iPadOS: Apple debuts new operating system for its tablet range

apple ipados wwdc

In light of years of slowing tablet sales, and months of slowing smartphone sales, Apple has finally recognised that the iPad deserves its own operating system.

On Monday at WWDC, it debuted iPadOS. A clunky name, sure, but it’s a modified iOS for a more complete tablet experience.

iPad now has home page widgets

For one, the home page is now more Android-like, allowing users to view widgets on the left hand side. Apple’s calling this column “Today View”. The home page also houses more icons than before.

With larger screens come more multitasking potential, and iPadOS finally allows the company’s new, larger tablets to take advantage of this. The firm introduced Split View and Slide Over.

The iPad now has gestures for copying, cutting, pasting and undoing text and previous work

“Customers can compose an email while viewing another email side by side or access multiple apps like Messages or Calendar with just a swipe,” Apple explains. “App Exposé provides a quick view of just the open windows for any one app with a simple tap.”

This works hand-in-hand with a new Files app. The iPad now supports external drives, flash drives and SD cards, while the Files app supports SMB and file servers. iCloud Drive is also plugged in to the app.

Apple Pencil and new gestures

Tweaks to Apple Pencil are incoming too. The stylus now lets users “mark up and send entire webpages, documents or emails on iPad by swiping Apple Pencil from the corner of the screen”.

“A redesigned tool palette gives quick access to tools, color palettes, shapes, object eraser, a new pixel eraser for removing any part of a stroke and a ruler for drawing perfectly straight lines,” Apple continued.

With the Pen’s advancements comes gesture support. The iPad now has gestures for copying, cutting, pasting and undoing text and previous work. Safari also introduces 30 new keyboard shortcuts to the OS.

Text editing is also improved by a floating keyboard. Apple’s iPadOS now features swipe gestures and allows users to drag it wherever required.

And finally, a systemwide dark mode is also heading to iPadOS.

When can I get it?

The preview of the tablet OS is now available to developers. A beta programme will open “later this month”. And finally, general availability will be pushed through in Q3 2019.

“iPadOS will be available this fall as a free software update for iPad Air 2 and later, all iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and later and iPad mini 4 and later,” Apple concluded.

Feature image: Apple

Andy Walker
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