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UBS28

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 2, 2012
2,893
2,340
I knew what I was getting myself into as I own 3 older iPad’s, but I am just curious why software on the iPad Pro is so terrible. Is it because it is very difficult to develop on iOS due to the restrictions Apple has put in place (and thus this will never be solved)?

The iPad brings as much revenue if not more than all Mac‘s combined, so it cannot be due to market share.

If it is due to iOS restrictions which makes it hard for developers to create great software, then Apple should allow dual booting to OS X.

I will bet some people will say to just use remote access. But what is the point of buying a M1 chip while not using it.
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,544
4,323
You don't give examples, but I'll give you a few reasons.
- Mobile systems have historically been under-powered (until early last year the maximum RAM in iPad was 4GB, except for the very niche 1TB 2018 iPad pro)
- Apple takes a 30% cut on mobile software, contrary to desktop
- People have grown used to pay much less for mobile software
- Developing for iPad means (re)designing the interface for touch, which is not necessary on MacOS and Windows and can be a lot of work
- Never overestimate the fact that most companies would rather develop and maintain software for one platform or as few as possible.

Concerning the last point, remember that a ton of apps are not available on Mac and some Mac software is Mac only... (because it's easy to learn to develop for only one platfom..). Also most softwares have not even been made native for M1, which is way easier that porting to iPad... and probably only the announcement that Rosetta will be discontinued will push a lot of developers to make their apps universal... And that in the mobile space only IOS and Android survived, any other OS has been rejected because developing for a third platform is a lot more work (if you can achieve the largest number of people with the minimum number of platforms that's the most efficient)
 
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skaertus

macrumors 601
Feb 23, 2009
4,234
1,385
Brazil
I knew what I was getting myself into as I own 3 older iPad’s, but I am just curious why software on the iPad Pro is so terrible. Is it because it is very difficult to develop on iOS due to the restrictions Apple has put in place (and thus this will never be solved)?

The iPad brings as much revenue if not more than all Mac‘s combined, so it cannot be due to market share.

If it is due to iOS restrictions which makes it hard for developers to create great software, then Apple should allow dual booting to OS X.

I will bet some people will say to just use remote access. But what is the point of buying a M1 chip while not using it.

You don't give examples, but I'll give you a few reasons.
- Mobile systems have historically been under-powered (until early last year the maximum RAM in iPad was 4GB, except for the very niche 1TB 2018 iPad pro)
- Apple takes a 30% cut on mobile software, contrary to desktop
- People have grown used to pay much less for mobile software
- Developing for iPad means (re)designing the interface for touch, which is not necessary on MacOS and Windows and can be a lot of work
- Never overestimate the fact that most companies would rather develop and maintain software for one platform or as few as possible.

Concerning the last point, remember that a ton of apps are not available on Mac and some Mac software is Mac only... (because it's easy to learn to develop for only one platfom..). Also most softwares have not even been made native for M1, which is way easier that porting to iPad... and probably only the announcement that Rosetta will be discontinued will push a lot of developers to make their apps universal... And that in the mobile space only IOS and Android survived, any other OS has been rejected because developing for a third platform is a lot more work (if you can achieve the largest number of people with the minimum number of platforms that's the most efficient)
I would add that, while the iPad line sells a lot, the iPad Pro models, being the most expensive ones, are probably not among the best sellers. That discourages developers from making software specifically for the iPad Pro.

Plus, not everybody that buys an iPad Pro also buys the Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard, as they are two separate devices. That further reduces the market (and the benefits of scale) composed by owners of the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil + Magic Keyboard.

Finally, there is time. PC and Macs are old platforms. Many software were already developed for these platforms, and some of them just get an update. Building new software from zero for the iPad requires additional work, and many manufacturers may not pursue this endeavour especially since the potential market may not be so big after all.
 

jagolden

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2002
1,548
1,425
I knew what I was getting myself into as I own 3 older iPad’s, but I am just curious why software on the iPad Pro is so terrible. Is it because it is very difficult to develop on iOS due to the restrictions Apple has put in place (and thus this will never be solved)?

The iPad brings as much revenue if not more than all Mac‘s combined, so it cannot be due to market share.

If it is due to iOS restrictions which makes it hard for developers to create great software, then Apple should allow dual booting to OS X.

I will bet some people will say to just use remote access. But what is the point of buying a M1 chip while not using it.

…and just which software would that be? A lot of talk in that post with zero substance or back-up.
If you’ve actually had three previous iPads, then bought a fourth and expecting something different, the iPad software is not the issue.
 
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KittyKatta

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2011
1,058
1,212
SoCal
1) Devs have little incentive to make iPad software
- Most users won't spend $30-300 for a high end iPad app
- 30% goes to Apple
- At any point Apple can just sherlock them. The moment FCP shows up then Lumafusion dies

2) Apple Doesnt Care
- iMovie / Photos are embarassingly outdated
- iMovie / Photos aren't even at parity with desktop versions
- Apple makes Pro iPads exist but no Pro iPad software
- Reliance on 3rd party means less work for Apple
- Pro iPad software means less Mac sales. (Most iPad users also have a Mac)

Ive been using iPads from the start and would love to see it evolve beyond being a "sidekick". But I've also accepted that Apple does what it does.. until it doesnt. Maybe one day, but not today.
 

kp98077

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2010
4,175
2,671
yes agreed, the ipad software sucks! nothing like the traditional mac files on an imac, as much as I hate to admit that!
 

Flabasha

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2011
357
441
you’re wrong, it‘s not.
It is. “Pro” software is all but nonexistent, and the few that have made it (Adobe’s absurdly bad “Photoshop”, for instance) have crippled the programs.

Yes, the OS is a joke, but as another poster said, apps for the iPad are traditionally around 10 bucks. Developers have little reason to invest so much development cash for little payoff.

If Apple ever gives in and makes a tablet computer, that will change, but not until then. And they’ve made clear that won’t happen in the foreseeable future. They make too much cash from people buying BOTH iPads and Macs to ever combine the two.
 
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DMG35

Contributor
May 27, 2021
2,329
7,350
I honestly think the main reason is that Apple doesn’t want to make the effort to splinter the software. Its much easier for them to just have ALL of the iPads running the exact same software instead of giving the Pro Models their own software. Same with the phones. Lower end models do everything the Pro models do.

Apple is also smart about it. I would gather that there is a large percentage of people who buy 12.9” iPad Pro simply because of the larger screen. If Apple made a 12.9” iPad Air, the sales of the iPad Pro would be nonexistent for the most part. They squeeze people into buying the larger screen because the Pro model is the only one that has it.

Its really disappointing but at this point we just need to accept it. Apple isn’t going to budge here. They‘ve been pretty transparent at least saying they have no plans for MacOS on the iPad so any time you buy a iPad Pro from them you are buying it knowing full well its overpowered for what it is and you are essentially getting a larger screen and things running a tad bit faster and that’s about it.
 
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iPadified

macrumors 68000
Apr 25, 2017
1,973
2,191
Well, you can do a lot of "pro" work without "pro software" just not high end photo and video editing, CAD, 3D modelling, developers and some engineering. Those who can do work on iPad are teachers at all levels, lawyers, health personnel, pilots...Please fill in for professions needing a pen and paper replacement or are WEB based. For the former group of professions, not even the Mac is an obvious choice.
 

cupcakes2000

macrumors 68040
Apr 13, 2010
3,905
5,356
Plenty of excellent software on the iPad, actually. Not Apples pro offerings yet, of course - but that has little do with the many other great applications available on the platform.

Pixelmator
Lightroom
Vectinator
Shapr 3D
Affinity photo
Affinity designer
Concepts
Procreate
Luma fusion
Cubasis
Jump desktop
Figurative
Animation desk
FileBrowser pro
Strongbox
Multiple note taking apps

This is just a few examples based around my professional iPad + mac workflow. Non of them ‘suck’. What kind of apps do you use that aren’t offering what you need?
 

Jaekae

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2012
712
441
Most pro software for computers have taken very many years of development and updating to reach how it is now. And it wasnt until 2020 that tablets even started to be avle to run pro software, so think it take some years more until we see many more pro apps for ios.

now its mostly only lightroom and affinity series that is as powerful on tablet as it is on a computer
 

clarencek

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2008
295
348
My main issue with iPad apps is that they’re phone apps ported to the iPad.
Really they should port Mac apps to the iPad so you can have things like multiple docs open in word or excel. Multiple emails open like Mac Mail.
For working professionals in an office environment the inability to use multiple docs at once is an issue.

But most of the iPad apps are revamped iOS apps because the platform and chipset were the same.
With the M1 maybe that will change.
 
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ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,993
10,749
Most pro software for computers have taken very many years of development and updating to reach how it is now. And it wasnt until 2020 that tablets even started to be avle to run pro software, so think it take some years more until we see many more pro apps for ios.

now its mostly only lightroom and affinity series that is as powerful on tablet as it is on a computer

I don’t see how 2020 makes a difference here. It’s well known that the chips prior to the M1 were also very capable and had better performance than many old Macs out there.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,788
13,006
I don’t see how 2020 makes a difference here. It’s well known that the chips prior to the M1 were also very capable and had better performance than many old Macs out there.

The A12X on 2018 Pros, sure.

However, the A10X on the 2017 Pro just about caught up with desktop quad-core Haswell (2013) performance, RAM was an anemic 4GB and random 4K write performance was about mechanical HDD level.
 

ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,993
10,749
The A12X on 2018 Pros, sure.

However, the A10X on the 2017 Pro just about caught up with desktop quad-core Haswell (2013) performance, RAM was an anemic 4GB and random 4K write performance was about mechanical HDD level.

Or in other terms, at the level of a slightly older Mac, but passively cooled and in tablet form factor.

Pro doesn’t mean anything, especially when used in a product name.
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2017
4,205
8,838
My main issue with iPad apps is that they’re phone apps ported to the iPad.

Some may be, many are not.

Omnifocus, OmniPlan, Obsidian, Spark, Notability, the Affinity Suite, ToDoist, DevonThink, and Day One are just a few of the first class iPad apps out there.

You not feeling these are valid is your opinion. Others here clearly do not share your opinion.
 

Geepaw

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2021
135
193
Some may be, many are not.

Omnifocus, OmniPlan, Obsidian, Spark, Notability, the Affinity Suite, ToDoist, DevonThink, and Day One are just a few of the first class iPad apps out there.

You not feeling these are valid is your opinion. Others here clearly do not share your opinion.
I agree with @clarencek. I find that iPad apps are often just mobile apps designed to function on the iPhone and are far too dumbed down compared to corresponding MacOS laptop versions to be really useful -- at least with the apps I use. I am sure there are exceptions as there always are. Just my opinion.
 
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ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,961
4,344
Milwaukee Area
ideally, the ipad line would be split in twain:

The basic “iPad” line as it is now, a medium screen/keybd/pencil-ready extension of iPhone’s mobile iOS.
The “iPad Pro” line should really be a portable/touch extension of MacOS.

Not only would that make sense of the “pro” designation, it would fill the MS Surface-shaped gap in the product line and eliminate redundancy. They’d have desktops, notebooks, and tablets aboe to run the same full-featured applications on the “pro” level, and more pared down, entry-level versions of the same hardware array for everyone else. That’s how you beat the Surface, not with BS ads. And to anyone still clinging to “but notebook software wouldn’t work with ur fingertips”, it’s too late, cat’s out of the bag. It works just fine on a wacom touchscreen display, even if it means this trillion dollar company needs to invent precision mode or the magnifier like it’s still 20 years ago.

Of course, Apple just spent 15 years opposed to the idea of a full desktop/notebook OS on a tablet, but they also went back on their own pro apps, phablets, the stylus, intel, displays, network gear, cross-compatibility of all kinds, and privacy, so at this point, it’s clear nothing is precious. It’d be the obvious right thing to do. …so of course Apple will have to come up with some convoluted inversion of the universe to offer an alternative lol
 
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