The iPad Is Finally Getting Its Own OS

It's about to completely rejuvenate your tablet experience

iPad users can kiss iOS goodbye.
iPad users can kiss iOS goodbye.
Francois Hoang/Unsplash
By Kayla Kibbe / June 3, 2019 3:44 pm

The iPad and the iPhone are splitting up, and iPhone is taking its iOS software with it. Fortunately, that means the iPad is finally getting a new operating system of its own designed specifically for the tablet.

Apple unveiled the new software, iPadOS, today, The Verge reported. The shift follows a number of tweaks Apple has made to iOS over the years that have gradually moved the software in two different directions for phone and tablet. The new tablet-specific OS aims to resolve issues iPad users have faced as the software needs of the two devices have grown increasingly nuanced.

The new iPadOS software will give developers more freedom to tweak the system for the specific needs of the iPad and its users, but will remain familiar and user-friendly to any customers who have experience with Apple’s other operating systems, including iPhone iOS, macOS for Mac computers, tvOS for Apple TV and watchOS for Apple Watch.

According to The Verge, iPadOS boasts a new home screen with expandable widgets alongside app icons, as well as new multi-tasking features, including gestures to slide between multiple apps, and drag and drop apps side by side.

The new OS also includes a number of improvements that will make the iPad function more like a computer rather than an iPhone. The improved Files app will include a column view similar to Finder on macOS, complete with an information pane that allows small modifications on files. The Files app will also support USB drives and SD cards, making it easier to transfer and access files across multiple devices.

The Safari browser will also get an iPadOS makeover, complete with desktop-class browsing and a real download manager, as well as 30 new keyboard shortcuts, text size controls, per-site settings and photo upload options.

When the iPad was first released nearly ten years ago, it was criticized for essentially being a giant iPod Touch. Now, the tablet is finally ready to assert its independence with a much-needed OS of its own.

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