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Is There An iPad Pro In Apple’s Future?

Apple’s recent release of a 128 GB iPad accompanied by evident aspirations for iPad acceptance in the enterprise user comunity, seems to have pulled the bung out in terms of speculation and advocacy of a real production platform worthy iPad, a quality that merely doubling the maximum data storage capacity doesn’t satisfy.

CNET’s Dan Farber cites market analyst firm Forrester predicting that 200 million workers will be lining up for a Windows tablet, and suggesting that Apple might want to take a bite out of that market with an iPad “Pro.”

Forrester observes that Microsoft’s Surface Pro is apparently just what businesses want in what was formerly known as the desktop computer, and if that’s the case, Apple may want to revisit the space where Mac and iPad intersect.

Farber notes that according to Forrester Research’s annual global survey of nearly 10,000 people around the world who use computers to do their jobs an hour or more a day, even though Apple portrays the iPad as taking the enterprise by storm, 32 percent of survey respondents said they’d prefer Windows over Apple or Android for their next work tablet, although currently only about 2 percent are using a Windows tablet for work.

Farber observes that iPad apps are generally single-purpose, and while people like the iPad, and that’s helped to fuel a post-PC wave that is eclipsing sales of PCs, the new 128GB, $799 Wi-Fi-only iPad in its post-PCness doesn’t satisfy users who want multitasking, multiuser access and other “PC” features, that want the best of both worlds, and that is what Microsoft is attempting to do with Windows 8 and the hybrid Surface Pro. He suggests that if the Surface Pro becomes more successful as it evolves, Apple CEO Tim Cook and design chief Jony Ive will have to think about designing a no-compromise iPad that can fill both roles, and do both very well.

iPad: Professional Grade?

Blogger Shawn Blanc cites iMore’s Rene Ritchie maintaining that for Apple in 2013, its all about iOS 7 and iCloud:

Blanc agrees, noting that 2012 was a hardware-packed year for Apple gadgets – Retina MacBook Pros, super-slim and bubbly iMacs, the iPhone 5, iPad mini, et al., and this year he’s hopeful the pendulum will swing towards the software-side of things.

Blanc thinks Apple wants to improve iOS by removing some of the friction and frustration currently experienced with iCloud, maps, and more, and also desired to have the iOS regarded as a professional-grade operating system, worthy of real work.

I hope he’s right. Blanc notes that there’s still a lot of skepticism about the iPad as being ready to serve as a legitimate work machine. As do many others, and even his own wife wouldn’t be persuaded to get an iPad when she needed a new computer. [I’m having the same conversation with my wife these days.)

However, Blanc expresses confidence that Apple will enhance the iPads professional viability by bringing best-of-breed solutions. Again, I hope he’s right, but remain to be convinced.

iPads for Work

Commenting on Shawn Blanc’s screed about “Professional Grade” iPads, MacStories’ Federico Viticci comments/ that advanced users who are aware of the scripting and automation features of OS X, miss those in the transition to the iPad, which doesn’t offer the same degree of functionality that a full personal computer has in those areas. Given the iPad’s various shortcomings as a production platform (eg: text selection and editing topping a long list list), Viticci thinks serious Professional Grade will require a deep reworking of iOS to accommodate users who may need to jump between seven apps to complete a single task.

Viticci agrees with Blanc that iPads in particular are the makings of real professional grade devices, but their full potential awaits unlocking by further development of Apple’s software and third-party apps.

Should Apple make an iPad Pro?

Apple Daily Report’s Dennis Sellers observes that while Apple might have taken a (baby) step toward “Pro” device status with the recently released 128GB iPad, the iPad still has a way to go before its truly a pro product.

The Great iOS Multitasking Lag

MacStories contributor Benjamin Mayo comments on a tweet by the site’s Graham Spencer about a delay that occurs when switching between apps using multitouch gestures on the iPad:

Mayo explains that the reason for this delay that the iOS freezes background applications; with the period of inactivity experienced corresponding to the time it takes to unfreeze the summoned app, the interval of delay depending on the size and complexity of the application.

Mayo says that as a daily iPad user, he finds this is behavior one of the most annoying aspects of relying an iPad for work tasks, occurring every time he switched back and forth between two apps with the four-finger multitasking (so-called) gesture.

He also notes that the annoyance is amplified in the the iPad mini which he observes tends to flush apps from memory far more frequently than my iPad 3 did, making it necessary to reload every tab even if he’s only switched between 2 or 3 apps – something that also afflicts your editor’s iPad 2.

Mayo says he doesn’t care about support for multiple apps, views on the iPad’s screen, but he wishes Apple could find a way to make iOS multitasking “less aggressive” without compromising battery life, and the process of swirthing between apps as instantaneous as it is on OS X.

I disagree on the multiple app (or multiple windows in the same app) view point, and my perception is that that capability would obviate much of the application switching lag frustration.

Apple To Bring Full USB 3.0 Support To iOS Devices?

AppleBitch reports that Apple may be preparing to offer full USB 3.0 support for the iOS devices, and is looking to recruit individuals for USB testing on new iOS and iPod product lines — last week posting ads for a Senior Software Quality Engineer (USB) to join the USB Connectivity Compliance QA Team. The successful candidate is expected to have knowledge of high speed bus device testing including SuperSpeed USB 3.0 as well as USB 2.0.

Neither USB 3.0 connectivity nor the new Lightning I/O interface are currently supported on iOS devices — one of several reasons they can’t be taken seriously as laptop substitutes for productivity oreiented users. Adding USB 3.0 connectivity would help. A lot.

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