Apple announces iPadOS 15 with home screen, multitasking updates, App Library, Quick Note and more

By: |
June 08, 2021 9:58 AM

Here's a quick look at all the top features coming to your iPad with iPadOS 15 update.

Apple iPadOS 15, Apple iPadOS 15 update, iPadOS 15, iPadOS 15 update, WWDC, WWDC 2021, AppleThe developer preview of iPadOS 15 is now available to Apple Developer Program members.

Apple announced iPadOS 15, the next major software update for iPad during its virtual Worldwide Developer Conference or WWDC 2021 opening keynote event on Monday. With the update, Apple is bringing a slew of productivity features including more powerful Split View and Slide Over multitasking, new widget layouts and App Library, Translate and Quick Note and the ability to build iPhone/iPad apps on iPad with Swift Playgrounds.

The developer preview of iPadOS 15 is now available to Apple Developer Program members, and a public beta will be available in July. The final version will be rolled out sometime in September.

Compatible iPad models include iPad Mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models.

Also Read | Apple announces iOS 15 update with cross-platform FaceTime calls, focused notifications, SharePlay and new privacy controls

“With more intuitive multitasking, a new Home Screen design with integrated widgets and the App Library, systemwide note taking with Quick Note, Translate designed for iPad, SharePlay, a redesigned Safari experience, new tools to stay focused, and more, users can now be even more productive,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said.

Here’s a quick look at all the top features coming to your iPad with iPadOS 15 update:

Multitasking updates

Apple is making multitasking and switching between apps easier and more seamless with iPadOS 15. Apps will now have a dedicated multitasking menu at the top allowing users to go into Split View or Slide Over with just one tap. They will have access to the Home Screen when in Split View and Shelf is being updated to show apps having multiple windows like Safari and Pages. Adding a keyboard will unlock “all-new keyboard shortcuts” and a redesigned menu bar to boost productivity.

Home Screen updates

Apple is updating the Home Screen in iPadOS 15 with a new widgets layout that will allow users to place them among apps for a more personalised experience. New widgets for App Store, Find My, Game Center, Mail, and Contacts are simultaneously being announced alongside a new, larger widget size that should be particularly useful on the larger iPad Pro models. Apple is also bringing App Library to iPad with the update after introducing it on iOS last year.

Quick Note

Just like with macOS Monterey, Apple is bringing a “Quick Note” feature to iPad with iPadOS 15 that will allow users to jot down notes on any app/website quickly across the system and also add links for context. An “Activity View” feature will allow users working on shared notes to see everyone’s edits. Notes will also support user-created tags on iPad with iPadOS 15.


After coming to iPhones last year, Apple is bringing the Translate app to iPad with iPadOS 15 and it is adding a couple of new features to the app including “Auto Translate” that does not require the user to tap a microphone button and “face-to-face view” to allow two people to see translations of the conversation “from their own side”.  The app can also translate handwritten text and text in photos, according to Apple.

Swift Playgrounds

Apple is bringing Swift Playgrounds to iPad with iPadOS 15. Version 4.2 of Swift Playgrounds will allow developers to build iPhone and iPad apps on iPad. Apple says it will also offer users “even more versatility to develop apps across iPad and Mac” through an open project format based on Swift packages accessible in Swift Playgrounds on iPad (with iPadOS 15) and Xcode on Mac.

Other notable updates

  • Universal Control will allow users to work with a single mouse and keyboard and seamlessly move between Mac and iPad “with no setup required.”
  • Spatial audio and new microphone modes including voice isolation and wide spectrum will make FaceTime calls on iPad feel more natural. Another FaceTime feature called SharePlay will allow users to simultaneously watch and listen to content as well as share their screen with others.
  • Safari is getting a new tab design with enhancements like “tab bar” combining tabs, tool bar and search together, and “Tab Groups” to save them for easy access later.
  • “Focused” notifications will seemingly reduce distractions and help users “be in the moment” through filtered notifications from contacts and apps based on the profile they set (work/sleep/do not disturb).
  • “Notification Summary” will collect “non-time-critical” notifications and deliver them “at a more opportune time.”
  • “Live Text” will allow users to highlight text in photos or scenes straight through the camera app in real time and act, accordingly, say for instance, copying a phone number or Wi-Fi password. Apple says Live Text will work locally on-device. Another feature called “Visual Look Up” will allow users to add more context to their surroundings.
  • Default on-device speech recognition for Siri (which is also said to improve performance “significantly”).
  • App Privacy Report to give an overview of how apps use their permissions in the last seven days. Mail Privacy Protection to hide a user’s IP address and location from the sender while also keeping them from knowing if their email was opened.

Also Read | Apple announces macOS Monterey next-generation Mac update with Universal Control, AirPlay support, Safari redesign and more

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