New iPad Pro: Everything You Want Except a Bigger Screen

I've been using the new iPad Pro for the last two weeks and think it's almost ready to replace laptops, except it's missing one feature. Additionally, Apple plans to update Siri, open its first store in Malaysia this month, launch back-to-school deals, and develop a TV+ app for Android.

Last week's Power On mentioned that Apple is relying on its large user base to succeed in AI.

When Apple Inc. launched its latest iPad Pro last month, many wondered if it could replace a laptop. After testing the device, I found it mostly can, except for one thing: the screen size.

I replaced my MacBook Pro with the new 13-inch iPad Pro for two weeks. The device is impressive. It offers faster processing and recent updates to the Stage Manager interface, which helps with multitasking.

ipad 2024 missing big screen

The OLED screen also greatly improves the visuals. These improvements, along with a new Magic Keyboard, make it a good alternative to a computer.

Let's talk about the keyboard. It features a bigger trackpad, a complete row of function keys, and a metal palm rest, giving it a feel similar to a MacBook. Also, the iPad combined with the Magic Keyboard is much lighter than my laptop, and feels even lighter than my previous iPad Pro.

The OLED screen technology is remarkable. Compared to a recent 16-inch MacBook Pro, the colors on the MacBook seem faded and less bright. Videos, photos, and games look much more vivid on the iPad. Even everyday tasks become more visually engaging.

Multitasking has always been a challenge for me. I think Apple could make the iPad more like a Mac to better handle multiple tasks. The company hasn't fully solved this issue, but the new iPad is a step forward.

For those who might not know, the iPad offers two ways to multitask:

  1. The basic multitasking mode is called “Split View and Slide Over.” It allows you to place two apps next to each other and bring in a third app in a smaller window on the side.
  2. Stage Manager. This newer feature was quite controversial when it debuted. It allows you to move and resize windows similar to how you would on a Mac.

I didn't like Stage Manager when it was first released, but it's now much smoother. It helps me use my iPad like a Mac by letting me set up workspaces with various windows that I can arrange as I want. 

For example, I have one space for Messages, Mail, Safari, and X, and another for Calendar, Notes, and a few other apps. This is much like the Spaces feature in macOS.

Stage Manager in iPadOS 17 is faster and has fewer problems than in iPadOS 16. It's also easier to change the size of windows and switch between open windows. Apple has made many improvements, yet some things still need to be fine-tuned.

Here's what would improve Stage Manager to handle multitasking like a computer:

  • The ability to use more than four apps in one window should be easy, considering the iPad has up to 16 gigabytes of memory and the powerful M4 chip. There shouldn't be any hardware restrictions. If Apple doesn't update this, it feels like they are unnecessarily limiting the product.
  • Currently, Stage Manager only works on top of iPadOS, which means you can't see your home screen with widgets and app icons. It would be much better if this were changed.
  • Another issue is that sometimes a window gets lost behind other windows. Apple fixed this problem on the Mac with Expose, and they should do the same for the iPad.

The main issue is that while Apple redesigned multitasking on the iPad with Stage Manager, it didn't update the app-switcher interface to match. To access the app switcher, you swipe up and hold or press the keyboard function, which shows six cards of apps or workspaces.

This setup works well for the “Split View and Slide Over” method, but not for Stage Manager. With the more advanced Stage Manager activated, the app switcher should change to an Expose-like interface. This would let users swipe up on their trackpad to quickly view all open windows and move between them.

ipad 2024 missing big screen

Sadly, Apple doesn't seem to prioritize making a 15-inch model. The company prefers to sell both Macs and iPads separately instead of one device that does everything.

Apple plans to introduce OLED and touch-screen features to Macs soon. However, it appears more dedicated to keeping its tablets and computers distinct, rather than meeting the needs of customers who desire a more versatile device.

The Bench

Apple is set to enhance Siri with a large language model (LLM) upgrade. At the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple will focus on a new initiative in artificial intelligence. They plan to incorporate AI into several main applications like Photos, Messages, Notes, and the Safari browser.

The updated technology will allow for transcribing voice memos and summarizing meetings, text messages, emails, and articles. It will also introduce features such as AI-generated emojis.

Moreover, Siri, Apple’s first AI product, will receive significant improvements. The revamp involves large language models that will enable Siri to manage specific functions within apps for the first time.

Users and developers won't need to do anything to set this up. The new feature will work automatically, as the iPhone’s AI will detect the user's activity and activate Siri to assist.

Apple is set to upgrade Siri with a new LLM design. At next week's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple will emphasize its new focus on artificial intelligence. This includes adding AI to its main apps like Photos, Messages, Notes, and Safari.

The upgraded features will include transcribing voice memos and summarizing meetings, texts, emails, and articles. Additionally, there will be innovative features like AI-generated emojis.

Siri, Apple's first AI product, will also receive improvements. The company plans to enhance the virtual assistant with large language models, a type of advanced AI technology. This update will enable Siri to directly manage specific app functions for the first time.

Users and developers won't need to set anything up for this new capability. The AI in the iPhone will automatically recognize what the user is doing and activate Siri to assist as needed.

In other news about iOS 18, here are some updates: The Settings app will have a new look with a simpler design, better layout, and an improved search feature, which will also be available on macOS.

ipad 2024 missing big screen

The Control Center is getting a new music widget and will work better with smart home devices.

The Messages app will include new features like different icons for Tapbacks and effects that can be applied to specific words, not just the whole message. The Photos app and Mail will both have new designs and enhancements.

The upcoming changes in watchOS 11 might not be as extensive as last year's, but they will bring a refreshed look for Siri and improvements to the Fitness app.

For Vision Pro headset users, the new visionOS 2.0 will include features that were absent before. This update will add special versions of Apple's apps, instead of just using the ones from the iPad.

This update marks a significant enhancement, ensuring that the apps are optimized specifically for the headset, providing a more tailored and immersive experience. 

By developing dedicated apps for the Vision Pro, Apple aims to maximize functionality and user interaction, making the interface more intuitive and engaging. 

This shift from repurposed iPad apps to bespoke applications shows Apple's commitment to refining the user experience on newer devices. 

Users can expect improved performance, better integration, and a seamless operation that leverages the unique capabilities of the Vision Pro headset.