Image of iPad Pro 2020 with Magic Keyboard

2020 iPad Pro. Image credit: Apple

Once again, two recent articles made the Particle Debris article of the week.

“Apple finally admits Microsoft was right about tablets.

Apple has spent the past 10 years trying to convince everyone that the iPad and its vision of touch-friendly computing is the future. The iPad rejected the idea of a keyboard, a trackpad, or even a stylus, and Apple mocked Microsoft for taking that exact approach with the Surface.


“The iPad Pro is ready to supplant the Mac just as the MacBook Air is great again.

Now, apparently, Apple has decided that the iPad Pro “is not a computer.” Okay.

The first article chronicles how, “The iPad Pro now looks even more like a Surface Pro.” I suppose if Apple took its time for this transition, hoping beyond hope that each improvement would be the magic key to igniting sales, that we wouldn’t notice. But we have.

The second article elaborates on something I wrote recently. “Apple’s iPad Pro Gets Seriously Good Amidst a Confusing Ad Campaign.” Author Bohn delves into Apple’s self-generated tension between the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro. It’s almost as if Apple is letting each duke it out in a kind of survival of the fittest scenario.

And Apple wins either way.

The Week’s News Debris

• Sascha Segan writes:”AT&T 4G Gets a Big Capacity Boost in Coronavirus Crisis.” Some nice tech detail here.

The Microsoft Surface Studio in action.

Is Apple very far from the Microsoft Surface Studio?

• Here’s a favorite theme of mine. “Is it time for an even bigger iPad Pro?

Still, seeing the iPad Pro suspended in mid-air from the cover’s new, cantilevered hinge puts me in the mind of an iMac-style docking station, not just a case that happens to be handy for text entry.

Let your mind fantasize for a bit…

• At Tom’s Guide, author Diaz writes: The “iPhone 9 [SE 2] enters mass production as release date nears.” But wait. There are complications.

So what’s actually happening with the iPhone 9? Here’s why Apple may still delay its new phone — and why it might not.

• Here’s an intriguing look at where Apple is going with AR. (Think LiDAR.) “New iPad Pro holds the secret to Apple Glasses — and the future of computing.

Step by step, Tim Cook and his team are putting all the pieces in place to introduce The Next Big Thing in 2023 — the Apple Glasses, the device that will move us from the smartphone era into one in where wearables are the key to our information age existence.

You knew this was coming. But are you ready?

• Finally,

Ahem. Replicator: Tea, Earl Grey, decaff.

Particle Debris is generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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John: Tom Warren’s piece on The Verge, though well-argued, is still only partially correct, and in the best tradition of rooting for the underdog, even if that means revisionist historical narrative, more wrong than right. There are gaping holes and glaring omissions torn into his tour de force by immovable facts. Indeed, the most notable omission from his argument is the one most important, namely the user. The evolution of the iPad and its use case is, more than anything else, a story of the evolution and advocacy of the user base than it is about corporate vision, whether Apple’s… Read more »


Not really. Microsoft Surface is a real computer, including operating system inside (full blown Windows), ports, etc. Instead, Apple iPad is is a limited jailed sandboxed toy. Apple should make a true Mac tablet with Intel x86 inside, which is a must for true compatibility with the rest (90%) of the world (read, Windows). Do not get me wrong: we love the Mac, but more important than that is our workflow, and for that we need full compatibility.


Maybe the article title is not OK as the iPad is far from Surface, but Apple is going in the right way, to separate itself from mainstream PC industry including the replacement of Intel processors with ARM. Probably not on MacPro’s. The ARM based Macs will bring an even better security as the installation of apps will be even more restricted. Think on exclusion of Electron based apps from app store. So at the end of the day everybody can decide what to buy, Apple gear running native apps or whatever machine able to run Windows, Linux or other minority… Read more »


No, No, and oh yeah No. The iPad is not a toy. I WORK on mine nearly every day. I use it more than I do my Mac. The documents I create I send to publishers, post on the web, and send to the person who does my accounting. IT IS compatible. Apple should most definitely not put MacOS as it is on a tablet. MacOS, and for that matter Windows OS is terrible on a touch interface. The company I work for makes a product with a touch screen and Win10. Nobody uses it, they plug in a keyboard… Read more »


Sure. It depends on what you need and do with the device. I understand that it works for you. But it does not work for us. And in relation to the Mac tablet, it is not for heavy work but just to make Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. What we want at the University is a device as small (5 inches or so) and light (400 g or so) as possible. It could be even without batteries. You make the presentation in your Mac desktop, save it to the device and carry it in your pocket to the presentation room. I… Read more »


What you want is a Netbook. There are many out there for <$300.


No, I want Mac.


I suppose that Apple will switch to an improved iOS also on ARM based Macs and the macOS will be reserved probably for (stationary?) Intel based machines.


I like the Apple approach, but I’m missing a fingerprint scanner on iPad and on the new keyboard. Also would be nice to have an iPad WITHOUT rear camera, lidar, etc… There are users which are not interested in such features. Front camera for Face time is OK.


Yes I guess they are doing their version of the MS Surface. I prefer to think of it as a Surface done right. Like tablets themselves, which MS tried and f-ed up for ages until Apple got them right. Like phones which other people tried all sorts of things, until Apple did them right, so everyone copied them. Like music players which lots of companies tried until Apple did them right and the rest folded like a house of cards. The thing I keep wondering about AppleGlasses is this. What if you already wear glasses? Just regular, need them to… Read more »