When I picked up the very first iPad on the day of the launch, I knew this device would open a different world. Universally panned as bigger iPhone, many critics didn’t see a future for a device type already tried a few times over. However, Apple knew, as well as I did, that this market would open up given enough time.
Yet this first device I held in my hand had a small market and very few uses. Apple touted a future of computing filled with devices such as these, and even if you choose to slash for the accompanying keyboard dock, there still wasn’t much you could do on an iPad – short of it being indeed a bigger iPhone.
With this, the vast majority of usage became consumption, social media browsing, watching a video and surfing the web. Sure it replaced many seldom-used laptops in people homes, but it didn’t do much more to show us the future. Users saw no reason to upgrade, and while a few began to see the potential as the iPad became sleeker and more powerful. It wasn’t until I picked up an iPad Air that I had to work on, that posts like Federico’s initial deluge of guides on MacStories opened the floodgates.
My rage quitting of the iPad dragged out longer than it should do and came to a head earlier this year. I shared my disappointment in the failures of iOS and also my change in circumstances that lead to its demise in my life. The iPad Pro was no longer the device I enjoyed using and no longer one my life could support. I couldn’t justify a more than £1300 investment to need a Mac around as well. I don’t regret using the iPad as my computer; ultimately if my life remained as nomadic as it once was, I might have remained a die-hard user.
However, a brand new 10.2 iPad is £289 at time of writing, a deal that is hard to turn down. I don’t need an iPad to be a working machine any longer; I need it to fill a gap of reading blog posts, my pocket feed and watching videos when I want to relax. So the iPad returns to its starting position. Nestled in among other Apple devices, and one I use to consume. Waiting its turn amongst threes Macs and an iPhone. Sure I could pick up a pencil and a keyboard to go with it – but there is little point as the iPad has gone full circle.