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iPadOS review: Like a laptop OS, almost

The OS now supports multiple apps, has widgets and supports external hard drives.

, TOI Contributor|
Sep 29, 2019, 07.00 AM IST
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One of the key features of iPad OS is the improved ‘Slide Over’ that now supports multiple apps.
Over the years, iOS has been the common operating system for iPhones as well as iPads. Then Apple finally changed this in June announcing an OS developed specially for its tablets at its developers’ conference.

Finally released on September 24, the new OS aims to bring Apple tablets closer to laptops in terms of productivity. Interestingly, the first version of iPad OS is called iPadOS 13.1, with the company choosing not to release iOS 13 version for iPads. This version is available on all eligible devices (iPad Air 2 and later) as over-the-air update.

One of the key features of iPad OS is the improved ‘Slide Over’ that now supports multiple apps. With this, you can switch between multiple apps while working on an app in the background. Not just this, you can work on the same app in two separate windows at the same time. For those who type a lot, there are new text editing features. Swipe up using three fingers to copy/paste phrases or undo with three-finger left swipe, the OS seems to have got you covered.

the new OS aims to bring Apple tablets closer to laptops in terms of productivity.
The new OS aims to bring Apple tablets closer to laptops in terms of productivity.

Most of you may also love the support for reading external hard drives. Yes, you can connect an SD card, USB drive or any external drive and simply copy/paste files on your iPad. And with the redesigned Files app, the content search is easier than ever. To make iPads an apt alternative to laptops, iPad OS now opens the desktop version of websites by default so you don’t have to make extra efforts.

There’s another nifty change - Widgets on the home screen. Swipe towards the right on the home screen and you will be greeted by some widgets, which can be customised and are useful. Sidecar feature is also there that makes an iPad act as a secondary screen to a MacBook. The OS also has several of the key iOS 13 features including Dark Mode, Quicktype, redesigned photos app and more.

After using iPadOS for the past few months under beta and now the final version, we can say it makes your iPad a laptop ‘alternative’ but not a ‘replacement’. It’s not as powerful as macOS but certainly more suited for your tablet needs than iOS.

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