Apple Introduces iPadOS 15: First Look at New Features

Apple today unveiled iPadOS 15, its next-generation operating system for iPad that introduces a slew of new features like widgets on the Home Screen, an iPhone-style App Library, new multi-tasking features, and more. Here's a rundown of what to expect.

Apple iPadPro iPadOS15 springboard widgets 060721 big

Widgets

Like iOS 14, ‌iPadOS 15‌ lets users place ‌widgets‌ anywhere on their ‌Home Screen‌ pages and among their apps.

Widgets are also getting a new larger format on ‌iPad‌ that make better use of the larger screens available, which should make showcasing media more enjoyable. There are also new ‌iPad‌ ‌widgets‌ for Find My, Contacts, Game Center, Mail, and the App Store.

App Library

App Library, which also debuted in iOS 14, is now coming to ‌iPad‌, allowing users to organize their apps into categories like Productivity, Games, and Recently Added. The App Library is built right into the Dock, so users can always get to it with a touch. App Library also lets users hide and reorder their Home screen pages.

Multitasking

‌iPadOS 15‌ also brings multitasking improvements with a new multitasking menu that allows users to switch between full screen, Split View, and Slide Over.

In Split View, for example, it's possible to swipe down to replace an app with a new one for either side of the screen, while the same thing works for apps with multiple windows.

Apple iPadPro iPadOS15 multitasking splitview 060721 big
Meanwhile a new Shelf display gives you access to all open windows for any given app. For example, you can view multiple open Safari windows and even windows that are paired with other apps in Split View, for an at-a-glance overview.

Apple is also adding new key shortcuts for these new multitasking ‌iPad‌ functions. Users can quickly set up and switch between Split View and Slide Over with new shortcuts for multitasking right from the keyboard.

Notes

As for note-taking on ‌iPad‌, the Notes app is finally getting tags support. Tags will make it easier to categorize notes and find them quickly with an all-new Tag Browser and tag-based Smart Folders.

Apple iPadPro iPadOS15 QuickNote Safari 060721 big carousel
Users can also expect improvements in areas of collaboration and organization. With mentions, for example, you can tag people in shared notes and they'll receive a notification. You can add a tag anywhere in a note, and find it using the tag browser.

There's also a new Quick Notes feature whereby notes can be jotted down fast on ‌iPad‌ and Mac, and viewed and edited on iPhone. Whether browsing in Safari or finding a restaurant on Yelp, users can bring up Quick Note anywhere to jot down a thought and add links, providing an easy way to get back to exactly what they were looking at.

FaceTime

With ‌iPadOS 15‌, users will be able to share experiences with SharePlay while connecting with friends on FaceTime, including listening to songs together with Apple Music, watching a TV show or movie in sync, or sharing their screen to view apps together.

Apple iPadPro iPadOS15 FaceTime groupfacetime 4person 060721 big carosuel
Shared playback controls let will users play, pause, or jump ahead, and users can extend playback to Apple TV, and watch it on their TV while sharing the moment with friends and family connected over ‌FaceTime‌. SharePlay will also let users share their screen.

Safari

Safari is gaining a new tab design that lets users see more of the page as they browse. The new tab bar takes on the color of the webpage and combines tabs, the toolbar, and the search field into a single, compact design.

Apple iPadPro iPadOS15 safari safariextensions 060721 big
Meanwhile, Tab Groups offer a new way to easily save and manage associated tabs. Tab Groups also sync across Mac and ‌iPhone‌, allowing you to continue working on the same project on different devices, or easily share multiple tabs with friends and family. Safari on ‌iPad‌ also now supports web extensions, which will be available on the ‌App Store‌.

Focus

With ‌iPadOS 15‌, Apple is introducing a new Focus feature that aims to help reduce distractions and zone in on a single thing. Focus does this by filtering notifications based on what you're doing.

Apple iPadPro iPadOS15 springboard focus 060721 big
You can set your device to help you be in the moment by creating a custom Focus or selecting a suggested one based on the context, like during work hours or while you're winding down for bed. It's also possible to create ‌Home Screen‌ pages with apps and ‌widgets‌ that apply to moments of focus to only display relevant apps and reduce temptation.

Elsewhere, a new notification summary aims to offer an organized collection of notifications that can be delivered any time you choose, such as in the morning and evening, making it more convenient to catch up on the day's activity.

Live Text

A new Live Text feature can recognize text in a photo and let you do something with it. One example that Apple offers is a snapshot of a storefront revealing a phone number and the option to place a call. Live Text will also work with handwritten text, according to Apple. Meanwhile, with Visual Look Up, you can identify objects within a photo, such as a type of flower or dog breed.

Apple iPadPro iPadOS15 photos LiveText 060721 big

Other Features

In addition, Spotlight is getting the ability to search the Photos app and web images, offering results for contacts with context like recent conversations, shared photos, and their location if shared through ‌Find My‌.

‌iPadOS 15‌ will bring the Translate app to ‌iPad‌ for the first time. The Translate app detects when you're speaking and in what language, and will automatically translate it for you. Meanwhile, the systemwide translate function works anywhere, including with Live Text.

The ‌Photos‌ app is getting more advanced Memories, offering a new look, a more immersive and interactive interface, and integration with ‌Apple Music‌, which uses on-device intelligence to personalize song suggestions bring memories to life.

‌iPadOS 15‌ will also support Universal Control, which allows you to work with a single mouse and keyboard to move between ‌iPad‌ and Mac for a seamless experience, with no setup required.

Elsewhere, Swift Playgrounds is gaining the ability to build apps on ‌iPad‌, with improved code completion, new libraries, guides, and even the ability to submit your app straight to the ‌App Store‌.

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.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, WWDC 2022, iOS 15, iPadOS 15

Top Rated Comments

collin_ Avatar
8 months ago
This is the most disappointing Apple keynote I’ve ever seen. M1 with up to 16 GB RAM in the iPad Pro and they did absolutely NOTHING to take advantage of it. No pro apps. Not even real external display support or an update to files. Wow.

EDIT: I am generally not one of the negative users on this forum, but iPadOS 15 is so disappointing that I couldn't help but rant. To be clear, iOS 15 and macOS Monterey look amazing. It’s just that, as someone who recently purchased a $1,200 iPad, iPadOS 15 kinda ruined the whole keynote for me. I really wish Apple would listen to their customers. :(
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cloudphrenia Avatar
8 months ago
which of these new features requires the M1 or 16GB of RAM?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cryptonator Avatar
8 months ago
It appears that the M1 chip still isn't powerful enough to support a calculator app for the iPad.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hori Avatar
8 months ago
So disappointing
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oldmacs Avatar
8 months ago
What a let down. Not even any updates to the files app, which is still woeful.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
danny1305 Avatar
8 months ago
In before all the whining and complaining….

Edit: I was too late
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

safari ios15

Safari Browser to Get UI Overhaul and New Features Including Tab Groups

Monday June 7, 2021 11:37 am PDT by
For its new mobile and desktop OSes, Apple is redesigning the Safari browser user interface to be more compact and allow for better organization of multiple open tabs, specifically with a new feature called Tab Groups. Tab Groups aim to offer a new way to easily save and manage related tabs, such as those used when planning trips or shopping, or groups can be used to store the tabs you visit ...
iPadOS Widgets

iPadOS 15 Features Widgets Anywhere on Home Screen and App Library

Monday June 7, 2021 10:59 am PDT by
Apple today announced iPadOS 15, which introduces the ability to place widgets anywhere on the Home Screen and includes an App Library, a feature first introduced in iOS 14. Widgets can be pinned in different sizes on any page of the Home Screen, providing useful information to users at a glance. Widgets on iPad also get a new larger format to make better use of the device's larger screen. ...
app store search tags

Apple Rolling Out Tags in App Store to Help Refine Popular Search Results

Thursday April 8, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
With the App Store now home to nearly two million apps, Apple appears to be testing a new feature to make search results more contextual. As noted in the MacRumors forums and on Twitter, some iPhone users in recent weeks have started to see tags in the App Store after searching for a popular term like "photos" or "wallpaper." After searching for "photos," for example, some of the tags that...
f1623085603

Apple Announces iOS 15: First Look at New Features

Monday June 7, 2021 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 15, the company's next major update for the iPhone, featuring new video calling capabilities, improvements to Messages, user statuses, a smart notification summary, and more. FaceTime In iOS 15, FaceTime features a new grid view and portrait mode support for video. For audio, FaceTime calls now offer Spatial Audio so that voices sound as if they are coming from...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

Bloomberg: iOS 15 to Bring Redesigned iPad Home Screen, Updated Lock Screen, New Notification and Privacy Options

Thursday April 22, 2021 3:56 am PDT by
Apple will introduce several new features and enhancements in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 later this year, including a redesigned Home Screen for iPad, an updated Lock Screen, and new notification preferences for users, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report:Apple Inc. is readying a major revamp of its mobile software that will include an upgrade to how users handle notifications, a...
macos monterey 1

Apple Announces macOS Monterey With Shortcuts App, Updated Safari Browsing, 'Focus' Do Not Disturb Features, and More

Monday June 7, 2021 11:23 am PDT by
Apple today announced macOS 12, which it's calling macOS Monterey. The new version of macOS is gaining features like Universal Control, AirPlay to Mac, and Shortcuts for Mac. Apple said that macOS Monterey's updates will help users get more done and work more fluidly across Apple devices. Starting with Safari updates, Apple has redesigned the tabs in its web browser, letting users see more...
iphone ipad mac system wide translate

iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey Introduce System-Wide Translation, Translate App Expands to iPad

Monday June 7, 2021 3:14 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey feature system-wide translation, allowing users to translate text by simply selecting it and tapping or right clicking on the Translate option that appears. iPhone, iPad, and Mac users can also translate selected text in photos as part of a new Live Text feature in the latest software versions. Apple also announced that the...
iOS 14 Feature

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...