On iPad Falling Behind in Schools

Very telling article from Fraser Speirs “On Switching from an iPad Pro and a Macbook to a Pixelbook“:

One other thing that hurts to say but I believe is true is this: ChromeOS is getting better faster than iOS on iPad. Apple seems now to be on a two-year cadence for meaningful iPad-related software updates and, honestly, that’s just not fast enough. ChromeOS is moving very quickly. Probably, iOS is ahead for now but I hate waiting on an “iPad year” WWDC and then hoping that something will happen for the OS features I happen to care about. There are some parts of iOS that have lain fallow for years now – Mail, Calendar, Safari – that need some serious investment. Third party apps might fill some of the gaps but iOS doesn’t let them be full replacements for the system apps. Honestly, I’m bored waiting for progress on some of these platform basics that have been on iPad users’ wish lists for literally half a decade or more now.

– Fraser Speirs

I find it sad to see a company like Apple seemingly falling behind with the iPad. Having to wait every year to see meaningful leaps on iOS for iPad is exhausting. Supposedly, next year WWDC should bring a major step for iPad users.

2 thoughts on “On iPad Falling Behind in Schools

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  1. I think there’s another side to this though: the non-techies that use iPads. We know that many millions of iPads are sold every year. Let’s just say 40 million a year but I’m sure it’s higher. Anecdotally I can say that in my family alone non-techies make up the majority of iPad users. My mom, dad, aunt, uncle, sister, niece, granny… all of them are using iPads as their primary computers every day but they’re not professionals. They’re just people that want an easy to use computer for email, web browsing, games, and the occasional document.

    I think the tech community has forgotten that they are likely not just a minority of users but very possibly a VERY TINY minority of users. It just so happens that they are the loudest because they write tech blogs and do tech podcasts. And they listen and read each other all the time.

    But stepping outside of the “community” is important in understanding other people’s needs and preferences. I can tell you, my family are not only happy with iOS in its current state but they prefer a slower pace of updates. Non-techies are happy when their devices just work as expected. They don’t care about the latest and greatest updates because that often just means they have to learn new things about the device. In fact, for them, updates often mean things are broken because they no longer work in the way they did previously.

    All that said, as a “pro” user, that has relied on my iPad as my primary computer for almost 3 years, I am actually quite satisfied with the state of iOS. I’m generally happy with Apple’s default Mail and Calendar apps. Notes is excellent and reminders, while a bit plain, still works pretty well. iOS itself is, in my opinion, fantastic. I enjoy using it every day. Of course there are improvements I’d like to see but in my use case, if Apple did nothing with iOS for the next year or two I would be okay. I bought and use the iPad for what it is today and it’s such a delight to use!

    Is iOS perfect? Certainly not. But I also don’t think of it as having fallen behind or lacking in any important way.

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