iPadOS 15 – New Features, Supported Devices and More

The new version of iOS and iPadOS has been announced at WWDC 2021, and here’s everything to know about it.

It was the year 2019 when Apple decided to split the atom and turn the mobile operating system into iPadOS that was directed towards the iPad. The latest major update came out at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) 2021, which brought about not just the latest operating systems for iPhone and iPad, but the macOS platform too.

Keeping the Apple M1 chipset in mind, which is at the heart of the iPad Pro 2021 series, Apple has quite a few surprises in store for users to try out with the latest version of the tablet operating system. It might be a while the general masses get to use and enjoy the best of features that iPadOS 15 has to offer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t already get an inside scoop on what to expect from it.

Will my iPad support iPadOS 15?

One particular feature we have come to love and adore about Apple is the extended support that it provides the iDevices on the software front. Every Apple iPad that received the iPadOS 14 update last year, is eligible for the iPadOS 15 update this year, and here’s the list:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th gen)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd gen)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th gen)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd gen)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd gen)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st gen)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd gen)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st gen)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air (4th gen)
  • iPad Air (3rd gen)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad (8th gen)
  • iPad (7th gen)
  • iPad (6th gen)
  • iPad (5th gen)
  • iPad mini (5th gen)
  • iPad mini 4

What is the iPadOS 15 release date?

The final version of the iPadOS 15 is expected to come out later this year during the fall, with the iPadOS 15 beta version out right now. However, this particular beta version is directed towards developers and not a public beta, which is expected to make landfall by July. You can expect plenty of beta updates to roll out during the summer, giving plenty of time to developers for incorporating the best of iPadOS 15 into the new apps and games while the public beta users get an early taste of it all.

How do I get the iPadOS 15 update?

As we mentioned earlier, the iPadOS 15 is not yet available for the public beta, and is only open to you if you register with Apple as a developer looking to use the software to optimize your apps. To get the iPadOS 15 right now, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Register yourself as a developer and download your profile from the Apple Developer Center.
  2. After your developer profile is registered, you will be able to install the iPadOS 15 update over the air.
  3. Over the course of the next few months, you can expect plenty of updates released by Apple to resolve all the early bugs and issues that may arise with the early release update.

If you are interested in being one of the early iPadOS 15 users, don’t want to go through the cycle of buggy updates, and are willing to wait until July, we’d recommend waiting for the public beta release. To be an early bird with not too many bugs to hinder your experience, you can register for the public beta by signing up at beta.apple.com.

iPadOS 15 – some noteworthy features

Over the years, software updates for both, the iPhone and the iPad have become far more consolidated, which means you don’t get a completely revamped update each time around. However, concerning the iPad in particular, you get a slew of new tablet-centric features that are worth taking a closer look into.

Notes made smarter

To hold the pace with the Google Keep note-taking suite, Apple has overhauled the Notes app on iPadOS 15 for collaborative working. The inclusion of the Activity screen allows you to learn everything about the latest additions related to a specific project, along with the ability to add Hashtags to notes, which makes easier for you to filter things down the road. The brand-new Quick Notes tool of the app is available as a gesture, where you can swipe diagonally up from the bottom-right corner of the iPad screen to bring up a tiny notepad. Quick Notes offers different shortcuts based on the app you open it with, and everything you jot down is synced across the iOS, iPadOS, and macOS platforms.

Live Text translations

Introduced in the previous iPadOS 14 update, the Translate app is now equipped to make your multilingual conversations more fluent and easy. The Auto Translate feature detects the language you are speaking without even pressing the microphone button, making conversations more natural. Taking conversations with people who speak other languages to the next level, you can have a face-to-face conversation with an iPad, and view the translations of the entire conversation on both the sides. The Translate app has been implemented system-wide, allowing you to easily select text from an email, or even from a photo and translate it in real-time.

Swift Playgrounds for coding

A gamechanger in terms of mobile app development, one the most significant announcements at the WWDC 2021 was the updated release of Swift Playgrounds. The virtual app development environment will now allow you to develop, and even publish apps directly for the iPhone or iPad, and the code written in Swift code will be reflected within the app in real time for a live preview.

Multitasking it better

Apple has big changes in store when it comes to multitasking on the iPad, made more powerful and easier to use with a dedicated control tab. At the top of each app you open, there is a three-dot menu which allows you to launch the window in Slide Over or Split View menu. The Split View screen allows you to access the Home Screen immediately, so you can pick any other app right away and multitask across both of them. At the bottom, you will also find a shelf that displays windows, and you can easily drag any one of them to the Split View screen to enlarge the app. Keyboard users have been granted a whole new set of shortcut keys to use these multitasking features with ease.

App Library and Widgets

After seeing success on iOS 14 for the iPhone, Apple has ported the App Library over to the iPad with the latest update. The dock acts as your doorway to the entire list of apps, which can be easily sorted and arranged based on how you see fit, so you can leave those days of endless swiping behind you. Coming to the widgets, you can now freely move them around on the Home Screen, just as you could on iOS 14. Keeping the extra screen real estate in mind, there are larger widgets available, with the new additions of Game Center, Contacts, Mail, Find My, and App Store to choose from.

Universal Control across all

If you are entirely immersed into the Apple ecosystem, using the iPad, and the Mac together has just been made easier. The Universal Control feature is designed to save you the back and forth when it comes to using a keyboard or trackpad across devices, by bridging the controls for ease of use. Apart from using the mouse and trackpad between the iPad and Mac, you can also drag and drop files, text, and more between the two devices effortlessly.

FaceTime introduces SharePlay

Now that most of our social and work meetings are happening online, Apple is taking a leap forward with SharePlay to bring a more human element to video calling. A more innovative way to access your media and share it live with ease, you can watch videos together, listen to music and audios, and even share your screen, like you would on a Zoom call. Several more features like different mic modes, portrait mode, and grid view has been added to FaceTime. Apple’s prized video calling feature has now gone cross-platform, allowing you to create links on your iDevice and share them across Android and Windows devices via a web browser.

Additional Tidbits

Apart from the groundbreaking features added to iPadOS 15, there are some fancy bells and whistles added to the Messages app too. A new section called Shared with You has been added to stock apps like Photos, Safari, Apple Music, Apple TV, and several others, displaying the related content, link, and images shared with you in the Messages app.

The Memojis have been updated with more customizations for inclusivity, and a new Notifications look makes the icons larger, along with Notifications Summary to sort things out. The Safari web browser app has been redesigned, keeping the iPad layout in mind, with a compact toolbar, and swipe gestures for easy navigation.

A nifty productivity tool added to the iPadOS 15 update is Focus, which filters out the countless notifications and streamlines them. Based on your selections, the system learns your usage habits and suggests notifications that are contextual and time-bound. A similar machine learning experience has been infused into the Spotlight feature, allowing you to perform actions like finding text within an image, better web search results, and more.

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