‘Tis the season for End of the Year blog posts! Much like Charles Dickens’ three Christmas ghosts, the blogosphere is frequented by holiday posts, some reflecting on the past, some making sense of the present, and some speculating about or making resolutions for the future. With a fresh update to Snapthread packaged up and sent to the review queue, I thought I’d sit down and write a little something about the Mac: specifically, why my current Mac may be my last.
Quite an incendiary statement, isn’t it? If you’re heavily involved in the Mac community, it can evoke strong emotions: defensiveness, sadness, nostalgia, or perhaps hearty agreement. If you’ve read my blog for awhile, it might also elicit confusion. “Wait, Becky. I thought you loved your new MacBook Pro?” I do love it! It’s a great little machine. I love the Touch Bar, and the big trackpad, and the beautiful screen. It’s fast, and the few keyboard issues I’ve had have quickly resolved themselves. I love the Mac, and I hope it has a long, prosperous future ahead of it.
Here’s the thing, though. I replace my computer every five years. Five years is an incredibly long upgrade cycle in the world of technology. This post isn’t about the quality of the Mac declining, but rather the quality of iOS improving. I’m making a bet that by the time I’m ready to buy a new computer, the iPad Pro is going to be able to do everything that I need it to do, including run Xcode. And if there’s a few little things that it still can’t do, I’m betting this 2016 MacBook Pro will still be chugging along in 2021.
I mean, think of the changes that have come to iPads between iOS 6 and iOS 11. Now imagine what changes could occur between iOS 11 and iOS 16 (or whatever it’ll be called at that point). Multitasking will continue to improve, and maybe there will be some kind of panel/windowing system. Hopefully it will be easier to shuffle files between apps. There will likely be hardware keyboard improvements and perhaps even an extra port or two. There will be even more pro software from great folks like Affinity.
In short, I’m feeling really optimistic about the future of iOS, despite the many hiccups I and others have experienced with iOS 11. And I never thought I’d say this, but I’m looking forward to living the iPad lifestyle. Just not yet.
Why switch at all? Well, first, it would be a great relief for my bank account. Replacing a Mac, Apple Watch, iPad, and iPhone on a semi-regular basis gets really expensive (as those of you shelling out for an iMac Pro today can painfully attest). Taking one of those devices out of the mix can help a lot. Aside from that, there are four main reasons why I’d like to move to an iPad someday: 1) cellular connectivity, 2) detachable keyboard, 3) Apple Pencil support, and 4) overall portability.
Maybe next I’ll write up my grand wishlist for my “ultimate” iPad Pro. 😄