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Five reasons iPad Pro cannot be your next computer

Apple released a new iPad Pro advertisement on YouTube today, called "5 reasons iPad Pro can be your next computer". The reasons that the firm provides are compelling, and accurate. An iPad Pro is more powerful than most PCs, especially considering that most PCs in the world are years old. And yes, Apple offers a model with 4G LTE, meaning that it will have connectivity almost anywhere.

But if it's not obvious, this video leaves out a few points, so we decided on a counterargument. With that in mind, here are five reasons that the iPad Pro cannot be your next computer.

1. No mouse support

Not having mouse support on iOS is like the elephant in the room. We all know it's not there, and consumers are likely relying on reviewers to tell them if they still need it. The bottom line is that you do.

When I reviewed last year's iPad Pro, I considered it a new way of using a PC, something that we're not used to yet. The question to ask yourself is, had you never used a mouse before or learned how to use a proper computer, would you find yourself missing it on the iPad Pro?

The answer is still yes. While all iOS apps are designed for touch interfaces, much of the web still isn't. Remember, saying the iPad Pro can be your next computer implies that it can replace your laptop, so it needs to do all of the things you need it to do. One example that I had was that I found it impossible to upload multiple images to a site at the same time.

2. No real file system

Ever since iOS 11, iOS has a Files app, and it's the closest that the OS has ever had to an actual file system. It's still not there. It's better than the old days when you couldn't find files you downloaded; indeed, back then you could try to download a PDF file and it would just go missing. Now, you can choose to save it to Files.

The Files app itself is pretty limited though. You can't just go and create a folder and work from within it.

We can even use photos as an example. You can create albums through the Photos app, and you can choose from those albums. You can't simply create a folder and store some images there, because that would make too much sense.

This also means that you can't use or create compressed ZIP files in an efficient way. The Files app lets you view and export the contents of ZIP files, but it's still very limited. The point is that Files has a long way to go.

3. No proper USB support

My issues with the Files app leads us into the next part, which is that there's no real USB support. Yes, the new iPads have USB Type-C, but the Universal Serial Bus isn't exactly universal.

You can plug a dock into the Type-C port, that will expand it into USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and more. But those ports won't take a flash drive, except for just importing photos, and as mentioned earlier, you can forget about plugging in a USB mouse. In fact, most USB peripherals just won't work.

You can, however, use it for an external 4K display. Great news, right? Not really. This still only mirrors your screen; you know, the screen that you have to touch to navigate. While you're using that big 4K monitor, you still have to look down at the main screen anyway.

4. No proper multi-window support

With the iPad Pro, you can have up to three windows open on the screen at a single time. Two of them can be open in Split View, and a third can be open by using Slideover.

For one thing, you can't use the apps in Split View while the third app is on the screen, so you'll have to dismiss it. Still, I'm talking about real windowed apps here. We had forced fullscreen apps in Windows 8, and it was awful because it turns out that people need to do more with their screen real estate, at least on a real computer.

5. Only two viewing angles

Most of what I've mentioned has to do with the OS, but this one is related to the hardware. Previously, the iPad Pro had only a single viewing angle, and now there are two. It's simply not enough.

The best example I can provide is Microsoft's Surface Pro. It only had one viewing angle on the original model, but eventually the device had to evolve so that you could use it at any angle. A real computer needs to adapt to its user's workflow in the most comfortable way possible.

But at the end of the day, the iPad Pro is forcing the user to adapt to it instead, in a way that's not natural at all. Of course, that's why Apple still makes MacBooks.

Bonus: Apps

I actually think that apps aren't as big of a deal, because most apps that people want and need are already available. In fact, Adobe just announced full Photoshop on the iPad Pro.

What's still missing are things like Xcode, Visual Studio, Adobe Premiere Pro, and other apps that someone wouldn't really need if they're in the group that's actually considering the iPad Pro as their next computer.

I also have no doubt that iOS will get there at some point, and Apple is moving slowly. After all, we're talking about a major shift for the company, and you really don't want to move too fast for something like that. That's how we ended up with Windows 8. The apps will come, as will the features, and the hardware will get better too.

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