Apple has launched the latest version of its iPadOS operating system, which is designed specifically for its iPad devices.
The new version, called iPadOS 14, shares a number of features with the newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system – iOS 14.
Shared features include a compact design for FaceTime calls and Siri interactions, more detailed privacy controls, and new functionality for a number of native applications.
Read our article on all the new features in iOS 14 to find out more about this shared functionality.
iPadOS 14 also includes improvements specific to Apple’s tablet ecosystem, and these provide a significant overhaul to the operating system’s interface and Apple Pencil support.
“With iPadOS 14, we’re excited to build on the distinct experience of iPad and deliver new capabilities that help customers boost productivity, be more creative, and have more fun,” Apple said.
“With new compact designs for system interactions and new app designs specifically tailored to iPad, even better note-taking capabilities with Apple Pencil, and more powerful AR experiences, iPadOS 14 delivers an amazing experience that keeps it in a class of its own.”
Interface and sidebar overhaul
Apple has introduced a new compact design for its Search functionality, which can now be accessed from anywhere in the operating system, regardless of which app is open.
Web searches are also more powerful and refined, delivering more relevant suggestions as users type.
iPadOS14 includes redesigned sidebars across many apps, including Photos, Files, Notes, Calendar, and Apple Music, which allows for easier navigation.
“Additionally, streamlined toolbars and new pull-down menus provide access to app controls all in one place,” Apple said.
Scribble and AR
iPadOS 14 brings Scribble to iPad, which allows users to write in any text field, with their handwriting being automatically converted into typed text.
Handwriting detection and conversion happen on the device itself, keeping the process private and secure and removing the need for an Internet connection.
“Data detectors now work with handwritten text to recognize phone numbers, dates, and addresses, and offer users the ability to take actions like tapping a written number to make a call, adding an event directly to Calendar, or showing a location in Maps,” Apple said.
“Scribble will initially offer support for English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and mixed Chinese and English, so users can write English and Chinese words together without needing to switch languages.”
Apple also announced that iPadOS 14 would include additional features to improve augmented reality on the iPad.
Through ARKit 4, the operating system delivers a new Depth API that improves the accessibility of data provided by the iPad Pro’s LiDAR Scanner.
The developer preview of iPadOS 14 is available today for Apple Developer Programme members.