These are the five features that you’ll desperately want to try on iPadOS
iPadOS will roll-out to iPads worldwide today at around 6pm BST, provided that Apple sticks with its typical release schedule for major software upgrades.
Unfortunately, the all-new iPadOS is not available for every tablet that used the previous mobile operating system, iOS 12. So, you’ll want to check which iPad models are compatible with iPadOS before you get your hopes up too much – especially if you own an iPad mini.
iPadOS isn’t just about flashy features and new functionality. The software also brings a host of performance boosts and stability improvements, Apple says. So, it’s worth upgrading your tablet to make sure you’ve got all the latest protections available from Apple, regardless of whether any of the biggest features appeal.
If you own an iPad Pro, Face ID now unlocks 30 percent faster than on iOS 12. Apps will launch twice as fast as before, too. And if you’re short on storage on your iPad, you’ll be pleased to know that updates from the App Store are now smaller in size across the board thanks to some optimisations in the operating system.
But if you’re looking for the real showstoppers, here are the five biggest new features in iPadOS….
All-New Home Screen
With the separation of iOS and iPadOS, Apple has decided to make some important tweaks to take advantage of the larger touchscreen on the iPad range. With iPadOS, you’ll be able to pin the list of widgets to the left hand-side of your home screen.
So, unlike iOS 13 where you’ll need to swipe left to access the list of glanceable widgets, the information will be waiting for you on the home screen. These widgets still aren’t as flexible as those on Android, which can moved anywhere on the home screen, but it’s a great first step for the iPad.
And it’s not all about widgets, even if you stick with the standard grid-like arrangement of iPadOS apps on the home screen you’ll be able to squeeze in more icons than with iOS 12, which should save you some swiping around to find the right app.
iPadOS brings more app icons to the home screen and allows users to pin the widget column
Use A Mouse With Your iPad
This one won’t appeal to those who mainly use their iPad to catch-up on the latest binge-worthy boxset on Netflix or Prime Video, but if you use your iPad to get some work done – with a detachable keyboard, you’ll be pleased to know that you can now add a mouse to your portable computer set-up now, too.
But don’t expect the same mouse pointer you get on your desktop to appear on the iPad, Apple has a new design that mimics how your fingertip interacts with the touchscreen.
If you own an iPad Pro, you can use any USB-C enabled mouse. Other iPad models will require a Lightning adapter to connect a USB mouse to the tablet.
Apple lets you assign shortcuts to specific buttons on the mouse, too. So you can have a quick shortcut to go back to the home screen, rather than reaching up and swiping up on the display each time you want to leave an app. This should make for a much more laptop-like experience.
To enable the feature, head to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Switch on Assistive Touch > Pointing Devices to customise how the mouse you’ve connected will work.
iPadOS lets you install and use custom fonts
Install Your Own Fonts
Speaking of features that bring the iPad closer to the functionality of a traditional desktop machine, iPadOS brings support for fonts.
These will be installed via the App Store – just like any other application – and can be used to bring a custom look to documents, emails, and more, created on the tablet.
Just like iOS 13, one of the flagship features of iPadOS is the arrival on Dark Mode. This switches almost all of the bright, white parts of the iOS user interface to deep greys and blacks to make the entire operating system a little easier on your eyes in low-light conditions.
As a nifty bonus, iPads with OLED panels should also get a little battery life boost from Dark Mode too, since it’s using less individual pixels at any one time.
Dark Mode can be enabled or disabled during the set-up of iPadOS, toggled within Control Centre, or scheduled to switch automatically based on the time of day. Third-party iPadOS apps should update to support the striking new look in the coming weeks and months.
Mouse support, custom fonts, and the widget column will all make the iPad more capable
Redesigned Photos App
And finally, Apple has completely overhauled its default Photos app. The redesigned app now uses on-device machine learning to sort through your shots and create a nice view of all of your pictures – hiding any duplicate photos, images where people have accidentally blinked, or screenshots.
Of course, you can choose to view every photo in your collection if you’d like all of these included, but by default, Apple will show a curated view of years, months, or days.
And it’s not just the aesthetics either. Apple has also added a truckload of new editing features into the mix too, including vignette, sharpness, and the ability to change the strength of any of its built-in filters.
And for the first time, Apple is also bringing all of these editing features to videos, too. So you’ll be able to flip your video clips around, tweak the colours, sharpness, and add filters without installing a specific video-editing app, like iMovie.