Apple’s WWDC Developers Conference is now underway and one of the headline announcements are the new features coming to your iPad.
iPadOS 14 will launch later this year and includes numerous improvements aimed at making things easier for owners of these hugely popular tablets.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes coming to the iPad is the arrival of a new sidebar which will make it much more simple to move files into folders. This sidebar will work across a range of apps including Photos, Notes and Files.
Additionally, streamlined toolbars and new pull-down menus provide access to app controls all in one place.
Another nice change is the new call notifications which will now only take up a small portion of the screen. Currently, when the iPad attempts to take a FaceTime call the whole screen is taken up with the alert.
That all changes in iPadOS 14 with just a small bar appearing at the top of the display. This can even be swiped away if you don’t want to accept the call.
Apple also says that Search on iPad has been rebuilt from the ground up with iPadOS 14 and is now the one place to quickly find practically anything, from locating and launching apps to accessing contacts, files, and quick information, to getting answers to common questions about people or places. With a new compact design, users can start a search from anywhere, without having to leave the app they’re in.
Web searches are even more powerful and refined, delivering more relevant suggestions as users type and the ability to get to search results with just a tap.
Next, it’s good news if you like using the Apple Pencil with your tablet.
Apple wants to make this stylus much more useful with owners now able to turn scribbles into text. It will even transform shapes into editable graphics and everything you write can be changed including colours and outlines.
When taking notes, Smart Selection uses on-device machine learning to distinguish handwriting from drawings, so handwritten text can easily be selected, cut, and pasted into another document as typed text. Shape recognition allows users to draw shapes that are made geometrically perfect and snap right into place when adding useful diagrams and illustrations in Notes.
If you have your Pencil in hand there will also be the option to write names of websites in the Safari browser with the search then taking place without you going near a keyboard.
“With iPadOS 14, we’re excited to build on the distinct experience of iPad and deliver new capabilities that help customers boost productivity, be more creative, and have more fun,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “With new compact designs for system interactions and new app designs specifically tailored to iPad, even better note-taking capabilities with Apple Pencil, and more powerful AR experiences, iPadOS 14 delivers an amazing experience that keeps it in a class of its own.”
Along with these unique features, there’s also a bunch of changes that are also being released in Apple’s iOS 14.
These include improved Messages with better ways to control group chats and there’s an upgrade to Maps and Siri.
Safari also now offers a Privacy Report so users can easily see which cross-site trackers have been blocked, secure password monitoring to help users detect saved passwords that may have been involved in a data breach, and built-in translation for entire webpages.