[WWDC 2021] New iPadOS 15 Brings New iPad Productivity Features
The new iPadOS 15 was just unveiled during the recent WWDC 2021 event and comes with a lot of new features centred around productivity. Some of these include more intuitive multitasking, a new Home Screen design with integrated widgets, the App Library, systemwide note-taking with Quick Note, SharePlay, a redesigned Safari experience, and new tools to stay focused.
What’s new with iPadOS 15?
A new multitasking menu appears at the top of apps in iPadOS 15, allowing users to switch between Split View and Slide Over with a single tap. When utilising Split View, users now have instant access to the Home Screen, making it easier to find the relevant app. They can also multitask with apps like Safari and Pages that have several windows, as well as swiftly preview emails, using the new shelf.
There’s also new keyboard shortcuts and a redesign of the menu bar for those who use external keyboards with their iPad. With new keyboard shortcuts for multitasking, users can easily set up and move between Split View and Slide Over.
You can also add widgets to the Home Screen now that are specially designed for big screens with iPadOS 15, offering a more personalised experience. These new widgets include those for the App Store, Find My, Game Center, Mail, and Contacts. Also coming to iPad is the App Library, automatically organising apps into helpful categories like Productivity, Games, and Recently Added, and allowing users to access all their apps right from the Dock.
The new iPadOS 15 also brings forth new features that make it easier for note-taking. Notes goes systemwide with Quick Note, a fast and easy way to take notes anywhere across the system. Users can pull up Quick Note anyplace to scribble down a thought and add links, offering a fast method to return back to exactly what they were looking at.
Tags make it easy to categorise notes and find them quickly with an all-new Tag Browser and tag-based Smart Folders. For users working with others in shared notes, mentions create a way to notify collaborators and link them back to the note, and a new Activity view shows recent updates in the note.
As with the new iOS 15, SharePlay also makes an appearance in the new iPadOS 15 update. Users can now 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. 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 also lets users share their screen, perfect for browsing the web together.
Other features coming with the new iPadOS 15 update include:
- A Redesigned Browsing Experience with Safari – Safari gets a new tab design that lets users see more of the page as they browse. A new tab bar takes on the colour of the webpage and combines tabs, the toolbar, and the search field into a single, compact design. Tab Groups offer a new way to easily save and manage tabs that can also sync across Mac and iPhone, so users can continue their project from anywhere or easily share them with friends and family. Safari on iPad also now supports web extensions, available from the App Store.
- Tools to Find Focus – Focus makes an appearance on iPadOS 15 as they did with the new iOS 15 and watchOS 8. Focus is a new feature that filters notifications based on what a user is doing that helps users focus and reduce distractions. Users can also create Home Screen pages with apps and widgets that apply to moments of focus to only display relevant apps.
- On-Device Intelligence Powers New Photo Features – Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognise text in a photo and allow users to take action. With Visual Look Up, users can identify objects within a photo, such as a type of flower or dog breed. Spotlight now adds the ability to search the Photos app and web images and has all-new rich results for contacts with context like recent conversations, shared photos, and their location if shared through Find My.
- Translate Comes to iPad with New Ways to Communicate – The Translate app comes to iPad with new features that make conversations easier and more natural. When using the Translate app, Auto Translate detects when someone is speaking, and in which language, so users can converse naturally without having to tap a microphone button.
- Build Apps with Swift Playgrounds – With Swift Playgrounds 4, users have the tools to build iPhone and iPad apps right on their iPad and submit them directly to the App Store, offering new ways for anyone to create apps and share them with the world. Code is immediately reflected in the live preview while building apps, and users can run their apps full screen to test them out. A new open project format based on Swift packages can open and be edited in Swift Playgrounds for iPad as well as within Xcode on Mac.
iPadOS 15 is now available to Apple Developer Program members here and a public beta will be available to iPadOS users here next month. New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models. To learn more about iPadOS 15, head over here.
Pokdepinion: I just wish there’s an Android tablet that can work as good and as well as an iPad. That thing is a beast and I want it.