iPadOS 15, is it another letdown?

iPad is super creative and productive as is

If your use case allows.
In my situation, it’s not up to par. But I do realize that for some people it is. My dad is insanely better at computers with his iPad Pro (I wish it had dawned on me earlier that it was what he needed) than with anything using a classical OS. As for me, I grunt every time I am on my iPad and realize « how yeah, can’t do this here ».

To each his / her own. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Exactly! And needless to say, I’m not a novelist. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yes it is!
I’m paying as much or even more for my iPad than I am for my Macs.
Why should there be arbitrary limitations? The hardware is similar if not better than the Mac?

Let’s be fair; this is not the jump we hoped for, but a nice iteration in the / a direction. No we do not have feature parity, and no we do not have an OS that delivers on the hardware promise.


I’m staying with the company that delivers on it’s promise = Apple
But I’m taking the road that delivers on my hopes = the Mac


I think that just blowing the doors open would, for most people, be a massive paradigm shift. And it would probably result in a lot of people griping about how the new iPads were worse, because they wouldn’t understand why their batteries were dying when they left Facebook running all day, every day.

But I agree that configurability with a “default off” setting would make all the sense in the world.

Unfortunately, configurability on iOS is one of the things that Apple doesn’t seem to do well. :slight_smile:

1 Like

That was my life until yesterday. I’ve spent years explaining why my iPad first method worked. Problem is: It doesn’t.

  • For proper file managent I have to turn to the mac,
  • for proper scripting and development I have to go to my mac,
  • for background processing I have to turn to my mac

so why not get a mac?

well, as of yesterday my answer changed from “because…” to " indeed!"


I guess all this has me wondering how and what people are doing on their Macs?!?! I used Macs for 24+ years before gradually switching to the iPad. I still have my MacMini as a file server. But when I think about how I used Macs and how I use the iPad, well, you know, different but the same.

Anyhoo, as I wondered about this I thought I’d do a quick stress test with the 2021 iPad Pro (8GB of memory) running iPadOS 14.6 just to see how it would work compared to the 2018 I used previously. This represents a heavier than normal work load as on any given day I would not likely use this many apps all consecutively. Many of them, yes, but not all of the way I did in the below description.

I opened up two recent project documents, one in Affinity Photo and one in Affinity Designer, 100+ mb and 20mb respectively. I then cycled through all the apps on my dock, opening a variety of windows and documents. In the Newsify RSS reader I refreshed feeds and opened a page. I opened and closed various Safari tabs, several emails, opened Slack, Messages, a text document in TAIO, another document in iA Writer, an html file in Textastic, aPages document, Reminders, Notes, Files. I opened the Settings app and tried a few tabs. During all this I bounced back to Safari a few times to check on some open tabs. 30 minutes later I ventured back to my two Affinity documents to see if they would still be open and in the same state I left them in. They were. Then I jumped back into some Safari tabs. Then I opened up a couple of small, 10 minute projects in LumaFusion and played through portions of the timelines then and back again to the Affinity Apps. During all this I was playing Apple Music.

The 2021 iPad Pro with 8GB of memory seems quite capable of handling quite a work load and at no point did it have to reload any of the app content. As I consider the list of missing features touted the past 3 years and those currently being discussed and then compare those to the features we’ve gotten, it’s obvious that the list get’s smaller every year. The last big items most discussed these past few months that still remain are most notably 2nd display support, better Files app, Apple’s “pro” apps.

I guess I’m still just not getting what’s missing other than the fact that this is iPadOS and not Mac OS. I’m starting to think that for many the only solution is a duplicate of the Mac OS or something so close as to be indistinguishable. Something with floating windows, a menu bar at the top, a desktop and a Finder. But you know, maybe those folks should just be using a Mac and let the iPad be an iPad. It seems kinda weird. I can’t imagine complaining all the time that a Mac doesn’t work like an iPad. I’d just happily use a Mac if that’s what I wanted.

Ultimately I don’t really care as I know I’m happy using what I use and looking around, it seems that Apple has all the bases covered for the folks that want to use Macs instead. I suppose I just look forward to a time when we can get back to using and celebrating this amazing tech rather than always complaining about what it doesn’t do. If a Mac suits your needs better then by all means, use a Mac! If it’s an iPad, then use an iPad.


This has become my primary “productive” activity on iPad aside from reading PDFs (science journals mostly). I still prefer handwriting my notes - the first couple drafts, anyway - and my iPad mini fits that role for me. But even when I had an iPad Pro, I never really felt like it had a bigger purpose than being a great reading and note-taking kit.


Same, honestly. 3 years ago I gave it the old college try to make iPad Pro live up to all the things I wanted it to do, only to get frustrated and head back to my Mac.

I’ll get another iPad Pro when it’s essentially a Mac with a detachable keyboard, if that ever happens (and probably won’t).

Fair. Just want to clarify I’m not iPad first, or iPad last. I do plenty on Mac, and plenty on iPad, without a lot of overlap. Generally I do like when iPad can take over a task or role since its working modes are more expressive for me.

I guess I’m still just not getting what’s missing other than the fact that this is iPadOS and not Mac OS

No Hazel, Keyboard Maestro, BetterTouchTool or Alfred. No text expansion. Can’t view more than three apps at the same time and get to other windows easily.

At this very moment, I spent a whole work day away and took my iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard. Could I get work done? Absolutely. But I have been slower at everything. And damn have I been wishing for an M1 laptop.

I have been a Windows power user for 25 years before getting an iPad for handwriting notes, which was the gateway drug that brought me fully into the Apple ecosystem. And there, things that you have all taken for granted for years - URL schemes, powerful automation, customizability - completely blew my mind five years ago when I started getting deep into macOS. iPadOS has none of this. It does very nice things - which are fine for many people - but it remains a watered down version of macOS - which is once again very fine for many people and if of course your workflow allows, you’re going to love it. But to me… brace yourselves… it feels like Windows in terms of power compared to macOS (bugginess excepted).

In many ways this is like the Things / OmniFocus comparison. If you can get by with Things, go for it. If you need OmniFocus, you know why, and nothing will be able to match. Same goes for iPad OS / macOS. So yeah, I would rather use a Mac.


In addition to the stuff @KillerWhale mentioned:

  • Multimonitor support
  • Systemwide keyboard shortcuts
  • Scripting
  • Terminal
  • Long-running background tasks

I totally understand that, and agree fully.
My gripe is that I should not need 2 devices to do a 1 device amount of work.

I was willing to keep up with it for years, but now?
Creating the most beautiful M1 iPad pro, and letting it do nothing more or better than the latest iPad that is €700 cheaper? (faster maybe, but not better)

Nope, for me that was the final straw.

I’ll still use my iPad, will probably always use one, and love it!
But my next device will be an M series mac, and the next iPad replacement will be a regular base level iPad.


Gotcha! So, yeah, basically you’re a Mac Power User that needs a Mac not an iPad! I think that’s a big part of what has become the story of the iPad. A lot of people loved the form factor and the idea of it. They wanted to be able to make it an important part of their toolset but ultimately it just did not match up with their needs. It was, after all, a basic computer meant for easy computing with perhaps just some simple productivity tasks thrown in.

But the story and purpose of the iPad became something else because so many power users wanted to be able to use it. Before long the narrative became the iPad is not what it should be for advanced users. Add to that the natural iterative process of making the hardware better and the OS slowly too… then it just became a back and forth with at least some power users wanting to use it but being frustrated that it was always not-a-Mac. And that process accelerated when Apple introduced the iPad Pro, feeding the idea that it was a certain kind of device.

And here we are today with a segment of power users that are still not satisfied because the iPad is still an iPad and not a Mac. :joy:

It’s interesting though that slowly and steadily it has become a much more capable platform. I suspect that when/if Apple adds support for external monitors another group of users will move from Mac to iPad. Files will improve. Swift Playgrounds may become Xcode lite or Xcode mobile or whatever.

Year by painful year it will continue to improve but still will never be a Mac and every year a few more will move to iPad and others will want to. :laughing:

And now I’m just sort of laughing at how seriously we all take our tech!

Enjoy your M1 Mac!!


Chris, I really do think this problem is largely solved with this latest round of iPad Pros with 8 and 16GB of memory. I’d guess there are still going to be some fails but I think many folks are going to find it’s way better. At least it’s been way better for me over the past two weeks and that’s just with 8GB.

Hey, thanks, and your post is quite right I think. The iPad is some kind of computing which is right for many people indeed. It’s just not… a whole computer. :sweat_smile:

Now I have to clench my teeth to not pull the trigger on an M1 MBP as the next iteration is likely to come in Fall… Gnnnn. (That’s me clenching my teeth. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:)

1 Like

I don’t doubt that it’s better, but I don’t think it will ever be “solved” for all of my use cases unless Apple makes major changes to the way iPadOS handles background tasks. For example, last week I ran a script that chewed through a 30gb .csv file, calculating statistics and doing some frequency counts. On a Mac I could happily work on other stuff for twenty minutes while that ground away in the background. No way I’d be willing to background it on an iPad and risk having the OS kill it because it’s burning too much battery or taking too much memory.

1 Like

I’m not sure this has been mentioned but multiple user accounts would be a great addition to ipados imho.


I think that narrative was not coming from the mac or power users but from Apple itself, by creating the “Pro” line. Problem is it’s only Pro in adverts, the OS and options are the same for all iPads.

I agree iPadOS will evolve slowly (painfully so) and that it will never be a mac.
And I don’t want it to be
I just want it to be capable of functioning on a 1 device basis.


I think that since the Pro was introduced, the iPad has gotten a lot more “Pro” for some Pro use cases. The Apple Pencil was a huge leap for artists and graphics professionals. Trackpad support has been a boon to writers by made text editing far easier than doing it via touch. Multitasking and larger displays make a real difference for things like doing research, where you want your notetaking app and the content side-by-side.

I think we get a lot of “It’s not a Pro machine because it doesn’t support my use case.” That doesn’t mean it’s not Pro, it just means it’s not for you.


Oh yes, I totally agree that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” or something along those lines that fits the case here :slight_smile:

some thoughts;

I don’t create or edit pictures on mac or iPad, so that’s not my area of expertise

I do do research and for that it’s great, but any iPad would do there I think (now even has pencil support).

I agree trackpad support is nice, but in my personal opinion that was an unnecessary addition (or should be) At the risk of shooting myself in the foot; the iPad should not be a mac, or a standard computer, it should be a touch device, with touch capable and optimised software, with possible pencil/trackpad support, but able to be fully functional as a complete computing device.

It’s usefulness in certain areas is great, and much appreciated, but for me it has too many loose ends, needs too many workarounds, and most importantly: needs a mac to be fully functional for my uscases.