With the new iPadOS 15 showcased at the WWDC 2021, Apple is focusing on bringing in an improved and intuitive multitasking experience. Split View and Slide Over will be easier to discover and use. There will be new widget layouts for the Home Screen and App Library, a translate feature for translating text and conversations, and new privacy controls.
"We're excited to make the iPad experience even better with iPadOS 15," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "With more intuitive multitasking, a new Home Screen design with integrated widgets and the App Library, systemwide note taking with Quick Note, Translate designed for iPad, SharePlay, a redesigned Safari experience, new tools to stay focused, and more, users can now be even more productive."
Working with multiple apps is likely to be easier with iPadOS 15. A new multitasking menu will appear at the top of apps, letting users go into Split View or Slide Over with a tap. Users will have quick access to the Home Screen when using Split View. The new shelf will help users multitask with apps that have multiple windows like Safari and Pages, as well as quickly preview emails. The external keyboard will have new keyboard shortcuts and a redesign menu bar as users will be able to quickly set up and switch between Split View and Slide Over with new shortcuts for multitasking from the keyboard.
With the iPadOS 15, Widgets can be placed among apps on home screen pages, for access to more information at a glance. Designed specifically for the larger display of the iPad, a new, larger widget size would be able to show videos, music, games, photos, and more. The new OS will also bring new widgets for App Store, Find My, Game Center, Mail, and Contacts. The App Library will automatically organise apps into helpful categories like Productivity, Games, and Recently Added, and allowing access to all their apps right from the Dock.
Quick Note and Organising with Tags
Apple is also making note-taking easier to capture and organise thoughts. Notes go systemwide with Quick Note. Users will be able to bring up Quick Note while using Safari or apps, to jot down a thought and add links. Even Notes also has new ways to organise, collaborate, and capture information. Tags too will make it easy to categorise notes and find them quickly with an all-new Tag Browser and tag-based Smart Folders.
Redefined Safari experience
Apple says Safari gets a new tab design to help see more of the page while browsing. A new tab bar takes on the colour of the webpage and combines tabs, the toolbar, and the search field into a single, compact design. Tab Groups will offer a new way to easily save and manage tabs -- that can come in handy for planning trips, shopping, or storing frequently visited tabs. Tab Groups also sync across Mac and iPhone.
Additional feature on iPadOS 15 includes universal control to let the user work with a single mouse and keyboard to move between iPad and Mac, drag and drop content back and forth between devices and more. Designed to protect user privacy, Siri supports on-device speech recognition, and audio of Siri requests is processed entirely on iPad by default.
The VoiceOver screen reader will use on-device intelligence to explore objects within images, enabling users to discover more details about people, text, table data, and other objects within images. Support for third-party eye-tracking hardware enables users to control iPad using only their eyes. Background sounds play continuously and mix into or duck under other audio and system sounds to mask unwanted environmental or external noise, and help users focus, stay calm, or rest.
The developer preview of iPadOS 15 is available to Apple Developer Program members starting today, and a public beta will be available to iPadOS users next month. The final release is scheduled towards the end of this year, most likely in October. Also, these new software features will be available as an update for iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models.
Also read: Apple unveils iOS 15 at WWDC 2021