Hands-On With Apple's New iPadOS Software

With the launch of iOS 13, Apple decided to split iOS 13 for the iPad into its own dedicated operating system called iPadOS. Going forward, iPadOS will be the version of iOS that runs on Apple's ‌iPad‌ devices.

iPadOS includes all of the features of iOS 13, plus some additional tweaks and changes made specifically for a device with a larger display. In our latest video, we went hands-on with iPadOS to check out the new features.


As mentioned above, iPadOS includes almost all of the iOS 13 features, such as Dark Mode, Find My, new app updates, Sign In with Apple, and more.

There are also iPad-specific features, though, such as a new Home screen that features smaller app icons so you can fit more apps on each page. The new Home screen also lets you move the Today view widgets from the left side of the screen onto the Home screen itself so you can see at-a-glance info like weather, upcoming events, news headlines, and more, whenever your ‌iPad‌ is in landscape mode.

Multitasking features specific to the ‌iPad‌ have also been overhauled. Split View now supports multiple windows from the same app, so you can do things like view two Safari pages side by side, and in Slide Over, you can now have multiple Slide Over windows open, flipping between them as needed for quicker swapping between apps.

You can keep all the apps you need to access occasionally stored in Slide Over, dragging upwards on the display to see everything that's open. App Exposé, a new feature available when you press on an app's icon, is designed to show you all of the windows from a particular app.

Apple improved Apple Pencil latency, dropping it from 20ms to 9ms, and Markup is more deeply integrated everywhere in iPadOS. You can tap on the corner of the display with an ‌Apple Pencil‌ to open up Markup, which can be used for webpages, documents, screenshots, emails, and more. A redesigned tool palette offers up quick access to tools and color palettes, and there's a new ruler and a new pixel eraser.

Like iOS 13, iPadOS brings support for external drives to the Files app, along with new folder sharing capabilities. A Column View lets you see previews of your files, and Quick Actions support allows you to do things like mark up and rotate images and create PDFs right from the Files app.

Safari has a new download manager and will always load the desktop version of a site, and there are new gestures that while also available on iPhone, work well on the ‌iPad‌'s larger display. Scrolling through long documents and webpages is faster through a new gesture that lets you grab the scroll bar and drag it, and selecting text can now be done by dragging a finger over it.

Selecting a word can be done with a double tap, selecting a sentence can be done with a triple tap, and a quadruple tap selects a paragraph at once. Double tapping selects elements like phone numbers and email addresses, and you can now pick up the cursor and move it wherever you want. There are new pinch-based gestures for copy and paste, and a new three finger swipe for undoing and redoing.

Both iPadOS and iOS 13 introduce a new swipe-based keyboard called the QuickPath keyboard, but in iPadOS, you can grab the keyboard and move it wherever you want on the display for a floating keyboard that offers one-handed typing access.

Used with macOS Catalina, the ‌iPad‌ can become a second display for your Mac thanks to the new Sidecar functionality, and the ‌iPad‌ now supports both mice and Xbox/PS4 game controllers.

For more detail on iPadOS, make sure to check out our iPadOS roundup.

Related Forum: iOS 13

Top Rated Comments

twocents Avatar
34 months ago
One of the biggest indirect benefits of now having iPadOS is the near certain guarantee that we can expect new features / changes to be presented annually at WWDC! Up till now, there were a few gap years where the iPad line just kept up with iOS alongside the iPhone
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
QCassidy352 Avatar
34 months ago
I'm amazed how Apple is dividing us into the rich who will be content creators with $15k machines, and the rest of the poor people who can pretend to create, but will only be consumers with $1k iPads and iPhones.
Thanks Tim Apple!
I’m not sure if this is a joke... if not, I’ll just point out that most content creation can be done on any Mac, including those available for $1k+.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jim Avatar
34 months ago
How long before you begin to see separate prices for iPad and iPhone apps again? First they encourage the merger of the two and when revenue probably fell based on that, the iPadOS is born. The over/under is one year for the appearance of ... the iPadOS app store.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jeremiah256 Avatar
34 months ago
I'm amazed how Apple is dividing us into the rich who will be content creators with $15k machines, and the rest of the poor people who can pretend to create, but will only be consumers with $1k iPads and iPhones.
Thanks Tim Apple!
Don't get wrapped up in the hype about what you need to create content. It is too easy to believe that to be a creator you need a computer that can handle multiple streams of 8K video, hundreds of audio tracks, or can run 10 VMs simultaneously. In the real world, most professionals are making nice livings with moderate level computers.

Your phone can probably record 4K. A MacBook (less powerful than the MacBook Air) can edit 4K.


So can an iPad Pro.


For most media consumption, there is no discernible difference for example, between a 1080P video and a 4K video due to the devices used for that consumption.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yr Blues Avatar
34 months ago
How long before you begin to see separate prices for iPad and iPhone apps again? First they encourage the merger of the two and when revenue probably fell based on that, the iPadOS is born. The over/under is one year for the appearance of ... the iPadOS app store.
I like what I'm seeing. Eventually it will be a real MacBook alternative for those who want a different workflow.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tegranjeet Avatar
34 months ago
Wish they would have named it padOS, and renamed iOS to phoneOS. And CarPlay to carOS. Then we would have macOS, padOS, phoneOS, watchOS, tvOS, and carOS.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...