Probably the biggest surprise, software-wise, Apple has prepared for its WWDC 2019 keynote is splitting off the iPad from iOS. Apple’s tablet is getting its own operating system, and it will be called iPadOS. While it builds on the same foundation as iOS, iPadOS takes advantage of the large tablet display.

A new Home Screen will greet iPad users who will have the ability to add the Today View to the Home Screen. This will offer quick access to widgets, and with more apps on each page of the Home Screen you should have all the information you need at your fingertips.

Multitasking improvements have been added to iPadOS, so users will be able to work with multiple files and documents from the same app simultaneously with updates to Split View. Switching between multiple apps will be possible with the feature called Slide Over.

The Apple Pencil gets smarter with more markup and annotation tools, and the Files app gets iCloud Drive support for folder sharing, as well as removable media storage via USB drives or SD cards.

For web browsing, Safari on iPadOS will load the desktop version of the website by default, and text editing has received some improvements to make it easier for users to edit text inside documents. Of course, most of the iOS 13 features will be available in iPadOS, including Dark Mode.

A first beta of iPadOS is already available for developers, while the public beta program will start later this month. The final version will be available this fall, as a free upgrade for those using iPad Air 2 and later, all iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and later and iPad mini 4 and later.

Check out the rest of the features below, as described by Apple:

  • Dark Mode delivers a dramatic dark colour scheme that looks great across the system and is easier on the eyes in low-light environments.
  • Custom Fonts can be installed for use across the system, perfect for creating beautiful documents on iPad. Fonts from boutique and major vendors such as Adobe, DynaComware, Monotype, Morisawa and Founder will be available on the App Store.
  • A new floating keyboard saves space and includes support for QuickPath — making one-handed typing easy and leaving more room to display apps. Customers can pinch in to enable the floating keyboard and drag it anywhere on the screen.
  • Photos curates the library to highlight the best images, automatically hiding clutter and similar photos to showcase significant events from the past day, month or year. Photo editing is more intuitive with new tools that are easier to apply, adjust and review, and almost all photo editing capabilities are available for video editing.
  • Sign In with Apple is a fast, easy and private way to sign in to apps and websites using Apple ID.
  • Maps features a new basemap, built from the ground up: Look Around with beautiful street-level imagery of cities using high-resolution 3D photography; Collections for a new way to share restaurants, shops or destinations; and Favourites for quick navigation to frequent locations.1
  • Performance improvements make the entire system more responsive with faster Face ID unlock, and a new way to package iPad apps on the App Store that reduces download sizes by up to 50 per cent, makes app updates up to 60 per cent smaller, and results in apps launching up to twice as fast.
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