11.25.2023: MacBook Pro Disappointment, iPad Power User Beef, and iPad-Only update.
I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. I have slowed down my writing a bit due to my entire house swapping different illnesses with each other, but I hope the long weekend will give me time to catch up on some of the things I have been wanting to write about.
Before we get to the digest, I want to thank everyone who is subscribed and reads my work. I really love writing about technology, and so many of you actually reading it means a lot.
Entry MacBook Pro
Since writing about Apple’s M-Series Mac Concerns, I have heard more people talk about the disappointment in Apple giving the MacBook Pro a Pro title, but removing some of the Pro features like having that ability to use more than two external displays and more than 24 GB of RAM due to Apple fitting it with an M3 chip.
I agree with Jason Snell, who spoke about this situation on his podcast Upgrade, the Pro title on all of Apple’s products doesn’t necessarily mean that it is for Pros. Nor does it mean that you are going to get everything you want. The Pro is something Apple uses in a variety of products that usually just means more.
Apple is a bit more complicated than this when it comes to its names. You could argue that the Mac Studio is even more powerful than the MacBook Pro, in that it offers a Ultra M chip but doesn’t have the Pro title anywhere. The same goes for the AirPods Max, which are more expensive and some say better than the AirPods Pro.
With all that, though I do agree with the sentiment that Apple uses Pro when it wants to provide a superior model of a product, it is unfair to claim that this has always been the case or to assume regular customers will know this. If one of my family members who aren’t as tech-savvy as me, went into an Apple Store and was deciding on a MacBook Air versus a MacBook Pro, I don’t think they would immediately know or understand that both share the same chip, meaning they share the same restrictions.
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Most would assume that the Pro versus Air meant they could do more. The RAM difference between the M3 versus M3 Pro would be pretty visible in that they would only have certain options, but more than one external display is my biggest gripe. How many people actually use more than one monitor? I don’t know, but I feel like a Pro labeled computer should support it.
As for AirPods Pro versus AirPods Max and Mac Pro versus Mac Studio, I get that Apple doesn’t need to use the Pro always for its best products, but I think the big differences between these options are clear regardless of the name. Even when looking at a iPhone 15 versus iPhone 15 Pro, you aren’t surprised when getting one or the other on what you are getting. The MacBook Pro with M3 though is still disappointing to say the least.
I know in my last Techuisite Digest I spoke about this a little but the situation kept bothering me so I felt I should write an entire post about it. This will be my fourth time, fifth if you include my last Digest, writing about the iPad Pro and how the power user community is letting its audience down.
The reason this bothers me so much, is that, like I stated in the post, most of the iPad Power Users are upset about something that they don’t even know they want. They feel that Apple should be improving the iPad but no specifics except that Stage Manager is terrible and it still doesn’t have Mac-like features.
Which is odd that the same people who didn’t want Apple to merge the iPad and Mac since the iPad was it’s own thing, are now pretty much saying they want Apple to allow users to port over macOS to the iPad. This makes no sense to me unless these same users are just wanting to use a Mac but miss the iPad hardware. I get it, you can’t have everything you want, but is that the best thing for the platforms?
For now I am done writing about this topic, I just wanted to put my two cents in because I feel like there is so much hate coming for the iPad for no reason. I have frustrations and hopes of the platform too, but the ones who just want to use something else should just do that, and stop putting down the iPad to make themselves feel better about changing their minds.
Speaking of the iPad, I wanted to give a brief update now that it has been a few more months going iPad-Only. For the most part I am still very happy. I may still be in the home moon period of switch from the Mac to the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard, but I really do love using the iPad for writing and getting other shit done.
Currently my wife and I are doing some well needed purging and cleaning throughout our house, which has left my office as a temporary storage space as we go through all of our junk. As we get closer to cleaning things out and I have the opportunity to use my desk again, I started looking around and options to upgrade my desk setup.
After looking up different 4K monitors and writing my post Does The iPad Need More Love? I was reminded that my 2020 iPad Pro doesn’t support external display support with Stage Manager. I forgot that even though Apple gave Stage Manager to the 2018 iPad Pros and up, doesn’t mean that you got everything.
So though a bit disappointed that I can’t use a external display with my iPad Pro like I had hoped, I am thinking of other ways to setup my desk with my iPad that will fit my needs. I have a VESA arm, some stands, third-party keyboards, and trackpads that I am going to test out to find my best setup for writing. The iPad is great at being the best portable writing machine, but having a desk setup to go to would be ideal too.
In the meantime I am still loving using the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard everywhere I want to use. I mostly like to write on the couch in the mornings next to my toddler while I sip coffee and he watches Bluey. But I also like to write at a picnic table at my work outside during my lunch. I could do all of these things with a MacBook too, but I am really happy doing it all on my iPad Pro.
Since writing the Coveted Apple Pencil, I still don’t have one. Nor do I see the need. I realized how little I actually take my iPad Pro out of the Magic Keyboard to read, and have phone my phone much more easier to read the New York Times or Apple News. I still have my Kindle for books, but the iPad just hasn’t been something I gravitate towards when I want to sit and read, I and end up just picking up my phone or e-reader.
One big upgrade to using the iPad Pro more is rediscovering the More Space option in the Display settings. Having more room on the screen with things a bit smaller does make the iPad Pro feel more computer-like versus a tablet. Everything feels more compact giving you the breathing room to use Stage Manager or even a single app like Safari more comfortably.
So for the iPad-Only life has been great. Part of the reason why it has been successful do far is being honest with my intentions and focus on what I want to do outside of being a parent and my day job. That thing that I want to do is write, and that is how I continue to use the iPad. I am not thinking about what I could be doing on a Mac, but what I want to do on any computer at this very moment and that continues to be to write about technology.
As you can probably tell this has been working out great int hat I have produced way more posts in the last few weeks then I have for awhile now. It could be the appeal of using a new computer, but I think that reason I mentioned before is really why. The iPad is first and foremost a writing machine for me, and that keeps me wanting to go back to it more without the guilt of it fulfilling another need—like how I felt I was underutilizing a Mac with all of it’s abilities.
This isn’t to downplay the great things you can do on the iPad, but the things I am interested in; writing and coding, the iPad is not equipped as well to do one of the them. Working Copy is great, but XCode and other IDEs you can get on a Mac for development is far superior. The iPad, though, is great for writing with all of the fantastic text editors available and that is where I am keeping my focus.
The iPad-Only life is going great. If I change things up, it will probably be me upgrading this to a M1 11-inch model and getting a cheap 4K monitor so I can have a more ergonomic setup at my desk for writing long periods. I might also wait for the M3 models to drop so the M1’s are that much cheaper. favorite part about using the iPad though is having the amazing display for writing, other than the 14-inch MacBook Pro or M-Series 12.9-inch, you can’t get much better.