[…]here are a few iPad-specific feature requests for iOS 10, all of which balance the iPad’s traditional strengths and the needs of people more used to “traditional” desktop OSes.
A better multitasking switcher:
[…]It’s mainly a problem for heavy users who switch between many apps. As-is, the switcher only displays apps three at a time in the order in which they were used, and, if you need to find a new app or something you use less frequently, you have to do a lot of scrolling.
My 16GB iPad Air 2 doesn’t leverage me the use of a ton of apps. On the off chance that the app I want to use in Split View isn’t recently opened, ‘a lot of scrolling’ doesn’t truly capture the rampant flicking at the screen that ensues. I, among many others, would unanimously vote for this to be fixed.
One app, multiple instances:
Almost every app on an iDevice can only run a single instance of itself at a time—the main exception is Safari, which opens a new process for every page you load, and even that is more about process isolation than it is about multitasking.
In any case, you can’t launch more than one app “window” in iOS at once.
This is an excellent idea- one that a lot of users would benefit from. The problem, however, is that traditional desktops could rely on windowing systems to manage multiple instances of on app. iOS shows no indications of going down the window-based app instance road. Sure you could slap in two Word files by opening a new one in Split View; but what happens when you want to choose between one of those word files alongside Safari? This should be a tough nut to crack for Apple and, I would presume, requires the aforementioned problem tackled first.
Consumer-ready multi-user mode:
The multi-user mode Apple is releasing in schools could be the first step toward a consumer-ready multi-user mode.
Multi-user mode for schools means that Apple is almost certainly working for a multi-user mode for the general public. It’s been a longstanding feature request of ours, since tablets are much more likely than phones to be passed from person to person.
A consumer multiuser mode could be tied to Family Sharing accounts the same way iOS 9.3’s multiuser mode is tied to educational accounts; this way you wouldn’t have to buy and install most apps separately for separate accounts. Fingerprints registered to TouchID could be tied to different accounts to automate login.
This is happening, it’s only obvious. The only question is ‘when?’ No one would call you crazy for putting your money on this year’s WWDC.
Mouse pointer and trackpad support:
You feel the need for one the most when using a keyboard case like Apple’s Smart Cover with the iPad—it just feels counterintuitive to have to move your hands from the keyboard to the screen and back if you’re trying to scroll through something.
Basic Bluetooth mouse support would be good; full trackpad support would be even better. Many of the multitouch trackpad gestures in OS X already do iOS-ish things like swiping from one full screen or Split View app to another, and both inertial scrolling and the “elastic” rubber-band scrolling debuted in iOS and were moved over to OS X later.
I’ll agree that typing on an external keyboard and then reaching out to the screen to interact with the iPad is entirely inconvenient. Done repeatedly, it can be outright taxing. But anyone who visualises a future where the iPad would have a ‘pointer’ in the traditional ‘desktop’ parlance has clearly misunderstood the iPad on an existential level.
Pointers exist because desktop softwares display small, interactive controls that demand high precision(let’s leave the Surface out of this for a while). As a result, desktop software can be densely packed with controls and toggles. The iPad, on the other hand, has far fewer controls and they’re all touch based- requiring far less precision and resulting in lesser controls per inch of screen real-estate (this, by the way, is the reason behind the fabled ‘I know working in the iPad takes longer but it just feels…nicer‘; more on that coming soon). Hence the conclusion- iOS will never have a ‘pointer’ and neither would OS X go touch-based(unless Apple takes a page from Microsoft’s book).