Arguably the biggest software surprise of WWDC 2019 was iPad receiving its own platform. Apple announced iPad would be splitting off from iOS and will run on iPadOS going forward.

iPadOS Features

Users can now have multiple windows per open application, in split views. There’s also new link previews when long-pressing. The iPad now supports external disk drives and SD cards natively; just plug in and access from the Files app.

iCloud Drive now supports folder sharing, not just files. The new Files app includes a column view which resembles macOS. Directories from attached storage show up in the Files app. For cameras, there’s a way to launch your favorite third-party image editor — like Lightroom — automatically.

Apple is also bringing “desktop-class” browsing to the iPad, with better compatibility for web-apps like Google Docs, Squarespace, and WordPress. iPad Safari is also gaining new keyboard shortcuts and a download manager.

Apple is adding custom font support to iPadOS. You can download font libraries from the App Store.

There are new three-finger gestures for cut-copy-paste, including a three-finger swipe to undo.

Apple Pencil latency is dropping from 20 milliseconds to 9 milliseconds for even more responsive interactions when using a digital stylus. Markup is integrated system-wide, so you can annotate a screenshot or an entire document. A PencilKit API is also available for third-party apps.

There’s a new compact layout keyboard mode for the iPad, which shrinks down the keyboard to only occupy a fraction of the screen space.

Mouse Support on iPadOS?

One of the rumored iOS 13 features was support for mouse input as an Accessibility option. While Apple didn’t mention it on stage, iPadOS 13 does indeed support mouse input as an AssistiveTouch option.

Mouse input in iPadOS 13 works much like you would expect it to, especially when you consider that it is an AssistiveTouch feature. The mouse cursor resembles other Assistive Touch input options, simulating a finger over the interface.

Mouse input on the iPad works with USB mice connected to the iPad’s Lightning or USB-C port. This includes Apple’s Magic Trackpad, allowing you to navigate through iPadOS without actually touching the display. It is enabled via the Accessibility menu in the iPadOS Settings app.

iPadOS Release Date

iPadOS is currently in beta, but the final version will be released for users this fall.  It will be available for the following iPad models:

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

Top Stories about iPadOS

iPadOS Stories Today

Let’s just cut to the chase: if you already own 2018’s refresh of the iPad Pro, you probably shouldn’t upgrade to the 2020 edition. That’s because this latest iPad Pro is more of an incremental update than its predecessors have traditionally been. In terms of specs, it’s probably the most lukewarm upgrade we’ve had in an iPad Pro since the often-forgotten 9.7-inch model was released in early 2016.

With that in mind, if you want a good idea of what to expect from the 2020 iPad, read our in-depth review of the 2018 model. Most of the hardware aspects still apply, but it’s the software updates that have really pushed the iPad forward over the last few years. The release of iPadOS 13, and now iPadOS 13.4 have transformed Apple’s tablet for the better.

If you held off on the 2018 iPad Pro update, this latest 2020 model should make you happy, as it’s an overall better value thanks to increased RAM and flash storage in the base configuration.

And thanks to the new embedded LiDAR Scanner, which ushers in impressive new AR capabilities, the 2020 iPad Pro also provides us with a sneak preview of what we might expect from Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality headset.

Watch our hands-on video as we discuss the top features and initial impressions of the 2020 iPad Pro. expand full story

iPadOS Stories March 31

Apple has updated iMovie for iPadOS with new features including mouse and trackpad support, new keyboard shortcuts, more image format, and more. The new version also prepares Apple’s video editing app for the upcoming Magic Keyboard accessory for iPad Pro.

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iPadOS Stories March 24

Apple today is officially releasing iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 to the public. This comes after an extended beta testing period for developer and public beta users over the last month and a half. What’s new in iOS 13.4? Read on to find out.

Apple is also releasing iOS 12.4.6 for older iPhones and iPads today as well. tvOS 13.4 is also being released today.

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iPadOS Stories March 21

Alongside its new iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard with trackpad, Apple this week unveiled trackpad support in iPadOS 13.4. What this means is that in addition to using Apple’s Magic Keyboard, most other trackpads and mice can also now be used with iPadOS.

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iPadOS Stories February 25

Apple tries to improve iPad’s multitasking capabilities every year, making the system more powerful to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. But this has also raised questions about the usability of multitasking on the iPad, which has become increasingly complicated for some users.

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iPadOS Stories January 12

Modern iPads have plenty of storage space for most people, but if you buy a smaller model now, can you add iPad storage later? The short answer is “no,” but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story. There are some ways you can extend the practical storage space you have to work with on your iPad — here’s how.

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