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The iPad should fold in half

The iPad should fold in half


An iPad, but make it a folding phone.

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iPad Pro on a wooden table.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Folding an iPad in half is a very bad idea if you want to keep using your iPad. But hear me out: it should fold in half. Why? Because it would make an absolute banger of a folding phone.

First of all, what’s even going on here anyway? The Pro iPhones have more processing power than they know what to do with. The iPad Pro is an incredible computer that nobody can use as a computer. The iPad Mini still exists (TIL airplane pilots love the iPad Mini),the iPad Air is heavier than the iPad Pro, and Apple can’t figure out what to do with the non-standard-sized iPhone. There are entirely too many SKUs, and I think Apple can condense, like, four of them down into one category-straddling product.

I’m thinking of something like an iPad Mini that doubles as a phone in the style of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 or the Google Pixel Fold. Apple seems to have all kinds of ideas about folding things in half, including a big iPad that’s kind of like a MacBook and a clamshell-style iPhone. (Honestly, those both sound pretty rad, too.) But I’ve come around to the idea that the iPad makes a lot more sense when you imagine it as a folding phone.

Apple has already achieved optimal thinness. The iPad Pro is thinner than most phones (and every other computer Apple makes). What’s the point, if not to fold it in half? Was anyone complaining about the iPad being too thick? The slimmest iPad Pro is 5.1mm — fold that in half, and it’s only a couple of millimeters thicker than an iPhone 15 Pro Max. Mission accomplished. And if Apple is going to insist that things like a floating tab bar are good enough multitasking tools for people to get things done on an iPad, then it may as well just turn the thing into a phone.

And speaking of iOS 18 — excuse me, iPadOS 18 — have you seen the new handwriting features? They look amazing. With an Apple Pencil, you can write out a note and a feature called Smart Script will neaten up your writing automatically. But here’s the great part: you can erase some of your handwritten note or scratch something out, and the text will flow to fill the empty space. That solves one of the issues I run into with stylus writing on phones — adding text is easy, but once you erase something from your grocery list, it gets ugly real fast.

But, let’s be honest, I am not writing out a list on an iPad and then taking it grocery shopping so I can cross things off as I wander around Trader Joe’s. But what if you wrote out those notes on a big, tablet-like screen, then folded the whole thing in half to take it with you? It makes so much more sense. Apple doesn’t want to admit that the iPad is a stay-at-home device; if it could fold in half, maybe we’d be more inclined to take it to go.

It’s possible that executives at Apple fully enjoy selling people a phone and a tablet and have no intention of selling them one product instead. I didn’t go to business school or whatever, but fine. All I’m saying is that it’s hard to get excited about an iPad when I already have a phone and a computer, but an iPad that folds in half? Now we’re talking.

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