Re: Nerd Alert

Jim Stutsman

iPad OS will make the Files app on iPads work more like the Finder on Macs. Currently if you plug in a USB drive on an iPad it is treated as a camera card. If there are no photos on it, then you can't do anything without specially constructed apps. Those apps are currently required for any USB drive that is capable of being plugged into a Lightning port.

Before rushing out to buy a new laptop you should first try to determine what you need it for that cannot be done on an iPad. The line between laptop and iPad is getting thinner. One thing about Macs is that even an "obsolete" Mac continues to be useful. My 2012 iPad Air is still perfect for traveling, and it's stuck on Sierra, two updates back. I only use it when traveling, though my iPad Pro would be just as good. Last time I traveled I took the Air, only because the iPad Pro was brand new and I didn't want to risk loss or damage while going through the nightmare of airport security.

We're approaching a fork in the road. (As Yogi Berra famously said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!") Outside of the workplace, for most of us an iPad meets all of our needs. The sewing machine manufacturers started writing software well before the iPad came to be, and they are very slow to change due to the cost of software development. I don't think Janome's inclusion of Artistic Digitizer on a free MacBook Air is an indication that they are embracing the Mac. The software for Artistic Digitizer was already developed when Janome got it, and the original developers were already supporting both platforms. The MacBook Air they gave away was already at end of life, so they would have been cheap.  It remains to be seen what Janome will do for the next generation. They can extend their iPad software to include more functionality or they can continue to use Windows for some functions. That's risky, because they are then requiring their customers to have two computers for full support of the machine, which is itself as big an investment as a car. I doubt very much that they will offer any software on the Mac. Since Artistic already supported the Mac, they basically threw a bone to Mac users and created the impression that they were going to support Mac in the future by offering a free one.

Until Janome Institute in August, we don't know which way they are going, so it's probably wise to wait until fall to do anything. The new Apple software won't release until then either. If you need to buy new hardware now, use the Mac Rumors guide to avoid buying a soon-to-be-discontinued model.

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