Apple today unveiled iPadOS 15, its upcoming update to the iPadOS mobile operating system for the iPhone. The new OS features more intuitive multitasking, a new Home Screen design with integrated widgets, and much more.
iPadOS 15 Widgets
iPadOS 15 now allows users to place widgets anywhere on their Home Screen pages and among their apps, just like iOS 14 allows iPhone users to do.
Widgets are also now in a new larger format on iPad, making better use of the device’s larger screen size. New iPad widgets are available for Find My, Contacts, Game Center, Mail, and the App Store.
iPadOS 15 App Library
iOS 14’s App Library feature makes the move to the iPad in iOS 15, allowing users to organize their apps into categories like Productivity, Games, Recently Added, and more. The App Library is built right into the Dock, so it’s available with a touch. App Library also lets users hide and reorder their Home screen pages.
iPadOS 15 Multitasking Features
A new multitasking menu allows users to switch between full screen, Split View, and Slide Over views.
Users can quickly set up and switch between Split View and Slide Over with new shortcuts for multitasking right from the keyboard.
Users now have quick access to the Home Screen when using Split View, making it easier to get to the right app. Using the new shelf, they can also multitask with apps that have multiple windows like Safari and Pages, as well as quickly preview emails.
iPadOS 15 Notes
Notes goes systemwide with Quick Note, a fast and easy way to take notes anywhere across the system. Whether browsing in Safari or finding a restaurant on Yelp, users can bring up Quick Note anywhere to jot down a thought and add links, providing an easy way to get back to exactly what they were looking at.
Notes also offers new ways to organize, collaborate, and capture information. Tags make it easy to categorize notes and find them quickly with an all-new Tag Browser and tag-based Smart Folders. For users working with others in shared notes, mentions create a way to notify collaborators and link them back to the note, and a new Activity view shows recent updates in the note.
iPadOS 15 FaceTime
Users can now share experiences with SharePlay while connecting with friends on FaceTime, including listening to songs together with Apple Music, watching a TV show or movie in sync, or sharing their screen to view apps together. Shared playback controls let anyone play, pause, or jump ahead. Users can extend playback to Apple TV, and watch it on their TV while sharing the moment with friends and family connected over FaceTime. SharePlay also lets users share their screen, perfect for browsing the web together.
iPadOS 15 Safari
Safari’s new tab design allows users to see more of the page as they browse. A new tab bar takes on the color of the webpage and combines tabs, the toolbar, and the search field into a single, compact design. Tab Groups offer a new way to easily save and manage tabs — great for planning trips, shopping, or storing frequently visited tabs. Tab Groups also sync across Mac and iPhone, so users can continue their projects from anywhere or easily share them with friends and family. Safari on iPad also now supports web extensions, available from the App Store.
iPadOS 15 Focus Tools
Focus filters notifications and apps based on what a user wants to focus on. Customers can set their device to help them be “in the moment” by either selecting a suggested focus or by creating their own custom focus. Focus uses n-device intelligence to suggest which people and apps are allowed to notify them. Focus suggestions are based on users’ context, like during their work hours or while they’re winding down for bed, and when Focus is set on one Apple device, it automatically applies to their other Apple devices.
Users can create Home Screen pages with apps and widgets that apply to moments of focus to only display relevant apps and reduce temptation. When a user’s Focus is blocking incoming notifications, their status is automatically displayed to others in Messages, reflecting that a user is not currently reachable.
iPadOS 15 Photos With Live Text
Photos will feature a “Live Text” feature that allows users to highlight and select text in images, allowing users to copy the text and copy it into text files, emails, messages, and other apps.
Photos will also show up in iOS 15 Spotlight searches and Apple Music, which uses on-device intelligence to personalize song suggestions that bring memories to life.
Build Apps in iPadOS 15 With Swift Playgrounds
Swift Playgrounds 4 provides users the tools to build iPhone and iPad apps right on their iPad and submit them directly to the App Store, offering new ways for anyone to create apps and share them with the world.
Code is immediately reflected in the live preview while building apps, and users can run their apps full screen to test them out. A new open project format based on Swift packages can open and be edited in Swift Playgrounds for iPad as well as within Xcode on Mac, offering users even more versatility to develop apps across iPad and Mac.
Additional iPadOS 15 Features
- Universal Control lets users work with a single mouse and keyboard to move between iPad and Mac for a seamless experience, with no setup required. Users can even drag and drop content back and forth between devices — great for sketching a drawing with Apple Pencil on iPad and placing it into a Keynote slide on Mac.
- Shared with You works across the system to find the articles, music, TV shows, photos, and more that are shared in Messages conversations, and conveniently surfaces them in apps like Photos, Safari, Apple News, Music, Podcasts, and the Apple TV app, making it easy to quickly access the information in context.
- Photos includes the biggest update ever to Memories, with a fresh, new look; an immersive, interactive interface; and integration with Apple Music, which uses on-device intelligence to personalize song suggestions that bring memories to life.
- Maps delivers new ways to navigate and explore the world. Users will experience significantly enhanced details in cities for neighborhoods, commercial districts, elevation, and buildings, new road colors and labels, custom-designed landmarks, and a new night-time mode with a moonlit glow.
- Privacy is taken to the next level with new protections, transparency features, and controls. Mail Privacy Protection helps stop trackers from snooping on an email, and App Privacy Report provides transparency into how apps are sharing information with other companies.4
- Siri is designed to protect user privacy. Now, with on-device speech recognition, audio of Siri requests is processed entirely on iPad by default,5 and performance improves significantly. Siri also adds Announce Notifications on AirPods, the ability for users to share what’s on their screen just by asking, and more.
- iCloud+ combines everything users love about iCloud with new premium features, including Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay, at no additional cost.6 Current iCloud subscribers will be upgraded to iCloud+ automatically this fall. All iCloud+ plans can be shared with people in the same Family Sharing group, so everyone can enjoy the new features, storage, and elevated experience that comes with the service.
- New accessibility features are designed to work the way users do. The VoiceOver screen reader now uses on-device intelligence to explore objects within images, enabling users to discover more details about the people, text, table data, and other objects within images. Support for third-party eye-tracking hardware enables users to control iPad using only their eyes. Background sounds play continuously and mix into or duck under other audio and system sounds to mask unwanted environmental or external noise, and help users focus, stay calm, or rest. Sound Actions lets users customize Switch Control to work with mouth sounds. Users can now customize display and text size on an app-by-app basis.