Apple Officially Renames iOS on iPad: Meet iPadOS

Apple just gave the iPad its own OS name: meet iPadOS.

Craig Federighi made this change official at WWDC 2019, after leaks spilled the beans earlier today. Here's everything you need to know about iPadOS.

A new Home

The changes start at the home screen, where Apple’s making more use of all that space, with a tighter grid of icons for more apps. You can also slide in the Today View from the left side, so you can see widgets such as Time, Calendar, Photos.

Multitasking upgraded

iPadOS will improve slide-over apps. In the new software, you can have a set of slide-over apps that look like a deck of cards that you can jump between, rather than constantly removing one, finding another and so on.

Next up, dragging and dropping items between multi-tasked apps will be easier. The demonstration at the WWDC keynote moved so fast and fluidly that we’re gonna need time with it to get familiar.

And for those who want to make the most of a single app, you can now use split view to open two windows of the same app, side-by-side. While that may sound obvious, it's not been before, and you'll now be able to have two Safari tabs open next to each other, or two Word docs, and so on and so forth.

Starting a split view from the same app is as easy as dragging out a link or item from the app you're in and dropping it on the far margin of the iPad.

A new App Expose mode lets you see all instances of the app you're using, at the same time, in a view similar to App Spaces.

The cursor, plus gestures for cut copy and paste

Composing documents on the iPad will be more natural, as Apple's rethought how its cursor will work. While the company didn't reveal third party mouse or touchpad support, it seems as if they've made a big step to that direction with a cursor you can actually interact with. Now, the cursor is an object you can drag and drop, not just move around with taps.

After you select by pressing and dragging, a 3-finger pinch gesture will copy the items on screen (and two 3-finger pinches will perform a cut). And when you get to the place you want to drop off that content, a 3-finger spread gesture pastes that content in. Made a mistake? A 3-finger left swipe will undo, so you don't have to shake your giant screen.

Apple Pencil gets smarter and gains screengrab tools

Apple's reduced its stylus' latency by more than 50%, from 20 milliseconds to 9 milliseconds. Also, a new and improved pencil pallet will give you more color and tool options, and third party app developers will get to make their own, thanks to a public API.

Dragging the Apple Pencil in from the corner of the screen will open a markdown mode, which lets you markup a screengrab of what you're looking at.

Files gets fixed

The iPad's Files app is also getting some new tweaks, but they're all stuff that should have been there since day one. The hugest change is support for USB drives and SD cards, for image importing.

Also, Files gets a column view, something Apple's known about from its days on macOS. There's also iCloud Drive folder sharing for collaboration, and SMB file sharing for enterprise work.

Safari gets "Desktop-class browsing"

Whether or not Mobile Safari will be more like its desktop version is unknown (we're not holding our breath), but Apple showed off how iPadOS Safari will pull desktop browser versions of popular web apps, including Google Docs.

Safari's also getting a download manager, so you can find the files you save from the net. To make the most of this upgraded Safari, there are 30 new keyboard shortcuts.

Font manager

iPadOS is going to try and appeal to the pro users that Apple wants to hold onto by introducing a font manager.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • dstrauss54
    Why do they try so hard to avoid mouse support - these complicated three finger gestures just PROVE the simplest way to cut/copy/paste is with a mouse!