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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

Hands-on: Kernel is an iPhone app designed to manage streaming service chaos

If you are anything like me, you might have upwards of five to ten different streaming services, which has made it a daunting task to find what content you finally want to watch. Not only that, but streaming services are constantly taking turns with the actual content that’s on each platform, just adding to the confusion. So when Kernel promised to be a solution to the overwhelming complexity of modern entertainment consumption, I had to give it a try. Here is my hands-on take!

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Level up your desk with these uniquely useful accessories from JRNY! [Video]

I am always on the lookout for tech accessories that are different, unique and serve multiple purposes. Recognizing this, JOURNEY has introduced two new products that redefine the concept of convenience and style in our tech-driven lives: the ALTI ULTRA Fast Wireless Charging Desk Mat and the TRIO ULTRA 3-in-1 Fast Wireless Charging Station. These Made for MagSafe products are not just about charging your devices; they’re about enhancing your experience.

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Hands-on with a powerful alternative to Apple’s iWork and Microsoft Office [Video]

We now live in a world that is all subscription-based. Whether it’s for a streaming service or a productivity suite, there seems to always be some sort of pricing attached to it. OnlyOffice, the team behind the popular open-source project, is trying to alleviate all of that. They have just launched a new solution – OnlyOffice DocSpace.

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iPadOS 17 features that makes your iPad Pro even more of a computer replacement

For better or worse, my iPad Pro is my main computer. Since Apple released its 2018 iPad Pro alongside the newly rebranded iPadOS 13, I have been using it as my main form of computing. The reason I went this route was purely because of the look and feel. It was the first time I ever felt like I was in the future when it came to a consumer product. Clearly, the hardware for the 2018 iPad Pro was ahead of its time. It could go from a leisure tablet to a split screen workhorse, to a digital notepad, to a gaming console. I was willing to live with the software restrictions it was plagued with.

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watchOS 10 shows how Dark Mode on iPhone and Mac should work

Dark Mode on iPhone, iPad, and Mac is fairly flexible. You can toggle it on or off from Control Center or Settings, automatically switch based on time of day, or use local sunrise and sunset time to switch.

There’s one method for invoking dark mode that’s still missing, however, and watchOS 10 on the Apple Watch Ultra shows how it could work.

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This concept visualizes what iPadOS 17 could look like

Apple released iPadOS 16 at the end of October 2022, one full month after iOS 16 was released to the public; there was good reason for this. Apple finally made some worthwhile features available to the iPad like Stage Manager, secondary monitor support, a new weather app, and much more. After finally giving iPad users some sort of external monitor support, what else could Apple be working on for this amazing tablet? Parker Ortolani created a concept that illustrates how Apple could approach iPadOS 17, with a focus on simplicity, ease of use, and leveling up the features that iPadOS 16 brought!

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Hands-on: How Plugable’s Docking Stations help turn your iPad into a desktop computer

Plugable has been known to make some high-quality USB-C and Thunderbolt docking stations, ranging from smaller on-the-go solutions to more robust and stationary desktop solutions. I personally used their 13-in-1 Docking Station for years with MacBooks, iPads, and even Windows computers. They are compact, well-built, and most importantly, reliable. But now that some iPads have secondary monitor support, they came up with a docking solution that allows you to use your iPad as a tablet while also giving you the freedom to use a secondary display and treat it as a computer!

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Hands-on: Sunsama is a new daily planner app that claims it’s ‘not a productivity app’

If you’re anything like me, then you might have gone through your fair share of task management or to-do list apps. I have tried them all, from simple to-do list managers in my notes app all the way to the big hitters like Monday, Todist, Asana, ClickUp & Notion. They all did what I needed them to do, but there was always something that made me stop using them, whether it was just offering too much or not enough.

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40+ iOS 15.4 changes and features – hands-on with everything new for iPhone and iPad [Video]

Apple yesterday shipped the final public versions of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The releases include many iOS 15.4 changes and features, along with several noteworthy updates. Included is the ability to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask, support for Universal Control on the iPad for those running the macOS 12.3 beta, brand new emoji, a new Apple Wallet widget, and tons more.

In this hands-on video walkthrough, we take a look at over 40 new iOS 15.4 changes and features. Be sure to subscribe to 9to5mac on YouTube for more hands-on videos.

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iOS 15.2 changes and features – A great end-of-year update for iPhone and iPad [Video]

Yesterday Apple released another feature-filled update for iPhone and iPads in the form of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2. In beta since the later part of October, iOS 15.2 comes bundled with numerous enhancements, headlined by features like App Privacy Report, which first came on the radar back at WWDC 2021.

In addition to App Privacy Report, there and many more changes and features to be found in iOS 15.2. Users can look forward to an updated Mail app with integrated Hide My Email, the implementation of Digital Legacy Contacts, Apple Music Voice Plan, and a whole lot more. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough of iOS 15.2 for the details.

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Poll: Do you like the new multitasking features in iPadOS 15?

Despite the evolution of iPad hardware, the multitasking features are pretty much the same since Apple introduced the first iPad Pro in 2015. This year, although we still have pretty much the same limitations, Apple has added some new multitasking features to iPadOS 15 to make Split Screen and Slide Over more intuitive.

Now we want to know if you like the new multitasking features in iPadOS 15.

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Files app on iPadOS 15 now has a progress bar, partial NTFS support, more

It’s been a week since Apple introduced iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 at WWDC 2021, but we’re still discovering some new features that weren’t mentioned on stage or on Apple’s website. In addition to having widgets on the home screen and new multitasking shortcuts, iPadOS 15 enhances the Files app with a progress bar, NTFS support, and more.

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iPadOS 15 wish list for improving iPad quality of life sans Mac

We’re a week away from Apple previewing iPadOS 15 at WWDC, and we’re all hoping for a substantial software upgrade for the iPad. Not just the low-hanging fruit from iOS 14 that didn’t come to the iPad, but a significant leap forward for pro users on the iPad Pro.

I’ve spent the first week using the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) with my MacBook Air shutdown and set aside, and the versatility of using a portable screen as a tablet, laptop, and desktop has been really great. It’s not that the iPad Pro can’t already get the job done for me. It’s more that the quality of life accomplishing the same tasks just isn’t as high on iPadOS as macOS. Here’s what I’ll be watching for at WWDC 2021 on June 7:

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Comment: The Files app is one of my most relied upon iOS apps

Since the Files app was released with iOS 11, it’s become a staple of how I use the iPhone and iPad. I don’t think it gets enough credit for helping bridge the gap between macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. Between the ability to access all my iCloud Drive documents on top of integration with Google Drive, it’s one of the most used apps on my iPhone and iPad.

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Apple testing new shortcuts to change keyboard brightness on iPad, iPadOS code reveals

One of the main complaints about Apple keyboards designed for iPad is that they don’t have function keys, so users need to access the Settings app or the Control Center to adjust things like screen brightness. However, this may change soon, as 9to5Mac has found references in iPadOS 13.5.5 beta code that points to new keyboard shortcuts that replace some of the function keys.


Hyperdeck brings Markdown presentations to iPad, understands 121 coding languages, much more

Hyperdeck Markdown iPad presentation app

A new app called Hyperdeck has launched today in beta for iPad that comes with a compelling list of features. In addition to support for creating presentations with Markdown, it also features a clean UI for the times you want a more traditional Keynote-like experience. Music to programmers’ ears, Hyperdeck can understand 121 coding languages making it seamless to include and edit code, highlight specific lines, and more.


iPadOS 14 wishlist: Keyboard shortcuts, new home screen features, more

9to5Mac is brought to you by Concepts App. Sketch and design your ideas on an infinite canvas with flexible vector ink. Available on iPad and iPhone. Try it for free.

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…


Creating the iPadOS cursor wasn’t easy, says Apple SVP Craig Federighi [U]

Creating the iPadOS cursor wasn't easy

Update: Federighi is also interviewed on the same topic in a special episode of the AppStories podcast.

Creating the iPadOS cursor without compromising the touch-first nature of the iPad was no easy task, says Apple SVP Craig Federighi in a new interview.

He says that the project leaned significantly on what the company had learned from Apple TV …