Apple has taken the wraps off of the new iOS 11, and it further blurs the line between iOS and macOS. This is especially true when it comes to iPads, which are getting a number of features designed to make them much more useful. Which begs the question, who needs a Mac any more?
The line between traditional desktop operating systems and mobile operating systems is becoming blurred. We have Windows 10 working across different devices, Chrome OS gaining access to Android apps, and now iOS gaining several features usually associated with macOS.
No Longer Just an Oversized iPhone
The iPad was once written off as just an oversized iPhone. At one point that was a fair assessment, but it isn’t any longer. This is because, with the arrival of iOS 11, the iPad is gaining a range of features that we’re all much more used to seeing on our Macs and Windows PCs.
You can now fill your iPad dock with apps, just like your Mac. There’s an app switcher and split-screen multitasking, which essentially add windows to the iPad experience. There’s Drag and Drop, which lets you move images and text. And then there’s the Files app, which adds desktop-style file management to your humble iPad, with support for cloud-based services.
On their own each of these new features would be considered a good, but not very important update. However, taken as a whole they represent Apple trying to turn the iPad from a passive device letting you browse the web, watch Netflix, and play games, into a productivity powerhouse. Which is all kinds of interesting.
Apple has already made iOS 11 available to developers as a preview. However, us proles will have to wait until the fall before we get our hands on it. As usual, Apple will release it as a free update for iPhones and iPads. Until then it’s impossible to assess the new Mac-like features.
Do You Even Need a Mac Any More?
This is an interesting, and rather audacious, move by Apple. Faced with falling iPad sales, it’s essentially trying to reposition the tablet as a workhorse capable of doing everything. The problem is that while this may invigorate interest in the iPad, it could cut into Mac sales.
Do you own an iPad? If so, which model? What do you mainly use your iPad for? Do you ever do any actual work on it? What do you think of the new iPad-specific features coming with iOS 11? Could you replace your Mac with an iPad? Please let us know in the comments below!