Earlier this week Federico Viticci and Sam Beckett released a pretty incredible iOS 11 concept video for MacStories, showing off features they'd like to see in Apple's next big update.
There are a couple of features that Apple could add to iOS 11 that would immediately make iPads more compelling as work devices. The most enticing feature is system wide drag and drop functionality. It's insane to me that this feature isn't already in iOS, especially with the company pushing their Pro iPad models. The ability to drag and drop text and images is a huge part of what my workflow entails, and not having it on my iPad has made it close to useless as a work machine.
The second concept that the video shows off is a shelf to store images, text, and apps that could all be useful for the same project. The demo shows off a person getting ready for a trip, and having a place to keep multiple sources of information in the planning process makes a lot of sense. You could see this feature also being useful for a student planning for finals week, or for someone planning a large get-together. Being able to store multiple pieces of info in one place, and have it be easily accessible would make iPads 100% more capable as a multitasking machine.
The iPad is a great device - it's light, highly functional, and has amazing battery life. Whenever I'm packing for a trip it's one of the first things I throw in my travel bag because I know that I will use it for reading, watching movies/tv, and surfing the web. The rub comes when I know that I will be on the road for more than a couple of days and will need a device to get work done on. I've tried throwing a bluetooth keyboard in my bag and using the iPad for real work, but the lack of a good file storing system or drag and drop makes it horrible for even my light work needs.
I have a feeling that Apple is going to swing for the fences at this year’s WWDC keynote. We’ve already heard rumors that they are going to get into the AI game in a big way. There has also been talk that they are refreshing the MacBook line. With iPad sales tanking, now is the time for Apple to either make a big commitment or slowly back out of the product line. With some OS level improvements, I really do feel like the iPad could become a great work device for 90% of people out there, especially for people like me who have a desktop and just need something highly portable to take on trips.
Microsoft has been doubling down on their Surface line lately, and the products that they are making right now are doing things that iPad owners have been wanting for years. If there is one thing that Apple is good at, it’s seeing what other companies are doing in a certain space, and tweaking their own products to do those things better. Hopefully we start to see that out of iOS on the iPad.