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Bubble99

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2015
1,100
301
There seems to be lot people complaining about iPadOS that the OS is very limiting and lacking features. Some even say it needs new file system.

But in your view what is holding back iPadOS what features does iPadOS have to have to make more similar to true OS than limit mobile OS that is very limiting.

What does iPadOS have to have to make more like desktop OS than mobile OS.
 
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Isengardtom

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2009
1,245
2,007
It all depends on what you want from an OS. iPadOS has the advantage that it's easy to use and less complicated than a MacOS or Windows. It makes the iPad also much better as a focus device in my view.

This has been debated to death already but a lot of people simply want to use their programs on a touchscreen device and therefore bypass the current non sideloading nature of iPadOS.

for iPadOS to be more like a desktop OS these things would be nice
- multi user support
- better file management with a more finder like approach
- more customisable homescreen / stepping away from the iOS grid (as an option)
- a calculator app (;))

The rest comes down to more powerful software such as Games, more powerful Office related apps, creative apps which are closer in features to their desktop counterparts,...
 

sunapple

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2013
2,762
5,192
The Netherlands
iPadOS can do everything iPad is supposed to do. It is an in-between device between an iPhone and a MacBook. You will have some advantages over both and some disadvantages as well. It is meant to be.. just an iPad.

Scherm­afbeelding 2024-05-22 om 21.17.33.png
 

Ghost31

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2015
3,392
5,247
iPadOS can do everything iPad is supposed to do. It is an in-between device between an iPhone and a MacBook. You will have some advantages over both and some disadvantages as well. It is meant to be.. just an iPad.

View attachment 2381394

The Grand Unified Theory of Apple Products

This past October, Phil Schiller, in a rare interview with Steven Levy, talked about the new iMac. He took the opportunity to discuss a new way of thinking about the Apple product line, and I found it to be most revealing from a strategic perspective. Instead of describing how each product has a new unique role in our lives or simply placing Apple's entire product category on the same spectrum with an Apple Watch on one end and an iMac on the other, Schiller gave each product a job: make consumers feel like they don't need a larger, more powerful, Apple device in their lives.

Schiller's theory is best viewed by taking his comments to Steven Levy and breaking them out by product category.

  • Apple Watch: "The job of the watch is to do more and more things on your wrist so that you don't need to pick up your phone as often."
  • iPhone: "The job of the phone is to do more and more things such that maybe you don't need your iPad, and it should be always trying and striving to do that."
  • iPad: "The job of the iPad should be to be so powerful and capable that you never need a notebook. Like, Why do I need a notebook? I can add a keyboard! I can do all these things!"
  • MacBook: "The job of the notebook is to make it so you never need a desktop, right? It's been doing this for a decade. So that leaves the poor desktop at the end of the line, What's its job?..."
  • iMac: "It's job is to challenge what we think a computer can do and do things that no computer has ever done before, be more and more powerful and capable so that we need a desktop because of its capabilities. Because if all it's doing is competing with the notebook and being thinner and lighter, then it doesn't need to be."



It’s pretty obvious iPad can do a lot, but it’s not a MacBook. I’d argue for most people it doesn’t need to be. Most people don’t need a truck when their SUV has practicality and drives like a car
 

gsal

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2019
136
230
- uninterrupted operations when switching between apps, such as exporting and importing files.
- audio to continue playing when switching between apps or playing audio on another app.

These are two of the biggest problems for me with iPad OS.
 
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stinksroundhere

macrumors regular
May 10, 2024
172
250
There seems to be lot people complaining about iPadOS that the OS is very limiting and lacking features. Some even say it needs new file system.

But in your view what is holding back iPadOS what features does iPadOS have to have to make more similar to true OS than limit mobile OS that is very limiting.

What does iPadOS have to have to make more like desktop OS than mobile OS.

When people say this and find it hard to describe it, it usually boils down to the way they use a desktop operating system with a cursor. They do a lot of dragging and dropping and their muscle memory is used to double clicking and right clicking.

Those aren't suitable for a touch based system as it requires a bit more effort, but I do agree that drag and drop should feel snappier. There tends to be a wait for animations to complete on iPadOS.
 

Arctic Moose

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2017
1,552
2,040
Gothenburg, Sweden
But in your view what is holding back iPadOS what features does iPadOS have to have to make more similar to true OS than limit mobile OS that is very limiting.

Here’s 6000 posts of discussion, just start from the beginning.

 

Zest28

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2022
2,279
3,152
There seems to be lot people complaining about iPadOS that the OS is very limiting and lacking features. Some even say it needs new file system.

But in your view what is holding back iPadOS what features does iPadOS have to have to make more similar to true OS than limit mobile OS that is very limiting.

What does iPadOS have to have to make more like desktop OS than mobile OS.

It‘s a vocal minority, it‘s not a lot of people.

Don‘t forget that the iPad is the dominate tablet, not the Surface Pro.

Even Android tablets outsell the Microsoft Surface.
 

Macalway

macrumors 68040
Aug 7, 2013
3,977
2,552
No it's a very nice, efficient OS, and very well developed.

Copilot+ OS, on the other hand, is probably going to have some problems.

Ipad OS is basically a media consumption tool. It does a LOT more than what it is purposed for. It's like Android, but much better. Pick on Android why don't you ;)
 

Cirillo Gherardo

macrumors regular
May 9, 2024
182
247
- uninterrupted operations when switching between apps, such as exporting and importing files.
- audio to continue playing when switching between apps or playing audio on another app.

These are two of the biggest problems for me with iPad OS.
These are definitely fixable problems.
 
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klasma

macrumors 603
Jun 8, 2017
6,259
17,588
Schiller's theory is best viewed by taking his comments to Steven Levy and breaking them out by product category.

  • Apple Watch: "The job of the watch is to do more and more things on your wrist so that you don't need to pick up your phone as often."
  • iPhone: "The job of the phone is to do more and more things such that maybe you don't need your iPad, and it should be always trying and striving to do that."
  • iPad: "The job of the iPad should be to be so powerful and capable that you never need a notebook. Like, Why do I need a notebook? I can add a keyboard! I can do all these things!"
  • MacBook: "The job of the notebook is to make it so you never need a desktop, right? It's been doing this for a decade. So that leaves the poor desktop at the end of the line, What's its job?..."
  • iMac: "It's job is to challenge what we think a computer can do and do things that no computer has ever done before, be more and more powerful and capable so that we need a desktop because of its capabilities. Because if all it's doing is competing with the notebook and being thinner and lighter, then it doesn't need to be."
It’s pretty obvious iPad can do a lot, but it’s not a MacBook. I’d argue for most people it doesn’t need to be. Most people don’t need a truck when their SUV has practicality and drives like a car
Eh, Schiller's "theory" reads as a mere justification of having people buy n different standalone products. The problem is Apple has no incentive in reducing that need, like giving the iPhone a desktop mode, or an "iPad" mode with external (larger) touch screens, or letting people run VMs on the iPad for desktop use. There is so much that could be done to make devices more multi-purpose.
 
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klasma

macrumors 603
Jun 8, 2017
6,259
17,588
Same thoughts here. There are plenty discussions on the topic of iPadOS room for improvement. This thread can easily be merged with the existing discussions.
I think this thread deserves to be it's own thread if it focuses on the question in the title, which is actually interesting. The question doesn’t imply that iPadOS should feel like a "true OS", but asks what exactly it is about iPadOS that makes it not feel like one. Of course, one has to accept the premise of the question.
 

JustAnExpat

macrumors 65816
Nov 27, 2019
1,009
1,001
From my experience with an iPad 7th Gen (I think it's a 7th Gen):

1. No true "multitasking". Files can't be copied or moved in the background while doing other activity.
2. Bad file management system. I like having tabbed windows or folders open, for example on MacOS, which I can't do with the iPad.
3. A program centric, not file centric, file management system. This is the inverse of MacOS.
4. Only one program can be open at a time, and full screen. Some programs can be tiled, but the rules for that aren't consistent to my knowledge.
 
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Ctrlos

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2022
925
2,006
I use an iPad Pro daily with an external display. Bar a lack of disk utility I have never once wished it was a Mac. What I do want though is for it to shed its iOS roots and become more its own fork. Most of these complaints are based on wasted screen space and repeated interactions. For example:

- Although the windows for Stage Manager are fine, the actual 'Stage' view is utterly useless. It only holds the most recent 4 arrangements. The swipe-up multitasking view does a better job of window management so why does the 'Stage' interface even exist? Just get rid.

- Why is the dashboard only summonable on the desktop where I can place widgets anyway? And when I have a large 11" display can I only have one column of widgets? Either get rid of the dashboard completely or make it accessible in all apps (by getting rid of the 'Stage' interface)

- Why is control centre limited to one quartile? Expand it and let it fill the screen.

- Why do I have to summon the lockscreen to see notifications, another wasted centre column. Either make them a single column on the RH-side of the dashboard screen or place them in 2 columns on the dashboard screen: one of old and one of new.

- Why can I not have the lovely minimal lockscreen widgets on my desktop? Let us put them anywhere on the desktop and the lockscreen.

- It has Health; its about time the Apple Watch and the iPad became best mates allowing unlocking and notification access.

- Let the iPad use its RAM and allow uninterrupted background processes like file movement.
 

Kal Madda

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2022
1,686
1,421
Personally, I think iPadOS is a “true OS”, and a very good one. But I do think it could use some advancements and improvements in a few areas. For one, I think that iPadOS could use some kind of consistent system UI element for accessing app features and functions. I’ve heard several people who reference that the macOS Menu Bar makes the experience between apps with disparate UIs more cohesive, because it’s a consistent place to access app features across the system. iPadOS doesn’t really have that to the same degree yet. It does have a kind of Menu Bar when you hold press the CMD key, but it still isn’t quite the same. I don’t think iPadOS should copy paste the macOS Menu Bar, that wouldn’t make much sense for the iPad’s screen real-estate. But something like a mix between the macOS Menu Bar and the Dynamic Island would be ideal I think. App features and settings could be accessed by a modular button in the Dynamic Menu (working name for my hybrid Menu Bar Dynamic Island idea), rather than taking up a bunch of space in the Status Bar. I think something like this would make the experience more consistent.

Also, a couple other minor things I’d like to see would be the ability to add custom keyboard shortcuts, settings for setting a default app to open a certain file type, a “clamshell mode” for Stage Manager with an external display so you can close the iPad’s case or turn it’s screen off, and still use the monitor.

To be honest though, I’m very happy with where iPadOS is at right now, and I use my iPad as my primary computer. I think these would be nice to haves, but are not necessary for me to enjoy iPadOS. 👍🏻
 

fw85

macrumors member
Jun 22, 2023
91
190
This article does a good job of summarizing most of the current pain points of iPadOS:

And generally I think Apple has got the right idea with the iPad, just the (software) execution feels like the device category has been further down their priority list than it deserves. Especially now that it literally outperforms over half their Mac lineup in raw performance, Apple needs to prioritize iPadOS development a lot more.

The future lies in mobile devices paired with cloud services, that much is clear now - and Steve Jobs foresaw it a decade ago. Gen Z and Alpha are already proving it, young people don't really need to use PCs in the traditional sense anymore, at least not for personal tasks. You don't go sit behind a PC to browse these forums.

I already use my M2 iPP 11" for the vast majorty of my personal computing tasks and quite enjoy it, despite its quirks. I recently picked up the Magic Trackpad for it and that instantly makes it even more enjoyable altogether.
 

Sowelu

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2008
784
947
New York City
The iPad Pros are powerful, thin and light tablets and given their MacBook like hardware, they would run macOS beautifully, but Apple doesn't want to offer users this option. Perhaps macOS would run hotter than iPadOS and there isn't enough cooling to handle it, or they don't want to take away from their MacBook Air sales. Perhaps this is also why there is no super small, thin and light 12" 'MacBook' with 5G - even though they now have Apple Silicon that can run in super thin and light hardware without a fan, unlike the original, which was ahead of its time.
 
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Kal Madda

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2022
1,686
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This article does a good job of summarizing most of the current pain points of iPadOS:

And generally I think Apple has got the right idea with the iPad, just the (software) execution feels like the device category has been further down their priority list than it deserves. Especially now that it literally outperforms over half their Mac lineup in raw performance, Apple needs to prioritize iPadOS development a lot more.

The future lies in mobile devices paired with cloud services, that much is clear now - and Steve Jobs foresaw it a decade ago. Gen Z and Alpha are already proving it, young people don't really need to use PCs in the traditional sense anymore, at least not for personal tasks. You don't go sit behind a PC to browse these forums.

I already use my M2 iPP 11" for the vast majorty of my personal computing tasks and quite enjoy it, despite its quirks. I recently picked up the Magic Trackpad for it and that instantly makes it even more enjoyable altogether.
I thought some of his complaints in that article were legit, but some I didn’t agree with. Case in point, I don’t think Apple needs to “start over” with the Files app. The Files app is mostly the same as Finder. They can simply improve the Files app, rather than tossing out the baby with the bath water. And I transfer large files and use external drives all the time on my iPad, and haven’t had the Files app ever crash even once. I’m even running beta versions of iPadOS. I’m not saying that he didn’t necessarily run into bugs or experience crashes, I don’t think he made it up, but I don’t think he should be so quick to chalk it up to “the Files app is bug riddled.” It doesn’t seem like most people have the issues with it he’s describing.

I absolutely agree with you that mobile is the future, and I think that’s why if you look, most of the new macOS changes have been to bring it more in line with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem. These are very interesting times for iPadOS, I think iPadOS will get most of macOS’s core features, and the lines between the iPad and the Mac will become very blurry.
 

Ludatyk

macrumors 603
May 27, 2012
5,681
4,743
Texas
- Although the windows for Stage Manager are fine, the actual 'Stage' view is utterly useless. It only holds the most recent 4 arrangements. The swipe-up multitasking view does a better job of window management so why does the 'Stage' interface even exist? Just get rid.
Stage view? What are you referring to? Removing it completely in favor of SplitView/SlideOver? And when in Stage Manager it defeats the purpose of swiping up to multitasking (App Exposé) when there’s a Recent App area to multitasking from.

If anything I would rather Apple remove App Exposé when in Stage Manager to influence users to use the Recent App area.

- Why is the dashboard only summonable on the desktop where I can place widgets anyway? And when I have a large 11" display can I only have one column of widgets? Either get rid of the dashboard completely or make it accessible in all apps (by getting rid of the 'Stage' interface)
I’m agreement with you here… the dashboard should be removed. It’s completely redundant to have it used only on the desktop where widgets are already available.

- Why is control centre limited to one quartile? Expand it and let it fill the screen.
Agree with you here as well (partially). But I don’t see what more Apple can do with Control Center given it’s not that huge of an area to begin with. Filling up the entire screen won’t make the experience any better (imo).

- Why do I have to summon the lockscreen to see notifications, another wasted centre column. Either make them a single column on the RH-side of the dashboard screen or place them in 2 columns on the dashboard screen: one of old and one of new.
And another one, I’ve been asking for this change for awhile now… I think Notification Center should be placed on either the right or left depending on the individual. And it’s completely understandable to have notifications on the lockscreen… but when in an app or windows is in use, it shouldn’t take the entire space.

Similar to how SlideOver is…. I think Apple should have that kind of mindset when it comes to the Notification Center.

- Why can I not have the lovely minimal lockscreen widgets on my desktop? Let us put them anywhere on the desktop and the lockscreen.
Well, we have a minimal lockscreen widgets setup on the desktop…. I’m guessing you are asking for the “let me place my icons anywhere” concern that has plagued iOS every since Springboard has been round.

Let the iPad use its RAM and allow uninterrupted background processes like file movement.
This discussion keeps coming up and I personally don’t run into issues where file movement gets interrupted in the background ever since I’ve upgraded to M1+ iPads.
 
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Kal Madda

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2022
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The iPad Pros are powerful, thin and light tablets and given their MacBook like hardware, they would run macOS beautifully, but Apple doesn't want to offer users this option. Perhaps macOS would run hotter than iPadOS and there isn't enough cooling to handle it, or they don't want to take away from their MacBook Air sales. Perhaps this is also why there is no super small, thin and light 12" 'MacBook' with 5G - even though they now have Apple Silicon that can run in super thin and light hardware without a fan, unlike the original, which was ahead of its time.
Other than potential heating issues, I would also think it would deteriorate battery life quite drastically. MacBooks have larger batteries than the iPads do. iPadOS is optimized to run more efficiently, while macOS still uses legacy code that makes it less efficient. So macOS on an iPad would likely drop your battery runtime quite a bit below the 10 hours estimate. Also, the biggest issue is that macOS is not optimized for touch input. An OS that isn’t optimized to make efficient use of the devices hardware (like the lower battery capacity), and isn’t optimized to take advantage of the iPad’s touch interactions isn’t a good approach in my opinion. I think it’s a far better idea to continue to improve iPadOS, and continue to add macOS functions and features to it.
 

fw85

macrumors member
Jun 22, 2023
91
190
I thought some of his complaints in that article were legit, but some I didn’t agree with. Case in point, I don’t think Apple needs to “start over” with the Files app. The Files app is mostly the same as Finder. They can simply improve the Files app, rather than tossing out the baby with the bath water. And I transfer large files and use external drives all the time on my iPad, and haven’t had the Files app ever crash even once. I’m even running beta versions of iPadOS. I’m not saying that he didn’t necessarily run into bugs or experience crashes, I don’t think he made it up, but I don’t think he should be so quick to chalk it up to “the Files app is bug riddled.” It doesn’t seem like most people have the issues with it he’s describing.

I absolutely agree with you that mobile is the future, and I think that’s why if you look, most of the new macOS changes have been to bring it more in line with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem. These are very interesting times for iPadOS, I think iPadOS will get most of macOS’s core features, and the lines between the iPad and the Mac will become very blurry.
I do run into issues when transferring files back and forth between my iPad and my NAS over SMB unfortunately. And more often than I'm willing to tolerate. This ranges from random file copy errors to the Files app freezing altogether, requiring a device restart. No other device I use does that, so the issue isn't with the NAS.
If they don't improve that soon, I'll be forced to switch to another file manager app.

I do hope Apple has pulled its sleeves up and properly worked on refining the iPadOS for the next major release, beyond just milking the AI hype.

This discussion keeps coming up and I personally don’t run into issues where file movement gets interrupted in the background ever since I’ve upgraded to M1+ iPads.

I think what this point refers to is the fact that i.e. you can't run a video export in FCP, switch apps and browse the internet in the meantime - the video export will crash, as iPadOS does not allow this sort of background execution.
The "background app refresh" setting is just meant for light data exchange.

The iPad Pros are powerful, thin and light tablets and given their MacBook like hardware, they would run macOS beautifully, but Apple doesn't want to offer users this option. Perhaps macOS would run hotter than iPadOS and there isn't enough cooling to handle it, or they don't want to take away from their MacBook Air sales. Perhaps this is also why there is no super small, thin and light 12" 'MacBook' with 5G - even though they now have Apple Silicon that can run in super thin and light hardware without a fan, unlike the original, which was ahead of its time.
Apple doesn't offer this option, because it is nonsensical. You don't put a mouse-first OS onto a touch-first device, that's a really bad idea.
The best compromise would be unlocking iPadOS enough, so that it enables development of desktop quality apps - because right now it doesn't, the APIs and system level access are very locked down.
 

Kal Madda

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2022
1,686
1,421
Stage view? What are you referring to? Removing it completely in favor of SplitView/SlideOver? And when in Stage Manager it defeats the purpose of swiping up to multitasking (App Exposé) when there’s a Recent App area to multitasking from.

If anything I would rather Apple remove App Exposé when in Stage Manager to influence users to use the Recent App area.

I’m agreement with you here… the dashboard should be removed. It’s completely redundant to have it used only on the desktop where widgets are already available.

Agree with you here as well. But I don’t see what more Apple can do with Control Center given it’s not that huge of an area to begin with. Filling up the entire screen won’t make the experience any better (imo).

And another one, I’ve been asking for this change for awhile now… I think Notification Center should be placed on either the right or left depending on the individual. And it’s completely understandable to have notifications on the lockscreen… but when in an app or windows is in use, it shouldn’t take the entire space.

Similar to how SlideOver is…. I think Apple should have that kind of mindset when it comes to the Notification Center.

Well, we have a minimal lockscreen widgets setup on the desktop…. I’m guessing you are asking for the “let me place my icons anywhere” concern that has plagued iOS every since Springboard has been round.

This discussion keeps coming up and I personally don’t run into issues where file movement gets interrupted in the background ever since I’ve upgraded to M1+ iPads.
Yeah, I wish the Notification Center would appear more like a slideover window, that would be perfect! It’s also similar to the macOS Notification Center. Maybe they could also allow widgets to be pinned to this new Notification Center, which would also replace the functionality of the dashboard, but it could actually be accessed while alway from the Home Screen! 👍🏻

Also, I completely agree on the Files app. I transfer files all the time in the Files app, and leave it to do other things, and have never had issues with the file transfers. I think Virtual Memory Swap also helps with this. And I do have an M1 iPad, so I think that likely makes a difference as well.
 
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