iPadOS: the iPad is a big boy now, so it gets its own operating system!

iPadOS: the iPad is a big boy now, so it gets its own operating system!
Apple's iPad is hands down the most popular tablet out there. And there's good reason for this — the tablet runs a redesigned version of iOS and only plays apps that were specifically made for the iPad. To top it off, Apple has been developing an iPad Pro line over the past 4 years, with overkill size and overkill performance.

But while the iPads were becoming real beasts on the hardware end, they were consistently held back by the iOS operating system and its nature of being a mobile-oriented platform. Which is why Apple found the need for the iPad to branch out on its own path — now, it'll run its own iPadOS!

What's different?


At its core, iPadOS is still very much the good old iOS that we've known for years. But it now has more features, gestures, and an extended file system. Not to mention, a feature we have longed for ever since the first 12.9-inch iPad Pro was announced:

A redesigned homescreen



iPadOS can finally fit more apps on a single homescreen page. Large-screened iPads will definitely benefit from this since their homescreens had more gaps than app icons before... not an optimal look. Additionally, you will now be able to pin your favorite widgets straight on the homescreen!

Multitasking improvements


Split View and Slide Over were OK for multitasking on an iPad, but nothing phenomenal. You were still stuck with two pre-set apps on your screen and you needed to do a bit too many gestures to switch to a new app and back again. Now, both Slide Over and Split View have been improved.

Firstly, Slide Over will now work like a mini iPhone display on top of your main app. What we mean is that you will be able to switch the Slide Over app by just swiping over the bottom of its small screen. Or, if you swipe up on the Slide Over app, you will get a Recent Apps cartwheel, which will let you open another app in Slide Over mode.



Split View now allows you to open content from the same app in the two halves of the screen. Meaning, you can have two notes from the Notes app running parallel to each other. Or two documents in a PDF viewer of your choice. To top it off, if you need to go Home or switch to another app, your Split View setup will be memorized by iPadOS. Just open Recent Apps and you will be able to choose that exact Split View screen to return to!

Text editing and input


Text editing on iOS has been OK for a while... we'd say Apple mostly nailed it. However, with iPadOS, we get more improvements in this field.

For one, highlighting text now is done by just dragging over it. No tap and hold, no awkwardly trying to mark a word and extend the selection from there — just tap one end of the paragraph and scroll all the way to wherever you wish.



Then, copy and cut are done just by 3-finger pinching on the screen (one pinch for copy, two pinches for cut). A 3-finger spread gesture will paste that text wherever you wish.

There's also a new gesture for "undo" and "redo" — a three finger swipe left or right, respectively.

Last but not least, you can now shrink the keyboard to an iPhone-sized one. Combine that with the new swipe typing input, which is finally coming to the Apple keyboard, and you can easily one-hand type on an iPad now.

The Apple Pencil gets more responsive


The Apple Pencil was already very accurate and sensitive. But, with iPadOS, it'll feel even more so as Apple has managed to reduce its response from 20 ms to the mind-bogglingly fast 9 ms!



Additionally, it will now be super-easy to use Pencil to markup different pages. All you need to do is to drag from a corner of the display and you will instantly be in markup mode. Now, this mode will not act like a snapshot, but it'll let you scroll around as you choose which parts of the content you want to actually... mark up.

A file system? Say it ain't so!


The Files app gets yet another upgrade with iPadOS. This time around, we get deep browsing information and it kind of looks more like the Finder on an actual Mac than the mobile Files app that it started as.



But that's barely scratching the surface! Files will now support iCloud folder sharing for teams as well as logging into SMB file servers. And... take a deep breath — it will support USB flash drives and microSD readers!

Mobile or desktop? Desktop, please!


We live in a modern world with adaptive web pages where sites try to detect the type of device you are browsing from and serve you their content in an appropriate arrangement. Mobile devices get "mobile sites", while PCs get the "desktop version" with a lot more horizontal content for easier viewing.

Sometimes, said websites are weird when it comes to displaying on the iPad. After all, those huge 4:3, 11- and 13-inch screens are perfectly good for viewing desktop content, right? That's why, Safari on iPadOS will, from now on, only request the desktop experience.

Also, Safari on iPadOS will have its own Download manager, just like a regular desktop browser!

Second screen



A new feature of iPadOS and macOS Catalina — you will be able to use your tablet as a second screen to your Mac laptop or desktop PC. It can be used as an extension of the display area or as a drawing tablet for precise control.

All the new stuff from iOS 13


All the tiny extras from iOS 13 are making it to iPadOS, too! This includes Dark Mode, the updated photo and video editing suite, the slightly improved Photos app, Voice Control, upgraded Notes and Reminders apps, and other tiny tidbits we are sure to check out when the first Public Beta becomes available!

Release date? Which iPads will support iPadOS?


As with other major OS releases from Apple, we expect iPadOS to land this coming Fall. It will be available on all slates, starting with the iPad Air 2 and later. Also, we might be getting the first public beta in July!

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35 Comments

1. ahmadkun

Posts: 586; Member since: May 02, 2016

Good job Apple ! very nice

2. Bankz

Posts: 2543; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Apple nailed this one. They absolutely killed it and then some. Although Can't say the same for the iPhone tbh. That one has become an old, boring, unprogressive and uninspiring slab of outdated glass. Imagine Apple making a foldable device that is an iPhone when folded and an iPad when unfolded. That will be the singular be computing device of all freaking time.

4. Lita9

Posts: 56; Member since: May 07, 2017

except apple doesn't even make displays . lmao

13. wickedwilly

Posts: 694; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I think they are a long way to nailing it. It is still way behind what you can do on Android and IOS. They will have nailed it when they have surpassed what others have been doing for years.

35. deleon629

Posts: 463; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

If an Apple device could FINALLY do that, then it would become a last generation Samsung device...lol

3. ph00ny

Posts: 2031; Member since: May 26, 2011

Much needed improvement to a device that wasn't much better than a phone Big kudos to apple

5. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Trending in the right direction but I'd still like to see mouse/trackpad support.

15. mackan84

Posts: 459; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

It will be as a assistive feature. So clicking interface will act as a fingertip on screen and cursor will be as big as a fingertip to. A video on twitter shows it

24. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I meant plug-n-play mouse support. What you’re referring to is what Remote Desktop uses on Android and iOS.

16. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2366; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

A developer confirmed the new iPadOS has mouse support and works with USB mice. As mackan84 mentioned it's under "assistive features".

17. vgking9699

Posts: 194; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

That won’t happen as mouse/trackpad support would turn it into a laptop with a broken hinge just like the surface craps No longer really a tablet when you gotten sit at a table or desk to use a stupid mouse or trackpad or a terrible physical keyboard for that matter

32. oldskool50

Posts: 1550; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

The Surface is a much better product then the iPad will ever be.

34. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Nope, if they still use Windows for desktop on their Surface. A pure laptop is a much better product than Surface will ever be.

6. Ikechukwu

Posts: 250; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

Better for the iPad

7. JCASS889

Posts: 539; Member since: May 18, 2018

Still only runs mobile apps... Useless compared to a real pc

8. oldskool50

Posts: 1550; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Even though that is true, and for it's price point a Windows PC like a Surface is a better option, the comparison to a PC is just pointless. The iPad isn't meant to be a PC. even though Apple tried to slap the surface with a huge amount of criticism, whichlooked especially stupid after they slapped a keyboard in front of the iPad and claimed it's now a computer; but the ipad without OS X will never be nothing more than what it is. But this is a nice move. But fact is, but now Apple could have made a very special version of OS X that runs on their chipset, and the iPad could be a more power tool, instead of yet again and overpriced toy. Again this is what's wrong with the ARM platform. It is simply right now still too limited. Even with Windows on ARM, it can only run 32bit apps, which si pointless when most apps now are 64bit or have 64bit alternatives. The iPad isn't useless, it's just a different platform that should cost half what it does.

10. mackan84

Posts: 459; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

You know that the $329 dollar iPad gets these features too? Only thing it’s missing is the usb-c. I think apple waits for these desktop apps coming to iPadOS instead of doing the opposite.

18. vgking9699

Posts: 194; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Actually the iPads are priced just right It’s already way cheaper than surface pros which is expected cuz if it was more of a normal pc it would have room to go up in price to match the surface pros And the iPad pros even are even more cheaper than the craptastic pixel slates which have terrible performance for their specs and price points Even the really old now galaxy tab s2 still cost more than a much newer normal iPad and that tab s2 is on its last android version and should be like $149 but still is being sold for over $400

33. oldskool50

Posts: 1550; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

The Surface Pro starts at $700. Show me an iPad with similar storage and the same capabilities as the Surface. Tye Surface is a full fledge Windows PC in a tablet form factor. The iPad is a 1012" iPhone.

20. Mike88

Posts: 402; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Yes apple iPad isn't a pc coz it's much more than that.. I'm talking about the iPad pro 3rd Gen, I've a high end windows laptop from Dell with i7 7th gen quad and 16gb ram, is it anything better to my iPad pro? Not at al.. The iPad pro is the best device ever, it can do everything a high end desktop still do and everything a phone would do, it got one of the most powerful processor that's actually faster than 90% of laptops in the market.. It's much more portable and easier to use than laptops,, very secure unlike windows pc and the face ID makes it the faster device to be unlocked.. No laptop gives you battery backup as good as iPad and after few days they become a near desktop for not holding up enough charging for moving. Except for some very professional developing, there's nothing an iPad can't do better than a laptop pc. Add it with the keyboard and pencil and it's much more than any laptop out there. Some narrow minded people won't like to admit the power of iPad pro but it's true

26. JCASS889

Posts: 539; Member since: May 18, 2018

I can tell you my laptop is thousands of times faster than an iPad, a gtx 1080 alone is like 50 ipads, try mining on an iPad, it's a great way to get an idea of the performance of the device, hint it's pretty bad of a hash rate compared to my laptop. 32gb of ram and 6tb and a gtx 1080 will always beat the iPad., your fact about 90% of laptops is so far from the truth.

29. Mike88

Posts: 402; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Are you talking about speed by gpu?? It shows your immaturity and lack of knowledge. Gtx 1080 is the gpu while my comment is about the cpu,, but if u want to talk about gpu then ipad pro 3rd gen has a very powerful gpu too which is equivalent to the gpu of Xbox one s console. And gtx 1080 is not present in 90% of computers and even the computers which have it can't compare the speed of A12X chip which is really faster than 90% of all the laptops in the world

21. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You should have got to the Xcode version of the event, where it's been shown that you can just click a button and you can generate an app for all 3 devices with coding a single time. So the iPad app will be a PC app, but designed to work on the iPadOS.

23. path45th

Posts: 405; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

With every new iOS or now iPadOS it’s my pc that is getting more and more useless.

9. slim3bdo

Posts: 173; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

And... take a deep breath — it will support USB flash drives and microSD readers! Welcome to 2012

11. Nionx

Posts: 203; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

Dare I say: IPadOS was the most Interesting announcement at WWDC this year

12. mackan84

Posts: 459; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

It was

14. wickedwilly

Posts: 694; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

This is a good step forward, but Apple still has a long way to go. I appreciate being able to put widgets on home screens, but are they resizable and can fill up a whole home page, like a calendar for instance? Can apps be positioned anywhere on a homescreen and can you define the size, spacing, no of apps per row and column? If this is not the case I will be disappointed and it is a disgrace that Apple is so slow in implementing such basic requirements. I cannot see my iPad becoming my working tablet with these minor improvements. Apple is still very much in catch-up mode in the mobile space. One thing I will applaud if it does work, is to have the iPad as a second screen for my windows desktop, that would be very useful.

19. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

I like ipad because it's simple, not because it's a laptop replacement. I don't want it to be stuffed with bloatware and couldn't care less about split screen multitasking.

22. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Every single device (even the old Newton) has a "file system"; the "file MANAGER" is the tool that... manages files.

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