When Apple first unveiled the Apple Watch, the spotlight was taken by the watch itself: the look, the price tag, and features, the hype, with very little mention of the OS itself, watchOS.
With watchOS, Apple started off on a path to offering customized versions of iOS, for devices that simply can’t “borrow” from the iPhone anymore.
On a display as tiny as the one on the Apple Watch, the interface needs a different approach than what’s been done on the iPhone. The tightly packed cluster of icons on the Apple Watch home screen, is efficient, organized and fluid enough to be browsed with one finger.
What made the trend official was the very recent unveiling of the 2015 Apple TV, a product that requires, once again, a customized version of iOS 9, in the form of tvOS.
With iOS 9 running on Apple TV, consumers have now access to the entire range of apps from the Apple Apps store. With that said, the version of iOS featured on Apple TV is very different from what we’d expect on an iPad or an iPhone, for one thing, because touch controls are not an a display, but on a remote control, or separate iOS device.
Granted that the former and latter are two products with very specific user requirements, this doesn’t take away from the fact that in reference to the iPad Pro the idea of a more customized user experience, would make an even better case for the iPad Pro, in both enterprise and domestic settings.
From a user experience standpoint, it’s undeniable that there are some radical departures from the iPad Air and iPad Mini.
First of all, by sheer size, the iPad Pro makes the case for a different way to organize the home screen. Dare we say... widgets? Yes. We do dare to say the W-word, because on a device like the iPad Pro, with a 12.9 inch touchscreen display, there is plenty of room, and almost a need for them, from a usability point of view.
The other route would be to increase the number of icons accessible on the home screen, yet that would create the conditions for a cluttered display.
With that said, widgets have always been a tough call for Apple, in its efforts to provide a consistent experience across all its product lines. Yet, as we mentioned, the iPad Pro is a different kind of tablet.
The iPad Pro is the first tablet made by Apple, where a keyboard not only makes sense, but it transforms the tablet into the closest thing to a netbook, yet, by all means, not a MacBook.
By throwing the Apple Pencil into the mix, Apple had to make some interesting changes to iOS, allowing for more advanced types of input, and support for stylus-specific hardware and functionality. The amount of changes made to iOS, with respect to other products like the iPad Mini 4 and iPad Air, are enough to warrant a fork of iOS specific to the iPad Pro, which would give developers the same flexibility they have, when building watchOS and tvOS applications.