iOS Pro Coming? I Think So.

Thinking about all the contortions that are necessary for getting files into and out of an iOS device, it hit me: Apple intends to market the iPad Pro to corporations.

It goes up against the Microsoft Surface and, well, that’s just about it. Unless you include notebooks.

How long will corporate customers put up with the lack of a filesystem?

With lack of accessing hardwired mass storage?

Don’t talk “The Cloud” to me. That ship has not only sailed, it has sunk.

Despite Apple’s insistence — and sometimes Google’s, and Amazon’s, and Microsoft’s — everything can be hacked.

I’m convinced the hacking headlines we see today are just the tiny tip of an iceberg that’s very, very big below.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that everything has been hacked.

We just haven’t been made aware of it.

So, anyway, despite this being the future of 2015 and all that, hardwired mass storage is still more secure than any damned Cloud ever can or will be (unless they get that whole quantum encryption thing to fly).

And despite the iPad mimicking Steve Jobs’ original Macintosh vision of “computer as appliance,” even the Mac — the original “computer as appliance” vision — had to eventually introduce HFS, an outright filesystem. (Oh yes, the original pre-HFS Mac OS was a shell game with folders meaning actually nothing! Were you there back in 1984? I was.)

With the introduction of the iPad Pro, Apple can no longer insist on the vision of “computer as appliance.”

That shit just won’t fly in a corporate environment where a device is a tool, not a Cuisinart.

I’m of two minds about this:

1) Apple already knows this and is working on it

2) Apple doesn’t know this and will have to scramble to fix it

If the second is true, Apple is in deep trouble. Like the original Macintosh, iPad Pro sales will tank after an initial surge.

If the first is true, then an iOS Pro is inevitable as Apple’s UI/UX experts hash out the best way to present a filesystem without the messiness that sends people into fits of despair. (Go ahead, wrestle with File Associations with Windows and you’ll want to gut some unknown team of programmers…)

Aside from the precedent of the Macintosh, there’s a more recent example to turn to: The Palm PDA.

Like the iPad, it too came with its own closed system (ironically, modeled on Apple’s data/resource fork scheme!). And then it had to introduce a filesystem. Sony’s CLIE — using a Memory Stick — was the first. Then came the Palm m500 series, with microSD card slots.

If a dinky little company like Palm could swerve into a filesystem like that, so can a massive company like Apple.

Just as it once did with the Mac.

So yeah, I think we’ll be seeing iOS Pro at some point.

Unless Apple stands its stupid ground and the iPad Pro is discontinued as a failure.


The Computer Appliance Myth
Apple’s Dream of Appliance Computing is Unobtainable


1 Comment

Filed under Apple: The Company, iOS

One response to “iOS Pro Coming? I Think So.

  1. Robert Jasiek

    A professionalised iOS, if not a merger with OSX, needs a file system (or a virtual file system on top of its database storage of files), a local file manager, user accounts, access rights (at least NW, NR, NX) available for configuration to the device user and device management tools. Access to all these things can be optional so that the consumer/only can experience his device as before.

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