iPadOS 15 announced with more intuitive desktop-like multitasking

Apple announced iPadOS 15 at its Worldwide Developers Conference on 7 June 2021.

With its new iPad operating system Apple has focused on redesigning and optimising the multitasking function, allowing users to make better use of the large iPad screens.

The company has also implemented a function it calls “Quick Notes”, which lets users take notes from within any app. Context can be added to Quick Notes from other apps, such as including links from the Safari web browser and addresses from Maps.

The new FaceTime and screen sharing features as announced for iOS 15 will also be available in iPadOS 15, as well as the new Focus mode.

According to Apple, the developer beta for the new OS will be available from today and the public beta will be released in July 2021.

iPadOS 15 will launch between early September and November 2021.

iPad OS feature summary

Widgets

Apple announced a widget function that allows users to select widgets of their choice and drag it onto the iPad’s home screen at any location, according to user preference.

App library

As implemented in iOS 14, the App Library on the right side of the screen will now be coming to iPad. Apple will also let users hide seldom-used pages within the App Library.

Multitasking

iPadOS 15 will introduce a new way to access the iPad’s multitasking capabilities, which can be activated by tapping at the top of the device’s screen to bring down a multitasking bar.

Enabling split-view will divide the iPad’s display in two and allow apps to run side-by-side.

Quick switching between apps is possible by sliding down on whichever side of the split view you want to replace, at which point you can select which app to open in the split-screen pane.

Apps that have multiple windows, like Mail, are also supported in split view mode.

When viewing your mail inbox on one side of the split screen, tapping on a message will open it in the middle of the display while the split screen remains active in the background.

Apple iPad Pro iPad OS 15 multitasking splitview

Notes

Quick Note is a new feature that enables instant note taking, and is supported systemwide.

The function is enabled by swiping up from the bottom right of the screen, at which point a note taking window will open in the corner of the screen.

After taking a note the Quick Note window can be closed by swiping it back into the corner.

In Safari, the note taking window can be used to save a link from the webpage the user is currently on.

Highlighting a certain piece of text on a webpage and dragging it over to the note window will create a hyperlink connected to the pasted text.

By tapping on the linked text in the note, the browser tab will open on the webpage, and direct the user to the specific part of the webpage from which the text was highlighted.

Apple has also implemented a mention function, which will notify one of your contacts if they have been mentioned in your note via the “@” prefix.

Translate

Apple announced that it will bring the translate function from iOS to iPadOS 15.

Highlighting text will automatically give the user the option to translate it.

Live Text as announced in iOS 15 will also be available on iPadOS 15, and highlighting text detected by the camera app will also activate the translation function.

iPad OS translate

App development

Apple has announced that for the first time it will be possible to develop apps on iPad using Swift Playgrounds 4, scheduled to launch later this year.

Swift Playgrounds allows users to to learn to code on Mac or iPad. It can also be used to create the visual design of an app with SwiftUI.

App projects can then be opened and edited in Swift Playgrounds or in Xcode and, when they’re ready, users can build a real app and submit it directly to the App Store right from their iPad.

iPad OS Swift Playgrounds

Now read: iPad Pro new features and launch timeline

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iPadOS 15 announced with more intuitive desktop-like multitasking