When the iPad Air 2 was released everyone had the strange sense that it was somehow "over-powered" or meant for something greater. The A8X chip was the first time that Apple had ventured beyond a dual-core SOC and even a year later it is still one of the most powerful chips on the market. Coupled with a doubling of the RAM to 2GB it seemed like something else was on the way.
And sure enough, when all the new multi-tasking features of iOS 9 were unveiled, it all made sense. The greater processing power and memory made split screen multi-tasking and picture-in-picture possible.
Could it be trackpad functionality? While playing Lumino City on the new Apple TV, it occurred to me that this is what I'd like to do on my iPad. In the game you control a cursor that moves on the screen and you make selections by pressing down on the trackpad. And even on the basic Apple TV interface, the way all the icons move as you swipe on the trackpad is great. The moving icons allow you to make selections and seems like a natural fit for an iPad placed at eye level on a desk. No more need to reach up and touch your screen and working on spreadsheets with peek and pop substituting for right-click would be amazing. The absence of 3D Touch on the iPad would be a non-issue if you're using the trackpad right next to your keyboard.
The Apple TV OS is a close cousin to iOS, so it seems like Apple is already halfway there. The way the new Apple TV and the mini-trackpad go together is great and seems like a taste of what may be coming in iOS. And unlike the Apple Pencil, this software enhancement could be usable by current iPads with no 3D Touch capability. Could it be that the new Magic Trackpad was designed not just for the iMac but with the iPad Pro in mind as well?
As I've written before, 3D Touch and Microsoft Excel seem destined for each other. 3D Touch could possibly be even better than using right-click on a mouse. So maybe I'm just like the nerd in school who's seeing what he wants to see when he thinks the hottest girl in school just looked at him. But I think Apple TV OS could potentially be showing what lies in store for the iPad Pro to make it even more suited for "real work".
A major iPad hardware upgrade in the fall of 2014 was followed up by the biggest advancement in iPad software ever in the fall of 2015. We've just seen a huge advancement in iPad hardware in the fall of 2015. Will the fall of 2016 bring a huge step forward in iPad software?
Update: When the Magic Trackpad 2 came out it seemed odd that it wasn't silver to match the Macs. It was white...like the Apple Pencil.
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