Remember this polarizing Apple commercial from the summer of 2018? No? Well to catch you up, it features a teen girl biking around the city with her iPad Pro living her life to the fullest; she engages with friends, compiles a report on bugs and even creates art using nothing but her tablet. The ad ends with her relaxing in the backyard when her neighbor approaches and asks, "What are you doing on your computer?" Infamously she responds, "What's a computer?" At the time, this seemed a bit precocious and maybe even a tad bit annoying, but at the most recent Apple WWDC, it quickly became a real possibility that an iPad Pro could take the place of your everyday use computer. During the keynote address, Apple announced iPadOS, finally giving the iPad the attention it deserves and equipping it to become a formidable competitor to traditional laptop computers.
Here are a few facets of this new OS that we think are aimed squarely at this:
- For years iPads have supported the use of keyboards but they now (finally I might add) officially support the use of other crucial third-party peripheral devices such as flash drives, external hard drives, cameras, and even mice!
- The use of an iPad in business almost certainly dictates using it to connect to company file share locations or other centrally hosted private communal data sources. For this reason, Apple has revamped its Files iOS app to allow for private file share connections, SMB protocol connections as well as native support for Zip file access.
- Getting stuff done (or GSD as we call it) on an iPad requires the use of a split screen, that's just a fact. With iPadOS, the split screen functionality has been upgraded to allow for multiple split screen use of the same application as well as improved support for split screen use within supported third-party iOS applications. Win!
- Ever wished you could natively pair your iPad with your computer for use as an extended desktop? Apple knows, which is why with the incorporation of macOS Catalina (article coming soon) and iPadOS this is now directly supported. It's called Sidecar, and we think it's a game changer.
- Font management, oh font management...the bane of any creative's existence on an iPad. No longer! iPadOS now supports font installation and management for use throughout apps on your iPad. Life makes sense again...
Click the iPadOS link in the opening paragraph to see Apple's full rundown of this new OS, but with the hardware improvements introduced in the most recent iPad Pro line, it's becoming more clear that Apple is committed to making the iPad a true contender to traditional mobile computing. However, whether you consider an iPad to be an extension of your computer or your primary device, coming this fall, you'll be able to do more with it than ever before. No longer primarily a leisure device, the iPad truly does become a tool for real productivity.