Apple has announced that it is breaking out its iPad platform into its own standalone OS called…yep iPadOS. The move is a significant one, as it underlines how different the tablet is from its smartphone sibling, and the update brings about a number of new features and improvements.

“iPad transforms how people work and express their creativity, and with iPadOS, we’re taking it even further by delivering exciting capabilities that take advantage of its large canvas and versatility,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “iPadOS delivers exciting features, including a new Home screen with widgets, more powerful multitasking and new tools that make using Apple Pencil even more natural.”

New Home Screen

The Home screen has been redesigned with a new layout to show more apps on each page. Today View can now be added to the Home screen, allowing quick access to widgets for at-a-glance information, including headlines, weather, calendar, events, tips and more.

Do More with Split View and Slide Over

iPad users can now work with multiple files and documents from the same app simultaneously with updates to Split View, or can quickly view and switch between multiple apps in Slide Over. For example, customers can compose an email while viewing another email side by side or access multiple apps like Messages or Calendar with just a swipe. App Exposé provides a quick view of just the open windows for any one app with a simple tap.

Desktop-Class Browsing with Safari

Safari is more powerful than ever on iPad. iPadOS automatically presents the desktop version of the website, scaled appropriately for the iPad display, and optimizes it for touch, so web apps like Google Docs, Squarespace and WordPress work great in Safari on iPad. Safari also supports significant new features such as a download manager, 30 new keyboard shortcuts and enhancements to tab management.

Improved Text Editing

Text editing on iPad receives a major update with iPadOS, making it easier and faster to point with even more precision and speed, select text with just a swipe and use new gestures to cut, copy, paste and undo.

Additional iPadOS Features

  • Further Apple Pencil integration with redesigned tool palette and lower latency
  • System-wide Dark Mode
  • Custom fonts downloadable from the App Store
  • New floating keyboard that saves space and supports the new QuickPath swipe-input
  • And a lot of the iOS improvements such as faster Face ID, improved Maps app, Sign In with Apple and more

Availability

As with the rest of Apple’s platform updates, iPadOS is available for developer beta today, public beta in a few weeks, and is expected to be released to the public this fall.