As the iPad comes up on ten years since its introduction, the hardware has reached bold new heights but the software has been the limiting factor. Onstage at WWDC in San Jose, Apple announced that iPad’s software will now exist inside its own vertical OS.
The new OS doesn’t look dramatically different from iOS 12, this actually might be the most low-key update that they’ve had in a while, but the name change undoubtedly makes it easier for Apple to introduce functionality to iPads that won’t exist in any capacity on the iPhone.
It’s all about focus and the fact that the company’s tablets are getting even more powerful than their macOS counterparts. It didn’t make a ton of sense for the iPad to be held back by the iPhone.
What’s new in iPadOS that you’ll get kind of excited about?
- Chances are the best update is that desktop sites are now the default in Safari, hallelujah!!
- You’ll be able to bring widgets to the home screen that are just a swipe away. You’ll also be able to fit more app icons on each screen.
- Changes in iPadOS include an update to the Files app which will allow you share folders in iCloud drive, there’s a new column view and you’ll be able to grab files from USB-C flash drives.
- You’ll be able to bring up multiple windows of the same app, which wasn’t previously possible and there are a lot of small interface changes that make it easier to multi-task with your larger screen real estate.
- Apple Pencil latency is dropping from 20ms to 9ms, Apple is bringing a PencilKit developer API so that third-party app developers can integrate some new controls.
Again, these changes aren’t too wild, but the unshackling from the iPhone is really going to spell good things for tablet computing moving forward.
It’s honestly a little odd they chose this year to make this name change given how subtle many of the changes are, but for developers the changes are going to undoubtedly grow more important as the bifurcation of iOS and iPadOS allows them to bring more robust gestures and inter-app functionality to what they’re building.