The iPad’s Middle Child Syndrome

Dan Moren, Macworld:

The iPad shouldn’t be a big iPhone and it shouldn’t just become a Mac. So what’s left? The trickiest needle to thread of them all: making the iPad truly its own device. A good start would be to question the assumptions that the tablet inherited from iOS. For example, is a simple screen full of application icons the best use of the device’s most valuable real estate? There’s no reason to be beholden to decisions made for an entirely different device.

Twelve-and-a-bit years since the iPad’s launch seems like as good a time as any to think more about why this product is the way it is today, and where it can go from here. Moren hits on at least a couple of those questions in this piece: why is the widgets experience on the iPad more limited than either the iPhone or the Mac, for example? The question I most want answered is whether the new memory swap system in iPadOS 16 will finally make it more of a multitasking-friendly system. This is something I have been wishing for since I got my first iPad in 2011, and the inability for multiple apps to remain in memory is a significant deterrent for my use.