The iPad's Multitasking Sucks. That's Good.
May 2, 2019
Multitasking on the iPad currently just kinda sucks. Heck, trying to use the iPad Pro as a "pro" device is a cumbersome experience in general.
Rumors about the upcoming iOS 13 hint that there will be a heightened focus on making the iPad into a true laptop replacement.
A home screen redesign for the iPad will likely better utilize its larger screen real-estate, multitasking will be smoother, and the Files app may see some improvements. Furthermore, users might be able to use an iPad as an external monitor to a Mac.
Photo courtesy of Apple.
Multitasking on the iPad will become easier than ever. Is it a future worth looking forward to?
iPad Pro is the world's best monotasking productivity machine.
I noticed a pattern after reading and watching countless iPad reviews.
The critics unanimously cite the iPad's inability to multitask on iOS 12 as its biggest flaw, while the diehard iPad users use the iPad precisely because of this "limitation."
While macOS's virtual desktops make navigating the OS a breeze, it is also far too easy to have too many apps and tabs open at the same time.
Multitasking is harmful to numerous facets of our lives. Monotasking is the way to go. We all know that; it's been drilled down to us.
Few realize, however, that they are not monotasking. The mere presence of opened apps and tabs or even the occasional notifications distract our minds and create attention residue.
iPad brute-forces its users to interact with it with a completely different mindset since only up to three apps can be used at the same time.
Fans of the iPad Pro often report that their workflow became more focused. They are more productive and have more clarity.
How should Apple approach multitasking on the iPad?
I don't think anyone disputes that the iPad's current split-screen feature needs to be improved. On the other hand, the solution isn't as simple as "Allow us to run macOS on the iPad, Apple you idiot!"
Multitasking should be an option, not the default. (This notion applies to most things in our life.)
At the same time, the iPad "Pro" should be able to do more "professional" tasks. Developers can't rely an iPad Pro because XCode doesn't run on it, creatives can't rely on an iPad Pro because Adobe Suite doesn't run on it, scientists can't rely on an iPad pro because MATLAB for iPad is a gimped product.
That's where Marzipan comes in. With heightened back-end integration between macOS and iOS, it should become much easier to develop for the iPad and macOS at the same time.
Hopefully, professionals will be able to run their sophisticated macOS tools like the Adobe Suite, XCode, or (the desktop version of) MATLAB on the iPad. Some of it is already happening: recently announced Adobe Photoshop CC purportedly uses the Marzipan technology.
The future that I look forward to is not one where multitasking on the iPad Pro is a breeze.
It is one where the iPad Pro is capable of completely replacing a laptop while retaining its monotasking philosophy.