A Bad Take →

I am technically on vacation this week, but I felt like I had to talk about this:

Since the new iPads were announced a couple of weeks ago, there has been a lot of talk about the device and its place in the world.

As we spoke about on Connected last week, the iPad can be a computer replacement for many, many people. Then, there are those of us who can’t quite do all of our work on one. That should be expected any time we consider a young platform. When the Mac came out, there were some users who could move to it right away, and others who needed to keep an Apple II on their desk for many additional years as the Mac evolved and matured.

Gartenberg’s take is one I’ve seen before, and it would be as if someone in the late 80s decided that Mac OS was a failed expirement, and Apple needed to revert back to its older system software if the Macintosh were to ever take off.

He is right that Apple should work harder to separate the iPad from the iPhone in ways that make sense. I agree the multitasking system Apple first shipped in iOS 9 need work. I find it tedious at times and annoying at others.

However, that is far from a good enough reason to break the bonds between the iPhone and iPad. iOS is — by far — Apple’s most successful operating system. Ever. The iPad benefits from running the same software as the iPhone. The iPad has access to a massive library of third-party software, and Apple gives developers the tools to ensure a single application can run across everything from the iPhone SE up to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Moreover, having the iPad and iPhone run the same OS is beneficial for Apple as well. The company already seems to struggle keeping all its platforms moving forward consistently; adding a new OS for the iPad would only make that worse.

Apple has shown, with iOS 9 and iOS 11 specifically, that it can break the iPad away from the iPhone in meaningful ways when it makes sense. They need to keep at that work, improving the iPad user experience, but saying it needs a different OS than the iPhone is just throwing the baby out with the bathwater.