what does ipad/ios need to make it a full computer replacement?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mrklaw, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    Ipad air 2 introduced split screen multitasking.

    Ipad pro introduced an official keyboard cover and stylus support.

    But what else is needed to make ipad a full computing replacement for most people?

    Personally, I think it needs at least the following two things:
    1) better file system support. Icloud drive is a start, and you can manage by using dropbox etc with lots of apps. But I think it needs better support on desktops/web so you can get to your files when not on ipad, and better connections between apps. This isn't super critical as you can get by at the moment, but it isn't perfect.

    2) mouse/trackpad support. Adding a keyboard case to the ipad pro is great, and ipad can also work with bluetooth keyboards. But it isn't easy to have your ipad balanced on its folded case and then having to move the cursor with your finger on the screen. Firstly it isn't that stable; and secondly you have to reach across the keyboard to do it which isn't comfortable. Having trackpad/BT mouse support, even if just for cursor movement within apps, would be a big step forward especially for office suite apps like word processing/spreadsheets etc.

    Any others you can think of? Areas where maybe a small change would have a big impact and finally let you ditch that laptop you only use 10% of the time now?
  2. lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2015
    Rather than trackpad support I wish that there was an area near the bottom of the screen where the user can use to select stuff. Just like when your using the software keyboard.
  3. sjleworthy, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016

    sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    Desk top apps !!!!

    I can live without filemanager/connectivity if pushed as i find cloud services more than copes with my needs here admirably, and the Pencil or a fine tipped stylus nicelly sorts my mouse needs out, in regular capacitive mode or smart modes, but desk top apps and more standard and powerfull Pro apps, imo, would be pushing ipad into laptop territory for so many peeps.
  4. oldmacs macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2010

    Essentially it needs a local version of iCloud Drive, with expended capabilities plus support for external drives, which would be an interesting problem to tackle.

    Currently the file solution is so simple it complicates everything.
  5. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    Just apps. That's all I need. Bring me Final Cut Pro X without being a watered down iOS version and I'll believe this iPad is capable of just about anything
  6. Channan macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2012
    New Orleans
    User accessible file system, setting default apps, the ability to install apps from other sources, even better multitasking, and mouse support.
  7. sparksd macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    Another vote for non-sandboxed file system and support for external storage - I want to use my Air 2 in a lot of situations where Internet access is not available.
  8. seadragon, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016

    seadragon Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    My idea of an iPad Pro is:

    Directly accessible file system.
    Mouse and trackpad support.
    Expandable memory (this would be REALLY great)
    Ports like a laptop (couple of USB, SD card reader, video, power) which all can be used simultaneously.
    Desktop apps instead of the crippled mobile versions.

    I use Lightroom to process Raw files, Final Cut and Logic Pro. I really want the iPad to run these apps.

    When the day comes that it has/does the above, I will consider the iPad truly "Pro" and deserving of that badge and for me would be a full laptop replacement. Apple and software developers could make this all happen if they wanted to.
  9. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    More importantly, people need to be ready to change their mindset and be willing to invest the time to learn a new operating system and a sometimes different way of getting things done.
  10. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    I appreciate your well-reasoned thoughts on the subject. Far too often the response is simply, "put OSX on it!" without consideration to the intricacies and deficiencies involved with that.

    I agree, adding those two options to the iPad/iOS would expand the number of people who could use an iPad as a full desktop computer replacement. Obviously that won't be fully cover everyone, but then again it shouldn't.

    I've got a terrific setup with my 128GB Air 2 + Belkin Qode Ultralite keyboard cover + DotPen stylus. Split screen works great and I've been able to be quite productive with it. Adding those two would help me to reduce down to only 2 devices iMac + iPad from my current 3 devices iMac + iPad + 11" MBA.

    For those times that I'm on the go and need access to OSX, I would simply remote into my iMac. I can do that now on the iPad but without mouse support it is cumbersome.

    I believe that Apple will implement those two items over time with mouse/trackpad support coming as early as this year.
  11. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    Physical USB ports, mouse & keyboard support, a file manager, download manager, the ability to run software and software tweaks without requiring Apple's permission...

    If that's too hard, build a "MacinDock" that lets me dock my iPad and transform it into a "real" computer. The name would be punny as hell, too.
  12. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Aug 13, 2012

    Couldn't agree more. Just want to have the same extent and capability of the App / Application on my iPad as I do on my iMac.
  13. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    It just can't. I'll take the MacBook every time.
  14. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    For me, it's not even new apps or more apps--just some key updates to the apps I already use. Without getting too detailed and boring, if Apple made one simple tweet to iOS (adding more access to the iOS audio stack), I would be able to do 99% of my non-day job work on an iPad, or even an iPhone. I still can't do my full time desk job on iOS, and it's a LONG way off from me being able to do that, but as far as extra curricular stuff? iOS is almost there.

    I'm currently typing this on my 13" rMBP. It's basically docked to my workstation. I have 2 DVI switches on my desk (one for each of my large widescreen Dell monitors) so that I can flip back and forth between my Mac and my work issued PC. All I have to do is put the Macbook down on the desk, plug in a couple of video cables and any other peripherals I need at the moment, and I have a HUGE multitasking OS X workspace. Until an iPad can do that, I just can't part with my Macbook.
  15. paulmeyers42 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2014
    This. At this point, the hardware is more than capable, the OS is capable - we just need full featured apps that take advantage of the big screen, that aren't afraid to do things on the iPad that they don't on the iPhone.
  16. Beavix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2010
    I need apps. I need iPad versions of the Adobe apps (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign). I don't need all the features of the desktop apps on the iPad, but at the minimum the iPad apps must be able to read, edit, write, import and export the same file formats as their desktop equivalents with 100% compatibility.

    Then I'll need a file manager like Finder.

    And fonts management.
  17. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Why does iPad Pro need to be a full computer replacement? There are always people who will need a laptop or desktop for the work they do.
  18. Cnasty macrumors 68030


    Jul 2, 2008
    This! I would buy a laptop or desktop. I didn't buy the iPad pro to be a computer replacement. I bought it to fit a certain level of functions that I need it to do that makes my life more efficient and enjoyable as well in other aspects.

    There are some consolidating with the device and that's great but for most it's a companion device to other items we have to make our lives better
  19. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    Consolidation of devices i would say. It bugs some people that they have to buy an iPad for their tablet uses and have a separate desktop or laptop for more powerful takes that requires OS X. Having one device to rule them all is kind of the dream here.

    Personally, the iPad air 2 already replaced my laptop. As much as i loved my retina macbook pro, i barely ever used it compared to my iPad. Now with the iPad pro, i couldn't be more "i love the iPad pro as my main device" if i tried. I still have an old macbook i remote into when i want to do some work in Xcode or some programming stuff, but thats not really even something thats impossible with the iPad. I feel like we are a couple major OS updates away from iPad being the one device to rule them all for just about everybody
  20. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK

    i buy and use desktops because i have no choice. but, i also need portability and flexibility to perform the more 'admin' side of my works. I struggled with a regular ipad in this respect, and ended up using if at maybe 30-40% efficiently, but now with the Pro and Pencil ALL my minor work and admin duties (stuff not needed to be handled by my works pc's) is more than handled on the Pro
  21. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    That sounds like a nice way of saying that people need to accept compromises and inconveniences that they currently don't have to put up with on a "full computer".

    Anyway, as others have said, a true file management system would be greatly appreciated
  22. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Aug 13, 2012
    Yeah, come on people, lower your expectations and you'll do just fine.
  23. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Currently I use my desktop for these things:
    - managing files on my external hard drives
    - convert video and audio formats
    - editing epubs -- drives me nuts if I get an ePub file with lots of spelling and formatting errors. I would love it if I could correct the errors as I read.
    - convert Word/Pages files to WordPerdect (yes I know, our office still uses WordPerdect!)

    If I could do above from my iPad, I could get rid of my desktop. And the only OS level thing is the first one. The others could be done if someone would just write an app to do it.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2016 ---
    Yes, exactly. We bought the retina MBP when it first came out, loved the beautiful screen, but then looked at each other and said, "When will we use this?" So we returned it. Same thing with the Surface Pro 3. It was a great laptop, but it wasn't going to replace our iPads as a tablet, so back it went. When the new retina MacBook came out, we spent some days salivating over it at the Apple Store. We even placed an order for one. Then I realized that the week it was going to arrive, I'd be too busy to set it up. And after all, when would we use it? We cancelled that order.

    I think the newest computer we have is my iMac, which just passed the 3 year mark and is out of Apple Care. We have a bunch of older iMacs and Dell desktops, and they are all working fine. We just don't need to replace computers that much anymore. And 90-95% of our "computer" use is on the iPads.
  24. Beavix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2010
    Because working on an iPad is more comfortable than sitting at a desktop or having a notebook on my lap.
  25. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    You say "full computer replacement" as if there is an industry-standard definition. There's not. There's a spectrum of use cases that range from the capabilities of the iPad 1 all the way through to a Surface Pro.... and everything in between. For some, the iPad is already a full computer replacement.

    The discussion is about how far along the spectrum should the iPad (Pro and non) go. How far can it move toward full computer replacements WITHOUT compromising the mobile/tablet nature of the device? It is fair to say that the Surface Pro has gone too far. Some believe that the iPad Pro has not gone far enough.

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