Apple just dropped the first public beta of its new operating system for the iPad, iPadOS. It’s basically iOS 13 but with a ton more iPad-centric features that make it much more useful considering the iPad is way bigger than a typical iPhone. I’ve been playing around with the beta for more than a week and I wanted to list a few things that I think could convince you to upgrade. Most of the features I’ve listed make the iPad more like a real computer, and that’s a good thing since it makes it much more capable than it’s ever been. But even if you just wanna use your iPad for watching movies, playing games, and reading books, the features I’ve highlighted in iPadOS will still prove to be worth upgrading for in the end.
Without further ado, here are six features that will make upgrading to iPadOS worth it.
If you don’t care about new user-facing features, you should at least care about this underlying feature. With iPadOS, Apple is improving the performance of every supported iPad which will, undoubtedly, improve your experience at least somewhat. The latest iPads with Face ID will also see 30 percent faster recognition rates.
If you’re one to always ask “does it make my iPad faster?” when a new version of iOS comes out, expect to be met by a resounding yes.
Widgets on the Home Screen
With iPadOS, Apple is tweaking the home screen of the iPad in all the right ways. It’s making the icons smaller so you can fit more on the screen, and the best new feature is the ability to dock widgets on your main interface. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve swiped all the way to the left on my iPad just to see an empty page with a running list of widgets that take up around 35 percent of the display and think to myself, “why aren’t these just on my home screen?”
Admittedly, the implementation Apple has in mind for this feature isn’t what people actually want (they want to be able to rearrange icons and widgets like on Android), but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Do you know how long people have been waiting for a dark mode in iOS? With iOS 13, that feature finally arrives, and the same can be said about iPadOS.
At least on the iPad Pro, dark mode looks really sick. You can set it to darken your current wallpaper when enabled or dynamically change with one of Apple’s stock wallpapers. Plus, it can be set to automatically kick in at sunset which is really handy if you don’t want a blaring-white UI burning your eyes at night.
If you’re like the rest of us and have been waiting for Apple to darken its user interface for years, upgrading to iPadOS will be totally worth it. Y’know, when it comes out this fall.
Like I said, iPadOS takes better advantage of the fact the iPad is a much bigger device compared to the iPhone. Plus, Apple targets it as a PC/computer replacement. It might still fall short of that title, but at least with the company’s improved multitasking tools, things get better.
For one, you can now run more than one instance of the same app. That’s useful when you’re handling multiple notes in the Notes app or transferring content between Word documents. Then there’s the easier way of switching between apps at a moment’s notice by loading up multiple apps in Slide Over. New text editing gestures, App Exposé, swipe typing, and a thumb-sized keyboard are also onboard.
Overall, with Apple’s new multitasking tweaks, navigating the iPad just got a lot better. None of this is perfect just yet, mind you, since this is a beta. But by the time these features start shipping in the public release of iPadOS, I can see them standing as life-changing additions for a lot of people.
An Actual File System
Another life-changing addition made to iPadOS? An actual file system. The Files app in iPadOS now lets you access your iPad’s storage like you can on a normal PC or Android device. You can manage downloads from Safari, copy and paste various file formats, and manage most of your cloud storage drives. Oh, and there’s support for USB drives and cameras, allowing you to import data from other sources like you can with any other PC.
This feature is huge. Not only does it help Apple achieve its goal of developing the iPad as a PC replacement, it also helps average users remain much more productive during the day. Not having a real file system to play with is extremely limiting, and what with the capabilities of the iPad Pro’s internal specs, it would only make sense to give the device a real way to manage files. Thankfully, that’s exactly what’s coming with iPadOS, and I am here for it.
Rounding things off, iPadOS also includes another PC-centric feature: a desktop-class browser. Well, sorta.
You see, Apple’s updating Safari to automatically request the desktop version of websites when you’re on your iPad. That way, you get a more confined version of a desktop website over a blown-up mobile page that you’d typically find on a smartphone. This also allows websites like Google Docs and WordPress to work much better when you aren’t using their dedicated apps.
By giving users access to this feature, Apple creates a much more powerful and robust web browser that could have the potential to convince users to switch to the iPad for their computing purposes. And that goes for basically every other feature I’ve listed here (well, perhaps besides dark mode). All of these features make the iPad much more like a PC instead of a powerful tablet. Plus, even if you don’t plan to ever use your iPad as your main PC, these features will still make it better. If not one, all of these new additions will probably convince you to upgrade come the fall. At least in my opinion.