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 Yesterday

I made the decision a few weeks ago to install the beta of macOS Catalina. It’s still pretty buggy, but since I enjoy testing out new features (and writing about them), I am willing to deal with the crashes and incompatibility throughout the summer. One of the biggest surprises for me has been the changes in the Reminders app. Over the years, I used several to-do/GTD/project management/task apps. From Kindless GTD, Omnifocus, Things, and Todoist, I’ve used a lot of them. I’ve always looked at the Reminders app with interest, though. It’s hard to beat the advantages of a built in-app. With macOS Catalina and iOS 13, the Reminders app is finally ready to take its place alongside the rest of the task apps on the Apple ecosystem.

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iPadOS 13 Stories July 30

Apple released new developer betas for iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 yesterday and included a few notable new enhancements in the release. Watch our hands-on video as we take a look at some of the more noteworthy new iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 beta 5 changes and features. expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Apple yesterday released the fifth developer beta of iPadOS 13, and it included a Home screen improvement: an option for adjusting iPad icon spacing.

In iPadOS 13, you can now adjust Home screen icon density. This means you can pick between a 4×5 grid of apps, or a 6×5 grid of apps.

Any improvement here is welcome, of course, but even a 6×5 icon grid is a tremendous waste of space on a 12.9-inch iPad. Offering an option to change it, but doing so in the most limited way imaginable, is a huge missed opportunity …

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iPadOS 13 Stories July 22

iOS 13 beta 4, released last week, brings 3D Touch back to supported iPhones closer to the way it used to be. Now you can perform proper peek and pop gestures, and continue your gesture motion to select menus similarly to how you could prior to iOS 13. To be clear, it’s still not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.

There are quite a few additional noteworthy changes and features to be found in iOS 13 beta 4 as well. Watch our brief hands-on video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

iPadOS 13 Stories July 13

A common discussion this summer in the email lists and LinkedIn groups I am in is about the iOS and macOS betas. People who manage iOS and macOS devices have to be aware of what’s happening with beta developments during the summer as we prepare to verify compatibility with printers, external devices, and applications (local and cloud). While I don’t start with this process with beta 1, I will usually begin my “official” testing around the time of the public betas. I’ve been managing macOS and iOS for almost a decade, so I’ve learned a little bit about the process along the way. When you are deploying macOS and iOS on an enterprise level, here are my tips on when to deploy macOS Catalina and iOS 13 (including iPadOS 13). expand full story

iPadOS 13 Stories July 11

Features like Dark Mode, and improved multitasking made headlines when iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 were revealed back in June, and rightfully so. That said, I find that many of the smaller, under-the-radar features lend a measurable improvement to the user experience as well. Watch as I discuss my five favorite sleeper features in iOS 13 in this latest hands-on video walkthrough. expand full story

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