The state of the iPad in 2022

What’s up, friends? Bit of a delay putting this one live because my sister got married last week and I’ve been inundated with work.

I’m still working on the biggest blog post (at least in terms of word count) that I’ve written so far, but I wanted to take a quick detour and talk about a platform I’m weirdly passionate about – the iPad.

My first iPad was the iPad 2, and I distinctly remember being wowed. Part of that was due to not having an iPhone at the time (remember Blackberry?) and another part of it was just how much I loved really bizarre things; remember how you could turn an Apple device on its side and see all of your albums shown by their cover art?

Since then, I’ve always tried to keep an iPad around. I’ve used them for reading comics, watching movies (I remember the struggle of trying to rip DVDs to put them on there), playing games, and more recently, doing real work (half of the blog posts I write are produced on my iPad).

Recently, though, I’ve been pondering the long-term state of the iPad. iPadOS arguably hasn’t delivered on the promise of a true operating system for the platform, but it’s also now running (at least in some cases) on M1.

iPadOS is great, to a point. I actually think that we’re getting close to where new upgrades are going to start slowing down, but there are plenty of things Apple can still do. I’ve written about this in a little more depth in the past, but the iPad still needs some changes to make it a more all-purpose machine.

File management has come a long way, but it could definitely take some cues from Finder, while multi-user support would be great for families that share one. The biggest thing for me, though, is improved external monitor support. I plug my laptop into a display to use a larger canvas, and while I can do the same with my iPad Pro, it causes a 4:3 aspect ratio that’s just… well… unpleasant.

Would I use the iPad Pro as my work machine? No, but it’d be nice to have the option. Why? Because interacting with my iPad gives me joy. It’s always been the most enjoyable platform to use, merging the touch-focused iPhone with a larger display.

I also love the modularity of it. While Apple sent me the M1 iPad Pro, I bought the Magic Keyboard myself and it’s been a huge help when it comes to getting blogs written or firing off a few emails at a time. The Apple Pencil, which I got as a gift, is also great for making notes when in interviews or at events.

Right now, though, I’m much more likely to reach for my Mac or my PC to get any work done. The IPad’s promise had always been a sheet of glass that can turn into anything, and that’s still true today. I just wish some of those transformations would go a tiny bit deeper.