First things first, this from a paywalled article from The Information that’s been making a lot of noise:
Apple is planning to release an iPad keyboard accessory later this year that will include a built-in trackpad, the latest step in its effort to position the tablet device as an alternative to laptop computers, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company will likely release the accessory alongside the next version of the iPad Pro expected later this year, the person added.
And this, from the headline linked article by Jason Snell:
I’m excited. For a long time I’ve been an advocate for iPad keyboards and pointing devices, and this potential product would offer a way for Apple to differentiate the iPad Pro from its increasingly capable lower-end iPads.
But I’ve got a lot of questions, too.
Follow the link. These are some thoughtful questions.
A few thoughts of my own:
Is there a need for a pointing device? Are we approaching an uncanny valley with a device that looks an awful lot like a MacBook with a touchscreen, but without the unifying elements like the Finder and window-management system that make a MacBook so intuitive to use?
From this article by The Verge’s Dieter Bohn:
I don’t want Apple to fall back on the crutch of just using desktop OS paradigms to solve the iPad’s user interface intuitiveness problem. The last thing we should want is for the iPad to turn into a Mac. It’s on a different path and it would be a shame to have those ideas tossed out the window just so we can have more traditional windows on the iPad.
I’m in the same camp as Dieter. I’d hate to see the lines between the MacBook and iPad get blurry. As is, I know when to reach for my iPad, my iPhone and my Mac. Different tools for different jobs.
If the report is true, it will be interesting to see what Apple has in mind.