Apple has just announced the next iteration of software for iPad at WWDC 2021, iPadOS 15. This was expected, and it's a game-changer, considering that this is software that allows the latest iPad Pro (2021) with M1 chip to run at its full potential. iPadOS 15 brings with it plenty of brand new features (especially to take advantage of M1 iPads), changes, and improvements to the software.
Here is everything we know about iPadOS 15 so far.
Widgets and App Library
Home screen widgets are now available on the iPad. You can place widgets anywhere on the Home screen, just like how it was introduced in iOS 14. There is now also a larger format widget size that is designed specifically for the larger display of the iPad. There are new widgets for the App Store, Find My, Game Center, Mail, and Contacts.
The App Library is also finally on the iPad as well, and is even available from the Dock. You can hide and reorder app paages too, just like on the iPhone.
Big changes are coming to the iPad in terms of multitasking. Apple has made it easier to discover, easier to use, and even more powerful than ever before.
You will now have a control at the top of every app, which appears as three little dots that will bring down the different windowing options: Split View or Slide Over. While you're in Split View, you can quickly access the Home Screen, making it easier than before to select another app to go into Split View.
There is also a shelf that shows all open windows at the bottom. You can swipe your apps down to this shelf — essentially, it saves windows to a different zone. You can also drag apps on top of each other in the multitasking view to create new split views.
For those who are using keyboards with their iPads, there are new keyboard shortcuts for accessing all of these new multitasking features too.
Notes is now aimed for better collaboration and organization. You can @ mention someone so that they are notified. An Activity view lets you check on all of the changes made to a note while you were away. And there are now #tags, making it easier to organize everything in your notes.
Quick Note is now available on the iPad. You can get to a note from pretty much anywhere by swiping up from the bottom right of the screen with your stylus. If you have an app already open, Quick Note can include info from that app in your note. It uses intelligence to determine this. Quick Notes will only be available on iPadOS and Mac, but you can edit these from iOS later. Quick Note can be minimized and open links in the background.
A new design is coming to Safari, mkaing it easier to let users see more of the page while browsing. A new tab bar takes on the color of the webpage and even combines tabs, toolbar, and the search field into a single, compact design. The Tab Groups feature lets you easily save and manage tabs, which is great when you need to plan trips, shopping, or just storing frequently visited tabs. Tab Groups will sync across all devices, including Mac and iPhone. Safari will also support extensions from the App Store.
Translate is making its way to iPadOS 15. With Translate, you will now have Auto Translate, which can detect who is speaking and in what language, all without having to tap a button. The face-to-face view also lets two people sit across from each other and see the translaations of the conversation from their own side. We are also getting system-wide translation in text. In combination with Live Text in iOS 15, users can also translate text in photos.
Swift Playgrounds is an app that lets you learn how to code and build apps, right on the iPad itself. It works with Xcode on Mac. In iPadOS 15, there is now better code completion, and you can even submit your iOS and iPadOS apps directly from the Swift Playgrounds app, without ever having to use a Mac. Code is immediately reflected in the live preview while you build the app, and users can even run them in full screen to test them out before submitting. With the new open project format based on Swift packages, users can open and edit in Swift Playgrounds as well as Xcode on the Mac.
iPadOS 15 should run flawlessly on newer iPads, especially the new iPad Pro (2021) with M1. Still, support goes back quite a ways, but if you are running an older iPad that is nearing the about-to-drop-software-support category (the oldest supported devices), then you may want to consider upgrading to a newer iPad. Here are all of the iPads that will support iPadOS 15.
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch
- iPad (8th generation)
- iPad (7th generation)
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (4th generation)
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
Remember, if you are using an iPad that is towards the bottom of the list, then it is getting a bit long in the tooth, and you may want to consider upgrading to the best iPad.
iPadOS 15 will be coming in the fall, just like its cousin, iOS 15. If you have a developer account, then you should be able to download the iPadOS 15 developer beta right now. The public beta will be out in July.
Are you hyped for iPadOS 15?
We are super excited for everything that iPadOS 15 has in store for our iPads, especially the iPad Pro (2021) with the insanely powerful M1 chip. We'll definitely be getting our hands on the betas to put it through its paces before the final release in the fall.
Are you excited for iPadOS 15? Let us know in the comments.
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