(Pocket-lint) – iPad OS 14 has been announced during Apple’s WWDC keynote, and it’s been adapted further to make it a little different to iPhone’s iOS.
Like iOS 14, the new iPad software has the new data-rich widgets, and the show up in the separate section on the left of the home screen, just like the update in iPad OS 13.
As with any new software from Apple, the stock applications are getting an update, and one of those that makes use of the iPad’s big screen is the new Photos app.
It allows for easy organisation, thanks to a new sidebar. You can quickly find albums, or drag a photo into an album for really fast sorting. You can just long-press and drag photos into the albums on the sidebar.
A similar design is applied to apps like Files and Music. Sidebar in music lets you jump between views, or quickly select different play modes like switching to your playlists, Albums, or going to your recommended music for the day.
Plus, you can quickly switch to a full screen view to see album art and lyrics that update in time with the music.
Multiple apps have a brand new tools menu in the top bar of the app, to help free up even more space at the bottom of the screen. Tapping it lets you quickly get to all the fine tuned controls in apps like Calendar.
All this means that all the stock, default apps already installed on iPad will all work in a way that’s similar, making them feel like they belong together, and helping the entire experience become more familiar and cohesive.
While Siri has been updated to be much smaller – like iPhone – Apple has made calling alerts a lot less intrusive. Instead of taking up the entire screen, the alert floats on top of whichever app you’re in, within a small popup window.
Search has been redesigned too, it’s got a new compact design like Spotlight search in Mac, just a tiny, floating search on the screen.
It’s a universal search tool too, allowing you to search for apps, contacts, and even searching for information within apps like Pages and Keynote.
Of course, you can use it to search the web, just like Spotlight currently allows you to do. If you are searching for contacts, you can easily call or message the person from within that search result.
These particular changes – new Siri, search and call alerts – are all there to make sure things that don’t need to take up a whole screen are reduced to a more useful and less obtrusive interface.
For Apple Pencil users, Apple has introduced a new feature it calls ‘Scribble’. Its aim is to make handwriting as useful as text on screen. With that in mind, fields within iPadOS 14 apps will automatically understand handwriting and convert it into text.
In addition to that, you’ll be able to scribble out lists within the Notes app, then select a whole chunk of handwritten notes, then paste them into a text field on another app, and it’ll convert it into text.
On the whole, iPad OS seems to be retaining what makes it unique. It’s still clearly based on iOS, but has a lot of areas where it’s using the screen size much more efficiently.
With that new search, the line between Mac and iPad is blurring a little more, but there’s no chance the two could be confused yet. iPad still retains an overall interface that’s only on iPad.
It’s going to be available to download later this year and work on all iPad Pro models, second and third gen iPad Air, fifth, sixth and seventh regular iPad, plus the fourth and fifth generation iPad mini.
Writing by Cam Bunton.