Apple has announced a new version of iPadOS 14, its first major revision since Apple split it from iOS at WWDC 2019. The update contains several new features and performance improvements and is expected to launch later this year alongside updates for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV.
Here's what you should know about iPadOS 14.
Are there updates to the Home screen?
At least as of the first beta version of iPadOS 14, the only new elements of the Home screen is the new style of widget in the widget sidebar. You don't seem to be able to add widgets to the rest of the Home screen, and features like App Library remain iOS-exclusive.
What about the rest of the interface?
Apple has added a new sidebar to many of its first-party apps, including Photos and Music, as well as an updated one in apps like Notes and Files.
Siri is now more compact, much like the UI on iOS 14. Speaking of compact, phone calls now drop down from the top of the screen like a notification, rather than taking over your whole screen.
So sidebars? Like a Mac?
Kind of. The sidebar in iPadOS apps is a new feature in apps like Photos and Music, and does more than just show menu items. In Music, for instance, the sidebar can display playback controls and song lyrics. On photos, you have easy access to all of your albums, people, recent photos, and more.
What's up with search?
Apple has revamped search on the iPad. The new search bar appears on top of the screen, rather than taking over your whole screen. You can launch apps, open websites, search the web, and more.
So you can write with the Apple Pencil, then it will turn into text in an app?
Yes. This is functionality that's been available in select third-party apps for a while, but it is now a native part of iPadOS. Apple calls it Scribble. Think of it as typing with your handwriting. Apps will need to be updated to support it, but in any app that does, you can write as you normally would with the Apple Pencil, then copy your handwriting as text, then paste it.
Scribble can also recognize characters in multiple languages, such as Mandarin.
Will iPadOS 14 run on my iPad?
If your iPad can currently run iPadOS 13, then iPadOS 14 will be available for that device, too. Officially, iPadOS 14 will run on the following devices: iPad Air 2 and later, all iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 4 and later.
Is there a beta for iPadOS 14?
Apple will be releasing a beta version of iPadOS 14 to developers today. A public beta is expected in July.
When will iPadOS 14 be available?
iPadOS should be available to consumers this fall.
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