Sunday, May 16, 2021

Opinion: The M1 iPad Pro needs iPadOS 15, not macOS

While I typically roll my eyes at many posts regarding fruity things, I find this one more sane.

As a weirdo who actually prefers a Tablet First life style for my non terminal, non video game computing needs, I don’t have a lot of problems with how iPadOS 14 has evolved. So much as I wanted to puke at how iOS 12 was 😝.

Personally, I don’t really care about macOS. In the era of OS X, I used to consider the UNIX underpinnings a reason to choose it over XP if I ever had to choose between an NT or Mac based corporate machine. Basically, I don’t give much of a flying fuck about Macs outside of the POSIX programming environment that overlaps with BSD and Linux based systems.

Being the kind of weirdo who used to dock an Android tablet to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to do actual work, my main beef with iPadOS today is that it can’t do what I used to. The limitations on background connections make it impractical for me to use my iPad Pro like a terminal. The lack of software like Docker Desktop and XCode, just make the iPad ineffective for local development. So SSH apps being forcefully disconnected by the OS after a short time in the background, means iOS is a poor terminal if you’re switching apps.

For more general use cases are kind of meh. If your GUI software doesn’t work well on my tablet, I’m probably not going to have a big opinion of it on my laptop  either. Software design has come a bit of a long way from just slap a 1990s style menu bar around it. A prime example of sorts: AquaMail worked superbly on my Android tablets and Chromebooks, so much that I wished for a PC version of the app. Something closer to Gmail or Apple Mail or Windows 10 Mail or Thunderbird or Claws, yadda, yadda — just don’t care.

I suppose there is the perk that most of my harsher software demands tend to take a command line centric view. Many of the pieces of software I really do care about fit into the unix history of command line tools from a Bourne style shell session. Not a bunch of clicky all over the place GUIs; I’ll care more about GUIs when I need to use my fat puddgy fingers to interact with a screen or when a keyboard is a combat ineffective way of interacting with a problem. For example, I wouldn’t want a command line version of GIMP, but I don’t need a GUI version of vi either. I’m weird :P.

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