Xcode for iPad
If we can’t have MacOS on iPad, can we at least get some much-needed MacOS apps?
This one is for the developers, and something that’s also been rumored to come with iPadOS 15. In order for developers to create apps for MacOS, iOS and iPadOS, they have to use Apple’s Xcode software. Unfortunately, Xcode is still only available on macOS.
I’ve seen this request shared again and again and totally understand why. As an aspiring developer, I’ve also mentioned in prior iPad articles that I’d love to be able to develop on my iPad.
Of course, I’d rather just have MacOS and all of its apps run on iPad, but let’s be realistic. Even just getting Xcode would be a good sign from Apple that more desktop apps might make it to the tablet.
Multiple windowed apps and always visible dock
Compared to an iPad the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is tiny, yet it allows for more than just two split-screen apps.
Better iPad multitasking would be nice. Right now on iPadOS 14 you can only run two apps in Split View, although there’s a clunky solution to getting one more in Slide Over and perhaps even a video in a popup window. However, the Slide Over app always obscures one of the two apps in Split View. Basically, it’s far from an optimal multitasking experience.
Instead, let us use more apps at once in a new windowed mode, with support for intelligent window snapping to screen corners and sides, for true desktop-like multitasking.
And with that, I’d like to have the option for the iPad app dock to always be visible, saving us one extra gesture when switching between apps. In addition, make the dock smaller so it takes less vertical screen space, or let us resize it freely.
Instagram and other iPhone apps to open in Slide Over
This is how I envision it, but instead of the Instagram website we should be able to open the Instagram app in Slide Over like this. Currently impossible.
Certain apps, most notably Instagram, never got full iPad support, thus when you launch them they jarringly flip the screen to portrait orientation, even if it’s locked in landscape. It seems like a no-brainer to instead just have Instagram and apps like it open in Slide Over view, which is essentially a phone screen-size popup.
This way such apps will look just as intended and won’t disrupt your workflow by changing the screen orientation. As of right now, Apple doesn’t allow non-optimized apps to open this way or in Split View, but here’s hoping we’ll be able to in iPadOS 15.
An improved Files app
The Files app could use a few improvements.
The iPad Files app is great, very handy, but still missing a few basic features. Its image browser doesn’t offer the option to delete a file yet, while the music preview in Files doesn’t even show how long a song is.
Also we should be able to access Photos and Music files via the Files app, instead of having to switch between it and those two apps. If the iPad is really meant to replace a computer, Apple needs to stop having this phone operating system mentality, where everything needs an app and can’t be accessed otherwise.
Letting us access more files via the Files app will get us closer to better, PC-like file management on iPad.
Folder shortcuts on the home screen
Within the Files app (which is similar to Finder on MacOS), users can create new folders and download or transfer their files into them. Users can also access certain Files folders created by apps like VLC, LumaFusion, Procreate, even a Chrome downloads folder.
However, in iPadOS 14 users cannot create shortcuts to those folders and place them on the iPad’s home screen, nor can users create Files folders directly on the home screen. This could change, at least in regards to the former, as iPadOS continues to strive towards rivaling desktop operating systems.
Interactive widgets anywhere on the home screen
Currently in iPadOS 14 widgets can only be placed in a dedicated Today View area of the home screen. Today View can be hidden or permanently enabled to always stay on the left side of the home screen (in landscape). It cannot be moved, nor can widgets be placed outside of it.
However, it’s been heavily speculated that iPadOS 15 will allow users to move widgets freely and place them anywhere on the screen, in between app icons. In addition, we expect iPadOS 15 widgets to be much more interactive, with buttons and sliders, while in iPadOS 14 widgets can only be tapped, normally simply leading the user to their respective app.
Support for multiple users
Currently your home screen has to be everyone’s home screen.
It’s baffling that this is still not a feature on the iPad. Is it because Apple expects us to buy iPads for each individual person in the family, instead of sharing one or two?
Currently, if you’re sharing your iPad with your parents, kids or friends, you just have to hope that they’d be cool with respecting your privacy, won’t read your messages, spend your money on apps and subscriptions or accidentally delete anything valuable. Your home screen and logins essentially become public.
At the very least, there should be the option for a separate iPad kids account with its own home screen and apps. It’s worth nothing that there are currently no signs of Apple adding support for multiple users, however, but it is an often-requested feature.