Apple is reinventing iOS into iPadOS for iPads that, Apple dreams, one day will outshine PCs
While announcing the next big update for the iPhone at the WWDC 2019, Apple surprised everyone by breaking up iOS into two different platforms. The iPhone and iPod devices will now be specifically powered by iOS while the iPad is getting its very own ecosystem – iPadOS. Apple has been talking about turning its popular iPad tablets into powerhouse PCs that can somewhat substitute them in future.
iPadOS brings the macOS-like capabilities to the iPad, including some additions that iPhone users have been demanding for a long time. iPadOS has a dedicated section for widgets on the home screen that pushes the app icons to the right side. The widgets are the ones available in the Notification Center. This could also pave the way for widgets to appear on iOS someday.
The biggest change that is coming as a part of iPadOS is more multitasking actions. The split screen now works with all the apps, allowing you to resize the two windows on the screen. There can be a carousel of apps opened in the background that are available to switch to in an Exposé-like view. Between the two apps, you can drag and drop photos, videos, web links, and more. The copy/paste functionality is being remade to allow gestures. Of course, it comes with Dark Mode that has also been added to iOS.
Since Apple is remoulding iOS into a branch where it’s a middle ground between iOS and macOS, iPadOS has plenty of new features, such as support for USB drives, external hard drives, and SD cards. All these external components will be supported by the Files app that is also being changed to streamline the contents. The Files app now has a Column view, exactly similar to the one on macOS, that shows important information about a particular file. iCloud supports folder sharing now.
A major part of the desktop-like experience is how the web browser handles the Internet content. Apple is improving Safari browser in iPadOS to open desktop-class websites by default. Navigation in a browser requires precision sometimes, which is undoubtedly achieved by a pointer on screen. Apple is adding support for external mouse on iPadOS, which takes the iPad a step closer to becoming a full-fledged PC since it already supports a detachable keyboard.
Finally, the Apple Pencil is being improved to shorten the latency from 20ms to 9ms, which means a faster response. The colour palette has been redesigned as well, in addition to allowing third-party apps to leverage the capabilities for their own utilities for Apple Pencil.
The iPadOS will begin rolling out this fall to customers of iPad Air 2 and higher, all the iPad Pro models, iPad fifth-generation and higher, and iPad mini 4 and above models. The public beta version of iPadOS will be available to download later this month at beta.apple.com.