Apple needs to bring macOS to the M4 iPad Pro

Apple M4 iPad Pro Hero Image with black background

I’ve been thinking a lot (too much) about the recently announced M4 iPad Pro. While this may come across as the rants of a disgruntled blogger or simply an Apple hater, the truth is that I’m looking at the day’s events as a consumer. While the “thinnest Apple product ever made” is probably the best iPad Pro iteration to date, it’s time for something much, much more from this product.

The pieces are there

From the all-new M4 chip to the dual OLED Retina displays, the newest iPad Pro has all the tech specs that beg the question, “All this power for a mobile OS?” Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing un-pro-like in what was announced, but purposely nerfing the hardware by limiting the OS to iPadOS seems like trying to create a false product distinction when the goal seems to be to protect the viability of another product. To that end, the biggest flaw of the newest, fastest, thinnest iPad is the operating system.

 A happy medium

Here’s the part where I’ll either write something that won’t age well or will potentially make Apple a lot of money for free – thank me later I guess. As a fan of all things Apple, I get the appeal of their design ethos and the design language of their products. As a creative professional, I know that there’s little reason for me the take this iPad as a serious choice for a first-screen device.

Ironically enough, the answer to this self-created conundrum can be found in an old rival – Microsoft. I don’t believe we’ve paid much attention to Microsoft’s Surface products in a while, but in their product lineup lies the answer to bringing macOS to the iPad Pro. For years, Microsoft has successfully churned out new tablet computers with full Windows OS without cannibalizing sales of either their lower-end Surface Laptop or their highest-end Surface Laptop Studio. Nor has improving upon what is possible in the Surface Pro meant that there isn’t a market for the “Windows Lite” offering in the Surface Go. Apple is truly missing an opportunity here for the sake of keeping up appearances.

Wrapping up this iPad Pro Rant

In true Apple fashion, this will be them taking an existing idea and improving upon it for their user base. No, I’m not suggesting that Apple lower the price of their tablet, how silly do you think I am? No, I’m suggesting they simply make the iPad Pro into what it should be – an entry to the Pro line of computers: MacBook Pro, and Mac Studio specifically. This week, if you’ve got the cost of an M3 MacBook Pro burning a hole in your pocket you can bring home a shiny new M4 iPad Pro. It will be the fastest, thinnest, most amazing iPad Pro ever made – but it’ll still just be an iPad. And that’s a shame.