back to article iOS 13 leaks suggest Apple is finally about to unleash the iPad as a computer for grownups

The iPad has always been a computer of great potential imprisoned by its interface, but two years after opening the cage door, Apple is finally letting it out for a canter around the paddock. Leaks obtained by 9to5Mac suggest that multiwindow application support is scheduled for the next annual iOS update, overcoming the …

  1. Kez
    FAIL

    How about mouse support, Apple? This is one of the big blocks to this being a proper little productivity machine.

    1. Halfmad
      Mushroom

      John Wick reference time..

      Use the fookin pinceel.

      - Available at all good apple resellers for the low, low price of one kidney.

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Mouse support! Trying to do any kind of fine selection or editing -- text, photo, video, whatever -- by poking my big, fat fingers at the screen is an exercise in frustration.

      1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge
        Angel

        It's just the first 19409138493 taps, then you'd get used to it!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'poking my big, fat fingers at the screen is an exercise in frustration'

        You are using your big, fat fingers wrong!

    3. Martin Kirk

      And adding arrow keys to the keyboard!

    4. ukgnome Silver badge

      except it has mouse support - so does the iPhone

      it's finding a mouse that will work that's the issue.

      bluetooth is Ok but it's battery sucking

      wired works if you have the correct arsenal of cable adapters

      1. Peter X

        Dunno if it would work, but Raspberry Pi have an official keyboard that has it's own USB hub so you could plug a mouse into that. And it has a sensible keyboard layout rather than the "international" layout the Apple like to impose on UK users.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Bah!

          An endless click chain to find mention of the price terminates in "no resellers in your area" so I guess I will stick with the excellent Logitech K120 keyboard ($15) and mini wireless mouse ($15).

      2. Anwar

        any details on mouse support...?

        all I can find is that it can’t be done, except

        - if you jailbreak

        - for RDP only

        - long press space bar gives you a sort-of pointer, but only within text boxes

        If iOS apps can run on MacOS, iOS apps [practically] need mouse support to run on MacOS.

        Any links to instructions and known working mice would be great!

        The Brydge iPad Pro keyboard with TrackPad at...

        https://www.cultofmac.com/591266/brydge-taunts-us-with-ipad-pro-keyboard-we-cant-have/

        ...is perfect! Too bad it is merely a concept that can’t be realised without mouse support in iOS.

        Frankly, if they added mouse support, and a USB-C port to iPhones so you could dock them to become full computers with external display, keyboard and mouse, they’d increase their iPad and iPhone sales by at least one each [from me]…

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "unleash the iPad as a computer for grownups"

      They have ported the Windows kernel to Apple's ARM CPUs?

      1. jake Silver badge

        I believe the concept was "grownups" not "ignorant corporate bloat".

      2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        <pedantry>

        They already have (Windows on aarch64 aka ARM64) ... the issue is getting it to boot from iBoot instead of a standard UEFI implementation, and possibly deal with Apple's non-standard changes to aarch64 (should they exist)

        </pedantry>

    6. thecoinrepublic

      Recently, after introducing on Android, Opera has made a statement about the company’s focus of launching its Cryptocurrency-aligned browser for Apple’s iOS. In a very short time, Apple’s iPhone and iPad users will be able to utilize the Opera app on their devices.

  2. Semtex451 Silver badge

    Any reason why these benefits should not be extended to (at least) larger iPhones? X generation phones have the umph shurely?

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Devil

      But then you'd only buy one iDevice, not two, and how's that going to appease the hungry ghost of Steve Jobs?

    2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      You can always jailbreak ... there is a tweak that brings the iPad Pro's split-screen and dock to iPhones and non-Pro iPads running iOS 11 and above.

      I tried it on a 7 Plus ... the phone had no problems doing it, but a split 5.5" would become essentially a chocolate bar per app ... allowing you to do nothing on either of the two.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I tried it on a 7 Plus ... the phone had no problems doing it, but a split 5.5" would become essentially a chocolate bar per app ... allowing you to do nothing on either of the two."

        Maybe if or when Apple bring a folding screen out? I keep seeing people say that the existing folding screens don't really have a use case, but being able to work in a larger screen and/or multiple tasks/documents and still manage to fir it in your pocket is the ideal use case IMO.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Use an external monitor adapter, so it can be viewed on something with more screen space?

  3. revilo

    file system access

    a real game changer would be unix functionality and access to the file system

    allowing for example to rsync directory trees from and to the ipad.

    1. karlkarl Bronze badge

      Re: file system access

      Exactly. Without this or the ability to run "tools" and other types of professional software, it will remain a crippled toy for idiots... and then finally clog up landfills and fsck up the environment.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: file system access

        "professional" does not always mean "system administrator" or "developer" - a lot of professional types using professional software don't care at all about what rsync or vim or whatever are. Nor the definition of idiots doesn't include several IT people...

    2. DontFeedTheTrolls
      Big Brother

      Re: file system access

      Why would you want any of that.

      Apple already gives you iCloud to sync all you data between your iPhone, your iPad, your Mac and the NSA. Giving you Unix tools would just (potentially) make some people have to work to see your data.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: file system access

      I'd like those things, but a) Apple is not going to do them, ever, and b) very few users in companies care about these things.

      They aren't planning to have you write code or administrate things on them. That isn't what they're for, and they wouldn't do a very good job. You'd get a micro Mac OS that's hard to build things for, leaving you with a thing that's kind of like using the shell directly on an android device*. Just use a laptop for that.

      They're trying to sell this to the people who write documents, read messages, update spreadsheets with the data they got from the messages, read a website, and finish writing a document. Their improvements are aimed at people like that, who very frequently have multiple documents open to scroll through them but don't really understand what the filesystem is. I don't think the changes mentioned in the article will be sufficient, but it's good to know what they're going for.

      *Using the shell on an android device: Not using a sort of Linux VM, nor a remote shell with the android device being a terminal, but the system shell to which we all have access. Does anyone use that? That's why we wouldn't use one on the iPad either. It'd be a pain. All it would do is let us write a few scripts that give us more control, then stay away from it for the future.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: file system access

        "All it would do is let us write a few scripts that give us more control, then stay away from it for the future."

        I started writing scripts at Berkeley, using Research UNIX Version 5 around 45 years ago. I wrote a new script this morning. I've probably averaged a script per day in between, some large, some just a couple lines[0], some still in use 40+ years later, some discarded after a day or three, but all adding to my personal productivity. Scripts are an integral part of professionals using computers. Anything that doesn't allow scripting is a toy for interface users, not a tool for computer users, much less computer professionals.

        The lack of access to the file system and forcing life in Apple's sandbox (I have to register hardware with Apple before I can use it‽ And it doesn't work properly without a network connection‽‽ WTF‽‽‽) alone make it a toy for interface users and not a proper professional's tool ... but the lack of scripting makes it a very expensive joke.

        [0] A few very large and converted to C (or whatever) after they became stupidly unwieldy.

        1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: file system access

          "Scripts are an integral part of professionals using computers. Anything that doesn't allow scripting is a toy for interface users, not a tool for computer users..."

          Horseshit.

          "Professional using computers" != "Programmer". It simply doesn't.

          You are saying "What *I* do is the ONLY real computer use," which is simply wrong.

          A civil/traffic/hydro engineer who wants to annotate plans or data onsite in real time and upload those to the corporate/municipal mainframe is a professional computer user.

          A police officer/social worker/healthcare worker who updates public contact information with headquarters in realtime is a professional computer user.

          A graphic designer who goes onsite, takes photos and notes, works up roughs, sends them wirelessly with a price quote to the client's printer, then uploads those files to the office computer for the heavy lifting is a professional computer user.

          Pilots, truck drivers, mechanical/electrical/HVAC/gas engineers and technicians who don't have to carry stacks of maps, schematics, manuals, and reference materials are professional computer users.

          ...and those are just off the top of my head.

          And Every. Single. One. of them can be done on a tablet, without ever having to write a single script.

          LOTS of people use computers as absolutely critical tools every day in the course of their jobs -- with many of those computers being tablets -- and the number of them who absolutely HAVE to be able to write scripts to be productive is vanishingly small.

          The ability to write scripts is necessary for YOUR work...? Fine. Run with that. But understand that -- among professionals who use computers every day to do paying work -- people who absolutely NEED to write scripts are a minority of a minority.

          1. JLV Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: file system access

            Affinity Designer on iPad is a near-pro vector graphics app. Just learning how to doodle with it. No affiliation, just pretty chuffed to finally be grokking layers. You can even round-trip with its macOS sibling. $20 or so.

            1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

              Re: file system access

              And Affinity Photo, on both iOS and Mac OS -- once you get used to the interface, because it's different from Photoshop's -- is pretty damned good, too. I haven't had enough free time to play with the beta of Publish, their InDesign challenger, but if it ends up as solid as the others, I may go Adobe-free in my freelance work and recommend that the day-job stop paying the annual Adobe rental.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: file system access

                I've used both for years and they're brilliant - and I have both for the iPad as well, although I haven't had time yet to use them (events got in the way). Just slightly annoyed at their new Publisher, though - I want it to come out of beta :).

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: file system access

            Horseshit right back atcha.

            Not a single one of your examples is a computer user. All are interface users.

            1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

              Re: file system access

              "Not a single one of your examples is a computer user. All are interface users."

              Really...? Honestly, this sounds like a Humpty Dumpty “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less,” sort of definition. In 40 years in and around the computer industry, I have never heard anyone else use that distinction.

              But sure; whatever.

              So, just so we're clear on definitions: Since you don't design, build, or professionally service automobiles, you are not an automobile user? Because that appears to be the definition that you are claiming is the only valid one for "computer users"; that you MUST be working on computer (programming) internals to be a "computer user".

              On the other hand, if we're using your narrow definition, then that should mean that the iOS users usingg BASH, COBOL, Pascal, Python and various flavors of C IDEs, among others -- or writing in vi, if you're old school -- on their iPads ARE "computer users", right?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: file system access

                If you really want to go car analogies, a computer user is a driver, but interface users are mere passengers. Consider for a moment how many people run the iOS SDK on actual iOS devices. Seems that even Apple, in it's infinite wisdom, admits that iFads are fucking useless for doing actual computing tasks like programming.

                Can your hypothetical person using iVim on his/her iFad edit the device's configuration files in that editor? Can they open and close random files anywhere in the file system? Can your BASIC (and Pascal) programmer PEEK and POKE around in iOS to their heart's content? Or has Apple decided they are mere passengers, and not drivers?

                1. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: file system access

                  Let's go car analogies. By your definition, if I drive, I am a professional user. All driving means to me is that I can make the car go where I want. I cannot decide how the car does this by governing the methods the engine processes its fuel. I can't make the car fit through gaps that are too small, or go above its maximum speed, drive off-road if the car isn't designed for it, or fly. All I can do is decide where the car is pointing and whether it is moving or not with some control over speed. That's analogous to a user of an IOS device. They do not have control over the system level, analogous to the stuff you can make a car do by disassembling and rebuilding parts. They can't make it do things it wasn't designed to do unless someone has already written the app (by user, we're already saying that they don't have the knowledge or desire to write the app themselves). But they can tell the device what to do and have it respond. And if they want extra functionality, they can either write an app themselves or have someone else do so.

                  A user of a computer uses it. That is all that is required. They do not have to have control over the computer, administrate it, or use it for some computery thing that we whitelist as making you a user. They just have to have a computer that they are putting to some use. Your strange definition of user doesn't work, and it seems to exist only to yell about IOS.

                2. LDS Silver badge

                  "Apple decided they are mere passengers, and not drivers?"

                  Ah, the good days when you had to prime the carburetor, regulate mixture, adjust ignition timing, turn the handle to start a car, and then light the acetylene gas lamps ...., then, as the engine run, adjust mixture and timing... that made you a real driver. Did you ever do anything of it? Unless you are, very very old, or had the chance to drive a very vintage car - you never, ever had to. Do you feel you are not a driver, just a passenger?

                  If you feel nostalgic about PEEKs and POKEs, I've a Commodore to sell you...., just remember, they were mostly sold as toys - and most of those features were available just because they were quite primitive - just like the ignition timing lever.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Used by a computer

              re. Not a single one of your examples is a computer user. All are interface users.

              The command line is also an interface. To directly "use" a computer, I guess you must be psychokinetically reading and writing program state to the computer memory / storage? That kind of thing works both ways...

          3. Mr Benny

            Re: file system access

            You're confusing professional computer users with professionals using computers. They are NOT the same thing. The former is essentially a power user who sets up computers to achieve complex results eg programmers or scientists writing python or R programs. The latter are just general professionals using standard tools, eg a lawyer writing a word document.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: file system access

              Sorry, if you don't design your own language and its interpreter/compiler, and don't code it manually in assembler, and write with it your own OS from scratch - preferably on hardware you have assembled yourself from the ground up - you're not a real professional computer user... you just script, instead?

              Your head is still stuck deep in 1970s sands.... the world changed a bit in the past half century.

              Many jobs today requires to be a skilled professional computer users - using tools which aren't compilers, interpreters, or system administration tools, but still professional computer tools. Many of them you would not be able to use proficiently.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: file system access

                What, what, what? The 1970s _isn't_ half a century ago…

                …oh, shit, it very nearly is. (!)

                Now I feel *old*, even though I was born a while after the epoch… :-(

      2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        Re: file system access

        @doublelayer

        *Using the shell on an android device: Not using a sort of Linux VM, nor a remote shell with the android device being a terminal, but the system shell to which we all have access. Does anyone use that? That's why we wouldn't use one on the iPad either. It'd be a pain. All it would do is let us write a few scripts that give us more control, then stay away from it for the future.

        Hell, of course you could use a proper Linux shell on an Android device?

        Forget about the Android shell (this isn't a proper GNU userland, but rather BusyBox over Bionic C instead) ... you can build a chroot jail with your favorite distro!

        You can use an app like Linux Deploy (root) or UserLand (no root) to build the chroot jail for you, or you could manually build it using a static build of Debian's cdebootstrap (for Debian-based distros).

        Or just download and install Termux, which gives you an almost proper Linux shell with virtually no setup needed (but there are tradeoffs because this isn't a 100% pure GNU userland either)

        Sorry for the long post!

        1. Argh

          Re: file system access

          I run Linux on Dex, which provides an Ubuntu desktop environment in a container on my Note9 when it's plugged in to a monitor (a basic terminal is also available when not plugged in). Unfortunately the UI is a bit slow, as it's basically a VNC view, but it can happily run some IDEs I've tried, as well as a variety of other tools.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: file system access

          Thank you for that, but I'm afraid you may have missed my point. My point was not, as your reply implies "Android can't run a useful shell". It was, rather, "If Apple opened up filesystem and terminal access on an iPad it would be about as useful as, and therefore get as much use from IT and the general public as, the default android shell". Your comment supports my belief that nobody finds that mockery of a shell useful, and instead goes with one of your suggestions when they want one on an android device.

    4. JLV Silver badge

      Re: file system access

      FWIW I use an editor called Textastic. It has a builtin webdav server and it’s a 10 line bash script to ‘git archive’ any git repo over to it.

      It’s not really 2 way (it might be possible, haven’t checked) but I use it as I would use a printout before: just to review and annotate code in detail. Can always email it back when annotated. Also has a ssh mode, haven’t used it.

      Very nice editor with this clever widget to enter programming symbols quicker than with keyboard (iPhone version is keyboard only :-(

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: file system access

        Edit: seems to play well with another iOS git app (with high ratings):

        https://www.textasticapp.com/v7/manual/integration_other_apps/git_client_working_copy.html

        Will have to try

  4. livin' thing

    An idea...

    If Apple had any sense, they'd attach a permanent keyboard to the iPad, that hinged at the bottom of the screen, and fit a trackpad the keyboard. As well as better ergonomics, this has the additional benefit that the closed keyboard offers additional protection for the screen, and perhaps branding benefits via a well placed Apple logo atop the cover.

    To aid trackpad users, a small 'floating' arrow could be placed on the screen, showing where the 'virtual selection point' would be if the trackpad was clicked.

    I'd call the new hybrid device the iKneeBook, because it could be rested on one's knees for added support during a commute.

    Amazing no-one's thought of doing this before.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Facepalm

        I'll say it....

        Woooooooooosh!!!!!!!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: I'll say it....

          Apple has banned all apps that employ a "Woooooooooosh!!!!!!!" interpreter. They have been deemed "not good for the Apple experience".

          1. Dave559 Bronze badge

            Re: I'll say it....

            command not found

            You'll have to install: /usr/bin/woooooooooosh, the highly turbocharged shell… ;-)

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: An idea...

      So sort of like a Surface Pro already does?

      1. jeremylloyd

        Re: An idea...

        Exactly! I just purchased a Surface Go for when I don't need a big screen laptop (Surface Book in my case). It's a lovely little computer with a keyboard so much better than the iPad Pro I have gathering dust on the side. It's just a shame it comes with Windows 10 Home, and you have to pay to upgrade to Pro to encrypt the drive.

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: An idea...

      I'd call the new hybrid device the iKneeBook

      We are no longer the knights who say "iKnee..."

    4. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: An idea...

      You mean like the Lenovo yoga I'm using ? MS has this weird feature that lets it switch between tablet mode and desktop.

  5. werdsmith Silver badge

    On device coding for interpreted languages would be proper. Native compilation a bonus.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 people who still care about the iPad

    1. Jony Ive

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    1. Baudwalk

      Well...

      ...I don't have an iPad, but when my son's Android tablet broke last year, some research revealed that the 2018 iPad was the best bang-for-the-€ gaming tablet around.

      Apple's phones and, to a lesser extent, their OSX boxes are overpriced. Not so the non-pro iPad.

      Surprisingly, to me anyway, I was able to actually open!!! the thing and fix it (so we still don't have an iPad), but not until I'd already done the research.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Well...

        - musicians

        - artists

        - people who want to play full fat high Res Civilisation whilst lounging on the sofa

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Well...

          I have steam-link for that last one, be it on a mobile device or on the TV. Not restricted to Civ either.

        2. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: Well...

          The main problem with Civ VI is that it crashes a lot once you get past turn 250 on a 500-turn game. Worse, the crashes increase in frequency the further you get, so that by turn 425 it crashes Every. Single. Turn. This is a known bug, introduced with the December 2018 update, and unfixed as of today, 17 April 2019. Civ VI's ratings in the Apple Store have tumbled since the crashing started, with large numbers of people screaming and handing out one and two star ratings.

          Now, when it works, it is very good and very addictive. Which causes so much more irritation when it crashes, not saving your latest brilliant maneuver to finally crush that noxious git John Curtin or that arrogant ass Frederick Barbarossa. Or, especially, that annoyance Gandhi, I usually make a point of getting rid of him first if he's in the game.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: 5 people who still care about the iPad

      Me. Mostly for watching videos in bed.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: 5 people who still care about the iPad

        "Mostly for watching videos in bed."

        .I have MythTV for that, should I ever see a need for such a thing.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: 5 people who still care about the iPad

      You clearly forgot

      2) Tim Cook

      3) Steve Jobs's Ghost

      4) US NFL Football Teams.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: 5 people who still care about the iPad

        The NFL has a contract with Microsoft. They don't use iPads, they use Surfaces. Much to Microsoft's annoyance, some people, including certain coaches, have been known to refer to the Surfaces as iPads.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SSH

    An SSH client that allows you to have multiple connections open (& viewable!) at the same time, please!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SSH

      An SSH client that allows you to have multiple connections open (& viewable!) at the same time, please!

      Haven't quite seen a split screen ability yet, but I tend to have multiple tabs open in Prompt 2, made by Panic Inc. That said, it's only for quick command line work while I'm travelling, I prefer a proper keyboard for anything serious or complex.

      I'm not really a fan of screen keyboards, but an iPad is a lot lighter than a PC when I'm travelling.

  8. Timmy B Silver badge

    The thing stopping it selling as a proper PC replacement is for the base model £1400 you can get a surface, surface book or Yoga type device that is a proper PC the can run proper software. 99% of the people with an iPad won't ever use multi-window, like I suspect 99% of the people with an android tablet that supports it (me included - I turned it off on mine a while ago).

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Adobe is releasing a full featured Photoshop for iPad this year. For some people's workflows this only leaves a few small gaps in what you dub 'real software' to be filled.

      1. Antonius_Prime

        Crowd I work for have, at several times in the last 5 years, increasingly so as we move towards the present, exhorted Autodesk to get the pencil out and port their stuff back to OS X / macOS.

        We're also seriously looking at AR & VR for client & remote viewing of plans & visualisation of models.

        The IT department are seriously drooling over the toys that the tech dev guys get...

        1. jake Silver badge

          "exhorted Autodesk to get the pencil out and port their stuff back to OS X / macOS."

          That would make it almost trivial to port it all to Linux. Which will never happen[0], by corporate edict (they are paranoid about people breaking their archaic and rather draconian licensing). Fortunately, there are alternatives to Autodesk these days. I've nearly completed transferring my AutoCAD junk to a more FOSS friendly solution[1]. When done I'll finally be 100% Redmond and Cupertino free.

          [0] "Never" is an awful long time. They'll port it if they out-last Microsoft and Apple. Before you poo-poo this, no corporation will last forever ... Linux and the BSDs, by definition, are never going to go away.

          [1] RMS might not like the way I'm going with this conversion, but he's not the one using my computers and network. It also doesn't hurt that I stopped upgrading my CAD system at ACad2K; I never saw any real reason to pay them more money after that (Yes, the lone Win2K box it runs on is airgapped. No, I don't see this a hindrance ... the way I use ACad. YMMV).

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            There may well be usable FOSS alternatives to AutoCAD, but if there is a FOSS alternative to Autodesk's Fusion 360 then pray tell us what it is.

            The good news for some Linux users however is that some CAD solutions can be run through a browser to the cloud and are thus OS agnostic. This ksnds itself well to team working, and to renting compute power to deliver a simulation result or render more quickly.

            Regarding tablets and phones of either Android or iOS flavours: Sony are pitching Time of Flight laser grid sensors to OEMs, so soon we can expect handheld devices that can be waved around to accurately 3D map a room or object. This will be bloody handy for some CAD related workflows. iPad Pros already have the silicon to accelerate such sensors.

          2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

            That would make it almost trivial to port it all to Linux.

            Nope. Photoshop's been there on macOS since before eternity, yet this didn't result in a port for Linux.

            You are right when you said that this is by corporate edict, but it's not about the licensing. It's more about a certain major flinger of operating systems and a certain flinger of fondleslabs and shiny-shiny having a vested interest in the absence of such a piece of software from Linux package collections. And if not that, then the build environments are slightly different.

            Besides, won't AutoCAD 2K work on Wine? It has a Gold rating, so dunno, worth a shot? https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=102

            1. LDS Silver badge

              "It's more about a certain major flinger"

              No, it's more about distro fragmentation, lack of a coherent widget set, lack of backward/forward compatibility, hardware support issues (for example, look for how many high-end photo printers are supported under Linux...) and maybe not a few GPL issues, depending on what needs to be used for a port.

              And of course the fact that most Linux desktop users are fully against paying for software.

              Adobe likes money, if they could see a Linux market they would happily ignore Apple and Microsoft - just that market doesn't exist.

      2. Timmy B Silver badge

        "Adobe is releasing a full featured Photoshop for iPad this year. For some people's workflows this only leaves a few small gaps in what you dub 'real software' to be filled."

        Artist friend says no... She has tried the limited version on her iPad pro and says that is slow and barely chugs along. A version with the same features as the complete version would "be nice but I can't see it". I expect that "full featured" != "same as the desktop version".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Adobe is releasing a full featured Photoshop for iPad this year

        No thanks. I'm far happier with Affinity's iPad software (both Designer and Photo). That stuff works, even on the smaller non-Pro iPads, and I rather like the "pay a modest fee once" approach against Adobe's slowly-suck-you-dry, and the software combines well with the desktop versions.

        If you're tied into a design production process that is 100% beholden to Adobe I guess you won't have much choice but Affinity's stuff is just more fun, even for an amateur.

  9. Andytug

    Ipad and Macbook gradually converge on features....and price?

    The Ipad is crippled so it doesn't steal sales from the MacBook line, surely? But if your Ipads cost the same then not a problem.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Ipad and Macbook gradually converge on features....and price?

      And if your own ARM silicon can out perform Intel's per watt... you just need some native and full featured applications from the likes of Adobe.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Ipad and Macbook gradually converge on features....and price?

        The iPad version of Lightroom is surprisingly good. There are still a few things missing, personally I use Lightroom Classic on the PC less and less.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Ipad and Macbook gradually converge on features....and price?

      The cynic in me say why sell your users one device when they're prepared to pay for two?

  10. John Robson Silver badge

    iOS really does need file support...

    I'd buy a USB dongle thing if I could actually transfer files...

    1. Lotaresco

      Re: iOS really does need file support...

      "I'd buy a USB dongle thing if I could actually transfer files..."

      I've been doing this with my iPhone and iPad for some years now. What's stopping you?

      Use File Explorer (from the App store)

      Options:

      Transfer files to a NAS and write to USB from there.

      Transfer to your laptop (ditto)

      Transfer to a USB device attached to the Lightning connector

      Transfer to your cloud storage

      I'm sure there are other ways of skinning the cat, but these work for me.

      There's also taking a different look at things and instead of using a USB stick use something like an Asus Travelair. That lets you easily transfer data between any devices that support WiFi or USB.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: iOS really does need file support...

        Does it allow you to grab a USB stick and plug it into your phone and copy a file onto the local storage?

        1. Lotaresco

          Re: iOS really does need file support...

          Yes, of course. You just need the right USB stick. There are lots of options, this is just one manufacturer.

          Of course there's not much need to do this[1], but I guess habits die hard.

          [1] Generally I solve the issue of transferring files by mailing them to their destination. It's easier than scratching around finding a USB stick and most environments that I work in have the USB ports locked down to discourage the introduction of malware via that USB stick someone dragged out of the back of their knife drawer. I also just transfer files to a shared drive, which is how most people I work with do it also.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: iOS really does need file support...

            That's not a USB stick I want to leave sticking out of an audio mixer, in an environment where it could easily be knocked.

            I want to be able to grab a low profile USB stick (which fits brilliantly in the mixer) and then grab the file to my phone to take home. For probably obvious reasons I don't want to upload a > 1GB file to some cloud storage, using more than my monthly data allowance each time I do so.

            You are assuming that anywhere I want to do this is fully equipped with network connections, servers, computers... That is not the case.

            1. Lotaresco

              Re: iOS really does need file support...

              "You are assuming that anywhere I want to do this is fully equipped with network connections, servers, computers... That is not the case."

              You're assuming that I'm your personal tech support guy. I checked my invoicing and you haven't paid for support. You're getting free advice and that's worth what you pay for it.

              You also didn't specify your requirements but apparently expect me to provide a response personalised to your exact needs. It also appears that you're disinclined to actually go and look for a USB stick that meets your particular needs. Go to Amazon or other retail site of your choice. Type "ipad USB stick" into the search and choose from the (literally) hundreds of devices available in wide range of form factors.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: iOS really does need file support...

                No, I’m not expecting you to be personal tech support - but that isn’t a normal usb stick.

                I asked a specific question - can you get an arbitrary file from a usb stick to an iOS device. You said “yes, here’s the app”. Then I made sure you actually meant that, and it turned out you didn’t.

                Given other technologies there is always a way, but USB->iOS is deliberately and irritatingly crippled.

                If iOS13 is going to be a computer replacement then it doesn’t need to be able to run scheduled scripts to monitor your network, that’s the job of a server. It does need to be able to pull files from the stick that has just arrived (or has been in use for a while) without resorting to another computer.

  11. Paul Hargreaves

    No Xcode == not a real computer.

    1. Def Silver badge

      In all fairness xcode is just a bodged together mess of ideas anyway, so not having that on there wouldn't be a huge loss. :)

      I just wish Apple would see it for the shite that it is and make something decent to replace it.

  12. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Editing two files at once

    Currently, only one instance of an application can run at any one time, so the user is unable to (for example) edit two Excel spreadsheets side by side.

    Well, this is something you can't do with Office 2010 on Windows either. Always freaks me out when I have to switch to client's Windows machine.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Editing two files at once

      I didn't vote you down but I'm pretty sure you can ... You certainly can in 2016 and I'm sure I used to be able to do it in 2010. Resize an Excel window to approx half the screen then launch the app again from the task bar...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Editing two files at once

      See Sally Tang's answer - for anyone struggling with this issue.

      https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/ie/en-US/ee76d08d-3306-406d-894c-16fd3cb824d9/each-workbook-in-separate-windows-excel-2010-windows-7

    3. Mongrel

      Re: Editing two files at once

      Well, this is something you can't do with Office 2010 on Windows either.

      Apologies if I'm getting my Office versions mixed up...

      But I'm pretty sure you used to be able to open multiple instances by clicking button 3 on your mouse (usually the wheel by default) and then either dragging the file into the open Excel window or use the normal Open options

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Editing two files at once

      You have been able to edit multiple Excel spreadsheets on Windows since at least version 2. Version 1 was Mac only, and I never used it so I can't comment on that one.

    5. uksamo

      Re: Editing two files at once

      Office 2010 fully supports multiple instances. To open Excel twice open it the first time, then shift click the icon on the task bar to open a second instance. You can also open and view multiple files in in the same instance by clicking the view tab select Arrange All and one of the available options.

  13. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Two more obstacles

    multiwindow application support [...] the biggest remaining obstacle to using the iPad as a productivity-class machine

    I would argue that mouse support and direct access to external USB-C storage are also pretty significant obstacles for some users.

    Apple's ludicrous internal storage prices -- $350 for 512GB, $750 (!) for 1TB -- make the iPad Pro line non-competitive for editing large video or multi-channel high-res audio files. They also make it hard or impossible to have multiple active projects at hand. The classic setup for this is a moderately-sized boot drive and massive internal or external data drive(s). Not possible on the iPad Pro, though, because you can only open files from built-in storage.

    It's pretty funny that the "Starting at $999" base model comes with a mighty 64GB of internal storage. That's like buying a Ferrari and fitting it with four space-saver spare tires.

    1. Gonzo wizard
      Happy

      Re: buying a Ferrari and fitting it with four space-saver spare tires

      To be fail I know two people who used to buy the largest iPad ad iPhone available and now prefer to buy the smallest option with 4G and have everything in the cloud instead. Similarly my kids consume all their audio and video via PAYG services like Netflix and Spotify the need for acres of storage, which they can't afford, is somewhat reduced.

      Me, I still buy larger storage options purely because I need offline access to music and video when I'm (literally) crossing oceans on sailing boats.

      We all have our reasons.

      1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: buying a Ferrari and fitting it with four space-saver spare tires

        Fair point. I was thinking primarily of use cases that involve large amounts of data.

        The comments on this article make it clear that people use iPads for all manner of applications, and one person's deal-breaker is someone else's non-factor.

      2. EPurpl3

        Re: buying a Ferrari and fitting it with four space-saver spare tires

        Have you tried a Android? (Dont hurt me :D)

  14. Stripes the Dalmatian
    Trollface

    So, having re-invented the netbook, when are they going to actually patent it?

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      They're just rounding off the corners as we speak...

  15. uksamo
    FAIL

    It will still be a 'picture frame that ran apps' unless Apple seriously supports common productivity tasks such as:

    - File system access to backup and restore user created content.

    - File system access to allow simple transfer of files between devices.

    - User control over installed app versions - i.e. if an app updates and no longer works, or breaks something critical to my business, unless I can role back I can no longer work!

    Using iCloud to back up thousands of 50 MB camera RAW files isn't realistic and having a single backup in one location is never a good choice. Getting those files on to my iPad also turned out to be a nightmare, with IOS photo's crashing every time I tried to transfer a shoot considered of more than 1 frame a second. Once on the iPad they had to be imported into the photo editing application literally doubling their file size - very efficient!! Then getting the processed images off the iPad was also awkward. The iPad's not close to being productivity ready, wishing I'd bought a decent laptop instead.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      User control over installed app versions

      There is a setting to turn off automatic app updates.

      No way to revert an app to a previous version, though. Sadly, that feature is missing from most app stores, regardless of platform.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        No way to revert an app to a previous version, though

        No Apple supported way of doing it for end consumers you mean.

        I can do it no problem (and it doesn't require a jailbreak).

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      I'm not defending the devices, and I'll admit right here that the solutions below are most definitely not optimal, but here is how you can do those things if you already have iPads present:

      "- File system access to backup and restore user created content."

      You could use various options. You can take full backups to a desktop over a cable so they go much faster and/or use a made-for-IOS storage device which can take files. Most applications can export to a companion application for this.

      "- File system access to allow simple transfer of files between devices."

      This depends on what you want to get the file from or send it too. Flash drives aren't exactly going to happen, but you can get a file off one on a computer and send it over using internet services, airdrop (macs only), various apps over bluetooth, etc. You can also write files to apps that support file sharing using the USB cable.

      "- User control over installed app versions"

      You can disable automatic updates and sync the old app version before you update something you're concerned about. Should the new version not work, you can delete it from the iPad and send the old version back from iTunes.

      "Using iCloud to back up thousands of 50 MB camera RAW files isn't realistic and having a single backup in one location is never a good choice."

      This is where you'll want a full device backup, which gets taken via the cable onto a computer. The files making the backup can be copied to other media as well for redundancy.

      Obviously, these aren't the nicest ways to accomplish these things, but as it sounds like you've already got an iPad, hopefully some of these will be useful for the specific problems.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        File transfer

        @doublelayer: I'd love to know how to be able to transfer files from/to an iDevice using Bluetooth, could you explain how to do this?

        AirDrop is typical Apple "NIH" stupidity. Something you commonly want to do is share contact details (or files) from your phone to a friend's phone. You could do this over Bluetooth with proper Nokias (and the like) well over a decade ago, it really is just exasperating that with Apple you can only use AirDrop and only share to other Apple devices, unless there is a way around it? (And sending as an attachment to an email counts as a bad hack, rather than a proper solution.)

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: File transfer

          Unfortunately, you'll need a third-party app to do this. There are a number of them though I cannot make a recommendation for a modern one. You install that and a client on a computer you're transferring to, and this allows files to be sent between the two. Definitely not the best solution, but it's available. Other apps do the same thing to file-sharing-enable apps that didn't do it right themselves. I should say for the record that I have never had an iPad and don't recommend it for computer tasks. This is just a thing that can be done and might help in some cases.

    3. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      @uksamo - and when you do transfer your images iPhotos will strip out any labels you've given them and replace them with its own useless guesses.

  16. OffBeatMammal

    I've had the same rant about weaknesses in iOS that stop me using my iPad as a 'real' computer for quite a while - https://medium.com/@offbeatmammal/apple-are-a-design-company-so-why-is-ios-so-annoying-d40530dce8d9 - and there's not much in these rumours which makes me think iOS 13 is going to be the salvation we hope it'll be.

    Of course, that doesn't stop me hoping... (because I don't want to buy a Macbook Pro until they've fixed the keyboard and 'no user serviceable parts' issues)

  17. benderama

    Please don’t advocate giving the peasants access to the file system. Or improved shells. Apple devices work as well as they do because you can’t break them so easily just by fat-fingering a freaking /etc/ text file. Imagine the idiots who will delete / because of the mess, or because some tard on YouTube said it’s a way to free up space.

    Do you really want your friends and family to call you at 3am because they farked their phones loading the newest flash version with pornhub pre-installed?

  18. tempemeaty
    Facepalm

    Stick a fork in mac...

    This just sounds like the re-emergence of the iPad as a computer substitute again. Apple seems intent on sticking to going in that direction. With this, putting any $ or personal time investment in anything further of the mac line is a waste at this point. Even moving to a hackentosh is a waste now because that OS is on the outs. Even if Apple says otherwise this reveal about iOS says otherwise. (just my two cents)

  19. EPurpl3

    My old old old Galaxy S5 had this feature since like forever. I'm just saying, I don't try to start a war...

  20. bex

    missing features

    Without mouse and pluggable storage support (available on Android) it's not a computer but computer-lite

  21. BGatez

    Priced for a King, fit for a tot

    Bling for people with the stuff in sackfuls, now slightly less crappy

  22. jyoti@sphinx

    It'll be a real game changer. Apple lovers gonna crazy.

  23. garyshaw-soc-fj

    So - what do WE give up as a result of this?

    When Apply giveth, they take away, so what does the consumer lose with this update ? is it privacy (all stuff will now be opted in to go to icloud), or is it storage (due to the OS being bigger) or is it more little things are tweaked 'on' in the background where you will have to go into every app to see the effect ? or is it useless apps that Apple decides YOU need and you can't delete? More Marketing exposure ? There has gotta be something - always is!

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