And just like that, the iPad is ten years old. How time has flown! If anything, my appreciation for the device has only increased. Ten years ago, I thought it was a slate for the imagination — and more importantly, a tool of joy. It opened up computing to those, like my mom, who had never really used a computer before. Ten years later, the iPad still is magic.
Today, I practically live on my iPad Pro, using it for most of my daily activities. It is a critical part of my work, entertainment, leisure, and creative pursuits. I love it for its constraints, simplicity, and efficiency. And I love the new iPad OS. In fact, I upgrade my iPad more often than my MacBook Pro (or my iMac Pro). Though, some of the things I like best about the iPad have remained the same since the beginning. Despite the introduction of the Apple Pencil, I still like to interact with the device the way it was meant to be used — with fingers and gestures. I have the keyboard, but I still get down and dirty with the virtual keys. And after so many years, I can confidently say the machine has made me more productive — and yes, even more joyful.
A decade after its introduction, I think the iPad is still an underappreciated step in the storied history of computing. If anything, it has been let down by the limited imagination of application developers, who have failed to harness the capabilities of this device.
“To me a transparency of user experience that allows me to seemingly directly interact with information is the core of the post PC dream,” my friend Steve Crandall said about the iPad in 2012.
His observation is still true — and perhaps truer — all these years later.
January 27, 2020, San Francisco