With the recent release of iPadOS 14, there’s been a bunch of new additions to the iPad’s feature set. Additional Apple Pencil features, improved menus, and general bug fixes are all present here on this update. Here are some of the best features now available for the iPad.
Widgets have been the most notable feature of iOS and iPadOS 14. Widgets in iOS have been designed to combine a sleek design with functionality, offering a nice insight into the application the widget’s based on. They come in small, medium, and large sizes, and are available for every pre-installed Apple app.
Smart Stacks are a useful way to combine multiple widgets in one space. You can scroll through several different applications, getting the news, weather, and playlists all within one widget. While widgets can be placed on the home screen and app pages in iOS 14, widgets in iPadOS 14 are unfortunately limited to the Today View section for now.
Following widgets, app design in iPadOS 14 has seen a slight overhaul. Sidebars have been redesigned to provide more functionality for the app you’re using. Calendar, Photos, Shortcuts, Voice Memos, Music, Notes, Files, Mail, and Contacts have all received the new sidebar design. This layout is much more iPad friendly and makes interfacing with certain applications much more enjoyable.
iPadOS 14 brings an updated search menu for the home screen, and it’s been heavily tweaked to make it more functional, yet less intrusive. The search menu UI is much more compact and similar to MacOS’ search menu in design. There have been several new search functions added, like Top Hit Results. This feature optimizes the search menu to be much more comprehensive. When searching someone’s name, the search menu may give you a contact to call if that name matches one in your contacts. When searching for a restaurant, the menu will display Map options, showing you the closest place to eat based on that search.
The Incoming Call interface was never one that I personally favored, especially on an 11-inch tablet. iPadOS 14 does away with the full-screen Incoming Call UI in favor of a much more compact interface. This is so much better for not being completely interrupted during a gaming session, or when drawing with the Apple Pencil. This applies to standard phone calls, FaceTime calls, and even third-party VoIP calls.
Improved Apple Pencil Functionality
There have been several additions to the Apple Pencil’s feature set within iPadOS. The headlining new feature is Scribble which converts handwriting into text. You can also now copy and paste handwritten notes as text, convert handwritten shapes into perfectly even shapes, and iPadOS 14 now has improved data detection support for recognizing handwritten phone numbers, emails, addresses, and more.
iPadOS 14 has brought forth many necessary changes to the iPad experience. Apple is continuing to push products like the iPad Pro as laptop alternatives. The hardware itself is outperforming a lot of premium laptops on the market already. iPadOS has been the iPad Pro’s biggest roadblock from truly becoming a laptop replacement. However, the latest software update from Apple shows that they’re serious about making that happen. What are your favorite iPadOS 14 features? Sound off in the comments below!
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