- Apple’s software update for the iPad coming later this year will bring a handful of useful new features, such as improvements to the way the iPad multitasks and handles file management.
- The company is calling the update iPadOS, making it the first time it’s separating its tablet software from the iPhone’s iOS software.
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Although the iPad isn’t meant to be a complete replacement for your laptop, Apple’s tablet has slowly become a more viable productivity tool in recent years. That’s truer than ever with iPadOS, the new software update Apple will be launching for the iPad later this year.
It marks the first time Apple has separated its iPad software from its iPhone operating system, a move that further distinguishes the two products from one another. It’s a sensible move — now that smartphones generally have much larger screens today than they did when the original iPad launched in 2010, people are using their phones for some of the tasks they may have turned to a tablet for in the past.
As such, companies like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and others have been positioning their tablets as productivity-oriented devices that offer larger screens than smartphones and better portability than laptops. The iPadOS update will provide new features that are critical in boosting the iPad’s performance in this role as a work device.
Apple didn’t say precisely when iPadOS will be released, but the company typically debuts new software updates across its products in the fall time frame.
From new copy and paste gestures to improved multitasking, here are our favorite new features coming to the iPad later this year.
You’ll be able to pin widgets to the home screen.
Widgets in iOS are usually just a swipe away from the home screen. But when iPadOS launches, you’ll be able to pin certain widgets to the device’s home screen, making it easy to see information like upcoming calendar appointments at just a glance.
You’ll also be able to choose favorite widgets that will always appear on the home screen. It’s a useful addition that can help you make the most out of the extra screen real estate the iPad has to offer.
Your iPad will be capable of functioning as a second display for your Mac.
Third-party apps like Duet Display have made it possible to use your iPad as a secondary display for years, but now this functionality is finally coming to iOS natively. Apple’s next big Mac update, called Catalina, and iPadOS will bring a new feature called Sidecar that turns your Apple tablet into a second Mac display.
That means you’ll be able to extend your desktop so that it stretches across your Mac and your iPad, making it possible to drag content between both. You can also use the iPad to mirror your Mac’s display, and to edit content on the iPad using the Apple Pencil while seeing the changes occur live on your Mac.
You’ll be able to cycle through multiple apps that are open in Slide Over mode.
Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider
Apple’s Slide Over feature, which allows you to pin an app to the side of your iPad’s screen in a column view alongside another app, is getting a noteworthy update in iPadOS. When the update launches, you’ll be able to open multiple apps in Slide Over simultaneously and cycle between them with a swipe.
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