Is the iPad a Real Computer? Do its Users Deserve it?

Page 2 – News Debris For The Week Of June 26th

AR is Coming

Augmented Reality can be hard to get one’s head around. It can be challenging to appreciate its value and equally challenging to understand the technical aspects. I tried to assist with that this week when I wrote: “10 Technologies That Reveal Augmented Reality’s Potential.” If you’d like to dig deeper, I strongly recommend this very extensive overview of AR at Seeking Alpha by J. M. Manness. It’ll give you a terrific technical overview of why Apple is so enthusiastic about AR. See: “Augmented Reality: Apple’s Revolutionary Offering.

AR demo of sign translation.
With AR, tourists could see signs in foreign cities in their own language.

Apple’s vice-president of product marketing Greg “Joz” Joswiak has been about the business of explaining Apple’s enthusiasm. And for good reason.


Sometimes, we forget how the modern internet came to be. For example, twenty years ago, in a Supreme Court ruling … “The justices ruled that the same censorship standards being applied to broadcast radio and television could not be applied to the Internet.” Here’s the intriguing story behind that decision. “How 7 words unfit for TV fostered an open Internet 20 years ago today.

Question: where are people getting their news? It turns out, according to a survey by the Reuters Institute, that it depends on age. For those 18-24, 64 percent use social media. For those over 55, 51 percent use traditional TV sources. Here’s the chart published by Business Insider.

Again, understanding how various news sources came to be and how they work is important as young people are confronted with new sources on the internet. Assuming everything read on the internet is true is not one of the more respected approaches and can lead to serious social and political problems. As we have recently seen.

Are you in the market for a new iMac. Apple is shipping a new generation of Kaby Lake-based iMacs, and a solid review is always welcome. Here’s a good one from Roman Loyola at Macworld. “iMac Kaby Lake (2017) review: The iMac’s excellence continues on.

The macOS High Sierra public beta was released this week. This excellent overview by Andrew Cunningham explains what’s not so obvious about this formidable upgrade. “macOS High Sierra tech preview: A quick look at the stuff you can’t see.

Finally, here’s something from awhile back that I just found. Have you ever wondered what cities Apple is using for its tvOS screen saver videos? I did a little digging and found this from last year “Apple Adds 21 New Aerial Screen Savers to Apple TV.” How did I miss that?

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two 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 weekends.

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD


My new iPad Pro 10.5″ just arrived today, and, wow. Just wow.

And I’m comparing it to my iPad Pro 9.7″, which my son will now inherit.

Given that I use this as part of my workflow, I’m delighted with the upgrade.


For the record:

The iPad Pro is the perfect laptop for my work needs. A conventional laptop isn’t even worth considering.
So without considering various peoples’ various needs, this debate is, well, it’s interesting, actually, up to point where and individual thinks their situation is universal and not individual.

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

@geoduck and @JohnK: I’ve avoided commenting on this line of discussion, but your final comment, geoduck, has moved me to go against perhaps my better judgement, primarily because I see this as a non-argument in which the participants are arguing about different things and talking past each other. In any argument, definitions are important, so let’s start there. Whatever the intent, what John K is describing, certainly in my profession, is not ‘work’ but ‘tasks’. For many professionals (I can’t speak for the specific ‘creatives’ John K references, but more on that below), work is specified by a Scope of… Read more »


John: This has been an interesting discussion. It seems however, to have decayed into a parallel of a debate I would hear when I was younger. Loggers, construction workers, carpenters, and such saying that they did real work, while accountants, and anyone who worked for the government did not. It was silly then and to be honest it is a bit silly now. You want to use a Mac to do your work fine. I use my iPad to do real work that I get paid for. Are there some things I can’t do with the iPad, sure. I know… Read more »

John Kheit

Laptop is heaven at those tasks relative to the comparable hell or outright impossibility the iPad would offer


programming, heavy word processing like large reports, technical documentation, books etc. also programming, heavy photoshop and illustration work, large presentations. All of those things are absolutely miserable experiences on an iPad I would put to you that your examples would apply to a MacBook as well. Yes coding is one area that there aren’t the tools, yet, for the iPad. But I don’t think you’d want to do a large report with graphics, edit 4K video, or do really large complex Photoshop work on a MacBook either. It just doesn’t have the processor, RAM, or HDD space. Not to mention… Read more »


Alright. That was a real question, btw. I figured a writer would know something I don’t about words.


John Kheit

And yet there is a high degree of overlap in that venne diagram


I am all pretense. But isn’t pretend and pretense different in definition?

John Kheit

The pretense is all you man



Great. Reading is dead. -_-

As for the rest, me getting annoyed takes no effort and means nothing. But keep pretending otherwise if it makes you feel better. I mean, you can’t win the discussion on real work so I figure you need some sort of victory.

John Kheit

Geoff: Real word processors have line numbers. Paragraph numbers. You can’t even use pages to submit a patent application, far from taxing word processor work. Also, they have cross references. Thanks also for picking on word processing and not ither things like development. And even when you can technically do some of the things I say, perhaps in the future, the iPad ui is awful for getting real work done. Like surgery with mittens. Maybe you can do it, but no one wants. I’m glad I got all your panties ina bunch, you know why they’re bunch, because you can… Read more »

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: The ‘iPad is/is not a computer’ is not a real debate, neither is it a controversy; it’s been settled de facto by adoption and use case for jobs that used to be the sole domain of the PC. Moreover, it has assumed a dominant role for some tasks that were only relatively recently available on the PC but for which the iPad is simply better suited; I would include video teleconferencing in that category, as the iPad allows me to continue moving and working while conferencing, rather than sitting stationary with either my laptop or a desktop. I could… Read more »

Lee Dronick

I can’t move a ton of gravel with my Prius. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a “real” car.

I can’t do that with my pickup truck, not in one load, about 4 though 5 would be more realistic. You would need dozens of trips in your Prius.

Anyway as Geoduck said, define “heavy lifting” and “serious” work. A computer best suited for heavy and serious video work would be overkill for someone in real estate or something that doesn’t need to move tons of gravel in one trip.


Of course it’s a real computer. For those that use portables I don’t see why it couldn’t suffice. For others, the screen size is a big issue, as are the input methods. Attaching it to a larger screen would help, but the way I work (constant shifting between apps and tabs, many trips to the clip board, extensive use of spotlight etc.), if it required touch, my arms would get very tired. Also, after you pair it with a screen, a keyboard, and input devices, you pretty much have yourself a Mac! 😉 My beef is that the people at… Read more »


John K: You seem to be haggling over whether an iPad can do “heavy lifting” and “serious” creative work, but you haven’t defined what that means. This is a severe weakness in your argument. Can I write on my iPad? Yes. Can I draw and do graphics on my iPad? Yes. Can I edit video and audio on my iPad? Yes. Sure, as Geoff256 said I won’t be editing a Marvel movie with one but so what? I can’t move a ton of gravel with my Prius. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a “real” car. For more and more people… Read more »


Go ahead, tell me what “real word processors” have that programs on the iPad lack. I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with something. I’m sure you.l be able to tell me why famous authors can use DOS programs to make some of the best novels of our time while somehow “huge reports” require a big and heavy word program. You’re also right about the illustration work. It isn’t like Jim Lee used an iPad Pro to quickly sketch up Batman or anything. Disney artists didn’t use it or anything. Look, coward was the wrong thing to say. You’re… Read more »

John Kheit

No Jeff, the cowards way out is to join a bandwagon and not think about things too much. Just because the iPad isn’t good for heavy lifting and serious creative work, doesn’t mean it’s not useful for someone that doesn’t do work like that. Most executives read email and don’t do too much heavy lifting. Grandparents are not exactly heavy on creating big PowerPoint or keynote presentations. So it’s a perfectly reasonable machine for masses of people who will not be taxing the device with any real hard work. Developers? Filmmakers? People making really huge reports that need a real… Read more »


The better way to get the news is from a variety of sources. You should no more assume that what is written by traditional print journalism or spoken in broadcast journalism is true than what is read on the net. All news journalists and consumers are prejudiced. Many simply get the news from sources that align with their prejudice.


The proper answer to “Is the iPad a “real” computer?” is “Yes, next question.”
I remember people who said “real” cars had to have a V8 engine.
Those people were also idiots.