Apple’s new iPadOS is official, comes with a new home screen and desktop class browser

June 3, 2019

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Apple’s rumoured iPadOS is finally official, and the firm will be making the iPad like other large tablets from Google and Microsoft, a versatile and modern computer on par with traditional laptops.

“iPad transforms how people work and express their creativity, and with iPadOS, we’re taking it even further by delivering exciting capabilities that take advantage of its large canvas and versatility,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “iPadOS delivers exciting features, including a new Home screen with widgets, more powerful multitasking and new tools that make using Apple Pencil even more natural.”

There are three major changes in iPadOS that will affect your day to day use of the iPad. The first is the home screen. Apple will differentiate the iPad’s home screen from the iPhones with the inclusion of widgets. You’ll be able to quickly see your weather, calendar and news widgets without having to open the today screen. Of course, while this is something Android has offered for years, its a new feature for Apple’s iPads and one that might take off depending on how widgets are implemented with the iPad’s new home screen in mind.

The second is a desktop-class web browser. Even on tablets, the web is still one of the most important windows into productivity and content apps, and Apple is wise to recognise that. Apple has optimised its new browser so you no longer get treated like you’re using an iPhone or iPod touch simply for using Safari mobile. Technically, it’s now wrong to refer to this as Safari mobile. This is Safari for iPadOS and its where the big boys do their work.

Finally, Apple has done a lot of work in making the file manager something users would actually want to use to manage files. it supports USB and SMB drives and has also been redesigned to look more like a traditional desktop file manager.

iPadOS will also come with the traditional iOS 13 features including improved gesture support, Apple’s new dark mode, updates to the Photos, Mail, Maps and other in-box apps, as well as a performance boost to all existing devices. It will come to the “iPad Air 2 and later, all iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and later and iPad mini 4 and later.”

iPadOS and iOS 13 will be available this fall, but you’ll be able to try them out later today.

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