(This is the first time I am writing about tech. I am not a developer and don’t have any technical skill, but I can get my computer to say “Hello World” so I’m kind of a genius at the same time. Seriously, anything I write will be from the perspective of an average tech user, please excuse technical errors)
One of the more fascinating things to me about Apple over the past few years has been to think about how features and products come together by mapping its external development timeline. To me, one of the most fascinating such features has been the announcement of iPad Multitasking with iPad Slide Over and iPad Split View.
How did we get at one of the classic “finally” arrived features for the iPad? Let’s trace this step by step. First of all, at WWDC 1 year ago, Apple implored its developers to use new size classes to allow their code to flexibly adapt to any sized device. This was of course a prelude to Apple announcing the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the first time the company has announced multiple display sizes for a same generation iPhone. In addition, one of the unique attributes of Apple is their legacy device support for software. iOS 9 will support the following screen sizes: 3.5 inches (iPhone 4s), 4 inches (iPhones 5, 5c, 5s), 4.7 inches (iPhone 6), 5.5 inches (iPhone 6 Plus), 7.9 inches (iPads mini, mini 2, mini 3), 9.7 inches (iPads 2, 3, 4, Air, Air 2). Why is this relevant? Apple could have simply announced that iPad finally has multitasking, developers – get on board! Or, they could have planned a product evolution that not only made sense, but allowed for slow and steady adoption that maintained the stability that users of Apple products expect. In the case of the latter, which has been Apple’s path consistently, developers already have done the work and will benefit from the iPad multitasking with minimal work. This isn’t about the developers, although Apple has great value for them, but this is mostly important for the end user. I don’t want to buy an iPad Air 2, launch YouTube and Evernote and be told that they’re not ready for multi-tasking. This is the standard that Apple has set and continues to meet.
In addition, I believe that the iPad Pro is real, and the increased screen real estate will finally be useful. I believe that the seeds that Apple has sown with Force Touch will yield the increased support of a stylus (though not necessarily their own hardware) that will help artists create even better art on their iPads.
I myself fall into the trap of “why the hell hasn’t Apple done this already?” (aka the finally fallacy) The truth is, we are as consumers better off with a company taking it’s time and then sticks to their values and their beliefs as a company. For this reason, I don’t anticipate a Macbook sequel with more than one USB C port. With iCloud Drive, Photos, AirPlay, AirDrop etc. Apple has been improving its cloud capabilities precisely to prove their vision of what the next generation of MacBooks “should” look like.
Thanks for reading!