A detailed review of iPadOS


Apple has released the final version of iPadOS 13, the new operating system for the iPad. Read more about iPadOS and why Apple even decided to separate it from iOS in this review.

iPadOS 13

Why iPadOS?

Apple has been relentlessly claiming for several years that the iPad is more than tablets. That iPad is a full-fledged computer. Launching iPadOS, the company decided to further distinguish the iPad from the iPhone, which should be interesting to both developers and owners of the iPad.

At the same time, iPadOS “is based on the same foundation as iOS,” Apple said. It is understandable because, in fact, iPadOS is iOS 13, but with many exceptional innovations only for the iPad.

New home screen

The first Apple enhancement made for the iPadOS is right on the main screen. The app icon grid has become narrower, allowing users to place more icons on the screen.

New Home Screen

Now you can also customize the grid of the desktop. The traditional option is available – 4 × 5 (20 applications on one home screen) and advanced – 5×6 (30 applications on one desktop).

A narrower grid of application icons made it possible to add the ability to display a page with widgets on the iPadOS main screen. Thanks to this, the main screen on the iPad becomes much more useful and informative.

Narrower grid of app icons

The widget page opens with a simple swipe on the left side of the screen. Immediately after such a quick menu call, you can make various changes in it. For example, adjust the displayed widgets.

displayed widgets

The coolness of innovation: 7 points. This moment can be considered historical: for the first time, Apple gave users the ability to display widgets directly on the desktop and fine-tune the application grid. Innovation!

New multitasking mode

Multitasking in iPadOS has improved significantly, immediately with a number of new ways to work with multiple applications.


First of all, users can use the Split View function to simultaneously work with two windows of the same application. iPadOS offers to control the location of applications by dragging and dropping, so selecting applications and switching between them is simplified.

The Slide Over feature has also been improved. On iPadOS, it allows you to quickly open an application in a side window on top of another application. This makes it possible to check mail, reminders, messages and other similar moments without leaving the application in use

To switch between applications opened in the side panel of Slide Over, a special gesture was created. Swipe at the bottom of the screen left or right (as in iPhone X and newer) instantly switches applications, due to which several important utilities can be stored on the side panel at once.

Apple has also introduced Expose on iPadOS, as on Macs. It allows you to quickly get an overview of all running applications on one screen, quickly switch between them or close unnecessary ones.

The coolness of innovation: 10 points. Apple did its best. iPadOS has brought multitasking to a whole new level. If everything continues in this spirit, the time is not far off when we can safely declare: iPad is the most convenient working tool.

Support for USB drives and SD cards

Fans of flash drives and memory cards rejoice! iPadOS lets you plug in a USB flash drive or SD card reader directly to your iPad. The flash drive will be recognized in the updated “Files” application and will allow you to manage files from an external drive. For example, you can connect a digital camera to the iPad and drop all the photos on it for processing or just for viewing.

Support for USB drives and SD cards

Pictures from cameras can be completely imported immediately into the necessary applications for processing, for example, in Lightroom. This eliminates the need to initially save images on the device and only then add them to the application for processing.

The Files application has been updated with a new interface in which the list of files is displayed in columns. Again, Apple has reduced the amount of useless space that was previously on the iPad. In addition, the “Files” application has the ability to expand folders from the iCloud Drive cloud storage.

The coolness of innovation: 10 points. What we have been waiting for so long has finally come true. Apple has added full drive support to the iPadOS. It is amazing that you can connect even very old hard drives or peripherals that support data transfer – everything will work fine.

Productivity increase

The operating system iPadOS is greatly accelerated compared to iOS 12. Apple developers have carried out various work to optimize the operating system specifically for the iPad and therefore managed to achieve a large increase in productivity.

Increased productivity

According to Apple, unlocking iPad tablets using Face ID in iPadOS is three times faster, and applications launch up to two times faster than iOS 12. Moreover, the size of applications will decrease by 50% on average after developers update.

The coolness of innovation: 9 points. Apple continues to improve its operating system. iPadOS works flawlessly even on older tablets – for this, we can say thanks to the developers who again headed for system optimization.

Safari Enhancements

The Safari browser on the iPadOS has been significantly improved as it is no longer associated with the mobile ecosystem. This means that iPad running on iPadOS open full versions of sites, not mobile ones.

However, the opening of sites occurs in a modified full version. Modification is performed right when you open a web page. Sites are becoming a bit lighter and more convenient to control from the iPad’s touch screen.

Similarly, sites on an iPad iPadOS freely open Google Docs editor WordPress and other similar content that informed the Safari browser on the Apple tablet could not run.

Also in the Safari browser, iPadOS has a full-fledged download Manager, support of 30 new keyboard shortcuts, and improved management of tabs.

The coolness of innovation: 9 points. This is hard to believe, but Apple still added a download manager and a full toolbar in Safari. Now you can forever say goodbye to third-party browsers – because from now on Safari has everything you need, and even more.

A bunch of new gestures

With access to iPadOS Apple added a series of useful gestures. The selection of items, navigation, and working with text, undo all in iPadOS now has a separate gesture.

To copy text: merge three toes on the right fragment.

To cut text: merge three toes on the right fragment (twice).

To insert text: dissolve three fingers on the right section of the document.

Apple also added gestures for undo and redo last operations.

Undo: swipe three fingers right to left.

Redo: swipe three fingers from left to right.

Apple has redesigned the system, and highlight text. To use special labels are now not necessarily for extracting fragment just hold your finger on it and stay in the right place. It is also possible for separate structures in the text.

To highlight a word: double-tap.

To select a sentence: single tap with three fingers.

To select a paragraph: single tap with four fingers.

To navigate through the text you can now also use the slider in the right part of the screen. Of course, a useful innovation – especially when working with large documents.

In some applications, added a new gesture allowing you to shrink the keyboard with two fingers and freely move it to any location on the screen. If you insert the keyboard into one of the corners of the display, it will turn into its more comfortable version for typing with your thumb.

The coolness of innovation: 8 points. Gestures are what we love Apple products for. This time, the company added some really useful gestures for work tasks. All of them will definitely require some time for users to study and master.


The layout feature in iPadOS has become more powerful. It provides the ability to layout entire web pages, documents, and emails. The markup is launched using the Apple Pencil with another new gesture – a swipe in the corner of the screen.

Along with the layout mode, an updated palette with a toolbar opens. You can drag it around the screen as you like so that it does not interfere. New tools and a more user-friendly interface appeared in it.

The coolness of innovation: 8 points. Apple introduced an extremely convenient tool for the design and layout of screenshots.

Other innovations

Tool palette

  • The Apple Pencil in iPadOS starts working even better with the iPad. Apple has reduced the delay when entering from the stylus more than twice – from 20 ms to 9 ms.
  • IPadOS has full mouse support. In the settings, you can adjust the size of the cursor and its speed. The left mouse button is responsible for the action, the right button displays the AssistiveTouch menu. Middle key (scroll wheel) – returns to the desktop. Thus, the iPad is even one step closer to desktops and laptops.

support of wired and wireless manipulators

  • Apple has added support for wired and wireless pointing devices (including controllers from the PlayStation and Xbox). Already, they work in many games.
  • Work with an external keyboard in iPadOS brought to a new level. Now you can set your own keyboard shortcuts for system operations.

iPadOS 13 Shortcuts

  • Siri Quick Commands is now preinstalled on iPadOS.
  • Apple added the useful “Family Access” function for the iPad with SIM: family members can connect to the created Wi-Fi access point without entering a password, which, of course, is extremely convenient.
  • The developers added the Sidecar feature – the ability to use the iPad as a second monitor for the Mac.
  • Many innovations iOS 13 will be available on iPadOS. This applies to the dark theme, custom fonts, new applications “Photos”, “Reminders”, “Locator”, as well as an improved standard keyboard with QuickPath typing mode.

Which iPads support iPadOS

The full list of devices supporting iPadOS is as follows:

  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2015)
  • iPad Pro 11 (2018)
  • iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)
  • iPad Pro 9.7 (2016)
  • iPad Air (2019)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad (2018)
  • iPad (2017)
  • iPad Mini (2019)
  • iPad Mini 4

Compared to iOS 12, unfortunately, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPad Air did not reach iPadOS.

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