iPad cellular is a major advantage over Macs, still to this day

Every time a new iPad Pro is announced, Apple’s enthusiasm over how powerful its most advanced tablet is provokes a certain level of public cynicism. Not because Apple’s claims are disputed. But because for all the power the iPad Pro boasts, it still runs iPadOS. And for some, that automatically makes it inexorably less capable than a Mac.

But one significant area where the iPad has the undisputed upper hand on the Mac is in connectivity. You can’t get a Mac with cellular, but the iPad has offered cellular since its 2010 debut. And built-in cellular can prove a major advantage for someone who values having a truly portable computer.

iPad as a truly portable computer

Final Cut Pro for iPad

I grew up in Texas, where it was hot the majority of the year, while winter was still cold enough to cause discomfort. As a result, I spent very little time outdoors in my younger years.

When I moved away from home and experienced a more moderate climate in New York City, I truly fell in love with the outdoors for the first time. I love outdoor dining, long walks, and hanging out on park benches for hours on end. My desire to move around with my computer and fully experience the city makes the iPad a great option.

I’ve tried bringing a MacBook Air around New York with me, and lackluster WiFi connections at coffee shops combined with the poor reliability of hotspot has led to serious frustration. It’s pretty rough being stuck with a Mac with no Internet connection.

An iPad with cellular means I never have to worry about a connection, just like I never do with my iPhone. That peace of mind is hard to put a price tag on. It’s so freeing knowing you can bring your computer anywhere you go and do all your work, fully connected, wherever you please.

Will the Mac ever get cellular?

MacBook

We’re approaching four years of Apple silicon in the Mac. We’ve seen M1, M2, and M3 chips in a variety of Pro, Mac, and Ultra flavors powering a variety of Mac computers. The M4, currently exclusive to the iPad Pro, will undoubtedly reach the Mac lineup before too long.

Yet despite all the modernization that Apple silicon has brought to the Mac, it still hasn’t enabled a cellular Mac to exist.

Does Apple think there’s no demand for cellular connectivity on the Mac? Is there some other technical limitation we don’t know about? I find it hard to believe that either of these ideas are true.

After seeing how much amazing tech the company fit into the impossibly thin new iPad Pro, surely it can find a way to add a cellular modem and macOS support for an always-connected Mac.

The question is: does it want to?

What do you think? Do you wish a cellular Mac existed? Let us know in the comments.

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