Mac, such as writing text. I can pair a Magic Keyboard and it works just great but Apple steadfastly refuses to allow pairing of a Magic Mouse to use as a pointer/clicker. This is a most frustrating constraint and makes the whole thing very much harder.

Does anyone have any insight as to why this would be hard, or problematical?

Member
GoldinHector

I have seen numerous articles discussing MacOS on iPad but none about taking the trouble ( and slight expense) of using one of two excellent iPad Apps that allow full use of a Mac with the iPad Touchscreen. Both Duet Display and AstroPad allow the user to work with MacOS using a touch interface. Using them in a regular iPad or iPhone is very cumbersome, at least for adult sized fingers, but they are a wonderful option for drawing and marking in Mac OS apps using the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. The larger iPad Pro is easier to… Read more »

JustCause
Member
JustCause

I laugh when I see people compare the industrial revolution to the coming AI/robotic revolution, it will change economies dramatically. Some jobs are being replaced already with automation, but next will come taxi, limo, train and truck drivers, the middle class will be gone. Then will be coders, analysts and project managers and managers and so goes upper middle class, finally middle managers and executives will be replaced seeing as most just run the MBA handbook.

I can’t think of any job/employment that can/will not be replaced by AI/robotics.

jhayden
Member
jhayden

BTW, since the new Touch Bar is derived from the Watch, why can’t Mac tablet interfaces be derive from the iPad? Apple has already solved most of the problems for making a Mac tablet. Besides it would give me the Finder back.

jhayden
Member
jhayden

Why not leave the iPad as a consumption device with basic functions for writing and art, etc. and just come out with Mac tablets? I know that would be copying Microsoft, but So What?

geoduck
Member
geoduck

I agree that the iPad is evolving WAY too slowly. The Surface Studio showed that it was possible. I don’t want something that big mind you. I want a 12″ iPad with all the software flexibility and power of a laptop. As far as how robots will change the game. I’m so glad I’m approaching retirement. The thought of starting out today and planning on never having a “job” just a series of gigs, with no security, no benefits, no insurance, and forever hunting for the next gig frankly scares then s*** out of me. The idea of always being… Read more »