WWDC: What Apple’s biggest announcements mean for the company

As Apple’s biggest event of the year winds down and the dust begins to settle, the shape of company’s future plans is starting to become clearer. And this time around it’s not a matter of digging up a mere smattering of hints about where Apple is taking its products, but of sifting through the metric ton of details that the company divulged. Most people were convinced that this would be a big event, and they were ultimately right—even if not for the reasons initially suspected.

Here are just a few of the big takeaways from the announcements, with an idea of what they might mean for the future of the company’s products.

Putting the “Pad” in “iOS”

Though the iPad has long been one of Apple’s key products, this year it finally got the recognition it deserved as its own platform, as Apple decided to rechristen the tablet’s operating system as “iPadOS.”

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The iPad is finally recognized as its own platform with the release of iPadOS.

Reframing the iPad version of iOS as its own distinct OS is a bold stake in the ground for Apple. As some have pointed out, this makes it harder for the company to sweep the iPad under the rug when it comes time to update all its software platforms. It also makes it easier for the tablet’s OS to diverge from the iPhone and iPod touch, freeing the iPad from the yoke of its little—and more prominent—sibling.

Combined with some of the pro-oriented features—improved multitasking, access to USB storage, and —Apple clearly seems ready to fill in the last gaps in iPad functionality, so we can all hopefully stop having arguments about whether or not you can get “real work” done on one.

Macs for Pros

Speaking of “real work”, the Mac Pro is here and it’s even more pro than most predicted. Apple used to have a strong presence in the creative production world, but that’s ebbed a bit in the last decade or two and the company is clearly eager to reclaim its place—and then some.

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Apple raised the ceiling when it comes to the definition of a pro-level Mac.

What the Mac Pro says to me is that Apple really is serious about the professional space for the Mac. Between the iMac and the Mac mini, both of which can be configured to pretty powerful levels, and the iMac Pro, the company seemed to have the field well covered already. But somehow the Mac Pro takes that to an entirely different level. If it’s a powerful desktop Mac you’re in the market for, you have choices aplenty.

More importantly, for all those who feared that the end of the Mac was nigh, the Mac Pro would seem to conclusively put that matter to rest. And as time goes by, more and more of the things Apple has learned from its highest-end Mac should hopefully make their way down to the rest of the lineup.