Apple iPadOS Features: 36 Things You Should Know About

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 1, 2019

Apple iPadOS
Many people have been switching from laptops to their iPad as their primary computer. To facilitate a better feature update schedule for the iPad, Apple recently spun iPadOS out of iOS.

Apple is keeping the same numbering schedule for iPadOS as iOS for now (example: Apple released iPadOS 13.1 and iOS 13.1 at the same time).

You might be wondering about what the best iPadOS features are. Here is an overview of the best iPadOS features that you should know about:

1.) Apple Arcade App

– Apple has added a new Apple Arcade app, which is a game subscription feature with over 100 new games, all without ads or additional purchases.

– A single subscription allows you to download and play any Apple Arcade game from the App Store.

– Games will be added to this app regularly.

2.) Apple Pencil Updates

– The Apple Pencil latency is now as low as 9 milliseconds due to advanced prediction algorithms. This makes it feel like you are writing on a piece of paper.

– There is a redesigned tool palette that can be dragged to either side of the screen or minimized to the corner so that you have more room for content.

– There is a pixel eraser that allows you to remove what you want from a drawing and a ruler so you can easily draw straight lines

– When you take a screenshot, you can capture the whole document, email, or website and then market it up.

– You can quickly take a screenshot with the Apple Pencil by dragging it from either bottom corner.

3.) Augmented Reality Enhancements

– iPadOS has support for Motion Capture, which allows developers to integrate movement into apps.

– And with people occlusion, augmented reality content will appear naturally in front of or behind people thus enabling more immersive AR experiences and green screen‑like applications.

4.) Better Performance

– iPadOS has faster app launch (up to 2x faster in iPadOS)

– Now you can unlock the 11‑inch iPad Pro and 12.9‑inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) up to 30% faster.

– Apps from the App Store will now be packaged in a new way making them up to 50% smaller. And app updates will be up to 60% smaller on averag.

5.) Books App Improvements

– There is a new Reading goals feature that inspires you to read or listen to an audiobook for 5 minutes while waiting for a coffee or before going to bed.

– And you can build streaks to celebrate your achievements and share books you’ve finished with the Books “Read this Year” collection.

6.) Calendar App Improvement

– Now you can add attachments to events in the Calendar app

7.) Contacts App Improvement

– There are new relationship labels in the Contacts app

– Hundreds of new specific relationship labels are built into Contacts so you can easier manage users in growing contact lists.

8.) Customized Memoji

– Now you can create a Memoji for yourself and other contacts within the Contacts app.

9.) Dark Mode

– The new Dark Mode feature works well in low-light environments. And Dark Mode is easier on your eyes and will not disturb people around you.

– You can tap the new button in Control Center to quickly turn Dark Mode on and off

– You can schedule Dark Mode based on a certain time or based on sunrise and sunset.

– There are new wallpapers that are optimized for Dark Mode (automatically changes as you switch between light and dark).

10.) Files App

– There is a column view so you can easily browse files deep in nested folders in the new Column View

– The Quick Actions feature that makes it easier to rotate, mark up, and create a PDF in the Files app.

– The Column View displays rich metadata so you can see the details for each file as you browse.

– There is a new downloads folder that gives you a central place to access web downloads and attachments from Safari and Mail.

– There is external drive support won iPadOS so you can access files on a USB drive, SD card, or hard drive.

– With iCloud Drive folder sharing, you can share folders with your contacts. And you can even give them access for adding their own files.

– The local storage feature allows you to create folders on the local drive and add files.

– You can select files and zip them for easy sharing via email. Or you can tap a zip file to expand it into a folder and access the files.

– You can connect to a file server at work or a home PC using SMB from Files.

– There are a number of new keyboard shortcuts so you can navigate Files much easier.

– iPadOS provides search suggestions to make it easier to find what you are looking for. Simply tap the suggestions to quickly filter the results.

– And there is a document scanner feature so you can create digital copies of physical documents and put them in the location where you want to store them.

11.) Find My App

– Find My iPhone and Find My Friends have been combined into one easy-to-use app to help you find people and devices for tracking purposes

– You can find offline devices even if it’s not connected to Wi‑Fi or cellular using crowd‑sourced location. When you mark your device is missing and another Apple user’s device is nearby, it will detect your device’s Bluetooth signal and report the location to you. This feature is completely anonymous and encrypted end‑to‑end, so everyone’s privacy is protected.

12.) Font Customization

– Now you can install custom fonts and use it in your favorite apps.

– You can easily see and manage the fonts you have installed in the Settings app.

– New fonts are available in the App Store and make it easier to find and install them.

13.) Game Controller Support

– You can connect your iPad to a PlayStation 4 game controller or an Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth

14.) Home Screen Update

– The Home Screen has been slightly updated with the icons appearing in a tighter grid. And this refined layout gives you more room for apps and information.

– You can pin the Today View widgets on the Home screen so you can get a glance at your information more efficiently.

– There is a feature that allows you to choose your favorite widgets, which always appears on the Home screen. And you can swipe up to see all your other widgets.

15.) Improved Voice Memos

The Voice Memos app has been updated with Pinch-to-Zoom and you can edit your recordings with more precision

16.) HomeKit Update

– Now HomeKit‑enabled cameras can now add support to detect and record specific activity such as people, animals, or vehicles. And these recordings are stored securely in iCloud. Plus there are new privacy settings that allow you to control when your cameras stream and record.

– The HomeKit‑enabled routers bring an extra layer of security to your smart home. And you can use the Home app to control which services your HomeKit accessories can communicate with in your network and on the internet.

– HomePod and AirPlay 2-enabled speakers are able to access songs, playlists, and radio stations with Apple Music.

– The Home app has been updated with more robust accessory controls.

– And Siri shortcuts can be added to automation

17.) Mail App Improvements

– Now you can choose from a variety of colors when you flag an email message. And colored flags are synced via iCloud to Mail on all your Apple devices and they can be changed or removed at any time.

– If you have an email from a specified sender blocked, then it will be moved directly to the Trash. Blocking a sender works for all your Apple devices.

– There is a new Extended Reply menu with convenient access to notify me of replies, mark as unread, move to junk, move to different mailbox, and flag options as well as a new Mute Thread option.

– You can easily mute notifications from an overly active email thread across all your Apple devices.

– There is a new format bar that appears above the keyboard when you type text thus providing comprehensive formatting and attachment options including the ability to scan, insert a photo or video, add attachments, and insert drawings.

– A new updated photo selector has been added to the lower portion of the screen so you can see your email while choosing the photo.

– There is an iPad multitasking feature that allows you to drag a window to compose an email next to your primary inbox so you can view or copy from one message and paste it into another without obscuring either message.

18.) Maps App Gains New Advanced Features

– The Maps app has been rebuilt from the ground up with significantly improved and more realistic details for roads, beaches, parks, buildings, etc.

– There is a new feature called Look Around — which allows you to explore where you are going before you get there. This feature is similar to Google Street View.

– You can build collections of your favorites and soon to be favorite locations. And then it can be shared with your contacts.

– You can share your estimated time of arrival with your contacts. And your ETA even updates in case a significant delay occurs.

– Siri sounds more natural with navigation directions like “turn left at the next traffic light” rather than “in 1,000 feet turn left.”

– There are real-time transit times and the current location of the bus or train that is on your route.

– You can see up-to-the-moment information about flight terminals, gate locations, departure times, etc.

– There are place cards with dynamically updated information for things like Today at Apple sessions at Apple Store locations.

19.) Message App Update

– The Message app was updated so you can automatically share your name and photo when you start a conversation or when the other person responds in a message. You can decide whether to share it with everyone, your contacts, or not at all. Or you can select an Animoji, an image, or monogram for your photo

– You can automatically generate sticker packs based on your Memoji and Animoji characters.

– Search has been improved in Messages so it is easier to find what you are looking for

– There is improved Memoji customization. For example, you can customize blush and eyeshadow and includes editing tools. And you can customize your teeth with braces and add piercings to your nose, eyebrows, eyelids, and around your mouth. Plus there are also 30 new hairstyles, over 15 new pieces of headwear, and more earrings and glasses.

– And there are 3 new Animoji characters including mouse, octopus, and cow.

20.) Multitasking

– Multiple apps in Slide Over — iPadOS allows users to keep multiple apps at the ready in Slide Over and access favorite with just a swipe.

– Swipe between Slide Over apps — With iPadOS you can quickly move between Slide Over apps by swiping along the bottom of the device.

– Slide Over switcher — You can swipe up to see all of the apps in Slide Over.

– Slide Over to full screen — You can easily make a Slide Over app full screen by dragging it to the top.

– Close Slide Over apps — You can quickly close a window in Slide Over by opening the App Switcher and flicking up.

– Multiple windows for the same app — You can open up multiple windows of the same app in Split View. This works well if you are editing two different notes or organizing files in the Files app.

– Same apps in different spaces — Now you can open a window from the same app in multiple spaces so that you can work on different projects on your iPad.

– Drag to create Windows — You can quickly open a window by dragging content into its own space. So you can drag a link to open Safari, a location for opening maps, and an email address for opening Mail.

– App Switcher — The App Switcher has been updated to show all spaces and windows for all apps along with title windows.

– App Exposé — the App Exposé feature allows you to see all the open windows for an app by tapping its icon in the dock.

21.) New AirPods Features

– Siri will be able to read incoming notifications from messaging apps to the second-generation AirPods when you cannot reach for your iPad.

– And you can pair two sets of AirPods to one iPad.

22.) New Enterprise Features

– There is now a new form of management called User Enrollment — which is built specifically for Bring Your Own Device and maintains user privacy while keeping corporate data protected.

– iPadOS delivers custom content during Automated Device Enrollment to enhance security and show users tailored information.

– Now you can create and manage Apple IDs used by employees thus giving them access to services like iCloud Notes.

23.) New Text Editing Features

– Now there is scroll bar scrubbing so that you can instantly navigate long documents, websites, and conversations by dragging the scroll bar.

– You can move the cursor by picking it up and drag it to where you want. Then it will automatically snap to lines and between words.

– You can select text simply by tapping and swiping. And for quick sentence and paragraph selection, you can triple- or quadruple‑tap.

– There are new gestures to make cut, copy, and paste easier. You can pinch up with three fingers to quickly copy, pinch up with three fingers two times to cut, and pinch down with three fingers to paste.

– There are new undo and redo gestures: Undo with a three‑finger swipe to the left or redo by swiping three fingers to the right.

– You can multi-select email messages, files, and folders by tapping with two fingers and dragging.

24.) Keyboard Updates

– Like iOS, the keyboard on iPadOS has been updated with QuickPath. The QuickPath feature allows you to swipe your finger from one letter to the next to enter a word without removing your finger from the keyboard.

– There is a floating keyboard feature that allows you to pinch to shrink the QuickType keyboard and move it to where you want so that there is more room for apps.

– You can swipe to tap to type interchangeably so you can choose what is more convenient even if you’re mid‑sentence.

– There are alternate word options that appear in the predictive bar so you can quickly choose a different option.

25.) Notes App Improvements

– You can now see your notes as visual thumbnails, which makes it easier to quickly find the note you’re looking for.

– And you can collaborate on folders with other people by giving them access to a folder’s contents where they can add their own notes, attachments, or subfolders.

– The search feature on Notes has been updated so it can visually recognize images inside your notes. And you find specific text in the items you have scanned such as receipts or bills.

– Plus you can quickly reorder checklist items using drag and drop, swipe to ident them, or move checked items to the bottom of the list automatically. If you completed the checklist and want to use it again, then you can tap to uncheck all the items and start over.

– You can organize your notes by creating folders and subfolders and select your preferred sorting option for each of your folders.

– And you can share notes and entire folders as view only so you’re the only one who can make changes.

26.) Photos App Updated

– There is an all-new Photos tab that allows you to browse your photo library with different curation levels so you can view everything in All Photos, Days, Months, or Years.

– In the Photos tab, muted Live Photos and videos begin playing as you scroll

– In Days, Months, and Years, photo previews are larger to help you distinguish between shots. And the photos use intelligence to find the best part of your photo in photo previews, which means you can see uncropped versions of your photo when you tap to view it.

– The animations and transitions keep your place within the Photos tab so you can switch between views like Days and All Photos without losing your place.

– The Photos app will remove similar so you will just see only your best shots.

– The Photos tab will display the name of the location, holiday, or concert performer to provide context for your significant events.

– There is an “On this Day” Feature that shows you photos taken on or around today’s date in past years.

– There is a Birthday mode that that will highlight your photos of people on their birthday.

– The screen recordings are now kept in one place

– You can tap each effect icon to see what a photo looked like before and after an effect was applied.

– There is a new Enhance control that lets you control the intensity of your automatic adjustments. And as you increase or decrease Enhance, you will see other adjustments such as Exposure, Brilliance, Highlights, Shadows, Contrast, Brightness, Black Point, Saturation, and Vibrance change along with it.

– The Photos app now has video editing support so you can make adjustments, adds filters, and crop content. The video editing feature supports all video formats captured on iPad.

27.) Privacy And Security Features

– There are new app location permissions so you can control the location data that you pass to apps with new fine-grained controls. And you can choose to grant an app access to your location once or anytime you use it.

– You can receive notifications when an app is using your location in the background so you can decide whether to update your permission.

– You can control whether to share your location when you share a photo.

– The video edits are nondestructive so now you can remove an effect like a filter or undo a trim to return to your original video.

– Additional features include Vibrance, White Balance, Sharpen, Definition (slider), Noise Reduction, Vignette, Auto Adjustments (straighten, crop, and adjust the perspective).

28.) QR Code Scanning Enhancement

– There is a new QR code scanner that is accessible from Control Center and offers improved QR code performance, a flashlight option, and enhanced privacy.

29.) Reality Composer App

Reality Composer is a new iPadOS app for creating augmented reality experiences. And the new Reality Composer app for iPadOS developers enables you to quickly and easily prototype and produce augmented reality experiences with no previous 3D experience.

30.) Reminders App Improvements

– The Reminders app has a new design to create and organize reminders

– There is a new quick toolbar to add dates, times, locations, flags, and attachments

– Now you can add more descriptive sentences. And reminders will automatically understand and provide relevant suggestions.

– When you are chatting with someone in Messages, Siri will recognize potential reminders and make suggestions to create them.

– You can add photos, document scans, and web links to reminders in order to make them more useful.

– You can drag-and-drop to add subtasks under a single reminder. And now you can also group multiple lists together.

– There are smart lists to keep track of upcoming reminders with smart lists that automatically organize and display them. And you can see only your reminders scheduled for today, reminders flagged as important, or all your reminders across every list in one place.

– You can tag someone in a reminder and the next time you are chatting with that person in Messages, a reminder will surface then and there.

– You can customize the appearance of your personal or shared iCloud lists and choose from 12 colors and 60 expressive symbols.

31.) Safari Additions

– Apple has updated the start page for Safari with favorites, frequently visited, and most recently visited websites so you can quickly get to the website you want to view. And Siri suggestions surface relevant websites in your browsing history, frequently visited sites, links sent in Messages, etc.

– There is a new Download Manager that shows the status of a file that you are downloading. And you can drag and drop them into a file or email you are working on. Plus you can download files in the background while you get work done.

– You can choose to resize a photo to small, medium, large, or actual size before you upload it.

– There is a new View menu in the Smart Search field that gives you quick access to text size controls, Reader view, and per‑site settings.

– You can customize the settings on a per-site basis. For example, you can choose to enable the camera, microphone, and location access depending on the website you’re visiting. And you can also decide whether to view a website in its desktop or mobile version, use Reader view, and enable content blockers on a per‑site basis. Plus you can set the page zoom so that Safari quickly zooms in and out on a website’s text.

– You can save a set of open tabs to Bookmarks.

– If you start to type the address of a website that is already open, then Safari directs you to the open tab.

– Safari will warn you if you try to use a weak password when signing up for a new website account.

– The Safari history and open tabs that have synced with iCloud are now protected with end‑to‑end encryption.

– You can access the full Safari toolbar in Split View.

32.) Screen Time Features

– With Screen Time, you can create combined limits with a combination of app categories, specific apps, or websites.

– The usage data now spans 30 days so you can compare the previous week’s Screen Time numbers.

– You can control who your children can communicate with and who can communicate with them throughout the day and during downtime.

– Parents are able to use Screen Time to manage the contacts that appear on their children’s devices.

– After a Screen Time limit is met, you can tap on “one more minute” to give you time to quickly save your work or log out of a game.

33.) Sidecar Feature

– The Sidecar feature allows you to use your iPad as a second display for more screen space. So you can have one app open while you work in another or see how a presentation looks in presentation mode while making edits on the Mac.

– You can mirror the screen on your Mac to have two screens displaying the same content.

– You can connect your iPad to your Mac using a cable for keeping it charged or you can charge it wirelessly within 10 meters

– With the Apple Pencil, you can draw and write naturally, edit graphics, and use it to point-and-click as you do with a mouse.

– The Continuity Markup feature allows you to write and sketch on PDFs or mark up your documents with Apple Pencil. Then you can see the updates live on your Mac as you mark them up on your iPad.

34.) Sign In With Apple

– Now you can sign in to apps and websites quickly and easily using the Apple ID you already have without having to fill out forms or creating new passwords. You simply tap “Sign in with Apple” and then use Face ID or Touch ID.

– Apple does not track or profile you when you sign in with Apple. The most information that is shared with an app or website is your name and email address.

– If you do not want to share your email address with a particular app, you can choose to share or hide it. And you can also choose to have Apple create a unique email address for you that forwards to your real address.

– The “Sign in with Apple” feature works on all your Apple devices as well as the web and apps on Android or Windows.

35.) Sing With The Music

Now you can follow along with the lyrics as it plays with the songs. Each of the lines appears in step with the music so you know where you are and what’s coming next. And you can scroll and tap any line to jump to your favorite verse.

36.) Stocks App Updated

– The Stocks app has been updated with more publications in Apple News. And more business news publications have been added to the Apple News feed within Stocks.