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Rradcircless

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2022
151
328
I own a M1 MacBook Pro and 12.9“ iPad Pro. Being a digital illustrator, I primarily use the iPad for Procreate and handwriting notes. In my opinion, however, iPadOS is a feeble alternative to MacOS for everything else. Professional work, document editing and even navigation. Apps threaten to reboot or refresh when you leave them on iPad.

Thinking about how iPads and MacBooks share chips now, I had an ambitious fantasy wherein Apple fused the two devices into one. The iPad IS the MacBook, detachable from its keyboard like a Surface 2-in-1 but actually powerful. This could give someone like me everything they need. A smooth operating system (MacOS) and the touch/Apple Pencil compatibility of iPad.

I first had this idea early this year and what I’ve read on MacRumors implies Apple won’t soon go this direction but I will certainly be there when they do.

PS.
I’m aware there are all sorts of logistics to figure out such as weight balancing and keeping the MacPadiBook light when the screen has all the power.
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,148
9,197
USA
People have talked about this for a long time but I don’t see Apple releasing it anytime soon. The problem is in its current state. macOS is not touchscreen friendly. I’m not saying they couldn’t work on that but it would take a lot of work. Apple doesn’t want the Windows 8 debacle happening to them.
 

slplss

macrumors 6502a
Nov 2, 2011
946
1,010
EU
People have talked about this for a long time but I don’t see Apple releasing it anytime soon. The problem is in its current state. macOS is not touchscreen friendly. I’m not saying they couldn’t work on that but it would take a lot of work. Apple doesn’t want the Windows 8 debacle happening to them.
The idea to sell touchscreen Mac or to switch between two operating systems each with their own libraries is crazy (good) on its own, but I don’t think that‘s the main problem. It’s they want to sell you two devices instead of one. Let us hope Apple is secretly working on their Pro apps for iPadOS, at least.
 
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threesixty360

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2007
707
1,382
What I find interesting is that ipadOS is actually used by far more people and in far more use cases than their traditional macOS. Yet, if you just read the computer forums you'd think they were failures. I think Apple in trying to sell more expensive iPad's has confused buyers. The original point of the iPad was that Steve Jobs said they couldn't make a MacBook as cheap as a netbook. So they made the iPad to compete with netbooks. Now they are selling iPad Pro's for the same price as MacBooks and people want the same utility. Apple needs to fix the messaging here.

I personally dont want macOS and iPadOS being the same. I already see the problem when running iOS apps on the m1 Mac. Its weird. They should lower the price of the iPads and make them what they were meant to be, low cost computing devices for the masses. Let the MacBook be the niche thing, the "pick up truck" as Steve would say.

I even think using the M1/M2 processors (or the marketing of them) in iPads is causing them all sorts of problems. They are implying there machines can do the same thing as their mac's as they have the same guts. But its a completely different OS/Workflow and market place for iPads vs Macs.

For example, Apple cant sell you Final Cut Pro X thats the same as the Mac version for $250. Who would buy it on the iPad when there is lumafusion for $25? The iPad market won't handle that pricing. Which is why there aren't as many professional grade apps on the iPad. Its nothing to do with iPadOS or the hardware. Its mostly market forces that are limiting what the iPad can do. I just dont think the public understands that well enough.
 

PeteBurgh

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2014
281
622
There have been dozens if not hundreds of threads discussing this topic over the last 6-7 years - at least since the original iPad Pro in 2015, when it became clear that iPads could have near-laptop performance. In hardware terms, what OP is asking for basically exists already - there are plenty of cases that turn iPads into convertibles. So really it's about the software.

Personally, I've always felt it would be a mistake to merge the two operating systems. The two platforms have such different strengths - a simple, intuitive touch-first interface of iPad vs ultimate flexibility to do whatever you want on the Mac. I don't see how you can have both platforms overlaid with one another without compromising the strengths of one or both.

I realise that developments on the iPad - new ways of multitasking, keyboards with trackpad support, etc - have muddied the waters somewhat. But I still think that touch-first and keyboard-and-pointer-first interfaces are different in a pretty fundamental way.

I understand why convertibles are intriguing, and some of the devices I've seen around my office - Surfaces, Lenovos, etc - look cool. Ultimately though, I think tablets and desktop computers work best as separate devices that play to their strengths.
 

PeteBurgh

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2014
281
622
What I find interesting is that ipadOS is actually used by far more people and in far more use cases than their traditional macOS. Yet, if you just read the computer forums you'd think they were failures. I think Apple in trying to sell more expensive iPad's has confused buyers. The original point of the iPad was that Steve Jobs said they couldn't make a MacBook as cheap as a netbook. So they made the iPad to compete with netbooks. Now they are selling iPad Pro's for the same price as MacBooks and people want the same utility. Apple needs to fix the messaging here.

I personally dont want macOS and iPadOS being the same. I already see the problem when running iOS apps on the m1 Mac. Its weird. They should lower the price of the iPads and make them what they were meant to be, low cost computing devices for the masses. Let the MacBook be the niche thing, the "pick up truck" as Steve would say.

I even think using the M1/M2 processors (or the marketing of them) in iPads is causing them all sorts of problems. They are implying there machines can do the same thing as their mac's as they have the same guts. But its a completely different OS/Workflow and market place for iPads vs Macs.

For example, Apple cant sell you Final Cut Pro X thats the same as the Mac version for $250. Who would buy it on the iPad when there is lumafusion for $25? The iPad market won't handle that pricing. Which is why there aren't as many professional grade apps on the iPad. Its nothing to do with iPadOS or the hardware. Its mostly market forces that are limiting what the iPad can do. I just dont think the public understands that well enough.
I agree with most of this. For some time now, there has been quite a bit of conceptual confusion in terms of what the iPad Pros are meant to be: simply a deluxe version of the regular iPad experience for those who want to spend more, or a something else, a much different computing experience. The marketing says one thing, but the lack of any first-party pro apps (7 years and counting into the iPad Pro era) says another.
 
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Warped9

macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2018
1,702
2,354
Brockville, Ontario.
A couple of years ago there were lots of touchscreen laptops on the market in hand with a fair bit of consumer interest. But since then the number of touchscreen laptops appears to have gone down and that consumer interest isn’t what it once was. Now most people I encounter are largely indifferent and very few appear to really want it.
 
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Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,544
4,323
There are dozens of pages of discussion about this subject in the iPad as a laptop replacement pinned thread....
You will find many opposite views on this, and some are here too.
From people who say, it will come at some point (a minority), to others that say it won't happen, but these are mainly split in 2 opposite groups:
Group 1: Apple wants to sell 2 devices, not an hybrid that can do both, it's not in their (financial) interest
Group 2: MacOS on iPad makes no sense, not even in dual boot or virtualized, don't change the iPad, get a MacBook if you want that.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,527
2,846
Manhattan
The only way I see Apple doing this is if when the iPad is attached to a keyboard it only runs MacOS and when its detached it only runs iOS. That way, you have a more flexible device but Apple preserves the integrity and use cases for both operating systems.

However, I think the in-between state can continue whereby if you attach a certain type of keyboard to the iPad it will function with iOS only--ala the Magic keyboard.
 

haydn!

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2008
1,276
1,854
UK
Essentially an iPad with a keyboard accessory is a notebook already. So I can’t see Apple releasing a product that develops this idea beyond what is already there anytime soon.

I also cannot see Apple enabling MacOS on iPads either. They’re different for a reason. But I think we’ll continue to see iPad OS to evolve to be more Mac like, but with the obvious touch first lens applied to UI and feature development. Basically a continuation of the last few major OS releases.
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,907
24,505
It’s the same reason why Apple doesn’t let you choose to run macOS on AppleTV even though the hardware could do it. Or why they don’t let you choose between programming languages.

Apple sells a customized solution that includes both hardware and software.
 

chevyboy60013

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2021
446
230
If Apple did that, and made it easy to use a card reader and a wired printer if need be... I would probably not use my MacBook Air hardly at all, so don't see that happening any time soon.
 

hoo-man-b-ing

Cancelled
Mar 13, 2022
116
111
There’s a lot of nuance that often gets overlooked in these discussions. For example, “Mac” and “iPad” are effectively brands and product categories. What falls under each are: variations in hardware (MBP, Mac mini, iMac, etc and iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro), operating systems (macOS vs iPadOS), interaction methods (touch, voice, gestures, trackpad) and, arguably most importantly, customers/users (along with a wealth of demographic and workflow driven personas)

When I factor *all* of those characteristics into a product decision, it’s difficult to see a coherent product that requires a single device to that effectively combines an iPad with a portable Mac. In fact, you could argue that Microsoft’s Surface products already serve as a proxy for that demand, and while they make money and have some appeal to some customers, the market clearly isn’t clamoring for them (which you can gauge by both sales and their release cadence)

Besides, *a lot* of trade offs have to be incurred for a convertible device like this, including reliability, performance, increased complexity and cost. That doesn’t make this a non-starter, but it does mean there has to be enough demand to warrant such a set of trade offs.

And Apple has already somewhat solved this with Sidecar, which I believe serves as a stopgap implementation until Apple AR launches.
 
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Zest28

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2022
2,328
3,331
People have talked about this for a long time but I don’t see Apple releasing it anytime soon. The problem is in its current state. macOS is not touchscreen friendly. I’m not saying they couldn’t work on that but it would take a lot of work. Apple doesn’t want the Windows 8 debacle happening to them.

You can connect a mouse / trackpad and keyboard to the iPad. So this is not a valid argument.

If you don’t connect a mouse and keyboard to a $4000 Mac Studio, you cannot use Mac OS either on a Mac.
 

FeliApple

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2015
3,678
2,078
As I said elsewhere:

”Every single day I thank Apple for not listening to the very vocal minority who wants macOS on an iPad. Great way to ruin the platform. Want macOS? Buy a Mac. The iPad does iPad things extremely well, and I commend Apple for trying to find a way to make the iPad do more (as an iPad!) instead of uselessly and needlessly overlapping it with the Mac.

The iPad isn’t a laptop. It’s a tablet. Let Macs do Mac things and iPads do iPad things, while improving and adding the most functionality to each as possible”.

As a PD, any attempt to fuse them is a regression on the capabilities of one, and as the vast majority of proposals orbit around giving macOS to the iPad, it would an absolutely wonderful way of obliterating the iPad’s capabilities as an iPad, capabilities which are loved by millions. Any attempt to fuse them would inevitably result in a degradation of the things the iPad does well, and… no thank you! Buy a Mac if you want that.

People want Pro software? Develop it for the current iPadOS! Port it into a touch-screen only interface where it works, that’s the solution, imo.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,787
13,004
As a PD, any attempt to fuse them is a regression on the capabilities of one, and as the vast majority of proposals orbit around giving macOS to the iPad, it would an absolutely wonderful way of obliterating the iPad’s capabilities as an iPad, capabilities which are loved by millions.

I wouldn't mind having macOS on the iPad as long as it's done unobtrusively (e.g. virtual machine) and not as a direct replacement to iPadOS.

I've tried Windows 2-in-1s (on Windows 10) and I found myself using them as laptops most of the time since a lot of programs didn't work well with touch/fingers and required more precise input device.
 

FeliApple

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2015
3,678
2,078
I wouldn't mind having macOS on the iPad as long as it's done unobtrusively (e.g. virtual machine) and not as a direct replacement to iPadOS.
Sure, want to give people the choice to run it as a VM? I wouldn’t be opposed to that, if - and only if - you allow me to run iPadOS in its current state without any interference.

Maybe I am misinterpreting everything, but I reckon people’s requests often hover around a direct replacement to iPadOS, instead of letting it remain as-is. That’s what I disagree with.

Edit: I saw you edited your comment, and that’s exactly what I meant. It would inevitably degrade the iPad’s capabilities as an iPad, whilst adding… nothing of value, because Macs are right there to be bought.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,148
9,197
USA
You can connect a mouse / trackpad and keyboard to the iPad. So this is not a valid argument.

If you don’t connect a mouse and keyboard to a $4000 Mac Studio, you cannot use Mac OS either on a Mac.
Actually, it is a valid argument. Apple isn’t going to release macOS on a touchscreen device then tell people just plug a mouse and keyboard in it. If the touchscreen doesn’t work properly, they’re not going to implement it.

I’m not saying there aren’t people here that would still make use of and even want a halfway functioning touchscreen, but this is not something Apple is going to release.
 

Zest28

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2022
2,328
3,331
Actually, it is a valid argument. Apple isn’t going to release macOS on a touchscreen device then tell people just plug a mouse and keyboard in it. If the touchscreen doesn’t work properly, they’re not going to implement it.

I’m not saying there aren’t people here that would still make use of and even want a halfway functioning touchscreen, but this is not something Apple is going to release.

Alot of people have the Apple Magic Keyboard which has a trackpad and a keyboard already, so it's good to go for Mac OS.
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,148
9,197
USA
Alot of people have the Apple Magic Keyboard which has a trackpad and a keyboard already, so it's good to go for Mac OS.
I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of iPad owners don’t have that $300+ contraption.

Even if all of them did and the iPad came with that for free in the box, Apple isn’t going to release an OS that’s not fully compatible with a touchscreen on a touchscreen device. Even if it could be used without the touchscreen. I wouldn’t mind having macOS on iPad myself, but it’s not going to happen with Apple.

I think in a distant future an iPad like device will have something like macOS. I just don’t see it within the next few years.
 

MiniMoke

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2009
96
62
Black River, Mauritius
When I'm home I mostly have my iPad Pro 11" sitting in the Magic Keyboard cover in front of my Mac Mini.... and I have hardly used the Mini in the last months. I do a lot of photo editing, and the usual light office stuff and I found it works much better and friction less on the iPad for me than on the Mac.

Honestly I'm thinking of selling the Mac Mini... What's holding me back?

Essentially it's only these points:

- Being able to format an external drive on iPadOS - rarely needed but hey, I want it
- Allowing Lightroom to manage plugins without a Mac - do I really need all those plugins?
- A print module for Lightroom on the iPad - but then again, Canon Print app works quite well for me...

When external monitor support on the iPad will finally (hopefully) work right, which I don't doubt, I'll be a happy camper with iPad only.

As for Lightroom, there's some very good (not quite Lightroom-grade) apps out there that work fine for me too, such as Darkroom, Pixelmator Photo which are catching up fast to Lightroom.

And I definitely don't want MacOS on the iPad. I like it as it is!
 
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Pakaku

macrumors 68040
Aug 29, 2009
3,202
4,606
A way to share a folder or drive wirelessly between a Mac and an iPad would go a lot further in my case and wouldn't require trying to "fuse" them together. We're sort of there with Airdrop (though I prefer to just use Image Capture) but that's only on a per-file basis, and iCloud Drive wants to be the solution but it gives you very little space without a subscription and requires internet connection. All I really want is local drive sharing.
 

MiniMoke

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2009
96
62
Black River, Mauritius
A way to share a folder or drive wirelessly between a Mac and an iPad would go a lot further in my case and wouldn't require trying to "fuse" them together. We're sort of there with Airdrop (though I prefer to just use Image Capture) but that's only on a per-file basis, and iCloud Drive wants to be the solution but it gives you very little space without a subscription and requires internet connection. All I really want is local drive sharing.
As far as I know apps like File Explorer and such can connect to networked drives.... might be wrong though as I last used it quite some time ago...
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,544
4,323
Maybe I am misinterpreting everything, but I reckon people’s requests often hover around a direct replacement to iPadOS, instead of letting it remain as-is. That’s what I disagree with.

Edit: I saw you edited your comment, and that’s exactly what I meant. It would inevitably degrade the iPad’s capabilities as an iPad, whilst adding… nothing of value, because Macs are right there to be bought.
Most people's requests are for MacOS in addition to iPadOS (dual boot or virtualized) and only a small minority within this minority wants MacOS to replace iPadOS (these people generally don't understand that Apple will never try and make MacOS touch friendly).
As for the "nothing of value" there are 2 main reasons often mentioned (although you were probably referring to replacing iPadOS not to add MacOS to it):
it would be cheaper (and that's exactly the reason why Apple has no interest to do it)
it would be more comfortable to carry only one device and being able to switch OS (and it's hard to argue against that).
 
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