The base model iPad has a landscape camera (sweet!), but only has support for the first generation Apple Pencil. This Pencil has to be charged via a Lightning cable, which, of course, the base model iPad doesn’t have. It has a USB-C port. You need a cable and an adapter to charge the Apple Pencil.

The latest iPad Pro received the latest M2 chip. Despite everyone screaming for better iPad software, the latest M2 chip and a new Apple Pencil hover feature are all we get after 18 months of iPad Pro development. There could be some Wi-Fi improvements in there, I guess.

The newest Magic Keyboard iteration looks awesome, with a variety of features basically hand-picked from the Microsoft Surface design language. It even has function keys. Naturally though, it doesn’t work with the latest iPad Pros, last year’s iPad Pros, and this year’s iPad Airs. It only works with the base model iPad.

Which iPad should you get? iPad 10? The iPad Air with the M1 chip? The iPad Pro? An iPad Pro with M1 chip on sale? An iPad mini? What’s the iPad Air doing in the lineup? I’m so confused.

iPadOS 16.1 is entering release territory and Stage Manager remains a catastrophe. Once stable apps constantly crash in the public beta. Shortcuts actions don’t work. And perhaps the one cool collaboration app — collaboration and canvas-style apps being one of the iPad’s core competencies — are still a ways out.

All of this spells absolute mayhem in iPad land.

Just a few short years ago, there were many Mac users questioning whether Apple cared anymore about the desktop and laptop platform. The butterfly keyboard was a disaster. USB-C-only pro laptops were met with giggles and disdain. That Core i9 overheating fiasco — whether it was Apple’s fault or not — led to many-a-freezer meme. Users rightfully called Apple out for their poor development of the Mac platform.

The result was the current generation of Mac computers. Perhaps we’ve never seen a better Macintosh line-up than we currently have. The M1 Pro/Max/Ultra chip has ran circles around the competition and it’s hard to find a bad word about the current 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

It’s time that same voice is heard regarding the iPad platform. At this point, I wonder whether Apple even knows what the iPad is. Perhaps the iPad isn’t actually anything specific. Perhaps it’s something different to different people.

We’re over 10 years into the iPad platform and I don’t think the state of the platform has ever been worse. I’ve owned them all except for the third generation iPad — the one that got considerably thicker to accommodate the new Retina display — and I’m skipping out on all the latest iPads this year. Maybe I’ll sell off my M1 iPad Pro because it still has a ton of value after today. I could get this new base model iPad for my girls. But then I wouldn’t know how to charge the Pencil without my three-year-old breaking off the Lightning connector.

The iPad isn’t beyond repair. But the current state of affairs is proving those “Just a Big iPhone” bros right.