This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
There's no denying that Apple's latest iPad Pro
is a productivity monster in a class of its own. The hardware-crunching athlete is the nightmare of all synthetic benchmark test around, and can be usually found sitting atop the benchmark charts. It's clear at this point that the iPad is not only here to stay, but also looking forward to quickly evolve from being merely the best-selling tablet to a productivity device that should rival even mid-range laptops in terms of performance.
As that Apple ad playfully asked, "what's a computer"
However, there is a setback that is really hindering the iPad from becoming the true productivity powerhouse Apple so badly wants it to become, something that is restricting the slate from showcasing its full potential.
The name of the setback? iOS.
iOS on the iPad desperately needs a file system
Truth is, Apple's mobile operating system has never been oriented towards power-users and has always emphasized on a intuitive user experience. As such, iOS on the iPad Pro
is already pushing things as far as overall usability goes. iOS lacks a proper user-accessible file system, and while the Files app was a small step in the right direction, it doesn't really offer the same level of functionality that Finder on the Mac, other desktop operating systems, or even Android do. Sure, Drag and Drop as well as the split view have all made iOS on the iPad slightly more geared to power-users, but this hardly cuts it for professionals... which brings us to another downside of iOS compared to desktop systems.
Lack of truly professional software
While many popular productivity apps are available on the iPad, they can be viewed as exceptions to the rule and not as a rule themselves. A desktop-grade Photoshop is coming to the iPad this year, but it's merely the tip of the iceberg as far as Adobe's products go. What about real versions of Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Bridge, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, and so on? Many of these might not ring the same bell as loudly as Photoshop does, but they are still the unsung heroes of many professional fields like video editing and design. And not let's get started on the lack of SolidWorks and real CAD software on iOS...
No mouse, no external storage support
Additionally, the lack of mouse support or even the option to hook up an external hard drive with all of your important files are yet another two major drawbacks that are hindering the iPad Pro--and iOS for that matter--from walking the walk and transforming itself from a blown-up alternative of your iPhone to a MacBook Lite of sorts.
Of course, it wouldn't be logical for Apple to make the iPad cannibalize the MacBook, but from all that post-PC era talk, you'd think Cupertinians would want to make the latest iPad that much more usable in strictly professional scenarios. The hardware is more than capable of handling such tasks, so it truly is the software that has hamstrung the iPad. Until that happens, it will likely remain the weapon of choice for professions that don't rely on dedicated software that much.