The iPad Pro usable screen size is large, coming in at 12.9 inches. That’s bigger than most laptop screens. Given that many of us use laptops as desktops, that also means the Pro is bigger than what many of us actually use on the “desktop.” Who has gone out and bought a huge screen for your home computer? Do you even have a desktop PC any more? Sure, our Malauzai designers have these wide screen monitors that reach across their desks but that’s not the norm for the average user.
The challenge the Pro introduces for mobile design is how to think about the user interface. Should it reflect the typical tablet or iPad design because it is a tablet? Or should it mirror the desktop PC design and navigation (delivered via browser) because the screen is as large or even larger than “desktops?” What is a large format tablet? The iPad Pro represents a new flavor of device convergence. It encroaches on the laptop in terms of size. Yet, it’s easier to use in so many ways. Fundamentally, it’s a mobile device — it embodies mobile design and navigation standards — which have proven to be easier for the typical person to use. I mean, who doesn’t like their apps over their websites accessed via browser?
Device convergence is taking on a new meaning. What if, rather than “convergence”, which sounds harmonious, somehow everything comes together in to a single “thing?” Then, we have one device “killing” off the other. I mean, that is how evolution works. A better standard comes along and replaces the old standard. They don’t converge. What if the large-format tablet, fully enabled with rich apps that take advantage of touch nav, the stylus and mobile sensibilities, actually just replaces the PC and laptop? PC’s and everything about them becomes irrelevant. A sign that this may actually be happening is the touch screen on a standard laptop or PC. What seems like convergence is actually a weak attempt, and some would say a failed attempt, to converge the PC with the tablet. It’s still a PC, I’m afraid, however you try to mask it. In the end, the tablet may literally replace the PC. Personally, I already use my tablet about 85% of the time, equipped with a fancy keyboard cover and defer certain tasks, mainly PowerPoint and Excel, to my PC-Laptop.
Once again, Apple pushes the boundaries on what defines mobile and what a tablet should be. Whether you like the large-format tablet or not, it’s here to stay. Because the iPad Pro has a large screen it will be treated like a desktop PC. Large format will mirror what many of us use for the desktop. Like an app on your desktop.