M2 iPad Pro rumored to get 'macOS lite' — is this what it needs to be a true laptop replacement?

iPad Pro 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

Is the M2 iPad Pro poised to get a new operating system that brings it one step closer to laptop-replacement nirvana? According to popular Twitter tipster Majin Bu (their prediction about the iPad 10 getting a landscape FaceTime camera was spot on), Apple is working on a lighter version of macOS (à la Windows S Mode).

Apple has done a lot of things right with the iPad Pro 2022, including packing it with the beastly M2, but there is one hindrance that holds the tablet back from delivering a true desktop experience: iPadOS (h/t Digital Trends).

A "smaller" macOS version for M2 iPad Pro may be on the horizon

Apple is reportedly testing a "simplified" version of macOS, codenamed "Mendocino," for the M2-based iPad Pro, according to Majin Bu. 

iPad Pro 2022

iPad Pro 2022 (Image credit: Apple)

"This would explain the arrival of DaVinci Resolve exclusively for M2 and the patent for a future version of iPadOS with the Mac graphics leaked earlier this year," the Twitter leaker said. It's worth noting that DaVinci Resolve, a high-end video editing, post-production program, was previously only available on Mac.

The M2 chip is the same processor that powers the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Apple debuted earlier this year. Compared to the M1, the M2's CPU is 18% zippier while its GPU is a whopping 35% faster. However, outfitting the premium Apple tablet with macOS would give the iPad Pro the edge it needs, making it more alluring for on-the-go professionals seeking an ultra-portable, laptop-esque device that can handle their heavy workloads.

If you're wondering if Apple has any plans on bringing this simplified macOS version to the M1 iPad Pro, the answer, according to Majin Bu, is likely no due to "marketing." Making "macOS lite" exclusive to the M2-based iPad Pro will, of course, increase sales for the recently released tablet.

If I were you, I'd take this rumor with a huge grain of salt. However, if this nugget of information happens to be true, Apple reportedly plans on releasing this smaller version of macOS late next year.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!