Apple just released their new tablet operating system, iPadOS. This immediately followed the release of iOS 13 for iPhone and iPod touch. The iPadOS is built on the same foundation as iOS and can be considered a branch from iOS 13. We invested a significant amount of time testing our PowerTrack iOS Mobile application on both iOS 13 and the new iPadOS and found no backward compatibility issues versus running PowerTrack on the previous iOS 12. Suffice to say, we are very happy about that.
So what does this mean for the future? By splitting the OS platforms, Apple can offer a better tablet experience for iPad users. This includes more sophisticated ways of running multiple applications at the same time – and organizing those applications in customizable ways. Much of this draws design inspiration from macOS.
The initial iPadOS release offers several new features, including:
- the ability to open multiple windows from the same app, building on split screen support for different apps in previous releases
- improvements to the Files app including a new column view, better searching and a new Downloads folder
- access to files on a USB drive, hard drive or SD card connected to the Lightning port
- Safari now showing desktop (macOS) versions of websites by default, and making them work better on iPad
- allowing app widgets to display on the left side of the home screen; apps still appear on the right
- a new floating keyboard that can be placed anywhere on the screen
- improvements in text selections and editing
- pencil related improvements that will appeal to the artists among us
Apple now has a clear path forward to move the iPad closer to the productivity workhorse that is the desktop/laptop computer. Many iPad users have been pushing for this in their quest to ditch their laptop and have a single work device.
As Apple moves the iPad further down this path with expanding multi-tasking features and more complex text editing, their challenge is to maintain the ease of use, and intuitiveness that made the iPad so popular in the first place.
Our challenge within the PowerTrack group is to develop new applications and features to leverage iPad’s new direction and productivity enhancing features.