You know when you you have an argument with someone, and part-way through that argument you realise that they're right? You have two choices: 1. you're an adult and you go "Oh're right. Sorry", or 2. you carry on arguing and gradually trying to steer the argument round to make it look like that's what you were saying this whole time and they just didn't get it (yes I'm aware that this is gaslighting's nextdoor neighbour, but I'd be surprised if there was anyone who'd never done it through childish pride rather than abusive psychological manipulation).

Anyway that's what Apple is doing with the iPad right now. They never wanted multitasking on the iPad, and now they're reluctantly admitting that it was needed all along. In a way, they're a victim of their own success. They made a device that got so powerful, and that power revealed so much potential, that they had to walk back a bunch of claims like "this isn't a regular computer; multitasking is irrelevant". They taught two generations of technophobes the value and power of computers, then kept one of the best features of a computer concealed.

The fact is, an iPad occupies a difficult space. For some, it's a full time computer. For some, it's the antidote to a computer. For others, it's a work tool that is so hilariously unusable, it's practically a meme to try and fail to use it to do your full time job.

Apple's unwillingness to adopt a MacOS-style desktop on the iPad, instead favouring split screen, pop-over, and now stage manager, is Apple slowly coming round to the notion that multitasking on an iPad is inevitable and necessary. These tiny concessions to multitasking over generations are a frustratingly protracted deconstruction of the benefits of it, that will eventually lead us to fully-functioning multitasking on the iPad, hopefully just in time for my cremation.

Stage Manager is so close to useful, but how do I open any random app into this UI (I know I can do it but it's a right old faff)? Why can't I swipe down or left in Stage Manager and search for any app to bring it in? Why can't I save that configuration for future recall? Why can't I do anything that's actually useful?

For a computer that is so accessible for so many people, the unintuitive UI on some aspects of the iPad are absolutely baffling. The fact that I now have to put it into multitasking mode to be able to use more than one app at a time is ridiculous. If I need to watch a YouTube tutorial to use a feature like this, it has failed at a fundamental level no matter how good it might be when I finally figure it out. How did this idea even get out of initial concepts before someone went "hey won't that be really annoying to use?"?

I really hope that Apple sorts this out soon. iPad OS 16 is so close to being good that it irritates me to even look at my iPad.


Fireworks! Trick or Treat!