iPadOS

June 5, 2019 • #

I’ve written here before about my enjoyment of working on the iPad Pro. Even with the excitement around Apple’s launch of the new Mac Pro this week, my favorite announcement was their “specialization” of iOS in the new iPadOS.

Running down the best features:

  • Denser screen real estate — Anyone that uses an iPad for work lots of different apps is familiar with this gripe. The giant screen with a sparse scattering of tiny icons looks sort of ridiculous. That plus the addition of the anchorable Today Widget view on the left will both be massive improvements in speed.
  • Multitasking improvements — I haven’t been a huge user of the Slide Over app capability, but the extension of that to support multiple app switching with a swipe looks awesome. And Split View with multiple documents in a single app is something I’ve always wanted.
  • Pencil — Reducing latency and adding a slick Markup toolset as part of PencilKit for other apps. I use the Pencil every day, so this is just icing.
  • More keyboard shortcuts — I’m a keyboarder; I hunt down and get to know the shortcuts for any apps I use. Already on iPad I use cmd-tab to switch apps, cmd-space (Spotlight) to launch apps, cmd-tab and cmd-W to open and close browser tabs, and probably more I don’t even realize. I hope what they’ve added to Safari leads to more conventions being adopted across other apps.
  • Mouse support? — This looks like it might be weird, but I’m real curious to try it out.

The improvements to Safari and Files aren’t too exciting because I don’t use either right now, but it’s still positive to see Apple put energy into iPad as a platform for real work. MacStories has a good roundup of details with everything included in the first version.

Calling it a completely different OS is inappropriate, at least at this stage. I hope that it’s just the tip of the iceberg with desktop-class optimizations for the larger screen.