iPadOS changes everything and nothing about Apple’s vision for the tablet

Maybe I’m using it wrong, but when I finally got to install the iPadOS 13 Public Beta on my iPad Air 2, it wasn’t the revelatory tablet experience I was hoping for. It didn’t open my eyes to what the iPad could be or give me any indication that I could use it as my primary computer. Quite frankly, it didn’t feel any less or more like the iPad than was running iOS 12 the day before.

I’m not even really sure why Apple felt the need to change the name. Most likely it’s mainly for marketing purposes—especially since my iPad still informs me that iOS 13 is up to date in the Settings—but a new name generally implies major changes, which iPadOS doesn’t really deliver. Yes, there are more icons on the home screen and a new panel of widgets that brings the Today screen out of its hiding place, but all in all, iPadOS 13 seems more like a capitulation than a revolution.

Basically, Apple gave us what it thought we wanted. It gave in to the mounting pressure to turn the iPad into something that’s less like a giant phone and more like a touch-screen Mac, but it doesn’t actually succeed at either. Instead, iPadOS introduces a new level of complexity without really solving any of the old problems. Basically Apple took the path of least resistance and gave iOS on the iPad a new name rather than a new identity.

An OS by any other name

Instead of a truly revolutionary OS that fills the gap between the iPhone and Mac and offers a new way to work and play, iPadOS is an amalgam of iOS, iPhone X, and the Mac, without a real identity of its own. More than ever, it seems like Apple doesn’t really know what it wants the iPad to be.


iPadOS brings home screen changes, but they’re not the ones you’re looking for.

While iPadOS 13 definitely ticks off a few items off our iPad wish list, it’s not nearly as satisfying as it should be. The home screen fits way more icons than before—45 on a single screen if you max out the dock—but they still need…


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