iPad Wish List

The iPad has been around for 7 years now. It’s trajectory has been quite a mixed bag: stellar sales initially but a year-on-year declines since; aggressive uptake by schools at first but Chromebooks overtaking since in the US due to easier management and cheaper unit prices; 1:1 iPad making a transformative difference in some schools but being left to rot in others.

To be fair, recent developments with iPad have made a huge different and show promise for the platform in education. Apple School Manager, Managed Apple IDs and device assignment of apps make deploying iPads much easier, so long as you have an MDM that supports it. Classroom is very cool and makes teaching using iPad fun and in-control for the instructor. The 12.9″ iPad Pro is a great device for a teacher (if a little too big) and I’m definitely looking forward to the rumoured 10.5″ device. Collaboration tools in iWork are amazing and reliable and the creativity potential with iMovie and GarageBand are remarkable.

However, some parts of the iPad experience could definitely do with some loving attention from Apple. Here is my wish list:

  • iBooks Author on iPad. It feels like an abandoned piece of software on macOS, but it’s crazy that interactive multitouch books can’t be made on iOS. Book Creator is super simple and fun, but a more feature-rich equivalent would make a big difference.
  • Apple to support iPads with all of its websites. I hate how I have to VNC into a Mac to use Apple School Manager on an iPad and how icloud.com is  essentially inaccessible on iPad.
  • Xcode for iPad. I don’t develop apps, but it would definitely send a strong signal about the potential and direction of the platform if Apple released it. With Swift Playgrounds, maybe it’s already in the pipeline somewhere in the bunkers at Cupertino?
  • More aggressive feature parity with iWork between Mac and iPad. I like how all the new additions (like collaboration tools) come to both platforms, but there are quite a few glaring legacy omissions. Like editing print headers in Numbers. Or editing master slides in Keynote. Or highlighting text in tables in Pages.

Those are some of my wishes. What are yours?

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What I’m looking forward to in the Great Software Update

At WWDC, iOS 7 and OSX Mavericks were announced and September 10th is the date when the new iPhones get revealed, so I’m guessing that the release of the aforementioned software won’t be long after that.  Here is what I’m looking forward to in those releases:

  • Automatic software updates for iOS.  No more stomping around the school with a big sync case updating iPads.  Or at least I hope.
  • SMB as the default for file sharing on Mavericks.  This should hopefully mean that using a Windows file server will be less painful.
  • A better Profile Manager on Mavericks Server that can actually manage ‘Often’ preferences on a Mac.