Friday, June 12, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The Return of the iPad

Federico Viticci:

This, I believe, is an important distinction to make when assessing the iPad’s adoption of features that have been exclusive to desktop computers. The iPad’s improved capabilities in iOS 9 are options – deeply integrated with the operating system through gestures, but, ultimately, not the default way to interact with apps. Compare the new iPad multitasking to OS X: when you launch an app on the Mac for the first time, it defaults to window mode without taking up the entire screen; in iOS 9, iPad apps will launch in full-screen as usual and allow you to view a secondary app only when needed.

[…]

iOS 9 is going to be a watershed moment for iPad users. For many, the iPad is about to graduate from utility to computer. Apple is envisioning a future where users can do more with iPad apps without the inherent complexities of OS X – and they’re largely relying on developers to help build this future.

[…]

While Slide Over will be available on older iPad models, the more useful and versatile Split View will only be available on the latest iPad Air 2. Will that slow adoption among users stuck on older iPad models, or will it push people who want to do more on an iPad to buy a new one? How quickly will developers react and update their apps for multitasking? Is this going to revitalize the iPad productivity app market, which has been a bit stale and unimaginative in the past couple of years? Is it kind of obvious at this point that a larger iPad with more comfortable split view multitasking is coming?

Ted Landau:

For people who own (or are considering purchasing) an iPad, the forthcoming release of iOS 9 is the biggest most exciting event since the iPad was released in 2010.

[…]

With Split View (available only in the iPad Air 2 for now), Slide Over and Picture in Picture, you can finally interact with two apps simultaneously. With the new QuickType “trackpad simulator,” you can move the cursor around much like you do on a Mac, eliminating the need for the loupe tool. There’s now a system-wide shortcut toolbar. There’s even a Mac-like app switcher than you can call up with Command-Tab on a Bluetooth keyboard. I’ve tested all these out with the iOS 9 beta and can attest that they work pretty much as advertised.

Update (2015-06-19): Lukas Mathis:

This seems to add additional inconsistency to an already odd implementation of the split window feature.

This reminds me of 90s Internet mystery meat navigation, except that there’s not even any mystery meat, and you’re just randomly dragging around and tapping on things to trigger actions that might or might not be supported by the application you’re actually trying to use. You could argue that split view is a power user feature, and power users can just go watch a YouTube movie that explains how the feature works, but I’ve now watched this section of the keynote twice, forgotten how it works once already, and I’m completely sure that I will have forgotten how it works again by tomorrow.

This is exactly the kind of magical user interface that people have faulted Windows 8 for, except it’s even more confusing. In Windows 8, you only had to remember to swipe in from the screen edges. Once you did that, the UI was visible, and guided your actions. In iOS 9, it’s layers of hidden UI magic. The one advantage Apple has is that you don’t need to know any of it to use iOS, but still. I think we should expect better of Apple.

2 Comments

I think return will be deferred until user profile switching in iOS 10. That greatly increases value of iPad for a household.

I wonder if DRM/media contracts are blocker for this feature.

An interesting take on Window Management and Apple from Lukas Mathis...

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