On Wednesday, Apple released an updated version of its MacBook Air, modifying the keyboard on laptops that were criticized for typing problems. The company returned to so-called “scissor” keyboards and abandoned the “butterfly” model because customers had said butterfly keyboards suffered from problems such as sticky keys, keys that did not respond when small amounts of dust or dirt accumulated under or near the keys.
At the same time, Apple also announced its most advanced iPad Pro. “With the Bionic A12Z chip, the iPad Pro is now faster and more powerful than most Windows-based laptops. The new iPad Pro features an ultra-wide camera, studio-quality microphones, and a revolutionary LiDAR scanner that offers advanced depth detection capabilities to enable more professional workflows and support professional photo and video applications. The LiDAR scanner, along with professional cameras, motion sensors, professional performance, professional audio, the impressive Liquid Retina Display, and powerful apps, extends the iPad Pro’s position as the world’s best device for augmented reality,” the company’s website states.
With iPadOS 13.4, Apple brings trackpad support to the iPad and offers customers a completely new way to interact with their iPad. Instead of copying the experiences from MacOS, trackpad support for the iPad has been completely redesigned. As the user moves their finger across the trackpad, the pointer transforms elegantly to highlight elements of the user interface. Multi-Touch gestures on the trackpad let you navigate quickly and easily throughout the system without the user lifting their hand.
Apple also introduced the new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and the new MacBook Air. “The new iPad Pro offers advanced technologies never before available in mobile computing. The combination of the most advanced mobile display with powerful performance, professional cameras, professional audio, the revolutionary LiDAR scanner and the new Magic Keyboard with the trackpad is another big step forward for iPad. There’s no other device in the world like the new iPad Pro, and we believe our customers will love it,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing.
“We’re making the iPad even more powerful and versatile by bringing trackpad support into iPadOS. We’ve carefully considered how best to integrate trackpad use into a touch environment while maintaining everything our customers know and love about the iPad. We are excited to offer this new way of interacting with iPad to the millions of people who use iPadOS today,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. The new iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 11-inch model and $999 for the 12.9-inch model, with 128GB of memory in the base configuration, twice as much as the previous version.
In other words, Apple has just turned the iPad Pro into a laptop. This could be the beginning of the end for MacBooks. The iPad Pro’s new optional keyboard with trackpad makes choosing between the two much more difficult. When you get the iPad Pro with the new keyboard, called the Magic Keyboard, you have a choice of two similarly sized notebook devices with a keyboard and trackpad. However, Apple insists that the new iPad Pro is not a computer. The main thing is that one of these computer devices is still a tablet and the other a laptop, and each of these devices is (currently) better suited for certain tasks than the others.