Admittedly touch doesn’t have to be exclusive for the iPad/iPhone but it is for Apple. Some users prefer touch in general and some tasks, especially drawing, are greatly enhanced with touch.
There is a danger in making the iPad more laptop like could diminish how well suited to touch it is. Still, this area is one I’m not so worried about.
One of the key differences between the original iPad and even the MacBook Air was portability. That was both in its low weight and its batter life. Reading on a bus is a horrific prospect with a laptop, but more than possible with an iPad.
This is an area which is under real threat.
I’m not talking about the larger iPad sizes as they have also brought lighter weight (the first 12.9 was around the same weight as the original iPad) and shrunk the overall device overtime too.
Instead I’m talking more about the increasing requirement for an external keyboard as well as demands for touch pads on the smart folio.
For example, the iPad Pro with some keyboards can weigh as much as the MacBook.
Then there are the demand for larger iPads which are less portable.
The other area the iPad has historically excelled in is mono tasking and I include iOS 9 onwards in this.
Initially this was because the iPad could only run one task, you couldn’t even have tasks in the background. But that has changed.
Even now with the option to run multiple apps and have tasks continue running in the background, the iPad is best for doing one tasks with possibly a couple of apps unlike a Mac where you might have several heavier tasks running in the background. Or where there are a cast array of windows showing different data.
Some users want more multi-tasking functions but it’s very difficult to keep a mono-tasking focus when you have the option for multitasking.
keep the iPad good at what its good at.
Recently I wrote that the iPad needs to improve at what it’s not good at and not what it is good at. I’ll still think it’s true but that doesn’t mean it should lose what makes it great.
If the iPad becomes a touch unfriendly bloated multitasking then it wouldn’t be a good tablet anymore. That fine if there is a good tablet in apples line up, but not if the iPad loses its edge.