Apple announced a ton of new software at this year’s WWDC keynote address, including a detailed preview of the next iPad operating system, iPadOS 15. Focusing heavily on productivity enhancements and better multitasking, iPadOS 15 promises to elevate the power and performance of your iPad with a bevy of helpful new features, updates, and enhancements. Here are the features we think will benefit users the most.
For a detailed look at what’s possible when you combine the most powerful processor Apple has ever produced with the world’s best tablet, be sure to check out our hands-on review of the Apple 12.9” iPad PRO featuring an M1 chip.
Our vote for best new feature goes to the new Universal Control function, which gives you the ability to use the same mouse, trackpad, and keyboard across compatible Mac and iPad devices by just moving the mouse cursor across your screen. If you watched the WWDC keynote, then you know how cool it was to see a file dragged from an iPad, across the screen of a MacBook Pro, then dropped into an iMac in mere seconds. But it was more than just “cool.” If Universal Control works as well as advertised, it could significantly improve workflows by ushering in a new era of seamless device communication and interoperability. No more AirDrop or sharing via Bluetooth. Now it will be click, drag, and done. We can’t wait.
Custom Home Screen
iPadOS 15 introduces a new level of personalization to the iPad by allowing you to both customize the home screen and choose widget placement without restriction (the previous OS allowed users to move widgets, but only to certain locations).
Along with home screen customization, the other “really big” feature iPad OS 15 introduces is the new Multitasking menu and interface, which gives you immediate access to several useful viewing modes, including Split View, a center-screen viewing mode, and the new “shelf” feature that gives you access to all open windows at once, making it a breeze to jump from one task to the next.
Quick Note ushers in the next level of note-taking convenience by giving iPad users the ability to write, tag, or add notes over any screen or application. Not only will this new feature give you the ability to write information down on-screen as it occurs to you, but you will be able to bookmark that information for future reference, add context to your note, and so much more. For those of us constantly bouncing forth between Safari and Notes, this one is pretty huge.
iPadOS 15 will also roll out several new FaceTime features, including a media-sharing feature called SharePlay. For anyone who likes to watch movies, stream shows, or listen to music with friends and family, this feature looks like a must. With SharePlay, you can share media through FaceTime, so everyone experiences it together seamlessly, in real time. We would have loved to see this feature introduced last year, when the pandemic was underway, but better late than never.
iPadOS 15 Compatibility
Whenever a new operating system is released, one thing users want to know is whether or not it will work on their particular device. Apple has been good recently about offering support for newer software even in older models. The same is true of iPadOS 15, which offers support all the way back to the 1st-generation 11" iPad Pro and the iPad Air 2. That being said, the new OS was built with the latest iPad Pro in mind—specifically, its M1 processor, which will unlock the true power and potential of the new iPadOS 15.
The Future of iPad
We are still hoping for some more pro apps to make their way here now that the M1 chip has serious power for developers to use. Going forward, we are seeing full-blown Adobe Photoshop getting better and better with Illustrator not far behind. Even Capture One has gotten into the game with the announcement of an iPad app for early 2022. Now we will just have to wait and see who else comes through with some ultra-powerful apps to make the most of the iPad Pro and iPadOS 15.
Which iPadOS 15 features are you most excited about? Were there any Apple didn’t announce that you were really hoping for? Let us know in the Comments section, down below.