On June 22nd, 2020, Apple unveiled the iPadOS 14 during its much-anticipated WWDC keynote. Although not much was said about the iPadOS 14’s release date, that was not the case for its truckload of new features. These include a new interface functionality for stock apps, Siri interactions, Apple Pencil features, compact call UI, AR, and so much more… So without further ado, let’s jump right into it:
Features like sidebars, pull-down menus, and new toolbars have been added to a number of the iPad’s stock apps including Files, Photos, Calendar, Notes, and Apple Music. This will give users easier access to more app functions without having to switch between views.
For instance, the Photos app will have a sidebar menu similar to the one found in Photos in Mac.
Now notifications for incoming calls, FaceTime, and third-party apps will appear as a compact banner, so it doesn’t take up the entire screen, much like in iOS 14. You can quickly tap to answer or flick to dismiss.
Siri will now also appear at the bottom of the screen when activated so that users can reference information on-screen while making a request.
Similar to Spotlight on macOS, ‘Search’ in iPadOS has been redesigned to be universal. Now we can use it as an app launcher, to make calls, or perform a search within apps like Files or Mail with just a tap.
With ‘Scribble’, handwriting on the iPad will become just as powerful as typed text. Now users will be able to handwrite in any text field and have it automatically convert to text form. The feature will initially support English, Chinese, and a mix of the two. So users will be able to write words from the two languages together without having to switch.
Better Notes With Apple Pencil
The Notes app will now have a ‘Smart Selection’ feature that can distinguish handwritings from drawings so that handwritten text can be easily selected, cut, and pasted into another file as typed text.
‘Shape Recognition’ is another iPadOS 14 feature that will allow users to draw shapes that are geometrically perfect and snap right into place when adding illustrations in Notes.
To recognize phone numbers, dates, addresses, and enable users to take actions like tapping a written number to call, add an event directly to Calendar, or show a location in Maps, ‘Data Detectors’ will also work with handwritten text.
On the AR front, we can look forward to a new ARKit 4 that has a brand new Depth API. It will give developers more precise depth information captured by the LiDAR Scanner on the iPad Pro. Developers can make use of the Depth API to add new features in their apps such as testing how paint colours will look before painting a room, or for a more accurate virtual try-on of outfits—taking body measurements.
The ARKit 4 feature also includes Location Anchors for the apps on iOS and iPadOS. It allows users to pin an AR experience at specific geographic locations so that it can be viewed throughout cities, alongside landmarks, and even in their neighbourhoods.
Apart from all these cool-sounding new iPadOS 14 features, it still has a couple more things up its sleeve. For instance, it includes the same new widget experiences as in iOS 14, new Memoji options, Message features, a new and improved version of Maps that even has cycling directions and curated guides, new Accessibility features, and more! It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
iPadOS 14 compatible devices including iPadAir 2 and later, iPad 5th Gen and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and all iPad Pro models will likely receive the new features as a software update around September.
The 2019 iPadOS was a forked version of the iOS which had a few features designed just for iPads. But the iPadOS 14 features even more tweaks that will hopefully improve our iPad experience.
What do you think about Apple’s new iPadOS? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.
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All images courtesy: Apple