Apple announces iPadOS 15 at WWDC 2021

Ipad Files Widgets
Ipad Files Widgets (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple announced iPadOS 15 during its WWDC event.
  • There are tons of new features to look forward to!

Apple announced iPadOS 15 today with some big new features and this is sure to be the best version of iPadOS ever. There's a ton to get into so let's get started.

With iPadOS 15, Apple is bringing widgets to the Home screen proper, instead of reducing them to the sidebar. New, larger widgets will be available as well thanks to the iPad's larger display. New Contacts and Find My widgets are also coming.

Much like iOS 14, Apple is also bringing App Library to iPadOS 15, making it available via the iPad's Dock as well. You'll be able to hide entire Home screens as well, getting rid of those apps we don't want to use all that often.

iPad multitasking improvements are also incoming, with a new multitasking view giving users the option to choose between split-screen and other views when running more than one app at a time. Swiping down while in split-screen mode will also give users the chance to open a different app. Apps can be minimized to the Shelf, an area that will hold apps that can be quickly re-opened when needed. This being iPad, everything works via keyboard shortcuts as well.

iPadOS 15 Quick Note

iPadOS 15 Quick Note (Image credit: Apple)

Improvements to Notes mean we can mention a person and have their details at hand, while a new activity view will show us what changes have been made to a note that's being edited by multiple people. Tags are also being added for easier note organization.

Quick Notes are a fast and easy way to get to a note from anywhere. Swipe from the bottom corner of the screen using an Apple Pencil and your note appears, ready to be used. Notes can be dismissed via a swipe when you're done. Third-party apps can be used, and Notes will recognize which apps you're using and make suggestions based on the context.

Next up, translation. The Translate app is coming from iPhone. Users can now translate text system-wide, including inside photos and more. You can even translate conversations in real-time, with the iPad detecting which language is being used automatically.

A new Swift Playgrounds allows users to create apps on their iPad using SwiftUI, with documentation included. You can even submit your apps to the App Store from within Swift Playgrounds!

Developers can download iPadOS 15 beta 1 today, while a public beta will run next month. Everyone else should be good to go from this fall.

Apple says it's time to re-think what we do with our iPad and, if iPadOS 15 lives up to the hype, we might be doing exactly that!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.