Apple releases iPadOS 13.1 with multitasking improvements, desktop-class Safari browser & more

Apple has released iPadOS for all users. This new software update for iPad marks a major milestone in Apple’s operating system strategy. With features like an enhanced home screen, multitasking improvements, app windows, desktop-class browsing in Safari, a productive Files app, Pencil improvements, text editing improvements and more, iPadOS shows Apple’s seriousness in making it a viable alternative to macOS for productivity.

IPadOS homescreen iPad Pro

iPadOS uses the same base as iOS so there are more similarities than differences in both operating systems. Any improvements that have been made to apps in iPadOS are also available in iOS. This include all the new features in Files and Safari apps, as well as many others. However, the major differences in iPadOS can be seen in the home screen, multitasking and Pencil – all which work well due to the large screen size and Apple Pencil.

What’s new in iPadOS?

You can read about the new iOS 13 and iPadOS features here in detail. Here are some of important new features in iPadOS.

  • Homescreen now allows users to pin their favorite widgets on the side. It also shows more app icons, finally. This allows the operating system to take advantage of the larger screen sizes.
  • Safari loads desktop websites by default. This makes the browsing experience comparable to laptops and desktop computers. Apple has updated Safari’s engine to allow mouse-over and hover actions to work fine with touch. It also supports Downloads now.
  • Apps can now launch multiple windows. For example, you can open Safari and drag out tabs to open new windows. These windows can be opened in their own individual space, or combined with another one in Split View. You can create as many windows of an app as you want, along with as many spaces as you want.
  • Slide Over now lets you add more than 1 app to it. You can swipe between different apps, like you can on an iPhone. This makes Slide Over infinitely more useful than ever. Once you get used to it, you began to miss it on desktop operating systems.
  • App Expose lets you see all the open windows of an app. It is not the most intuitive feature right now as you have to long press on an app’s icon in the dock, and then tap on ‘Show All Windows’. Alternatively, you can also tap an app’s icon in the dock, when it is already open. This will instantly open App Expose. Unfortunately, there is no way to access this through that main multitasking view.
  • You can now pinch on the iPadOS keyboard to make it as small as it is on an iPhone. This helps in typing with one hand, specially if you use the new QuickPath keyboard.
  • The Files app now has a Preview pane which shows a preview of the currently selected file as well as its meta data. You can also switch between thumbnail and list views in Files app, similar to macOS Finder. A sidebar shows your favorite folders as well as tags.
  • You can swipe up from any bottom corner of the iPad using Apple Pencil, to take a screenshot. This feature also allows you to take full page/document screenshots in supported apps and then markup them. Third party apps can also add support for this feature.
  • A new markup tool palette makes it easy to annotate your screenshots or documents. It’s also available in the Notes app.
  • A new system-wide dark mode is available, which can be supported by third-party apps too. Switching to dark mode can be done automatically or manually.
  • The new Apple Arcade game subscription service finally comes to iPad with this update.
  • New diverse emojis are also available in this update.

Here are the complete release notes by Apple:

iPadOS, the powerful operating system with a new name to recognize the distinctive experience of iPad. iPadOS builds on the same foundation as iOS, adding powerful new capabilities and intuitive features specific to the large display and versatility of iPad. This update features new ways to work with multiple apps, presents more information at a glance on a redesigned Home screen, makes using Apple Pencil feel even more responsive along with a new way to instantly mark up anything, provides a dramatic new Dark Mode, allows a simple way to sign in to websites that protects your privacy, and gives new tools to edit and view your photos. iPadOS is faster and more responsive with optimizations across the system.

Home Screen
– Today Widgets on the Home screen for at-a-glance information
– A new layout to put even more apps on each page

Multitasking
– Slide Over with support for multiple apps to access your favorite apps from anywhere in iPadOS and quickly switch between them
– Multiple windows from a single app in Split View to work with two documents, notes, or emails, side-by-side
– Enhanced Spaces to open the same app across multiple spaces
– App Exposé to quickly see all of the open windows for an app

Apple Pencil
– Lower latency with Apple Pencil, making it feel more responsive than ever
– Redesigned tool palette, with a fresh new look, new tools, and the ability to drag to any side of the screen
– A new gesture to mark up anything with a swipe from the bottom right or left corner of the screen with Apple Pencil
– A new full page option to mark up entire web pages, Mail messages, iWork documents, and Maps

Text Editing
– Scrollbar scrubbing to directly drag the scrollbar for quickly navigating long documents, web pages, and email conversations
– Faster and more precise cursor navigation—just pick it up and move it to where you want
– Text selection improvements for easier selection by just tapping and swiping on the text
– New gestures for cut, copy, paste—pinch in once with three fingers to copy, twice to cut, and pinch out with three fingers to paste
– Undo across iPadOS by just double tapping with three fingers

QuickType
– New floating keyboard leaving more room for your content—drag it anywhere you like
– QuickPath on the floating keyboard lets you slide to type for easy one-handed typing

Fonts
– Custom fonts are available from the App Store for use in your favorite apps
– Font management in Settings

Files
– External drives supported in Files to access and manage files on a USB drive, SD card, or hard drive
– SMB support to connect to a server at work or a home PC
– Local storage for creating folders on the local drive and adding your favorite files
– Column to drill down into nested folders
– Preview pane with high resolution file previews, rich metadata, and Quick Actions
– Zip and Unzip support for creating and expanding Zip files
– New keyboard shortcuts to manage your files even faster with an external keyboard

Safari
– Desktop-class browsing in Safari with websites automatically optimized for the large Multi-Touch display iPad display
– Web platforms like Squarespace, WordPress, and Google Docs now supported
– Download manager to access downloads quickly and check the status of a file you’re downloading
– Over 30 new keyboard shortcuts to navigate the web even faster with an external keyboard
– Updated start page with favorites, frequently visited, most recently visited websites, and Siri suggestions
– View options in the Smart Search field for quick access to text size controls, Reader view, and per‑site settings
– Per‑site settings to choose Reader view, and enable content blockers, camera, microphone, and location access for individual websites
– Option to resize when uploading photos

Dark Mode
– A beautiful new dark color scheme that delivers a great viewing experience especially in low-light environments
– Can be scheduled to turn on automatically at sunset, at a certain time, or turned on from Control Center
– Four new system wallpapers that automatically switch appearances with Light and Dark Mode

Photos
– An all-new Photos tab with a curated view of your library making it easy to find, relive, and share your photos and videos
– Powerful new photo editing tools that make it easier to edit, adjust, and review photos at a glance
– Video editing with over 30 new tools, including Rotate, Crop, and Enhance

Sign in with Apple
– A private way to sign in to participating apps and websites with the Apple ID you already have
– Simple account setup with only your name and email address
– Hide My Email to share a unique email address that is automatically forwarded to you
– Built-in two-factor authentication to protect your account
– No tracking or profiling by Apple as you use your favorite apps

App Store with Arcade
– Unlimited access to groundbreaking new games with one subscription, no ads or additional purchases
– An all-new Arcade tab in the App Store to browse the latest games, personalized recommendations, and exclusive editorial content
– Available to play across iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV
– Option to download large apps over your cellular connection
– Ability to view available app updates or delete apps from the Account page
– Support for Arabic and Hebrew

Maps
– An all-new map rolling out in the US featuring broader road coverage, improved address precision, better support for pedestrians, and more detailed land cover
– Look Around to explore cities in a high-resolution, interactive 3D experience
– Collections for the lists of places you love and can easily share with friends and family
– Favorites for quick and easy navigation to the places you visit daily

Reminders
– All-new design with more powerful and intelligent ways to create and organize reminders
– Quick toolbar to add dates, locations, flags, attachments and more to reminders
– New smart lists—Today, Scheduled, Flagged and All—to easily keep track of upcoming reminders
– Subtasks and grouped lists to organize your reminders

Siri
– More natural Siri voice, particularly while speaking longer phrases
– Personalized Siri Suggestions in Apple Podcasts, Safari, and Maps
– Over 100,000 live radio stations from around the world available with Siri

Shortcuts
– Shortcuts app now built-in
– Suggested automations in the Gallery personalized to your daily routine
– Personal and home automations for automatically running shortcuts based on triggers
– Home app support for shortcuts as advanced actions in the Automation tab

Memoji and Messages
– New Memoji customization options including new hairstyles, headwear, makeup, and piercings
– Memoji sticker packs in Messages, Mail, and third‑party apps and available on iPad mini 5, iPad (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation), and all iPad Pro models
– Your name and photo, or even Memoji, now optionally shared with your friends
– Search enhancements to easily find messages with intelligent suggestions and categorization of results

Augmented Reality
– People Occlusion for apps to place virtual objects naturally in front or behind people using iPad Pro (2018), iPad Air (2018), iPad mini 5
– Motion Capture for apps to understand the body position and movement of a person so you can animate a character or interact with virtual objects using iPad Pro (2018), iPad Air (2018), iPad mini 5
– Multiple face tracking for AR content on up to 3 faces at a time so you can have fun with your friends using iPad Pro (2018)
– AR Quick Look to view and interact with multiple AR objects at the same time

Mail
– Block sender to move all email messages from a blocked sender directly to the trash
– Mute thread to stop notifications from an overly active email thread
– Format bar with easy access to rich text formatting tools and attachments of all kinds
– Font support for all system fonts, as well as new fonts you download from the App Store

Notes
– Gallery view with your notes as visual thumbnails helping you find the note you need
– Shared folders to collaborate with others giving them access to entire folders of notes
– More powerful search for visual recognition of images inside your notes and text in items you’ve scanned
– New checklist options to easily reorder checklist items, indent them, or move checked items to the bottom of the list automatically

Apple Music
– Time-synced lyrics make listening more fun with perfectly timed lyrics
– Over 100,000 live radio stations from around the world

Screen Time
– 30-day usage data to compare Screen Time numbers over the previous weeks
– Combined limits to include multiple app categories, specific apps, or websites in one limit
– “One more minute” option to quickly save your work or log out of a game when a Screen Time limit is met

Privacy and Security
– Allow Once location permission with the option to share your locations with apps only once
– Background tracking alerts now notify you when an app is using your location in the background
– Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enhancements help prevent apps from accessing your location without your consent
– Location sharing controls give you the option to easily omit location data when sharing photos

System Experience
– Wi‑Fi networks and Bluetooth accessories selection in Control Center
– A redesigned, unobtrusive volume control in the top middle
– Full-page screenshots for web pages, Mail messages, iWork documents, and Maps
– Redesigned share sheet with intelligent suggestions to share content with just a few taps
– Audio Sharing for two sets of AirPods, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo3, BeatsX and Powerbeats3 to share a single stream of audio
– Dolby Atmos playback for a thrilling surround sound experience from content with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, or Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks on iPad Pro(2018)

Language support
– Support for 38 new keyboard languages
– Predictive input in Cantonese, Dutch, Hindi (Devanagari), Hindi (Latin), Najdi Arabic, Swedish, and Vietnamese keyboards
– Separate emoji and globe keys make it easier to quickly switch between languages and select emoji
– Automatic language detection for dictation
– Bilingual dictionary support in Thai and English and Vietnamese and English

China
– A dedicated QR code mode in Camera, accessible from the Control Center, for improved QR code performance, a flashlight option, and enhanced privacy
– Junction View in Maps for drivers in China to more easily navigate complex roadways
– Adjustable handwriting area on the Chinese keyboard
– Cantonese predictions on the Cangjie, Sucheng, Stroke, and Handwriting keyboards

India
– All‑new Indian English male and female Siri voices
– Support for all 22 official Indian languages with the addition of 15 new keyboard languages
– Bilingual keyboard for Hindi (Latin) and English keyboard, including typing predictions
– Typing predictions on the Hindi (Devanagari) keyboard
– New Indian language system fonts for Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, and Odia for greater clarity and ease when reading in apps
– 30 new document fonts for Assamese, Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu
– Contacts with hundreds of new relationship labels to help more accurately label your contacts

Voice Control
– A new way to control your iOS devices, entirely with your voice
– Comprehensive navigation with just your voice to open apps, search the web, tap, swipe, pinch, zoom, press the Home button and more
– Accurate dictation using the Siri speech recognition engine
– Rich text editing to make corrections using just your voice, or select from word and emoji suggestions
– Custom words, such as legal or medical terms, to ensure Voice Control recognizes words you commonly use
– Seamless transitions from text dictation to voice commands
– Attention Awareness to keep Voice Control off when you turn your head away from True Depth camera on supported iPhone models
– On‑device processing so your personal data is kept private

Performance
– Up to 2x faster app launch-
– Up to 30 percent faster Face ID unlocking on iPad Pro 11-inch, iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)–
– 60 percent smaller app updates on average-
– Up to 50 percent smaller apps from the App Store-

Other features and improvements
– Low Data Mode to reduce your data usage over your cellular network or specific Wi-Fi networks you select
– PlayStation 4 and Xbox Wireless Controller support
– Find My iPhone and Find My Friends combined into a single app with the ability to locate a missing device even if it can’t connect to a Wi-Fi or cellular network
– Apple Books reading goals help make reading a daily habit
– Apple News+ options to remove downloaded issues, follow a title, or browse the back catalog from the More button in the My Magazines section
– Stocks app with business stories from Apple News+
– Calendar supports adding attachments to events
– Home app redesigned controls for HomeKit accessories with a combined view for ones with multiple services
– Pinch-to-zoom for more precision when editing recordings in Voice Memos

Some features may not be available for all regions, or on all Apple devices, for more information visit:
https://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability and https://www.apple.com/ipados

Does your iPad support iPadOS?

The following iPad models are compatible with iPadOS:

  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro

How to update to iPadOS

To download the new update, go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPad. Make sure that you iPad has at least 50% battery charge before updating.

Alternatively, you can connect your iPad to a Mac or Windows PC running iTunes, to download  and install the update.

Apple has also released iOS 13.1 with Shortcuts Automation and Share ETA, and tvOS 13 with Apple Arcade, multiuser switching, control center and a new home screen.