iOS has served iPads well, but Apple’s new iPadOS adds some long-awaited features and enough polish to make even aging devices feel more capable. Beyond a handful of visual changes, the platform’s biggest improvements come in the form of desktop-class web browsing in Safari, key changes to Apple’s multitasking tools, a new approach to file downloads, and more. Not everyone will regularly use all of these features, and the ones who do may find them tricky to master. Still, iPadOS represents a crucial step toward a future where iPads flourish outside of the iPhone’s shadow.
- The web looks like the web in Safari
- You can finally save files onto your iPad
- Multitasking is more nuanced
- Pencil input feels more natural
- Split View multitasking involves trial and error
- Gesture navigation can be tricky for newcomers
- Limited Mac compatibility for Sidecar
Users - Not yet scored
- Critic Reviews (5)
- 82AVERAGE CRITIC SCORE5 ReviewsArs Technica80The iPad is dead, long live the iPadLike iOS 13, iPadOS feels like an update made to address as large a laundry list of reviewer and user complaints about the platform as possible. Generally, that's a good thing. Apple hasn't always listened to users when it needed to, and that has sometimes led to long-term frustrations that have gone unsolved. In changing the branding for the iPad's operating system and expanding multitasking features, among other things, Apple has attempted to respond to that feedback. The improvements are clear for those who want their iPads to be a little more like desktop or laptop computers.Laptop Magazine90The Biggest iPad Update in YearsiPadOS is an update you'll want, as it makes the tablet look and feel more alive. The serious improvements on the home screen and valuable multitasking enhancements will give you the power to be more efficient on your iPad. There are even little improvements, such as mouse support (even if it's not made for everyone).Mashable90The iPad Grows UpBy giving the iPad its own version of iOS, which can be updated independently from iOS, Apple is signaling that the iPad is no longer just about figuring out how to repurpose iPhone software for larger displays. The iPad, particularly the iPad Pro, is more than capable of desktop-level work. But in many cases its software has been holding it back.Daily Mail80Apple iPadOSIf you already use an iPad to do work or make art, Apple's excellent iPadOS will improve the experience, though it still doesn't provide all functionality of a laptop.The Verge7050 percent more computerIt is easier than nearly any other computer in history to start using. But when you start trying to get the same sorts of capabilities out of the iPad that you'd expect from a high-end laptop, that curve hockeysticks.
More from Apple
We have two newsletters, why not sign up for both?
- Our favorite devices from Apple, Google, Bose, Samsung, Jabra and others are all on sale.