The iPad just got quite a bit better thanks to iPadOS 13.4, which added full support for trackpads. Now, attention has shifted to iPadOS 14, which is expected to be announced next month during Apple’s virtual Worldwide Developers Conference. What new features can we expect in iPadOS 14? I have a few suggestions…
System-wide custom keyboard shortcuts
I’ve been using my iPad Pro considerably more often recently thanks to the new Magic Keyboard, which has been a complete and total game-changer for my workflow. One of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make, however, is the lack of custom system-wide keyboard shortcuts.
For example, on the Mac I have keyboard shortcuts set up to easily stop and start time tracking with Toggl. This is something that’s not currently possible on the iPad. Instead, I rely on the Timery widget alongside Shortcuts that I’ve created for different timers and workflows.
If you wanted to take things a step further, iPadOS 14 could even add support for assigning custom system-wide keyboard commands to Shortcuts. What this means is that a specific key combination could be used to trigger a Shortcut regardless of where you are in iPadOS.
Finally, and most importantly, this would help make up for one of the biggest omissions in the Magic Keyboard: media playback keys. For example, I want to set up custom keyboard shortcuts in iPadOS for pausing/playing content and skipping to the next track. You could also assign a keyboard shortcut to adjust display brightness, keyboard backlighting, and more.
Easier access to Control Center and Notifications
The current way to access Control Center and Notifications on the iPad was clearly crafted in the days of it being a touch-only device. That’s fine for most people, but when you’re using the iPad with the Magic Keyboard or any other such accessory, it’s a bit messy.
Navigating to the top of the screen with a trackpad, then quickly pulling down is not a very intuitive or practical way to access Control Center and Notifications. How could Apple fix this? I’m a big fan of this concept created by Matt Birchler:
Here, you can see how navigating towards the top of the iPadOS interface automatically enlarges the “menu bar” and presents dedicated buttons for accessing Control Center and Notifications. Buttons aren’t as fancy as multi-finger gestures, but sometimes, it’s so much easier.
Theoretically, my earlier suggestion of custom system-wide keyboard shortcuts could also help solve this problem. Let me create a keyboard shortcut that presents Control Center or Notifications immediately. This would go a long way in helping improve the experience of using the iPad Pro when using a trackpad and keyboard.
Multitasking on iPad is an area where I’d like to see Apple make some changes, but I’m not exactly sure what changes I want. My colleague Filipe Esposito recently outlined a few changes he’d like to see with iOS 14 multitasking, but I struggled to imagine what iPadOS 14 might bring.
The current iPadOS multitasking system has been debated since it was introduced. Personally, I find it to be very powerful once you learn the ins and outs, but it’s hard to deny that discoverability is a problem. How can Apple improve the discoverability of existing multitasking features while also adding new capabilities for power users?
This is where I really want to hear feedback from the 9to5Mac readers. What do you want to see changed about the iPadOS 14 multitasking system? Or is it good enough as it is today? Sound off in the comments!
Home screen widgets
Earlier this year, 9to5Mac exclusively reported that iOS 14 could add support for home screen widgets. Currently, the iPad has home screen widgets thanks to the Today View where you can add widgets and other information, but there are a few limitations here.
Currently, Apple does all you to pin the Today View to your iPadOS home screen, but this only applies to landscape orientation and to the first page of your home screen. For instance, if you have multiple pages of applications, you’ll only see the Today View widgets on the first page.
With iPadOS 14, I think Apple needs to take the iPadOS home screen to the next level. You can already sort of do this by adding Shortcuts to your home screen, but this doesn’t really allow you to actually do anything without jumping to another application.
For instance, I would love the ability to pin a widget from Things directly on my iPad home screen. Currently, I have the Things widget in my Today view, but it simply redirects to the Things app itself anytime you want to add a new to-do or mark one as completed.
One of the apps I’ve been using a lot recently on iPad is Tot, the text editor that focuses on constraints and ease of use. The ability to add a Tot widget to my home screen would be incredibly useful as a simple scratchpad for notes and quick ideas.
The opportunities for the iPadOS home screen feel endless, and I hope Apple gives it the attention it deserves with this year’s iPadOS 14 refresh.
These are just a few of the features I’d like to see with the introduction of iPadOS 14 this year. The iPad Pro has become an increasingly important part of my workflow over the last few months, and these changes could make a major difference in my productivity.
What are some of your desired iPadOS 14 changes? How has your usage of the iPad changed over the last several iterations of iOS and iPadOS? Let us know down in the comments!
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