The only iPad which could potentially run PhotoLab fluidly would be a top of the line iPad Pro. We shouldn’t confuse Adobe with DxO. The only barrier to Adobe adding an app or features is if they feel like it or not, there’s no financial barrier. They can hire a new building of people if they feel like it and not even feel the costs. Every extra project which DxO adds which does not substantially increase revenue compromises their ability to maintain the core project. If the core project does not get enough love (fortunately DxO is catching up with cameras and lenses), the core project will fall behind.
If PhotoLab yields the best images, maintains its very smooth workflow and becomes competitively fast DxO will flourish. There is a huge minority of photographers (more than enough to support PhotoLab) for whom the results – in an efficient and pleasant workflow – are the most important criteria for choosing RAW software. It’s those photographers DxO needs to reach.
Right now if I or anyone else goes out to promote PhotoLab on DPreview for instance, anyone can answer: “Yes it’s great but it’s really slow on A7R III images” or “The noise reduction is superb but the colour tools are really weak in comparison to C1” or “Sadly, it’s slow on Mac, C1 flies”. In fact, one current review chases PhotoLab for the out of date colour tools. There’s not much we can say in answer, except, yes, the noise tools are best of class and the design is really nice.
The hardcore Adobe fanatics – it’s Adobe! – won’t ever be won over. There’s a segment of people who just want what everyone else uses. They will only follow if DxO wins over most of the pro photography market.