Apple has faced harsh criticism for the iPadOS operating system for some time. Although the Cupertino company has been promoting its iPads as virtually full-featured alternatives to the PC/Mac, the reality is slightly different.
We can say that Apple’s tablets are extremely far from being PCs. But the problem lies in something other than their hardware. Quite the opposite. In the guts of some iPads, even beat powerful chipsets from the Apple Silicon family, generally designed for Apple computers.
But what is, a fundamental problem is the iPad above operating system. This is an extreme limitation for iPads, thus fundamentally limiting them.
It is, therefore, no wonder that users have been calling for years for a shift that would bring better multitasking and bring iPadOS closer to the form of a traditional computer system such as macOS. But such a change still seems to be elusive.
Or at least it has been until now. Now, new information suggests better times could be on the horizon.
What iPadOS needs to learn from macOS to become a genuine alternative
Apple’s iPad tablets are intelligent devices that make everyday work or study much more enjoyable. Their simple system, lightweight, large touchscreen, performance and long battery life make them a first-class companion for home and travel.
No wonder they have caught on quite well and are enjoying considerable popularity. But that doesn’t mean they are flawless devices. In fact, Apple has faced criticism for the iPad’s operating system.
Although tablets have a decent performance and would theoretically be able to replace Apple computers or MacBooks in a sense, they are limited by iPadOS. So let’s look at what iPadOS needs to learn from macOS to become a natural alternative.
More giant iPads as guides to change
The Apple community has been talking about the arrival of brand-new models that should boast a bigger screen. Simply put, we’re in for the appearance of the most significant model yet. According to the latest information, work is reportedly underway on a 14.1″ iPad.
It should be equipped with the M3 chip (Apple Silicon) and still boast one more, quite fundamental change. The crucial information has now been revealed by user @analyst941. Apple is working on a modified version of the iPadOS 17 operating system that will be directly adapted to larger screens. And this may just be the beginning of a long-desired change.
After all, given the expected capabilities that the 14.1″ iPad is expected to have, it’s pretty likely that the operating system itself will be better suited to it. In addition to the high-performance benefits of the M3 chip, there’s also support for connecting up to two 6K 60Hz displays via Thunderbolt 4.
But to take full advantage of such space, it’s more or less clear that Apple can no longer hide from users’ pleas. We will likely see some significant changes relatively soon that will take the Apple tablet segment several levels forward.
The iPadOS operating system is based on mobile iOS. As a system for Apple iPhones, iOS prides itself on several essential pillars – significant interconnectivity and optimization with hardware, an emphasis on privacy and security, and overall simplicity.
Security plays a significant role in iPadOS. That’s also why the system lacks sideloading or installing apps from unofficial sources, which is given for macOS. If Apple wanted to bring iPadOS closer to macOS, it might be good to open up sideloading options.
Users wouldn’t be tied to the App Store and would have much more freedom, as would developers. But the issue is more complex. Across the community, there is a mix of opinions from those who would welcome sideloading with all ten hands while others reject it on principle.
For now, however, its arrival is virtually inevitable. The EU and the forthcoming legislative changes have a significant part to play in this. These should force sideloading onto iOS as well.
Working with windows
If there’s anything that iPad users need to improve within iPadOS, it’s traditional windowing. It’s this option that makes things noticeably easier and puts macOS at a distinct advantage. It allows us to open several apps and split them up as needed.
The iPadOS operating system tries to address this shortcoming in several ways. For example, it offers the option of splitting the screen (via Split Screen or Slide Over), but there are better methods than you might require. Another alternative is Stage Manager, but we’ll get to that a little later.
The ability to work with Windows would take the iPadOS operating system several steps further and bring the system closer to macOS overall. This has become the subject of graphic designers, who have developed concepts based on this potential change.
The windowing above goes hand in hand with multitasking capabilities. As such, multitasking was virtually nonexistent within iPadOS until recently, that is, until Apple came out with a new feature called Stage Manager.
It’s a relatively recent feature that only arrived in 2022 with the advent of iPadOS 16. Coincidentally, it also made its way to macOS, where it gained less popularity. On iPads, however, a much higher percentage of users use the new feature.
But there’s a reason for that, too – they have virtually no other option, so they have no choice but to make do with what’s available to them. If Apple were to learn how to work with Windows from macOS, it would be a good idea to work on multitasking.
Again, there are several options in this regard. The one that makes the most sense is Mission Control, which goes nicely with the windows mentioned above.
Do we have anything to look forward to?
However, we should approach these leaks and speculations with caution. It’s not that Apple people are entirely doubtful about the arrival of the 14.1″ iPad or the iPadOS change for larger models, as much as they wonder whether Apple will listen to users’ pleas and bring them what they have been calling for years.
After all, it is the famous Apple that is not very active in the field of iPads and does not hear the pleas of Apple users. Even if there is that significant shift forward, it’s still no guarantee that everyone will be happy.
It’s still possible that these options will only be unlocked for the most expensive tablets. The same was true with the arrival of the Stage Manager.