Will iPadOS 16 be enough to finally unleash iPad Pro’s full potential?

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With another high-end iPad Pro rumored to be unveiled this year and another WWDC set to take place in a few months from now, the yearly question remains: will the next iPadOS be enough to unleash iPad Pro’s full potential?

If you have been following 9to5Mac‘s comment pieces, you probably noted that we wrote several stories about the M1 iPad Pro and iPadOS 15 – most of them about how Apple could improve its tablet’s operating system and make the iPad Pro a solid choice for those who don’t want to simply rely on a Mac.

But it’s so much easier to choose a Mac in 2022. The new MacBook Pro is ridiculously powerful and in a few months from now, Apple is slated to announce a redesign MacBook Air that will be the perfect option for users who don’t require that much power. So how does the iPad Pro fit in Apple’s lineup now? It’s expensive, requires extra hardware, and users can’t take full advantage of it.

Here’s what Apple should do to improve the next iPad Pro and iPadOS 16 experience:

The iPad Pro needs to change – and so do its accessories

Rumors about the 2022 iPad Pro show that both models will get a miniLED display. Most likely, the processor will be the M2, which should be the same available on the next MacBook Air. Not only that, but 9to5Mac discovered that Apple is planning to add MagSafe support to its professional tablet using a glass finish on the Apple logo.

With only these pieces of information, we already know that the next iPad Pro will be powerful, but powerful isn’t enough anymore. Personally, I do think Apple should experiment with screens bigger than 12.9-inches. The company has done an amazing job of making the iPad smaller with a bigger display. Having 11-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch options would give users more space to create and multitask with the iPad.

Not only that, but at the same time the iPad could grow, it also could be lighter. The iPad Pro combined with the Magic Keyboard makes the combo bulky. In this case, having a MacBook Air is way simpler. With that in mind, Apple needs to make the iPad easier to carry.

There are complaints regarding the 2021 Magic Keyboard with the M1 iPad Pro since the battery drains too fast. With the M1 Macs running up to 17 hours away from the charger, Apple really needs to improve the battery on its tablet as it can’t reach 10 hours of battery life anymore.

Last but not least, I expect the MagSafe charger to help revamp the Magic Keyboard. It also needs to be lighter and more practical to use – give it a bigger trackpad just like the Mac. It’s easier to use, and it could also take advantage of the Universal Control feature.

Alongside the hardware change, iPadOS 16 also needs a new experience

iPad Quick Note apps

You are probably tired of listening that the iPad Pro needs pro apps, but it remains true. The iPad Pro also needs more than Swift Playgrounds 4 – even though it’s a great experience for those starting to code. Not only that, but the next professional tablet also needs a revamped iPadOS 16, which means:

  • A redesigned Home Screen, so apps and widgets can take more advantage of bigger screens, with less unused space;
  • A new windows experience. Not every app needs to open full screen. With a bigger screen, users should be able to select even more apps at once;
  • Better display preferences, so the iPad looks less weird when you connect the tablet to an external monitor.

As you can see in the image above, 9to5Mac‘s Parker Ortolani created a beautiful concept with Quick-note style apps – and it makes SO much sense. Slide Over functions also needs a revamp. People don’t need a stretched-out app, but rather a quick note-like app.

With macOS Big Sur and M1 Macs, developers could bring iPhone apps to the Mac. Why don’t Apple let developers bring iPhone apps to the iPad? It would solve Instagram’s lack of support for its tablet and would make apps like the Weather and Calculator finally available on bigger screens.

In addition, the iPad needs more Mac features without becoming a Mac. It’s still hard to compress files, choose the size of an edited image, and why can’t we have the iPad supporting multiple sounds at once? As 9to5Mac‘s Zac Hall explained:

My M1 MacBook Air with macOS can play audio from Messages or a video on YouTube while I’m listening to audio from a podcast or my music library. Playing a short clip of audio from anywhere on iPadOS while also listening to other apps will pause the currently playing audio (and it may or may not resume when you’re finished listening to the clip). 

This is a minor annoyance, but it hurts when you hit it enough times on an iPad when a MacBook with the same processor doesn’t hit the same snag. What’s more limiting is recording a podcast in one app while talking with your co-host over the internet in another app. This is table stakes for the Mac, and it’s just not possible on the iPad Pro today.

Wrap up

These are some of the features I hope Apple pays attention to when announcing iPadOS 16 in June and the 2022 iPad Pro later this year. With Macs looking even more capable, it’s time for the company to give some love to its professional tablet.

What are your wishes and hopes for the next iPad Pro? And iPadOS 16? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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