Get your iPad ready, because Apple has announced iPadOS 15, the next version of the tablet’s operating system, during the keynote presentation at WWDC 2021. The software is a spinoff of iOS 15 for the iPhone, but with changes and new features specifically designed to improve the software experience on a larger screen.
Apple put a big focus on its widgets, which are now more powerful and more flexible. Instead of a single widget area, you can now mix your widget among your apps, giving you more options on where to place them. There are also new widget sizes. Widgets in larger sizes will display more information and better make use of the iPad’s larger display compared to the iPhone.
Another key area Apple discussed was multitasking, something that had received a huge amount of speculation before the event. There is now a new control at the top of apps that reveals a new multitasking menu. This lets you quickly access controls to launch Split View or Slide Over, as well as send an app full screen. When using Split View, you can swipe down on an app to minimize it into a shelf, which houses all your open apps and allows you to move between them.
While it is not the windowed experience with menu bars that some people had speculated — or indeed the merger between iPadOS and MacOS that is constantly doing the rounds — the new controls in iPadOS helps bring the iPad a little closer to a laptop experience.