Apple’s iPadOS brings better multitasking and Files app to the iPad

At WWDC 2019 in June, Apple announced iPadOS, which is a new operating system specifically for the iPad. The new iPadOS is aimed at offering much of the simplicity and ease of use of iOS, while also making for a more productive and powerful experience.

iPadOS will be available for consumers in the fall, however, a developer beta is now available and a public beta will be available in July.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new iPadOS.

Mouse support

While Apple didn’t announce mouse support for iPadOS on stage, developer Steve Troughton-Smith confirmed iPadOS supports USB mice. That said, there are a few caveats.

When a mouse is plugged into the iPad, you will see a cursor that looks similar to the button that shows up on the screen when the iPhone has a broken Home button. In other words, it looks more like a virtual finger than an actual mouse cursor. Troughton-Smith also confirmed Apple Magic Trackpad support.

New Home Screen

The changes to the iPadOS are pretty far-reaching — and they start with the Home Screen. It will now offer a ton more information, thanks to the fact that widgets can be pinned directly to the iPad’s Home Screen. That means that you can get access to things like news headlines, weather information, calendar events, and more, straight from the iPad Home Screen.

Windowed apps

ipados news ipad os multi window
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That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps the most exciting features for many users come in the form of productivity updates. For starters, the iPad now supports multi-window apps. In other words, you can now have multiple windows of a single app open. For example, you might want to have two Safari windows side by side, which will be handy for productivity.

There are other new productivity features too. Notable are the new copy, paste, undo, and redo gestures. On the iPad, you can now pinch with three fingers to copy, and spread with three fingers to paste. You can also swipe left or right with three fingers to undo or redo.

An improved Files app

ipados news ipad os files app
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Files app is getting a whole lot more helpful. The app now supports a new column view, which allows you to get a better look at folder hierarchy. The Files app also now (finally) supports USB drives, meaning that you can import files directly onto your iPad. Not only that, but iCloud Drive, which is accessed through the Files app, now supports folder sharing, allowing you to share entire folders of files with friends and family.


Safari is getting a few changes on the iPad too. Notably, Safari will now automatically request desktop websites, which ensures that you don’t have to deal with mobile websites when you’re using the iPad. In particular, that’s perfect for using web apps like Google Docs or WordPress. Not only that, but Safari on the iPad has also gotten a download manager.

Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil is used by many artists and graphic designers on the iPad, and the experience of using it on the iPad is about to get a little better. To date, using the Apple Pencil with the iPad has resulted in an already-low 20 milliseconds, but Apple has managed to bring that latency down to 9ms — which should make for smoother and more natural drawing and writing. The Apple Pencil can also now be used to mark up entire web pages, and a new, redesigned tool palette has also been released.

Updated on June 3, 2019: iPadOS includes mouse support.

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