Apple introduces iPad OS – A new operating system just for iPads

June 21, 2019

iPads now have their own dedicated operating system, with Apple unveiling the new software at the recent Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose.

Tipped to make iPads a true laptop alternative, the software brings a host of new capabilities to the perennially popular tablet.

So, what is iPad OS and what will it deliver.

What is iPad OS?

In previous years iPads shared an operating system with the iPhone. Known as iOS, it was all about mobility, but it often confined iPads to being an extension of smartphones.

Amazing smartphones, sure, but there was nothing super distinguishable about the operating system other than it played out on a conveniently sized tablet.

That’s all set to change courtesy of iPad OS, designed by Apple to harness some real power in tablet technology and inch the mobile device a little closer to the laptop realm.

That’s all well and good, but what exactly does it mean, you ask. Well a lot, and here’s an insight into why…

New Home screen

iPad OS Home Screen

The new iPad OS Home screen is designed to make better use of the real estate available in a tablet. That means you can fit more icons in, with less dead space. You also have the option of running Today View alongside these icons, so users can see appointments, weather and news.


With iPad OS, Apple is readily acknowledging this is a system you’re likely to be using day-to-day for a range of practical tasks and as a result they’ve made multitasking easier in a number of ways.

For example, Split View allows you to run two app windows next to each other at the same time. These windows can be from the same app or two different ones.

Meanwhile, Slide Over lets you quickly pull up apps in a side window, over the top of another app. That lets you quickly do tasks like check emails, message someone, or look at a reminder. Accessing the apps involves dragging up from the bottom of the screen.

Better browsing

This was a prediction that has become a reality – the new iPad operating system will support better website browsing. In a nutshell the system will recognize when a site is available in desktop form and present that rather than the mobile option as the preference.

Performance boost

Your current iPad could offer better performance with the new system. Apple notes “everything moves a little faster” with iPad OS.

They state Face ID now unlocks up to 30 per cent faster, while apps launch up to “two times faster than before and are smaller in download size”.


The keyboard options also get a bit of a makeover. There’s is a host of new shortcuts while the QuickType keyboard can now be moved wherever you want it and is more effective when it comes to one handed typing.

There’s also a QuickPath Typing option available that allows you to type by swiping from one letter to the next.

Gestures, gesture everywhere

A range of gesture controls have been rolled out for iPad OS in a bid to make operating apps simple. There’s a bit of conjecture whether these new gestures are intuitive or whether they’ll require some learning, but Tech Radar explains they work like this:
“Three-finger pinch to cut, three-finger splay to paste, three-finger swipe to undo. Easy.”

USB and SD support

This feature’s likely to elicit a collective cheer – iPad OS offers support for external storage. Now you can plug a USB drive or SD drive into your device and the Files app will recognize the plugin and allow you to transfer data to and from an external drive.

iPad Stand

Looking to use the new iPad OS in your business?


iPad OS will be available in the American Fall, probably around September. At that stage the software will be available free for users with the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2019, all iPad Pros , the 2017 and 2018 iPad and the iPad Mini 4.

In the interim the beta form is currently open for trial by developers only, while the public beta is likely to open up in July.

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