Federico Viticci’s Not an iPad Pro Review, I think is a scathingly well done piece.

Having used Android tablets as an all-the-things primary computer for the better part of a decade, I particularly found the problem of background processes to be a killer. It effectively relegated my iPad from a fully productive machine to a fully-everything-else machine that probably cost twice as much as the Galaxy Tab S-series it replaced. In fact, I virtually never reach for the Magic Keyboard and fire up a SSH client on my iPad. I’ll break out a heavy ass laptop or walk across my home if I need that, because it’s annoying as fuck when you switch apps and then it’s gone. By contrast, I readily used my Android tablets for SSH tasks both for programming professionally (ssh -> build server) and for local things (ssh -> my servers).

I also rather like the notion of Desktop-class apps as a terminology. Apple’s spiel about tablet optimized apps vs Android was largely full of bullshit and handwaving back in the day. But I think Desktop-class captures the distinction well. My aging iPad Pro grants access to a few professional quality apps like Working Copy, Procreate, and Lumia Fusion that are available on iPadOS, but relatively few Desktop-class applications.

By contrast, my Android tablets were often good enough for the dock to a monitor and have at it modularity, because guess what? Some crazy guy probably wrote a desktop class application worth paying for, or no one actually gave a fuck. iPadOS on the other hand, well the best thing I can generally say about most of the software is that app xyz is almost the same as xyz is on Android. There are a few that I miss even when using Macs and PCs. And as Federico notes, there’s basically a plethora of things that just can’t exist on iPad because there’s no support for building them.

Multi-tasking is kind of a more meh perspective to me, but I think his description of how it’s evolved is spot on. Personally, I like the more full-screen task centric nature of Android and iOS. I wrote about that plenty of times in the 2010s back when G+ was a thing, and even a few journal entries here. The whole floating window thing, I find rather nice if you have a 20″ to 30″ monitor but not so useful when you cut that screen in half, like a tablet or a laptop. I appreciate the ability to split screen or slide over or float windows on my tablet, but not as much as I appreciated Android apps allowing me to do things like switch between a terminal session and an email without fucking up what I’m doing.

Stage Manager kind of squeezes it in for me. On Mac, I enjoy Stage Manager because it helps organize and group windows effectively for working on tasks. On iPad, I mostly view Stage Manager as a sucks-less way of switching between applications when multi-tasking more than anything else. On the flip side, iPadOS did grow the ability to do external monitors far better. But of the actual multi-tasking experience, the most that I can say all these years later, is that I no longer have to reboot my iPad constantly whenever using slide over, because I basically never use it on purpose :P.

Or should we say, I enjoyed the quality of iPadOS’s launch version so much, if anyone ever bemoans the quality of my code, I’ll just ask if they ever did much with the first version of iPadOS 😂.