Apple has launched iPadOS, an iPad dedicated version of iOS 13, designed to make its tablets easier to use as desktop devices.
The new software comes with features that are usually found on MacOS or Windows, such as the ability to open tabs of certain apps, with a home screen that is a lot more dynamic than the standard iOS view found on current models.
The home screen now shows more apps per page, with the ability to add widgets usually seen in iOS’s Control Centre. This means you can now get easy access to the latest weather, headlines and key notifications at a glance.
Split View allows users to have two emails or Notes open side by side, while anew Slide Over feature offers the ability to quickly switch between multiple apps.
Apple is also introducing new gesture controls to make it easier to cut, copy and paste, a common complaint on those who use the iPad as a productivity tool. There are also new keyboard shortcuts and a boost to Apple Pencil integration – the stylus is now more accurate and can be used to mark up web pages and other documents by swiping up from the corner.
iPadOS also includes iOS 13’s new dark mode, with a blacked out background designed to make it easier on the eyes when used late at night.
Perhaps the biggest draw is the ability to access files from external sources by plugging a thumb drive into the iPad. This will display in the Files app, much as accessories do in Finder on MacOS.
iPadOS will be a free update available for iPad Air 2 and above, iPad mini 4 and above, iPad 5 and higher and all iPad Pro models. It’s available now for developers, with a public testing version out later this month. A final build will be released later this year, most likely in September.
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