At WWDC 21, Apple unveiled iPadOS 15—the upcoming version of your iPad’s operating system. This time around, there had been several calls to make iPadOS much more suited to productivity, given the fact that Apple recently shipped an iPad with a powerful M1 processor.
While Apple didn’t completely deliver on that front, iPadOS 15 did get some useful features that everyone will appreciate. Better multitasking features will appeal to pro users, while essentials such as home screen widgets will be appreciated by one and all.
Here are the top features of iPadOS 15:
1. Home Screen Widgets
It was a bit odd to see home screen widgets on the iPhone, but not on the iPad, last year. The device with larger screen sizes surely is better suited for this kind of a feature and it’s getting these widgets with iPadOS 15.
These widgets work on the iPad just as well as they do on the iPhone, with just one key difference—size. On the iPad, you get access to some extra-large widgets that can make the most of the screen real estate on offer.
2. App Library
The App Library is another feature making the transition from iPhone to iPad. The days of keeping an endless stream of app icons across multiple home screens are numbered now.
You’ll now be able to design clean home screens with neat widgets and a few app icons. Apps that you don’t use frequently can all be sent to the App Library. All these apps will be neatly sorted by category and the search function makes any app easy to find.
You can access the App Library via an icon in the dock on iPadOS 15.
3. Multitasking Features
Finally, the iPad gets a neat multitasking menu at the top of the screen. If you like those mini-notifications every time you connect your AirPods or paste text in an app, then this multitasking menu’s design will appeal to you.
It’s an unobtrusive menu that lets you select if you want an app in Split View or Slide Over modes. You can also send an app to the left or right side of the screen with just one tap.
Another welcome improvement is a feature called Center Window. If you’re typing an email, it’ll bring the compose window to the center of the screen and enlarge it so you can focus on writing. When you need to, you can easily access the other app in Split View to add elements to the email.
iPadOS 15 also has an improved app switcher, which allows you to create Split View groups directly. This mirrors the experience of opening two apps side-by-side in full-screen on macOS.
Finally, the biggest improvement to multitasking is a new feature called Shelf. This automatically pops up all open windows of any given app at the bottom of the screen. You can choose to switch to a new window, close any window, or even open a new window for that app using Shelf.
4. Swift Playgrounds
For the longest time, the iPad’s use case for professionals has been hindered by the lack of access to truly “pro” apps. Even though Swift Playgrounds is not Xcode, you can still use it to build apps.
With iPadOS 15, Swift Playgrounds even lets you submit your apps to the App Store, which is a massive improvement. Some developers will finally be able to consider using the iPad for app development.
5. Quick Note
iPadOS 15 will allow you to take notes from anywhere in the OS, thanks to the new Quick Note feature. There are three ways to launch this—via an Apple Pencil, a keyboard shortcut, and an option in the Control Center.
Once launched, you’ll see a floating Notes window for you to jot down important things. This will massively help those who like to study on the iPad. If you’ve ever tried transcribing any audio or video clip on the iPad, you’ll know that this is exactly the kind of feature you’d been waiting for.
The Notes app itself has been revamped for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. You can now use hashtags to add keywords to any note. This will allow you to find notes more easily, and it’s a lot easier than creating folders for notes.
6. Spotlight Results
Spotlight search lets you find anything on your iPad and in some cases, even stuff on the internet. It’s integral to the iOS, iPadOS, and macOS experience. Apple has improved this feature in iPadOS 15.
You’ll now get better results in Spotlight search, apart from rich cards for things like contacts. Another neat touch here is the ability to show neat cards for actors, movies, and TV shows, which has also been added to Spotlight.
7. Universal Control
Enjoy how you can copy text from your Mac and paste it on iPad? Apple has now added a similar feature that lets you use a single keyboard and mouse across your iPad and Mac.
Of course, you need iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey to use this feature, but it could actually work out very well. Imagine dragging a photo from your iPad and dropping it in an image editor on the Mac. That’s soon going to be possible.
This is exactly the kind of feature that makes it worth going all-in on the Apple ecosystem, and we’re not complaining at all.
8. Mail Privacy Protection
The Mail app on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 allows you to block spy pixel tracking in emails. You can choose to hide your IP address from mail senders, and stop them from finding out if you’ve opened their emails.
9. Improved Notifications and Focus Mode
Notifications on both iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 have received several improvements, with the most important one being the layout itself. App thumbnails are much larger and have been shifted to the left side, making the notification card more compact.
You can also opt to receive a summary of notifications at a scheduled time, in order to avoid notification overload. iPadOS 15 will also ask if you want to mute a thread of notifications if it’s a little too active.
The new operating systems also allow you to set a Focus mode, which mutes notifications from all distracting apps. You can choose which apps you want to be notified by when you’re focusing, which is nice to have.
A Step in the Right Direction
iPadOS 15 is a step in the right direction, but it’s not a gigantic leap towards a productivity-oriented operating system. Features such as multiple user support have long been requested but aren’t here yet.
Still, we’re pleased to see these improvements for iPadOS and can’t wait to start making the most of the multitasking features in particular.
Images credit: Apple
Author: Adam Smith
Source: Adam Smith.” 9 Top iPadOS 15 Features Announced at WWDC21″. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/top-ipados-15-features-announced-at-wwdc21/
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