iOS for the iPad has always differed slightly from the iPhone version. iPadOS takes it one step further, giving the device its own operating system.
Starting as a media consumption device, Apple is trying to position its iPad as a professional device. While the iPad has gained many pro features, professionals such as software developers, graphic designers and audio/visual technicians still need to use a Mac. iPadOS borrows from macOS, but still seems to lack fully professional capabilities.
Despite being less than a Mac, iPadOS brings improvements that may allow some professionals to do without a proper computer. Others may use it as a compliment to their Mac.
New features coming to iPadOS include improvements to text editing. This is sorely needed, as simple tasks like copying and pasting text are cumbersome and buggy on iOS.
New gestures make it easier to copy and paste text — pinch three fingers to copy text and place three fingers down where you want to paste it. Copying text can be done by simply dragging your finger over the words. Users can undo by swiping three fingers to the left.
iPadOS introduces a new keyboard to the iPad. Users can pinch the keyboard to shrink it and move it around the screen with one finger. The smaller, movable keyboard is swipeable, making it ideal for one-handed operation.
External drives are finally supported natively with the Files app. This improves both interoperability and cost. Users can purchase a less expensive iPad and use external storage, to a limited extent. Users can’t offload apps to external storage, which makes sense for a company that wants a clean and seamless user experience.
Dark Mode is another highly anticipated iPadOS feature. Mac and Apple TV users have enjoyed Dark Mode for years. Now, iPad users can work and enjoy their device without having to stare at bright white screens.
iPadOS seems to delineate from iOS to a great extent. Big changes can often introduce big problems. Users who rely on their iPad for work may want to postpone upgrading their device.