Just a few days ago we talked about the new iPad and also about the fact that the iPad would actually be a perfect computer – but not because of its operating system. With iPadOS 15, Apple is noticeably reducing the gap between tablet and computer even further. No, the iPad will not be a computer as we know and use it today. But especially for people who otherwise work a lot with a pen, the iPad with iPadOS 15 should be the best choice for a computer in the future.
Interactive widgets – an individual home screen for every situation
iPhone users are already familiar with this function. One or more start screens can be equipped with widgets in three different sizes. Since you have more space on the iPad, of course, there is a fourth, very large widget in iPadOS 15.
The app library becomes the launchpad on the iPad
Another feature we’ve seen so far on iOS is also coming to the iPad with the upgrade. But in contrast to the iPhone, the “App Library” can be opened at any time and from any home screen. App Library is the feature that allows you to completely delete apps from your home screens that you do not use regularly or very rarely, but without completely deleting them from the device.
Those of us who have a Mac probably know the term “Launchpad”. This is the feature that lists all of the Mac apps like a catalog so that you can launch them that way. However, Apple uses the iPhone theme and groups the apps into context-based folders. You can start further apps at any time, which can then be placed above the current window or arranged directly next to each other in Split View.
Multitasking on the iPad: a small first step towards the computer
I was really excited when Craig Federighi also announced multitasking for the iPad at the WWDC21 keynote. What we have been waiting for …
It’s not that I was disappointed. The new multitasking fulfills its purpose and is also nicely done. But I probably had hoped for a little more step.
When multitasking, you can switch to Split View or Slider Over using a new control at the top of the screen. This gives you much quicker access to the home screen. You can then display multiple windows or preview them in Mail. This is really cool, but it feels more like a tablet than a computer. Of course, this is also a little wanted – and certainly also in the interests of many users who appreciate focused work on a tablet.
New keyboard shortcuts for the iPad
This new function was worth a subheading of its own, although we weren’t told exactly which keyboard shortcuts were coming during the keynote – I come out as a very big fan of keyboard shortcuts. This is especially true for the iPad.
When I use the iPad with a keyboard, I try to avoid typing on the screen or using the mouse as much as possible. More shortcuts will (probably) make multitasking in particular a lot easier.
Focus: Choose what you want to focus on
This function was introduced per se for iOS 15, but of course it also comes to the iPad. As previously assumed, Apple has introduced a feature called “Focus”. With this, Apple is expanding the already well-known “Do Not Disturb” function. When activated, calls and messages will not go through. This allows you to concentrate better on what you actually want to do – or should be doing.
Focus learns which contacts or apps you use in certain life situations and then suggests who or what can send you messages at certain moments. When you are at work, you will receive matching priority messages and vice versa when you are at home.
As soon as the status is activated on one of the Apple devices, it also applies to all others. If a contact wants to reach me who doesn’t fit into the context of my life, they get a message that I don’t want to be disturbed at the moment.
A new message area provides an organized collection of messages that can be delivered to you at a specific time, e.g. B. morning or evening.
A new note taking app for quick note taking and organization with tags
The Notes app on the iPad is honestly not one of my favorites when it comes to taking notes. There just aren’t enough ways to format the note and organize thoughts quickly, but I use it quite a lot because it’s a relatively quick and easy way to share what you’ve written. In addition, a simple tap with the Apple Pencil on the locked iPad is enough – and you can create a new note.
In the future, Apple will make using the Notes app on the iPad even easier – and will certainly use the app much more often as a result. With iPadOS 15, you can open a small notepad from practically any app and quickly jot something down.
When you’re working on a note with someone else, you can say something to that person, and tags can be used to add more context so you can find notes more quickly later.
Live text – doesn’t sound like much. But it can be a really important feature.
Let me highlight one more feature that has the potential to become an indispensable friend:
There are always features that you take for granted, but sorely miss when they are gone. For me, for example, on my Mac this is the ability to quickly convert signatures in emails into contacts. Or rather, to be able to open maps with one click on an address.
With iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 comes live text – and it could become such a feature. Apple has apparently built into its operating systems a well-functioning OCR (Optical Character Recognition) that can recognize text in a photo. This makes it possible to control telephone numbers interactively on a photo or to take a picture of the WLAN code in a café and enter the password directly.
My personal conclusion
It’s not quite the big thing that I would have envisioned in my head beforehand. But iPadOS 15 will make the best tablet of the moment – the iPad – much better. I can’t think of any other tablet with a different operating system that offers you as much and can do as much as an iPad.
The battle will surely be decided by price. The iPad costs almost the price of a full-fledged computer, but it certainly won’t cover all of your needs. But for those who enjoy creative or focused work, who often get annoyed when they end up with way too many windows open while knowing he or she doesn’t need them all, iPadOS 15 is a great next step.
I took further features directly from the press release
Please forgive me for copying the additional feature list into here. It is likely to be of interest to some. Unfortunately, there is not enough time and space for all the details.
- With Universal Control, users can work with just one mouse and keyboard and switch seamlessly between iPad and Mac without having to set up this feature. Users can even drag and drop content between devices. This is useful when you use Apple Pencil to draw a drawing on iPad and then want to add it to Keynote on Mac.
- Shared with you searches across systems for articles, music, TV shows, photos, and more shared in Messages conversations, and displays them in apps like Photos, Safari, Apple News, Music, Podcasts, and the Apple TV app. This facilitates quick access to context information.
- Photos comes with the biggest update of all time for Retrospect, with a fresh new look, an interactive user interface and an integration with Apple Music that uses the device’s internal intelligence to personalize song suggestions that bring back memories.
- Maps offers new ways to navigate and discover the world. Users: inside experiences improved details in neighborhoods, business districts, heights, buildings, revised street colors and lettering, user-defined landmarks and a new night mode with moonlight.
- Data protection is taken to a new level with new protection functions, transparency functions and controls. Email privacy helps prevent trackers from crawling email, and the app privacy report shows how apps share information with other companies
- Siri is designed to protect user privacy. was developed to protect user: privacy. With voice recognition on the device, audio from Siri requests is fully processed on the iPad by default5 and performance is noticeably improved. Siri brings notifications to AirPods so users can easily share their screen with Siri and more.
- Cloud + brings together everything users love about iCloud, with new unique features like hiding email addresses, expanded HomeKit Secure video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay – all at no additional cost6 Existing iCloud subscribers will automatically update to iCloud + this fall. All iCloud + plans can be shared with members of the same family sharing group. This way, everyone can enjoy the new features, storage options and the all-round improved experience of this service.
- New accessibility features have been developed to optimally support the way users work. VoiceOver Screen Reading now uses on-device intelligence to recognize objects in pictures, so users can learn even more details about people, text, spreadsheet data, and other objects in pictures. With the support of third-party eye tracking devices, users can only control the iPad with their eyes. Background noise is played continuously and mixes with other audio and system noise to mask unwanted ambient or outside noise and help users focus and stay calm. Sound Actions allow users to customize the switch controls for mouth sounds. Users can customize the display and text size for each app.
Availability of iPadOS 15
The iPadOS 15 developer beta is available today to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com, and a public beta will be available to iPadOS users at beta.apple.com next month.
New software functions will be available from autumn this year as free software updates for iPad mini 4 and newer, iPad Air 2 and newer, iPad 5th generation and newer, and all iPad Pro models. Go to apple.com/en/ipados/ipados-preview for more information. We reserve the right to make changes to the functions. Some features may not be available in all regions or languages.