Page 2 – News Debris For The Week Of June 5th
Time for iPad to Steal from Mac
Continuing the thread of iOS 11 evolution, Dan Moren asks: “Do some of the new iPad features in iOS 11 seem…Mac-like?” His compelling theme is the observation that if the iPad is going to rival the Mac in terms of productivity and earn its enduring, rightful place in our future, it has to steal some fundamental ideas from macOS. See: “No need to reinvent the wheel with iOS 11.” For example:
Apple tried hard—and I do mean hard—to get rid of the file system on iOS. The original model, of associating documents with the apps that created them, certainly made a lot of sense at first blush. But as people started using the iPad for more complex tasks, that document model was quickly outgrown. Now, with iOS 11, the Files app finally brings the hierarchical file system of documents and folders to iOS.
It almost makes me think there was a series of meetings in which Apple’s Craig Federighi and others gathered around the whiteboard and started listing those elements from a modern productivity OS, like macOS or Windows, that enabled the things customers wanted to be able to do with their iPads. That list included drag and drop, file access, an app dock, and so on. That formed the marching orders for the product manager of iOS 11.
My take is that this kind of thinking is going to work. For the first time, Apple is asking itself the right questions about how to steal features from the Mac, enabled by the iPad’s A10X-class hardware, instead of, to exclusion, trying to make the Mac more like iOS.
After all, it’s been the iPad sales that have been declining, not the Mac’s.
For some, the most exciting announcement during the WWDC keynote was the sneak peek at the iMac Pro, due in December. This new Mac has all kinds of implications.
- It reaffirms Apple’s commitment to the Mac desktop.
- It shores up Apple’s standing with the creative and technical professionals.
- It ushers in a new era of no-compromise, high performance computing from Apple.
- It entices us to ponder what delightful things Apple have in store for the next Mac Pro.
- It acknowledges that if Apple is going to be a leader in AI, AR and VR, it needs a new class of computational hardware.
- It’s a fabulous Halo Mac to aspire to.
Two articles this week flesh out those notions. The first is by Anthony Frausto-Robledo at Architosh. “Breaking the Jobsian Quadrant: Why Apple Finally Made the iMac Pro.” He uses a term I like: The technical design, engineering and science (TDES) professionals. Quoting:
Our research and industry knowledge tells us that each TDES industry segment consists of users with varied computer performance requirements.
There’s a nifty chart you should look at that characterizes the spectrum of users. The implication is that Apple needs a corresponding spectrum of Macs. Soon, we’ll have that—ranging from Kaby Lake MacBook Pros to standard iMacs to the iMac Pro and then on up to the next Mac Pro.
Next, we should consider the pricing of the announced iMac Pro. If you think the starting point of US$4999 is reckless or out of touch, consider two things. These Macs won’t be bought out of personal funds. Rather, they’ll be purchased by pros for whom time is money. And how does the pricing compare to the competition anyway? AppleInsider does a great job of comparing the pricing to the equivalent competition. See: “iMac Pro cost blows away similar Lenovo workstation, DIY builders struggle to meet price with fewer features.”
These iMac Pros will be snapped up by universities, research labs, technical corporations, the technical parts of federal governments, movie studios, architects and so on.
As for the rest of us? We can dream once again.
Finally, I have time for just one more item. As you know, I’ve been on Apple’s case for a long time to get on the 4K bandwagon with Apple TV and build on its technology learning curve. There’s only so far a company can fall behind and then catch up with respect and credibility.
This article at Forbes gives me hope that we’ll finally see a 4K/UHD/HDR 5th generation Apple TV for the holiday season later this year. There just wasn’t time to discuss it in the WWDC keynote. The angle? Think about the keynote discussion of H.265/HEVC video encoding. Ready now? “New Apple Feature Secretly Hints At Exciting Future For Apple TV.”
Considering the hardware fervor we saw in the WWDC keynote, I’m certain now that the Apple TV will go 4K this year.
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.