iOS 7 is the first radical redesign to Apple’s mobile operating software since its original incarnation on the first iPhone back in 2007. Apple has left no pixel untouched, and the results are a stark contrast that has met with differing opinions. The main takeaway is a clean minimalistic design with a very clear focus on each individual stock app. Apple has clearly been focusing on how iOS 7 fits on the iPhone with all of their demos at WWDC done on their smartphone line. Even the first beta of iOS 7 was lacking an iPad build, and while it did come two weeks later, the iPad version still feels relatively clunky a number of betas later.
Apple could potentially be putting off development of the iPad version of iOS 7 to focus on the iPhone version to launch with the iPhone 5S & 5C. Apple could even hold the iPad version until new iPad hardware comes in the final three months of the year, so that iOS 7 for iPad is ready for the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2. Apple could also be possibly working on something special for the iPad version of iOS 7. Right now, every part of iOS 7 is made for the iPhone, and the beta on the iPad is just enlarged objects with nothing at all different on the iPad, or even a benefit to run on the larger touch device. Maybe, this is just a temporary place holder, as Apple is working on new versions specifically for the iPad to take advantage of the larger screen real estate. This is possible because iOs 7 is a restart at Apple, which will be the new building block for Apple’s mobile strategy for at least the next five years.
What could these special iPad specific features be? Well, for starters the iPad would greatly benefit from true multi-tasking for specific apps. Apple could start out with iPad specific versions of their apps so that you could potentially run Safari and Pages side by side with the iPad in landscape mode. You could also run Mail, Calendar, Notes, and a few others side by side with two Apple apps running simultaneously on a single iPad screen. Another enhancement could be Notification Center accessible as a sidebar like on the Mac, with a two finger swipe. Notification Center and Control Center could even be combined in this sidebar, and it would be a much better implementation than the current iPhone style windows that drag in at the center of the screen. Then there are simply the stock apps that don’t offer any extra benefits while running on the iPad, and are essentially enlarged iPhone apps. Apple makes a big deal of competitor App Store lacking true tablet apps, and yet their own stock apps fail by the same standards.
The iPad is bursting with potential that Apple has yet to tap, but a separate version of iOS 7 with iPad specific features would greatly enhance their tablet line-up. These days, software is most important especially with the iPad 5 set to just gain a slimmer form factor, and iPad mini to get the retina display it should already have.