About a week ago, during its Annual WWDC 2019 keynote, Apple previewed a distinct OS for its iPads — called iPadOS. With the new operating system, the company seeks to distinguish the tablet experience from the iPhone, breathing life to the speculation that Apple’s iPads will not be receiving the new iOS 13 update. While the upcoming iPadOS builds on the same foundation as its counterpart iOS, it will be adding powerful new capabilities as well as intuitive features, which are specific to the iPad’s large display and versatility.
Craig Federighi, senior VP of the Software Engineering department at Apple, during the announcement last week Monday, said: “iPad transforms how people work and express their creativity, and with iPadOS, we’re taking it even further by delivering exciting capabilities that take advantage of its large canvas and versatility. iPadOS delivers exciting features, including a new Home screen with widgets, more powerful multitasking and new tools that make using Apple Pencil even more natural.”
Some of the features highlighted above make better use of screen real estate with others introducing new gesture controls (and maybe mouse support) to offer you improved tablet experience. Let’s reveal more details about the features and capabilities of iPadOS.
All-New Home Screen
Apple has redesigned the Home screen with a new layout, which now shows more applications on each page. Also, you can now add Today View to your Home screen, a feature that gives you quick access to widgets for at-a-glance info, containing things like headlines, weather, tips, calendar, events, and others.
Enhance Your Productivity with Split View and Slide Over
If you own an iPad, with updates to Split View, you can now work with multiple files as well as documents right from the same app at the same time. And you can also quickly view & switch between multiple applications in Slide Over. For instance, you can compose an email message as you view another email side by side or with just a swipe, you get access to multiple apps, such as Messages or Calendar. App Exposé is an option that offers you a quick view, with a simple tap, of just your open windows for any one application.
Enjoy Desktop-Quality Sites & Browsing
Since it isn’t purely tied to iOS and a mobile ecosystem any longer, the Safari web browser comes with a number of improvements in the new iPadOS. Now, you are no longer just viewing mobile websites because iPadOS is designed with capability for viewing sites in a modified desktop view, which is slightly cleaner and more optimized for touch.
It does not simply work with Apple’s sites either; apps like Google Docs and WordPress will equally show improved performance with Safari on iPadOS. Furthermore, when iPadOS is launched later in the year, Apple’s browser is getting a download manager, 30 new keyboard shortcuts, along with improved tab management.
Integrated Apple Pencil Experience
Apple Pencil, with the new iPadOS, is even more integrated into your iPad experience as you can now mark up & send whole webpages, emails or documents on your iPad by simply swiping Apple Pencil from the corner of your device screen. There is a redesigned tool palette that offers instant access to tools, color palettes, object eraser, shapes, in addition to a new pixel eraser that helps you remove any part of a stroke, and a ruler that you can use to draw straight lines, perfectly. When you use Apple Pencil, you will even get more natural feel due to its advanced prediction algorithms, as well as optimizations, which help in cutting down on its industry-leading latency to as low as 9ms (milliseconds).
Enjoy More Powerful Files App
The Files app offers you a central place for getting access to and managing your documents, quickly, and with the upcoming iPadOS, you even get to enjoy better features, one of which is iCloud Drive support for folder sharing. Anyone that has access to a shared folder will be able to see it in iCloud Drive and can always access the most up-to-date version. The latest iPad operating system equally comes with support for external drives, an option that lets you smoothly plug in SD cards, USB drives, or log into an SMB (Server Message Block) file server, everything from within your Files app.
There is now a new Column View that gives you high-resolution previews, allowing you to navigate directories, even as it will now be easy for you to be more productive on your iPad with support for Quick Actions, like mark up, rotate & create PDF. But that’s not all iPadOS has in its locker as it also introduces local storage, new keyboard shortcuts, zip and unzip, and others.
New Gesture Features on iPadOS
The new gestures — one of the bigger features coming across the whole of iPadOS — include 3-finger pinch to cut, 3-finger splay to paste, and 3-finger swipe to undo. Smooth and easy.
Further, in some applications, you can two-finger-pinch your keyboard so as to shrink it to iOS mobile size and also move it around. If you plunk it next to the side of your device screen, you will also be able to type on it with a thumb.
There also new gestures for the Home screen and for multi-tasking as well. Apparently, you may need some time to get used to all these new interactions (gestures) iPadOS brings to the table.
There are new features aplenty coming to iOS 13 that have also been included in iPadOS: We have the likes of Dark Mode, the new Photos organized by machine learning, custom fonts as well as the slide-and-type QuickPath keyboard option, which is SwiftKey-like. More on these, shortly.
Improved Text Editing Update
With a major update coming to text editing on iPad in the new iPadOS, it has now become easier and faster for you to point with even more speed and precision, use new gestures to cut, copy, paste & undo, and select text with just a swipe.
Is There Mouse Support?
Even though Apple is yet to officially confirm this option will be featured in iPadOS, obviously, it has support for connecting a mouse to your iPad. Initially, developer Steve Troughton-Smith made a post on Twitter
Other iPadOS Updates
- Dark Mode offers you a new dramatic dark color scheme, which sports great looks, system-wide, and is easier on your eyes in low-light environs.
- Photos helps you curate your library, highlighting your favorite images, automatically getting rid of clutter and similar photos in a bid to showcase key events from the past day, month, year. iPadOS also comes with more intuitive photo editing with new tools, which are more convenient to apply, easier to adjust and review; and nearly all photo editing options are featured for video editing.
- Custom Fonts can also be installed to be used across the system, a perfect option that allows you to create amazing documents on your iPad. You can now get fonts from boutique and popular vendors, like Adobe, Monotype, DynaComware, Founder, and Morisawa on the App Store.
- Sign In with Apple is another update, making it fast, easy and secure for you to log into apps and sites with your Apple ID.
- Maps comes with a new basemap, which is designed from scratch, enabling you to Look Around with stunning street-level imagery of cities with high-res 3D photography. Also, there is Collections — a feature offering you a new way for sharing restaurants, destinations or shops. Favorites is handy to do quick navigation to locations you frequently visit.
- Performance Improvements ensure that the whole system is more responsive with quicker and more secure Face ID unlock, coupled with a new way for packaging iPad apps on the App Store, cutting down on download sizes by as much as 50% , making app updates smaller by up to 60%, and resulting in apps opening 2x as fast.
iPadOS Release Date and Availability
Apple, last week Monday, released iPadOS developer preview to its Developer Program members at developer.apple.com; a public beta program is billed to be made available next month for iPadOS users at beta.apple.com. iPadOS is scheduled for release this fall as a free software update and will support a range of devices: iPad Air 2 and later, every iPad Pro models, iPad fifth gen and later, in addition to iPad mini 4 and later.
At this juncture, we draw the curtain on iPadOS review as we wait with bated breath for its release later in the year.