6 Features Of iPadOS Every iPad User Should Know About.
2019 will be a big year for iOS users. This is the year that iOS is becoming something completely different. Until now, all non-Mac Apple devices have used the same operating system. Whether you had an Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone, it used iOS.
While all three devices will still use the same underlying operating system, each device will now receive a dedicated fork of iOS. This means that iPad users are not waiting for iOS 13, but for a new variant of the operating system, officially known as iPadOS.
This particular focus on the unique needs and strengths of each device is great news for current and potential iPad owners new enough to receive the update. What features are headliners? Well, it depends on how you use your iPad, but the features highlighted here are likely to make the most difference to most users.
Reworked tablet interface
The iPad and iPhone have had different interface designs and looks for years. However, even with iOS12, the basic look and feel of the OS remains the same. Not so for iPadOS.
Apple understands that large, high-resolution screens are wasted on the conventions of smartphones. iPadOS completely changes the way you use screen real estate. Everything scales correctly and the icon grids are denser, so you can fit more items onto the screen at once without cluttering the screen.
These improvements extend to the way you interact with the user interface. The onscreen keyboard can now be moved and resized. Highlighting and text editing is undergoing major updates, so expect your iPad to be closer to a “real” computer in terms of performance.
One of the biggest problems keeping the iPad from becoming a laptop replacement is its multitasking ability. Recent versions of iOS have added support for split screen on the device, which allows supporting applications to run in parallel.
This has been a huge boost to serious work as you can now have a word processor and a web browser open at the same time, to give one example.
This solution was relatively inflexible, but with iPadOS we get the real multitasking that iOS tablet users have been asking for. Multiple apps can stay off-screen with the Slide Over update feature. You can simply swipe up to see all the apps waiting in the wings. Opening, closing, and deploying these apps is now easy too.
Application windows are also located here, and best of all, you can open two windows of the same application. You no longer have to launch two web browsers or two different word processors to get close to this feature.
Mouse support is finally here
Android devices have long supported the mouse, but iOS devices have consistently remained touch-sensitive despite excellent keyboard options available.
This feature is currently part of AssistiveTouch’s accessibility settings, but of course anyone can use it. Bluetooth and USB devices are supported.
We have no idea how well the mouse will perform as it is likely based on emulation of touch, but if it works well it could seriously lift the iPad as a laptop alternative.
External storage support
One of the coolest Android features is the ability to plug in almost any USB storage device and access files on board immediately. It’s notoriously difficult to do this on iOS without explicit support.
With iPadOS, you now have the ability to connect USB flash drives, hard drives, and SD cards directly to your tablet. Of course, you need suitable connectors, but otherwise you can access the files directly.
Speaking of file access
Adult file system
iOS 12 has finally brought a true user-centric file system to iOS. Taking full control of file storage is amazing, but the file browser software and integration is clearly in its infancy. In iPadOS, we are dramatically improving the handling of files on the iPad, and it couldn’t happen before.
Taking advantage of the larger screen, you can now view files in subfolders as well as preview files. There is a downloads folder here, so you never have to guess where your downloads went, and now you can zip or unzip files on the iPad itself.
Support original Xbox One and PS4 controller
Apple has always offered the best solution for game controllers. Their MFi controller standard was well received and all iOS apps that supported gamepads worked with any MFi controller. Unfortunately, the controllers themselves were generally of rather poor quality, but quite expensive.
IPadOS, TVOS and iPhoneOS now get native support for the Playstation Dualshock 4 and the Xbox One controller with Bluetooth. Unfortunately, older Xbox One controllers won’t work without Bluetooth.
This means you can play many great AAA ports and games on your iPad with the right controller. Best of all, the game streaming apps that populate the app store won’t be as easy to manage as the big boy platforms. Make no mistake, this is a big deal.
Everything is different now
After September 2019, it’s no exaggeration to say that our iPads will be brand new machines. Much more efficient tools for work and play.
Adventurers can try the beta version of iPadOS right now, although we don’t recommend doing it on mission-critical devices.