While the main focus of the WWDC was on the new version of the iOS, people were excited about the iPad OS as well. Its been a year since Apple dissected its operating system in two: for the iPhone and the iPad. The new iPad Pro just came out and Apple has done a lot to make it feel more of a computer and less of a “blown-up” iPhone.
Overview & The New Sidebar
Coming to the new iPadOS 14 and we see a lot of changes for the upcoming year. We start off with the overall layout of the new operating system. While there isn’t much change, as seen on the iOS, the iPad is made to be closer to the MacOS. There are accents added here and there to remind users of where this device is eventually heading in the future.
The main focus comes with App design. The company has tried to make sure that users are able to interact with apps like they would on a computer. This means that plethora of options that they would have to go into the gear icon for, these would be available to them in a task pane, as it is on computers. Apple has added sidebars to a couple of their proprietary apps. These sidebars would display further options and actually initiate a better workflow. The main recipients of this new sidebar include the Apple Notes app, the music App, Photos, Calendar and so much more. These sidebars let you navigate through different sections of the app like tabs on the computer.
Universal Search Engine
The next big feature has to be the new search engine for the iPad. Although iOS and iPad OS had a search bar which let users look for text, apps and open them from that, there and then. Now though, the company has put more focus on it for the iPadOS. Here, we see a similar search bar to the Spotlight on macOS. This is called the Universal Search Engine. Simply put, it is an app launcher that lets you look for stuff on your iPad. Be it contacts, apps, text and so on. It will give out results for that. Again, coming back to the striking resemblance, in concept, to the Spotlight. This new search engine would integrate with the on-screen apps as well. So, instead of covering up the entire display, it would take up a smaller room as to not disturb workflow. Additionally, users may be watching a video and want to search for something, opening it in another window, this would now make it possible.
Scribble With Apple Pencil
Coming to the Apple Pencil now. Apple has really nailed some elements here. The smartwatch concept with the Apple Watch and a graphing tablet in the shape of the iPad. The iPad Pro provides a great platform for animators, for content creators who need functionality and power in a compact package. Apple has added new updates for the Apple Pencil as well. This is mainly the “Scribble” feature. This would turn your handwriting into text for any field. Before it was limited to the notes app but now it would be supported for a wider range of applications. Not to mention, the company has added support for English and Traditional & Simplified Chinese at launch. According to them, more languages would be added for sure. Perhaps the application would be much better in person but the concept doesn’t sound drafty either. There is smart selection in the notes app as well to highlight the key points of your notes, to have them be highlighted.
Apple is working hard, for its standards, to make the iPad into a complete laptop replacement. For the first time, they have added support in iPad OS to set a default browser and email clients. This means you can have Chrome and or Outlook as your defaults instead of the options provided by Apple.
Other than that, the features we saw in the iOS 14 version would be making their way to the iPad OS as well. These include the changes to Apple Maps, the Messages App and more.