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Do we need to upgrade iPads anymore?


  • Total voters
    263

floral

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 12, 2023
1,011
1,232
Earth
At this point, all iPads in the current lineup can do just about anything a human would ever need to do. It can text. It can watch. It can play. It can edit. It can even draw. And the recent iPad Pro lineup features the powerful M2 chip, which delivers nearly the most intense gaming and art experiences one could ever have. So I've been thinking lately... is this the end? Have we perfected the iPad? I mean, think about it. Even in 10 or 15 years, the latest iPads would likely deliver all you would ever need in a device. Games can't really get any more fleshed out. Art programs already have practically limitless potential. And while battery life does deteriorate, you could just get replacements when Apple supports it, and thirdparty repairs when they don't. What do you think?
 
Last edited:

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,785
12,997
Around a decade ago, I thought I wouldn't need more power than Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge/Haswell. Alas, operating systems, app, websites, etc. all got more bloated and demanding and newer technologies like 4K and HEVC emerged.

I have since replaced my older PC with newer ones sporting Ryzen 5/7 CPUs (6-8 cores/12-16 threads). Still, I expect to get a fairly long useful life from my M1 iPad Pro.

As far as games go, the vanilla M1/M2 are far below the performance of say, even the RTX 3060 and 3070. I think they're actually lower than the RTX 3050 which many don't consider to be a "proper" gaming card. There's certainly a lot of room for improvement in terms of GPU performance.
 

okkibs

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2022
991
933
The hardware of the iPad Pros is at this point being held back by the software. There really isn't anything newer hardware can improve about the fact that there is only one allowed browser, Safari, the same Safari that keeps losing open tabs randomly, or not supporting actual multiple instances instead of just multiple windows, and hardware won't change that Stage Manager could really use some improvements.

Another example: What do I do with 2TB of storage on the iPad? I could sync my entire music library but then I'd have no way whatsoever of managing it on the iPad, because the Music app is so dumbed down it can't edit anything. I can't add music to it without connecting it to a computer again either.

Or why can't I plug in the iPhone to the iPad and download photos to the iPad when I am on the go? Why does this require an iCloud sync over the internet even though it works just fine syncing over the cable to MacOS?

For me there is just no point in having this amazing hardware with all the yearly improved processing power when the apps are so lacking in functionality compared to the MacOS counterparts that I can't use the hardware.

Most of my data resides on a NAS where I can easily browse my files in Finder on MacOS, and open the corresponding app by double clicking a file. Now try browsing a SMB fileshare on the iPad. Even something extremely simple as importing photos to show them in a slideshow is mind-numbingly silly. Opening any photo just shows the photo but doesn't allow me to open the photos app. I have to open a context menu on every single photo and manually click an option to import it to the photos app first (said option is badly labeled so it takes a while to even realize it's possible at all) and then these photos will be randomly sorted and ignoring my tags from MacOS.

On MacOS such tasks literally take seconds, on the iPad I can try to make it work for minutes and end up giving up being very frustrated.

At least multitasking works well enough now...

But my powerful iPad is currently a newspaper reader on the loo now, because there isn't a single workflow that I can do without requiring some basic but missing MacOS feature. Especially with the big photo and movie files I work with the iCloud is of no help to me, as it's just way too slow and space-constrained, whereas the 16-bay NAS can hold a couple hundred TB and sync them across devices fast.

If I just wanted to browse the web and airplay some music, I wouldn't need an iPad Pro in the first place, even the cheapest basic older gen iPad can do that.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,785
12,997
Or why can't I plug in the iPhone to the iPad and download photos to the iPad when I am on the go? Why does this require an iCloud sync over the internet even though it works just fine syncing over the cable to MacOS?

You can. Try connecting your iPhone to iPad using USB-C to Lightning cable. The iPhone gets recognized as a camera on the iPad Photos app, it will scan the library photos and after scanning, you can select the images you want from the iPhone for import.
 

iPadified

macrumors 68000
Apr 25, 2017
1,972
2,190
The hardware of the iPad Pros is at this point being held back by the software. There really isn't anything newer hardware can improve about the fact that there is only one allowed browser, Safari, the same Safari that keeps losing open tabs randomly, or not supporting actual multiple instances instead of just multiple windows, and hardware won't change that Stage Manager could really use some improvements.

Another example: What do I do with 2TB of storage on the iPad? I could sync my entire music library but then I'd have no way whatsoever of managing it on the iPad, because the Music app is so dumbed down it can't edit anything. I can't add music to it without connecting it to a computer again either.

Or why can't I plug in the iPhone to the iPad and download photos to the iPad when I am on the go? Why does this require an iCloud sync over the internet even though it works just fine syncing over the cable to MacOS?

For me there is just no point in having this amazing hardware with all the yearly improved processing power when the apps are so lacking in functionality compared to the MacOS counterparts that I can't use the hardware.

Most of my data resides on a NAS where I can easily browse my files in Finder on MacOS, and open the corresponding app by double clicking a file. Now try browsing a SMB fileshare on the iPad. Even something extremely simple as importing photos to show them in a slideshow is mind-numbingly silly. Opening any photo just shows the photo but doesn't allow me to open the photos app. I have to open a context menu on every single photo and manually click an option to import it to the photos app first (said option is badly labeled so it takes a while to even realize it's possible at all) and then these photos will be randomly sorted and ignoring my tags from MacOS.

On MacOS such tasks literally take seconds, on the iPad I can try to make it work for minutes and end up giving up being very frustrated.

At least multitasking works well enough now...

But my powerful iPad is currently a newspaper reader on the loo now, because there isn't a single workflow that I can do without requiring some basic but missing MacOS feature. Especially with the big photo and movie files I work with the iCloud is of no help to me, as it's just way too slow and space-constrained, whereas the 16-bay NAS can hold a couple hundred TB and sync them across devices fast.

If I just wanted to browse the web and airplay some music, I wouldn't need an iPad Pro in the first place, even the cheapest basic older gen iPad can do that.
Because the iPad, like the iPhone, is married to the cloud and not to a computer or external devices. This is by design. Sincerely, when was Apple content management system good on any device. I mean iTunes and iBooks, what a mess.
 

RinkDinkus

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2022
71
87
Instagram: maxzeuner
The hardware of the iPad Pros is at this point being held back by the software. There really isn't anything newer hardware can improve about the fact that there is only one allowed browser, Safari, the same Safari that keeps losing open tabs randomly, or not supporting actual multiple instances instead of just multiple windows, and hardware won't change that Stage Manager could really use some improvements.

Another example: What do I do with 2TB of storage on the iPad? I could sync my entire music library but then I'd have no way whatsoever of managing it on the iPad, because the Music app is so dumbed down it can't edit anything. I can't add music to it without connecting it to a computer again either.

Or why can't I plug in the iPhone to the iPad and download photos to the iPad when I am on the go? Why does this require an iCloud sync over the internet even though it works just fine syncing over the cable to MacOS?

For me there is just no point in having this amazing hardware with all the yearly improved processing power when the apps are so lacking in functionality compared to the MacOS counterparts that I can't use the hardware.

Most of my data resides on a NAS where I can easily browse my files in Finder on MacOS, and open the corresponding app by double clicking a file. Now try browsing a SMB fileshare on the iPad. Even something extremely simple as importing photos to show them in a slideshow is mind-numbingly silly. Opening any photo just shows the photo but doesn't allow me to open the photos app. I have to open a context menu on every single photo and manually click an option to import it to the photos app first (said option is badly labeled so it takes a while to even realize it's possible at all) and then these photos will be randomly sorted and ignoring my tags from MacOS.

On MacOS such tasks literally take seconds, on the iPad I can try to make it work for minutes and end up giving up being very frustrated.

At least multitasking works well enough now...

But my powerful iPad is currently a newspaper reader on the loo now, because there isn't a single workflow that I can do without requiring some basic but missing MacOS feature. Especially with the big photo and movie files I work with the iCloud is of no help to me, as it's just way too slow and space-constrained, whereas the 16-bay NAS can hold a couple hundred TB and sync them across devices fast.

If I just wanted to browse the web and airplay some music, I wouldn't need an iPad Pro in the first place, even the cheapest basic older gen iPad can do that.
This was mostly the reason why I ended up getting rid of my iPad. Sure everything flies on it still even though it was rocking an A12, but what does this allow me to do more efficiently without a computer? I agree here, why are they touting a computer that is dumb at its core? Dumb file management? Am I supposed to be hooked into to Apple Music to manage my music? ********.

When I traded my iPad in to help pay for my iPhone 14 Plus, the Apple Store rep said “have you considered having an iPad as a main computer?” To which I replied “can the iPad manage external storage and format them like a traditional computer does?” 😶
 

spiderman0616

Suspended
Aug 1, 2010
5,670
7,497
This is a question that has been asked for decades. As tech changes and improves, there will always be good opportunities to upgrade. And even though Apple's hardware tends to hold its value better than other companies' hardware, it's never been all that practical or economical to upgrade yearly, so I'm not sure where some people get the compulsion to do so. As a pretty loyal Apple fan, I do like to switch out my iPhone every year, because I feel that the iPhone still gets all the best Apple magic first, but I will admit that doing so is every bit as silly, if not sillier, than upgrading a Mac, iPad, Apple Watch or anything else yearly.

In other words, upgrade when you actually need to, not when the marketing materials tell you to. But again, I don't begrudge anyone their splurge purchases. New toys are fun.
 
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okkibs

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2022
991
933
You can. Try connecting your iPhone to iPad using USB-C to Lightning cable.
I admit you got me there - I only have a USB-A to lightning cable so I never came around to trying it out. Good riddance to Lightning really, I refuse to buy new cables.

This is by design.
Nobody doubts Apple's engineers couldn't do better. That actually makes it worse, deliberately making a Pro device that runs the same apps as the cheapest basic iPad (ok fine, except for Stage Manager) with the same software limitations. My original intention with the iPad was to see whether it could replace my Macbook on the go, but I realized quickly it's an oversized iPhone.

The cloud just doesn't help with data in the Terabytes, which is what makes the 2TB iPads (and iPhones) so absurd.
 
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rappr

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2007
132
259
Apple will start limiting features through software.
But yeah, in general, if I were buying an iPad, I would jsut buy the cheapest one as it basically runs the same apps as the iPad Pros.
All Macs run the same software regardless of if they are “Pro” devices, and Apple doesn’t software limit features there (except high power mode). I would expect that to continue to be the same on iPad.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,637
Indonesia
All Macs run the same software regardless of if they are “Pro” devices, and Apple doesn’t software limit features there (except high power mode). I would expect that to continue to be the same on iPad.
Apple is already doing it, aka Stage manager. They also did it on the iphone, aka action mode.
 

Isengardtom

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2009
1,284
2,063
All Macs run the same software regardless of if they are “Pro” devices, and Apple doesn’t software limit features there (except high power mode). I would expect that to continue to be the same on iPad.
Apple Pencil Hover? Doubt that’s a hardware limitation


I still see some hardware improvement potential in the iPad Pro. Positioning of the camera to the centre, Screen and audio improvements, I think both the apple pencil as well as the Magic Keyboard still have a lot of potential improvements. Maybe even some way to completely eliminate the bezels without adding palm interference,…

If anything the iPad has more improvement potential than the Mac at the moment for me, excluding just raw performance.

But I agree that software has the biggest untapped potential. Gaming potential is huge on the iPad (only limited by the 30% app store fees in many ways and as others have stated in the GPU performance of the M Chips
 

Zdigital2015

macrumors 601
Jul 14, 2015
4,069
5,470
East Coast, United States
I’m still making do quite well with my 2017 iPad Pro 12.9” at this time along with a very budget priced iPad Air 4. I have thought about replacing iPad Pro, but unless iPadOS is updated to create a compelling reason, I have been unable to justify a purchase that expensive right now. I’m more excited by Apple Silicon on Macs than iPads even though macOS isn’t exactly a cutting edge operating system at this point on its life.

Long story short, until Apple advances the iPad along far enough to do 90% of what I need to do on my Mac, there are no major updates in my future.
 

james2538

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2008
555
1,789
Potential Upgrades: MagSafe charging, OLED Display, Better Battery, Waterproof

Beyond those I don't know what they could add to the iPad to make me excited enough to buy a new model. I couldn't care less about the additional power they keep adding. Until iPad OS becomes a more full fledged operating system my MacBook Pro will always be my main computing device (and probably beyond that since it has an attached keyboard)
 

GMShadow

macrumors 68000
Jun 8, 2021
1,939
7,904
The hardware of the iPad Pros is at this point being held back by the software. There really isn't anything newer hardware can improve about the fact that there is only one allowed browser, Safari, the same Safari that keeps losing open tabs randomly, or not supporting actual multiple instances instead of just multiple windows, and hardware won't change that Stage Manager could really use some improvements.

Another example: What do I do with 2TB of storage on the iPad? I could sync my entire music library but then I'd have no way whatsoever of managing it on the iPad, because the Music app is so dumbed down it can't edit anything. I can't add music to it without connecting it to a computer again either.

Or why can't I plug in the iPhone to the iPad and download photos to the iPad when I am on the go? Why does this require an iCloud sync over the internet even though it works just fine syncing over the cable to MacOS?

For me there is just no point in having this amazing hardware with all the yearly improved processing power when the apps are so lacking in functionality compared to the MacOS counterparts that I can't use the hardware.

Most of my data resides on a NAS where I can easily browse my files in Finder on MacOS, and open the corresponding app by double clicking a file. Now try browsing a SMB fileshare on the iPad. Even something extremely simple as importing photos to show them in a slideshow is mind-numbingly silly. Opening any photo just shows the photo but doesn't allow me to open the photos app. I have to open a context menu on every single photo and manually click an option to import it to the photos app first (said option is badly labeled so it takes a while to even realize it's possible at all) and then these photos will be randomly sorted and ignoring my tags from MacOS.

On MacOS such tasks literally take seconds, on the iPad I can try to make it work for minutes and end up giving up being very frustrated.

At least multitasking works well enough now...

But my powerful iPad is currently a newspaper reader on the loo now, because there isn't a single workflow that I can do without requiring some basic but missing MacOS feature. Especially with the big photo and movie files I work with the iCloud is of no help to me, as it's just way too slow and space-constrained, whereas the 16-bay NAS can hold a couple hundred TB and sync them across devices fast.

If I just wanted to browse the web and airplay some music, I wouldn't need an iPad Pro in the first place, even the cheapest basic older gen iPad can do that.

Have you never heard of AirDrop?

A lot of these complaints *really* are just "I don't want to take the time to learn that there are faster/better ways of doing this, I want this to be macOS".

Stop trying to make iPadOS into macOS. Do some research into other apps if the stock ones are too limiting.
 

floral

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 12, 2023
1,011
1,232
Earth
After looking at the replies, my conclusion is that iPads will be eventually obsoleted by new apps/features but the longevity has definitely improved. It's sad that Apple can, and probably will, continue to limit the longevity via software and the hardware potential is largely unspent. But, at least we aren't in the iPhone 1st gen days...
 
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OneBar

Suspended
Dec 2, 2022
575
2,001
At this point, all iPads in the current lineup can do just about anything a human would ever need to do. It can text. It can watch. It can play. It can edit. It can even draw. And the recent iPad Pro lineup features the powerful M2 chip, which delivers even the most intense gaming and art experiences one could ever have. So I've been thinking lately... is this the end? Have we perfected the iPad? I mean, think about it. Even in 10 or 15 years, the latest iPads would likely deliver all you would ever need in a device. Games can't really get any more fleshed out. Art programs already have practically limitless potential. And while battery life does deteriorate, you could just get replacements when Apple supports it, and thirdparty repairs when they don't. What do you think?
The device will eventually wear out if nothing else. And technology improves in the meantime. On an iPad I could see getting longer use than out of a phone, just from wear alone. But they will not last your lifetime. Either just from component failure or no longer being able to run the new software and OS. I would estimate that, unless you're using cutting edge software that requires equivalent hardware, you're probably good for at minimum 5 years on an iPad before upgrading would become relevant.
 

HarryMudd

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2021
53
72
I find this question very interesting. I typically use my iPad for convenience, a 16” MacBook Pro Max is sitting right here, but which do I pick up to read this forum…yeah, why, I don’t really know. There is a fair number of things I can’t do on the iPad, some websites require a real computer to work right. External networking on Ethernet, the file manager on iPadOS is still lacking for me. The dumbed down version of Lightroom and Photoshop are a pain especially since Adobe, much like Apple, want’s me to do everything on the Cloud.

All that being said, I would like to have a camera in the middle of the screen. And I do like using the pencil with Lightroom. And as I mentioned it is by far the most used item to consume video, email, web.

Still it’s an interesting question causing me some introspection. I’m also finding it interesting to read what others are thinking on the subject. Thanks for posting it.
 
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koelsh

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2021
262
334
I think iPad is perfected in terms of what Apple wants it to be. It’s perfectly chained and shoehorned into being halfway (and exactly halfway) between an iPhone and Mac.

There will always be new hardware features they add to push upgrades forward. But need the software to do something only 1% different? Have to go to iPhone or Mac (or an entirely different platform).
 
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