In its launch in 2010, the iPad was strongly criticized for being a great iPhone. iOS 11 and the iPad Pro proved that this was not the case. Things diverged even more with the introduction of the iPhone X, which has caused some confusion for anyone who uses an iPad regularly. I have been using an iPhone X and iPad Pro together for almost six months, and I often feel lost when going back and forth between devices, one with a physical home button and the other with webOS-like gestures. The result is a very different user experience, although they run the same iOS version in large crystal rectangles.
Now, it is rumored that Apple is abandoning the home button on the iPad Pro in favor of Face ID. It is a movement that makes sense, and will present Apple with the opportunity to more closely align its tablet with the gestures of the iPhone X or to further differentiate the iPad as a completely different computing platform (one that is completely separate from the iPhone, in the same way that the iPhone is different from Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch). Either way, Apple faces a dilemma of the iPad's gesture.
Let's look at the homelike gesture, for example. For a longer time, pressing the start button on an iPad or iPhone was the safe way to take it back to Apple's iOS app network. That changed with the full-screen iPhone X. A sliding up from the bottom is the new start gesture (which also unlocks the device) on the Apple star phone, but that same gesture causes the dock to appear on the iPad. If, like me, you switch between the two devices quite regularly throughout the day, it will take a few minutes to adjust the muscle memory each time you change. Instead of pressing the start button, I constantly slide up on the iPad thinking that I will go home; instead, a row of coupled applications greets me.
These are the same sliding gestures next to each other:
However, swiping up in a more deliberate fashion opens the application chooser on both devices, along with the more spacious iPad Control Center. To get to the Control Center on the iPhone X, you have to swipe down from the upper right corner:
So, what happens when Apple presents the iPad Pro with Face ID? Will it return to a common home gesture for both the iPad and the iPhone, or will they diverge further? What Apple decides will be a strong signal of how it sees the relationship between the two devices advance.
In addition to the start button, Apple also has a pinch gesture of five fingers (dating from iOS 4.3 in 2011) that allows you to go home on an iPad. It's a gesture that we've seen Apple promote more and more since the launch of the iPad Pro and its related videos. It was again on display in the announcement of the new iPad, which was launched last week as part of Apple's educational initiative. In the same commercial, you can see another student using a dark glide gesture that allows you to toggle between applications with four fingers, similar to the sliding of a single finger on the bottom that achieves the same result on the iPhone X. Not one Only once is the traditional home button used by anyone. Will Apple continue to promote these somewhat obscure gestures in the next generation of iPads without buttons with Face ID, or adopt the same gestures as the iPhone X? Something has to give.
While iPhone X gestures feel natural and easy to use, Apple's iPad multitasking gestures can be complicated and confusing, especially if you try to use them for window applications side by side. Apple's new drag-and-drop feature is part of this multitasking, but it works better on the big screen of the iPad. (It has a very limited implementation on the iPhone.)
iOS 11 made a big difference with the familiar interfaces shared by the iPhone and the iPad, and that gap could be extended or closed when iOS 12 makes its expected debut later this year . Expanding the user experience gap is not necessarily a bad thing for the iPad, as it will probably help Apple to define it as a totally different device in the future. However, if you are an iPhone X user, that gap could be more confusing if Apple does not connect the experience and the user interface in an intuitive way.
I do not get confused when I change from a MacBook to an iPhone X because the software and the hardware are very different. There are rumors that Apple can combine iOS and Mac applications this year so that developers can create universal applications that fit the platform on which they run. IOS apps that run on a traditional MacBook would create new gestural dilemmas (probably translate them to the touchpad) for Macs that do not have touch screens. These universal applications will present even more challenges if Apple wants to keep the family iOS on the iPad and iPhone, and could push Apple to further differentiate the experience between the two.
Apple is positioning the iPad as the future of personal computing. The company further consolidated the idea by presenting the iPad, not the MacBook, at its educational event. However, Apple is lagging behind both Google and Microsoft in the US classrooms. UU., And most schools use Chromebook laptops instead of tablets. The iPad Pro has already become more portable, thanks to the keyboard and pen support. But Apple has refused to implement mouse support, forcing users to move their hands from the keyboard to the touch screen to navigate. That has led some to wonder who the iPad Pro is for, as Apple continues to push the device as a computer replacement.
How Apple resolves its device through the device will be interesting to observe the challenge of the experience in the coming years, especially now that it is rumored that Apple will abandon Intel chips on Macs as early as 2020. According to reports, Apple will replace Intel processors with the company's own ARM-based chips used on the iPhone and iPad. This could eventually lead to the vast majority of Apple laptops (or something like that) running iOS instead of macOS.
Until then, the inevitable discussion about an iPad that will "replace" a laptop will continue, while the iPad continues to be a viable alternative for many professionals. The iPad does not need to replace a laptop to fit the broader aspect of personal computing, it has already done so simply because it is a great tablet, but it seems that the iPad and iOS are at a significant turning point, and decisions Apple's little things like gestures will provide early clues about the future of the iPad. The iPad is changing, albeit slowly and with some drawbacks for iPhone users, and now it's up to Apple to really show us what the two devices are capable of.