Geek Stuff

iPadOS 14: What’s new?

December 2021

In 2019, global giant Apple decided to separate its mobile operating system into two separate programs: iOS for iPhone and iPadOS for tablets. This little difference hasn’t kept the two product lines from sharing the same apps. Nonetheless, the arrival of version 14 of the iPad operating system means Apple’s tablets will now have certain exclusive features that users are going to love! Apple announced its latest developments for iPad during the Special Event Keynote at WWDC 2020. They include access to interactive widgets, dedicated features, etc. Before long, your tablet will be able to do anything a Mac can do!

Here’s our sneak peek at the changes that are coming soon with your next iPadOS update (expected this fall).

A new design for calls

The number one feature is a new design for incoming calls. Phone calls and FaceTime appear as a lightweight banner that no longer takes up the entire screen, so whatever you’re working on won’t be interrupted anymore when calls arrive.

It’s easy to just answer the call, or dismiss it. The same goes for Siri and the Search function, which are now more discreet so you can continue viewing information and avoid losing productivity or focus.

Spotlight searches are much closer to the MacOS experience in terms of versatility and efficiency. More details on that in a minute.

Apple Pencil and handwritten notes

The Pencil (stylus), available with several Apple tablet models, is also undergoing a revolution! The new iPadOS 14 is much better at recognizing drawings and handwriting, thanks to its Scribble app.

Now you can search by writing in any text field; your handwriting is automatically converted into typed text. This makes actions like searching in Safari or replying to an iMessage fast and easy.

As for your drawings, intuitive shape recognition allows you to create perfect geometric shapes. Turn your curves into straight lines, or reposition them any way you choose, and add your illustrations or diagrams.

You’ll also like the new data detector, which works with handwritten text. It can recognize addresses, dates and phone numbers, and lets you show a location in Maps, add an event to Calendar, or tap a written number to make a call.

Even better, all these entry and conversion steps happen on your device, keeping it private and secure.

Simplified navigation between apps

The sidebars for several apps have also been redesigned. Instead of the usual tab navigation, Notes, Files, Photos, Calendar and Music consolidate navigation into a single place so you can easily switch from one app to another while keeping content front and center.

Practical, right? New pull-down menus and streamlined toolbars provide access to app controls all in one place, so you can show or hide various aspects of the interface. You can make the sidebar disappear or reappear in a single click, similar to the Hide button in apps like Finder on the Mac.

Extra features

With the new iPadOS 14, your iPad receives a host of new features, and before long you won’t  know how you ever lived without them.

👉 Siri

Everyone’s favorite virtual assistant has received a few tweaks, expanded her knowledge base, and can now answer complex questions and send audio messages!

Everyone’s favorite virtual assistant has received a few tweaks, expanded her knowledge base, and can now answer complex questions and send audio messages!

👉 New widgets

Smart Stack will help you find timely information at a glance thanks to its beautifully redesigned widgets.

👉 Maps

The new version of the app makes it easier than ever to get around with new itineraries to explore on foot or by bicycle. The app’s Guides are based on recommendations from specialists, and offer a curated list of places to visit. Finding the best nearby restaurants is easy.

👉 Messages

Whether it’s by phone or tablet, getting messages to people can be a challenge. This app helps you keep in touch with your friends, colleagues and family. Access important messages quickly, pin conversations, keep up with group threads, and customize conversations with an image, group photo or emoji.

👉 The Home app

This app offers new automation suggestions to improve control of your smart home, including compatible HomeKit-enabled lights. It’s also private and secure, with end-to-end encryption.

👉 Accessibility features

New accessibility features adjust the sound on phone calls, movies, music and podcasts, and can detect sign language during group FaceTime calls to make the person signing more prominent during the video call.

As you can see, your iPad is well on its way to becoming as powerful as a Mac. Which feature are you most excited to try?  Let us know in the comments!


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