This year, my hopes for iOS 12 will be earlier, mainly because the rumours usually come around this month, and rumours of a ‘Modern iPad’ hinted at from iOS 11.3 has now begun.
Even last week, news broke of Craig Federighi deciding on holding some features back for another year while they fix issues and refine other attributes.
Yet right now, we’re using the latest release of iOS 11, and embracing it. Now that both Christmas and New Year are over, there’s an amount of people who are learning the basics of iOS 11 from their new device given to them over these holidays.
But as I use the iPad and use some of the apps I’ve bought thanks to a post on MacStories, it’s made me think more of how that line between an iPad and a computer can blur.
There’s so many OS types with Apple that one more wouldn’t hurt.
There’ll probably eventually be tableOS, shelfOS, breadOS, everything that will manage what you’re using. It sounds crazy now, but also seems inevitable.
An iPadOS wouldn’t be a bad idea to fully embrace the device as a laptop replacement.
FULL KEYBOARD SUPPORT FOR GAMES
I want to talk more about this in another post soon, but this is a main wish for me in the next version.
I was replaying Tomb Raider 2 on my MacBook Air, bought from the Mac App Store yesterday. Only using the keys to control Lara across many jumps and dives.
On the train commute, I decide to play the iOS version. The controls are all over the place, and during this, I have to have the Smart Keyboard off so I can hold it right. Then it hits me:
‘Why can’t I use the keyboard on the iPad as I do on the MacBook Air?‘
On both systems, its the same game, the same music, the same gameplay. But on iOS, there are higher textures that better fit the iOS retina screens, alongside its expansion ‘The Golden Mask’.
When an iPad is paired with a keyboard or if its docked with the Smart Keyboard, those on-screen controls remain. Steve Jobs’ line of how ergonomically terrible it is to use your hands on a screen at an angle comes to fruition here if you have the iPad sat on the Smart Keyboard.
If games could use the full keyboard, it could open up more games to come to iOS.
Civilisation VI was released for the iPad last month, optimised for touch controls and exactly the same game a you’d buy it from Steam.
But it’s glaringly obvious to me, just how a keyboard could benefit the game more.
Imagine Sonic 2 with only the arrow keys and another to jump.
The same layout on the Mac version of Tomb Raider.
- Rollercoaster Tycoon.
It’s possible, and if the next step has to borrow a feature from the desktop age, this would be a good fit.
SECOND GENERATION SMART KEYBOARD.
This is what I buy alongside an iPad every time. But ever since I’ve paired an old Bluetooth keyboard to it when I’m writing at home, i miss some of the shortcuts i get on that when I try to use the Smart Keyboard outside.
Shortcuts for taking screenshots or scrolling down a page without using the fingers help, and to have a function bar would be beneficial.
I still wouldn’t like a touch bar, as i still don’t see how that’s a better improvement, apart from easy access to emoji’s.
I’m still apprehensive about Siri, but to have a dedicated key for it would be welcome, without having to shout out ‘HEY SIRI!’ in a public place or having to hold down the home button to activate it.
Even different colours for the case when it’s closed would be nice. When it’s folded, you never see the part that covers the screen, so to have a dark red or a blue cover would be a nice touch.
AIRPOWER FROM SMART CASE.
Bear with me here.
Since I’ve bought a QI charger, it’s been convenient to just place the iPhone on a pad and let it charge overnight. But with the case on an iPad, what if you could place your iPhone or AirPods onto a closed case of an iPad, and let it charge?
It’s rare that I see the ‘10% warning’ notification, regardless of how much I use it each day, so I could see this working.
Especially with how ridiculous it looks to charge an Apple Pencil from the lightening port, you could just place it on the case, and the pencil would charge.
BETTER Picture-in-Picture CONTROL.
I’ve loved having Picture in Picture mode since I had my iPad Mini 4, as it allows you to watch content as you have two other apps open. But since then it hasn’t changed. If I want to skip a certain scene, i have to bring it back to full screen, use the slider, and then go back to where I was.
To have a slider to go to certain parts of the video, just as you do in a music app, would be very useful, alongside a short playlist window.
I’m at the point now where I use iTunes as an import tool for the iPad. Any video i have on my external hard drive, I have to connect the iPad to the MacBook Air by wire or Wi-Fi, and hope that it transfers. On Wi-Fi, I have to cross the fingers and hope that it doesn’t cancel the transfer, even though the devices are a bed apart from each other.
All I’d like, is a way to plug my external hard drive or photo cards in, and export them to the relevant app.
Some will go on about how the cloud is the way forward, and it is.
But for power users that store terabytes of data and need some of that data when they have no internet access, it would be a great help.
A professional cameraman wants the hard storage of flash cards and a hard drive for any other projects that they have
Files.app in iOS 11 was a good start, but it’s a Finder.app that’s almost a cardboard cut out of the macOS version.
There are File Transfer Apps, and I use them, but to me, that’s essentially equal to using masking tape to a problem.
To have something fully manageable, where you can look at files from almost anywhere in the iPad filesystem, would be incredibly useful.
FULL DARK MODE.
I was surprised that it didn’t appear with the iPhone X last year. With its OLED display, there would have been opportunity to prolong the battery further due to an OLED screen managing blacks much better than an LCD display does.
But regardless, even though I believe an OLED iPad is years away, I still want a dark mode iOS.
Whenever I can in an app, I’ll use ‘Dark Mode’. Ulysses, Tweetbot, Overcast, Infuse. If it’s there, I’ll switch it on. It looks much better, especially on a bigger display, and it helps me focus on what I’m looking at in the app.
There’s been hints of it, such as when you do a quick reply to a message, or parts of the ‘Smart Invert’ in the Accessibility, but to have it consistently across the OS would be great. Even to have it automatically switch to it when you’re in a darkened area, similar to the Books.app would be great.
I can see the UI adapting a dark, navy blue theme across the system, with even Orange on some of the UI buttons.
It wouldn’t be an iPadOS without some UI improvements to take more advantage of those two bigger screens.
- First of all, as I’ve said this before, I find having full-screen Siri on an iPad pointless. It takes away from what you’re doing and Siri is demanding you to give full attention to it. I’d like to see a similar look to how it is on macOS, where you only see the results on the top right of the screen, so you can still continue typing that e-mail you were in the middle of.
- Overall speed improvements. Drag and drop is more used on the iPad than the iPhone, with Photos and text benefiting from this between different apps. But there’s times when it seems to, ‘drag’. When dragging an icon to have split screen enabled, I can find it slow to register the press, then have it be next to the other app.
This would be great to have if you have the iPad in a dock on your desk at home, and as soon as you sit down, the iPad recognises you, and brings you to the homescreen without you even touching the iPad.
But even then, as I discussed on a future episode of ‘The Outpost Show’, the challenge is where that camera could be on the iPad.
I use it in landscape mode 95% of the time. It’s at the point where it looks odd to me when i have it in portrait mode. The general feeling is that the next iPad will look similar to the iPhone X, with its notch and its front almost all-screen.
But i disagree.
Apple got rid of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 because of, cringingly, ‘courage’. Yet it’s still on the iPad.
But, I can see the home button disappearing instead, and the camera staying where it is.
To have a notch on a 10.5″ and 12.9″ device would be like having a notch on a 50’ 4K TV, it wouldn’t make any sense.
The cameras would blend into the black bezel, the screen would take over the front but not too much, while the back would have its respective colour of choice, whether thats gold, rose gold, silver, or, I’m hoping soon, ProductRED.
The iPad has slowly gone from something I couldn’t justify, to something that I carry with me every day in a bag that I need. The Mac is now something I can’t justify spending over £1000 on, as its now been relegated to a second screen and media manager.
If Apple fully flesh out the iPad on its own, people may start to wonder if a 13 inch ARM-powered Mac laptop will really be needed.
Having an iPadOS would start to finally differentiate the iPad into its own camp, and with its own features just for the devices, it could give even more weight of Apple fully devoting its time to the tablet.