The 12” MacBook brought OS X hardware as close to iOS as it can possibly be. The MacBook is slim, light, silent, and doesn’t get to burn your thigh levels of heat. The iPad Pro? The iPad Pro brings iOS hardware as close to MacBook hardware as one can, with massive performance gains. And iOS 9 brings iOS as close as you want it to be to OS X.
I’m a Mac developer — I’ve done my time with iOS, and don’t have any wish to return to it. Except… except that the iPad Pro is sneaking up on being a Mac. Or on being the thing that replaces Macs in the long term. (Or on being the thing Macs turn into, or something.)
The MacBook and iPad Pro are very similar machines. In fact, as I mentioned on Twitter, the MacBook will likely feel smaller to carry (and cost less) than an iPad Pro with the new keyboard case will be. That’s astounding to think about. There are still tradeoffs, but Apple has made the decision between the iPad Pro and 12” MacBook very easy: iOS or OS X.
As I said before: Do you want to touch your computer or not?
The biggest disadvantage to the iPad Pro, right now at least, is going to be the software. There’s going to be a lot more robust software for OS X than there will be for the iPad Pro. That should change in time, especially if Brent Simmons’ interest is indicative of the greater interest. My guess is that come WWDC 2016 the iPad Pro will be a primary computer for a great many people that would have never fathomed a lowly tablet being their main computer.
There’s a lot to get used to on the iPad for full time work (no mouse), but there’s also a lot of great things (focus being one). I’m very excited for the future of the iPad, and I suspect that come this time next year — well I am guessing and hoping — I won’t have any need for an OS X based computer.
Who am I kidding, I might not even make it to 2016 with OS X as my primary OS.