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. They announced a developer beta for iPadOS 13.

iPadOS 13 Features

Apple announced a number of new features for iPadOS 13. Users can now have multiple windows per open application, in split views. There’s also new link previews when long-pressing. iPadOS 13 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 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. In iPadOS 13,  Safari is also gaining new keyboard shortcuts and a download manager.

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

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 13?

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 13 Release Date

iPadOS 13 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 13

iPadOS 13 Stories February 17

This is a very simple feature request: I’d like the ability to resize the iPad floating keyboard.

Currently, Apple gives us only two options: full width, or an iPhone-sized floating keyboard. On my 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the full-width one takes up too much screen space, while the floating one feels cramped. I’d like to be able to arbitrarily zoom it to any width…

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iPadOS 13 Stories February 12

The iPad 7, the latest generation entry-level iPad for the masses, is one of the best deals in tech at only $329, and often found for much less on sale. It’s the first entry-level iPad to feature Smart Connector support, allowing users to conveniently connect a Smart Keyboard. It also features a larger display with more on-screen real estate.

In this hands-on review, I discuss why the iPad 7 is indeed the best iPad for most people, and why it’s $329 entry-level price point is a steal given the amount of features packed inside this slab of aluminum and glass. expand full story

iPadOS 13 Stories February 10

There was an interesting concept last week, exploring possible improvements to multitasking on iPad.

The argument made by Ryan Christoffel was that the multitasking capabilities of an iPad lack discoverability, and are unnecessarily hard to use even once you know how they work.

I think he’s absolutely right, and I like his context menu idea. However, I also think we shouldn’t necessarily be reinventing the wheel when it comes to a multitasking user interface…

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iPadOS 13 Stories November 18, 2019

Apple and Salesforce have announced a redesigned Salesforce Mobile App, a brand new skills-acquisitions app, and a next-generation SDK as the next stage in the strategic partnership created back in 2018.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is also speaking tomorrow at the Dreamforce conference…

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iPadOS 13 Stories October 25, 2019

If Apple were to make mouse support for the iPad into a mainstream feature, that could be a game-changer for iPad gaming, says an analyst specialising in mobile markets.

It would, he argues, open the way to the iPad offering full PC-level gaming as well as the mobile games currently on offer …

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iPadOS 13 Stories October 18, 2019

iOS 13: How to use Reader View on iPhone and iPad

Enabling one of Safari’s handy features in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 is a bit different than it used to be in iOS 12 and earlier. Read on for how to use Reader View on iPhone and iPad with the latest operating systems.

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