WWDC 2019: Apple unveils iPadOS with improved Safari, multitasking, and new homescreen

The iPad is getting a huge software update this fall.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Apple on Monday announced that starting this fall, the Pad line up will switch from iOS to iPadOS. The update is part of a renewed focus by Apple to add productivity features and tools to the iPad line, something the line has needed for the past few years. 

By giving the iPad its own operating system, Apple can now create dedicated features for its tablet lineup without having to worry about leaving iPhone users out or creating a similar experience. There will still be feature parity between iOS and iPadOS. For example, both platforms will include a new system-wide dark mode, new Messages features, redesigned Reminders app, along with everything else Apple announced for iOS. 

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  • ipados-multitasking.jpg
    Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

    However, the iPad lineup will gain the ability to pin widgets to the home screen, fast app switching in slide over, and multiple windows for individual apps.

    Apple redesigned the Files app, which now looks a lot more like the macOS Finder app. Support for external storage devices, including thumb drives, has also been added. You'll also be able to import photos directly into a specific photo editing app, instead of into the iOS Photos app and then into Photoshop, for example.

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  • With iPadOS, Safari will finally -- and I mean finally -- be a desktop class browser, with a dedicated download manager.

    Improvements have also been made to text selection, editing, and a new three-finger gesture is now used as a trigger for Undo (instead of having to shake the iPad). 

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