Apple on Monday unveiled the iPadOS 14, the upcoming OS for iPad featuring new “compact UI” for several Apple’s own apps along with enhanced Apple Pencil experience. The iPadOS 14 was unveiled alongside iOS 14 at the first ever virtual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Despite Apple projecting iPadOS as a separate brand from iOS since 2019, the iPadOS 14 and iOS 14 share several similarities. The company highlighted that the new features of iOS 14 including the improvements to Maps, Messages and Safari browser will be available on iPadOS 14.
iPadOS 14 Introduces Compact App Design
Apple said that the iPadOS 14 would also carry over the iOS 14 redesign of the UI for the incoming FaceTime Calls and phone calls. With the iPadOS 14 and iOS 14, incoming calls would appear as a small pop-up banner instead of occupying full screen. The UI change also carries over to Siri which appears at the bottom of the screen and thereby providing less distraction to the user.
The search function on iPad is said to be rebuilt with the feature now enabling users to find, locate or launch apps and files at a rapid pace. Further, web searches on iPadOS 14 is said to be “more powerful” as it would deliver relevant suggestions as users type.
The redesigned sidebar on several native Apple apps would aid users as it would consolidate navigation into one common place which translates to easier navigation within an app. Files, Photos, Notes, Calendar and Apple Music are major apps which would include the redesigned sidebar.
“With iPadOS 14, we’re excited to build on the distinct experience of iPad and deliver new capabilities that help customers boost productivity, be more creative, and have more fun,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of Software Engineering, said in a release.
Apple Enhances Apple Pencil Functionality
With the iPadOS 14, Apple introduces Scribble to iPad that enables users to write with Apple Pencil in any text field. The Scribble function will automatically convert handwritten text into real text. The company said that the Scribble will make it “fast and easy” to search in Safari or reply to an iMessage. Crucially, Apple said that the conversion of handwritten text into real text happens on the device, making the feature private and secure.
The data detector feature will also aid users to recognize numbers, dates and addresses providing the users an ability to make a call or launch the Maps to show the location.
The company said that the Scribble feature at launch will support English along with traditional and simplified Chinese.
The iPadOS 14 will officially be available later in the year for all iPad Pro models along with iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later. Additionally, iPad mini 4 and later will also be eligible for iPadOS 14. Further, a developer preview of iPadOS 14 is already available for the members of the Apple Developer Program. Apple also said that a public beta of iPadOS 14 will also be available in July.