Look, Apple doesn’t go to iPad macOS

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Image: Apple

After Apple this week announcing the new iMac and iPad Pro product lineup, many speculate that the company would be ready to put macOS on the iPad. And look, it might be an awesome thing — a Mac tactile screen! — but Apple will certainly not merge the Mac with the iPad. Not at least in the near future.

In an interview with The Independent, Greg Joswiak, marketing director of Apple and John Ternus, hardware chief of Apple, said that the iPad is the iPad and Apple is planning to stay that way. The iPad keeps running iOS and no iPad version is available on macOS.

“There is a conflict between [Mac and iPad] and people. Somebody has to decide whether they want a Mac or an iPad,” the Independent told Joswiak. “Or people say we merged into one. That we really must eliminate and unite both categories is this great conspiracy. And neither is the reality true.”

Instead, Apple wants the Mac and iPad to be the best of all categories. Apple doesn’t want to limit what each device can do because its factor of shape alone, says both Joswiak and Ternus. People have workflows that cover both, and for certain tasks people prefer to use one device over the other. This was also noted recently when comparing Apple’s approach in putting the same processor on all its devices with the philosophy of Windows PCs that they have many different configuration options.

But as The Independent points out, Apple has not released a powerhouse app to show its performance. The iPad has greater power than it really requires. For example, the film editing app Apple’s Final Cut Pro runs only on macOS (while Adobe Premiere Pro works on both Macs and iPads). We are awaiting the new software, M1 procesor and Thunderbolt support, using the incredible new iPad Pro display. Apple still swears that there’s no touchscreen Mac and that the iPad is its own, separate category, and that’s true – for the time being at least. But the iPad Pro is now from a hardware point of view the most impressive tablet ever—where is it from?

It is better to make something too powerful to start, then get demanding programs to it, rather than trying to run a demanding program on something that has not the power to run it. Joswiak’s answer is: He said everything is about a sufficient headroom.
This is not Apple’s admission that it will bring Final Cut Pro or other software not currently available on the iPad Pro to the iPad Pro. In the interview Joswiak was very tight on this, but his logic makes sense: build up the hardware and then bring the experience of a software. We’ll only have to wait and see what else Apple can have for the iPad with macOS.