In 2017, Apple began to pose a future for the iPad different from that of the iPhone. The arrival of the Dock and the file explorer brought it closer to a desktop computer, but in iOS 12, launched last year, there were no notable developments in this regard.
Things have changed today. Apple has announced iPadOS, an operating system dedicated exclusively to the iPad to differentiate them from the iPhone. This platform has a clear objective: to turn them into a much more complete alternative to the whole segment of laptops and convertibles and to propose a much more ambitious future for the Cupertino tablets.
The iPadOS user experience begins to differentiate from the home screen, which shows more apps per page. If we want we can slide it to show additional information in the form of widgets, such as pending appointments or messages at the same time we show the applications available in that initial screen.
The multitasking is also an integral part of that experience similar to the iPhone gestures but enhanced with some new elements called Split View and Slide Over. Users can now drag an application from the bottom for reuse quickly. Moving quickly through these open applications can also be done by sliding your finger across the bottom of the iPad.
The split view is another of the key elements of this new platform. It is possible to have two instances of the same application open at the same time in two windows, such as two note documents. It is also possible to combine windows of different applications, of course.
To navigate between these open applications and to interchange the windows that are shown in the split screen we have access to the famous "Exposé" feature of macOS that also arrives at iPadOS and that will allow having a quick view of the open applications to go accessing some of them. others as we need it.
Connect USB keys or SD cards
The file explorer, Files, also gains many new features in this version. To start, a new display mode in the form of columns that adds to the icons or the list of details. This new visualization is perfect according to Apple to navigate in hierarchies of very deep files.
This file explorer will also allow access to quick actions on the files that we manage. For example, rotate documents and images or create PDFs.
In Files, we can now also navigate through our local area network thanks to SMB support. Sharing folders in iCloud Drive is also made possible, something very interesting for collaborative work.
However, the most striking in this section is, without doubt, the ability to connect USB drives like pen drives, but also SD cards through readers that also connect with a Lightning adapter. In fact, we can even connect cameras through that port to transfer photos directly to the iPad.
Safari no longer behaves as if the iPad were a smartphone
Another of the tools that get new features for the iPad is its browser, Safari, which will now have behavior identical to that of the desktop version.
It will no longer be identified as a mobile device, something that will allow access to a much more powerful user experience that will take advantage of that great diagonal of these tablets.
That support is especially striking on platforms such as Google Docs, Squarespace or WordPress, said Apple. The browser also has download manager and 30 keyboard shortcuts if we use our iPad with this peripheral.
Working with texts
Text editing is another of the features that have improved in iPadOS with a new gesture to copy and paste content: making the clip with three fingers we can perform this operation easily in any area of the screen.
Moving with the cursor, moving through the documents or selecting text is also easier and quicker and you do not have to double-tap these operations. If we want to undo some action, there is also a simple gesture to achieve it: slide three fingers on the screen to the side.
Apple has also managed to reduce the latency of Apple Pencil, which has gone from being 20 ms to be now 9 ms, which will allow a drawing and writing experience with this peripheral even more satisfactory.
In addition to the most noteworthy developments shown during the keynote, there are other striking elements of this new operating system that are also part of iOS 13.
They are, for example, Siri's new voice, which makes advanced text-to-speech technology, which in the demonstration of WWDC 2019 sounded, of course, much more natural and less robotic. The presence of ARKit 3 goes a step further in the field of augmented reality and allows virtual objects to be placed naturally in front of or behind people, as well as capturing the human movement for immersive experiences.
There are also more powerful options to share content, a new "Look Around" view in Apple Maps similar to the 'Street View' of Google maps, new options to control the HomePod from the iPad or a feature to pair two pairs of AirPods to the same iPad.
All this is joined by internal improvements that iOS developers have made in the code of this platform that is a pillar for both iPhones and iPads with iPadOS. FaceID will work 30% faster in recognition, and we can also enjoy an application launch time that is twice as fast as in iOS 12. And of course, users will also enjoy dark mode.
As in iOS 13, users will also have new tools to edit our photos and also allow you to work with videos, for example, rotate them easily, cut them or improve brightness, contrast, and color automatically.
Are the iPads compatible with iPadOS
Not all iPads launched by Apple will be compatible with this new operating system, but the list is quite large and covers the majority of Apple tablets launched in recent years, namely:
- 12.9 inch iPad Pro
- 11-inch iPad Pro
- iPad Pro 10.5 inches
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
Members of the Apple Developer Program already have a preliminary version of the iPad OS. There will be public betas throughout the month of June for iPadOS users through beta.apple.com, and the final version of this platform will be available this fall.