Hey hey, look, the Apple pundit club have gotten together to do their Apple report card again! Not a surprise but they’re all declaring the iPad is still dying? And then of course there are the folks like Steve Troughton-Smith chiming in on Mastodon but he and other commenters in the thread aren’t offering anything new either. It’s just a repetition of the pundit echo chamber.

Even worse, many commenters proudly proclaim that they’re still using old hardware from before 2020. One even stating he uses a 2017 iPad Pro while complaining about poor multi-tasking. They’re so busy proving that they can’t be bothered with the iPad they are that they apparently haven’t stopped to consider that 3GB of memory in a 2018 iPad might not function as well as a modern M1 iPad with 8 or 16GB of memory. Maybe base your judgment on the real-world capabilities of current hardware?

Let’s see, no, really, this is going to be fun. A year ago, February 2023, “the iPad guy” as he calls himself spent 12 months complaining that the Stage Manager was broken. He made a big show of switching to the Mac.

Many others said the Mac and iPad OS’s needed a “Snow Leopard” year. Yes, that’s an Apple trope when they all conclude that there are too many bugs and that Apple should go easy on new features, take a year fixing bugs. Yes, the Pundits were in quite an uproar about the redesign of the Mac Settings app. Meanwhile they were all also saying that the iPad Pro was overpowered with no pro apps.

Now, keep with me here. In late spring Apple released Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, their two most well known pro apps. The pundits reaction? “Finally!” But many of them immediately panned the releases because the new iPad apps lacked some features. You know, sort of ignoring that these were entirely new, version 1 apps for iPad. BUT, BUT, BUT not perfect, lacking full feature parity… FAIL!! Also, same day, BUT, BUT, BUT, no Xcode!!! FAIL!!!!

By late May the Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro releases were old news and hardly mattered. WWDC was around the corner. And yes, some new features were announced but, you know, nothing that interesting according to the pundits. At least Stage Manager seemed to be getting a fix. In summary, big MEH. Never mind that they’d all been clamoring for a “Snow Leopard” release which is what they got. Though not really as there were quite a few new features but not enough to impress. And yes, Stage Manager was fixed. And even enabled for older iPads which had been a big complaint. But, you know, MEH. The star of the show was Vision Pro.

Jump forward to the end of 2023, no new iPads! Oh, this is terrible. No new iPads!! Where’s the new new? The new hardware? Where is it!!! A thousand pundits needing clickbait fodder cried out.

But wait, the previous group think was that the iPad hardware with the M2 was way over-powered. How is the lack of new over-powered hardware a problem?

My take on the pundits and their iPad “analysis”: Garbage. It’s self-contradictory, confused cry-baby group think. They ignore the progress that’s made and forget what they’ve complained about the previous year. And when prevous critiques are addressed they ignore it, likely having forgotten what a big problem they’d claimed it was.

And they ignore the fact that tens of millions of iPads continue to be sold even with the boring old design.

Do none of these people have family that they still speak to? Does my family happen to be a bunch of weirdos? Because I’ll tell you, in my family of weirdos iPads are the second most popular computer to the iPhone. There are only 5 Macs, 3 PCs and 8+ iPads.

Pundits think themselves the center of the tech world but seem to forget that, in fact, they’re the weirdos that change their to-do apps, notes apps, text editors 3 times a month. It’s pundits that complain that the iPad can’t be used to code apps in Xcode or be used to record multiple streams of audio at the same time. Pundits that are the edge cases.

So a few pundits can’t seem to figure out what to do with their iPads. Meanwhile millions of iPads are, in fact, being sold. Millions of users are buying apps on the App Store. Huh. What are millions of users getting from the App Store?

Here’s just a quick sample of some of the big hitters I guess at. These are the number of ratings and average rating, not the number of app downloads:

  • Microsoft Word, 2 million ratings, 4.7 stars
  • Microsoft Outlook, 6.6 million ratings, 4.8 stars
  • Microsoft Teams, 3.2 million ratings, 4.8 stars
  • Microsoft Excel, 1 million ratings, 4.8 stars
  • Microsoft OneNote, 855,000 ratings, 4.7 stars
  • Microsoft Power BI (I’d never heard of it but it’s for business data analytics ) 67,000 ratings, 4.7 stars
  • Salesforce, 295,000 ratings, 4.7 stars
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator, 42,000 ratings, 4.8 stars
  • LinkedIn Learning, 78,000 ratings, 4.8 stars
  • Procreate, 40,000 ratings, 4.5 stars
  • Sketchbook, 216,000 ratings, 4.8 stars
  • Canva 1.9 million ratings, 4.9 stars
  • Lightroom, 38,000 ratings, 4.8 stars
  • AutoCAD, 6,000 ratings, 4.4 stars
  • Morpholio Trace - Sketch CAD 9,600 ratings, 4.7 stars

The list goes on and on and on. Gosh, well, I mean, maybe I’m getting the wrong idea here, but it seems like if one were to step outside of the pundit club and spend just a minimal effort thinking about sales numbers, app downloads, app ratings, one might actually come up with another narrative, one in which millions of iPads are not just purchased but then put to actual use out there in this big world.

But no, no, that doesn’t fit well with the story these guys are telling each other.

Do better pundits. If you’re going to make a living demanding that Apple do better, that Apple meet your high standards, hows about you raise your standards for yourselves. Do some actual thinking. Step outside your own preconceived notions about how tech is used.

Try doing your jobs.