There's been lots of talk since the release of the iPad Pro about whether the iPad needs its own version of "padOS" instead of just being bundled together with iOS which started out as phone only.

Mark D. Miller gives a good recap on the history of the situation where everything has its own "abcOS" apart from the iPad and iPhone which share the standard "iOS". Jared Sinclair also put together some suggestions on possible ways forward for the iPad.

I have to say I'm not sure I agree that padOS needs to exist. We've just gone through a couple of years of extensive work both by Apple and by us as developers to bring iPhone and iPad apps much closer together using adaptive layout and size classes. These enhancements aren't just academic either as apps on iPad are basically running as "phone" apps, on the smaller part of the split screen. In my opinion, the platforms and devices are similar enough (in terms of input, display, etc...) to justify being one and the same.

Could iOS on an iPad do more to facilitate "Pro" apps? Absolutely. Should it have been pitched differently at the launch? Maybe. Would iPad even benefit from a different metaphor for the home screen/Springboard? It's possible. However like I mentioned, this process is already starting to happen over the past few versions of iOS and I'm certain that Apple are not done with it yet. The mere fact that they introduced a "Pro" iPad means it's definitely something they are working towards.

The App Store plays a critical part in this discussion as well. The current restrictions are certainly causing problems when considering how to sell "Pro" software at higher prices. Jared proposes a "Gatekeeper" style solution for this, but honestly I think that ship has already sailed.

What's the solution? I'm certain I don't know! Maybe it's simply a more separated store experience, removing iPhone apps from the iPad store completely and cracking the door slightly with something like trials/upgrades/subscription based software on the iPad only? However, even as I'm writing that, I know deep down that the chances of it happening are somewhere between slim and none. The discussion of where things go is always valuable though and you should certainly read the posts I linked above.

Anyway, enough from me. Let's get on with the links!

Dave Verwer





Business and Marketing

OS X Development