What’s new? For nearly 10 years, iPads have been considered an iOS device. With the newer versions beginning to rival even some laptops, Apple felt it was time to branch off the iPad’s operating system from iOS to allowing to do some things that the iPhone simply can’t do. Enter iPadOS.
The Worldwide Developers Conference showcased iPadOS, the new stand-alone operating system for iPads. It will look much the same as its iOS counterpart, but there will be a few key features that set it apart.
To start with, Safari in iPadOS will now display the desktop versions of websites rather than the mobile layout. This change makes sense considering the latest iPad Pro has a nearly 13-inch screen — the same as some of the smaller MacBooks and MacBook Airs.
Utilizing the extra display real estate is the central theme of iPadOS as it will also display more app icons on the screen than iOS. It will allow users to open more than one iteration of an app as well.
So for example, you could have a Pages document you are using as source material open on one side of the screen and another blank Pages doc on the other side you can be editing.
However, it is not all about doing more with the screen space.
The new OS is also adding native USB support to iPads. Users will be able to plug a USB-C flash drive directly into the iPad’s USB-C port to transfer files or pictures easily. This feature also comes with an improved Files app, which allows users to share files and folders from iCloud drive.
Apple is rolling out a PencilKit API to developers to allow them to add new control mechanics to their iPad apps. In addition, iPadOS will reduce Apple Pencil latency to 9ms. It was previously sitting at 20ms.
The new operating system is not drastically different, but it does show that Apple wants to allow the iPad to flourish on its own without being held back by iOS. As the iPad continues to move further into the realm of professional tablets, iPadOS is going to be necessary to allow it to grow.
Apple did not announce a release date for iOS 13 or iPadOS 13. However, judging by past releases, we should be seeing both operating systems coming this September. In the meantime, Apple will be beta testing iPadOS with developers.