Does this new addition point to any other changes on the horizon?
When Steve Jobs announced the original iPad a little over 11 years ago, the experience was designed around use in portrait mode, much like the iPhone that preceded it. While the device could be rotated, many of those early demos focused on using the tablet much like a large notepad. Even the original Apple Keyboard Dock held the iPad in portrait mode, rather than the more natural landscape.
Those origins still inform the iPad and iPadOS, but things are definitely changing. This new Apple logo boot screen is just more evidence of that evolution.
iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 certainly weren’t as ambitious as some of the software updates we have seen in years past. That was probably due to a combination of the impact of COVID-19 and the focus required to get macOS 11 and the beginnings of the Mac on Apple’s own processors out the door for developers.
However, Apple’s new Widget features on iOS did shake things up a bit and grab some headlines. I’ve been playing with the iOS and iPadOS betas and I have enjoyed a few aspects of these new capabilities. That said, while I think this is a good start in a different direction for Apple’s Home Screens, I am still left wanting more.
If you thought the iPad had come full circle with the release of the original Apple Pencil in 2016, Monday saw the last dot truly get filled in. The announcement of Scribble and new AI-fueled digital ink search and recognition features for the iPad bring system-level handwriting recognition and manipulation back to Apple hardware for the first time since Steve Jobs’ return to Apple in the late 90s.
Considering his comments on the stylus when the iPhone was announced, it felt for a time like these features would never find their way to Apple’s mobile devices again. However, while the Pencil’s inclusion as a non-essential accessory geared toward design and notetaking made sense, Apple’s new handwriting features elevate digital ink to a much more useful level on the iPad.