As someone who has worked primarily on my iPad for the last couple years, I am thrilled about iPadOS. Everything Apple showed on stage and the preview site looks great, and some of it has been a long time coming.
Unlike the last couple years, I waited to jump on the public beta until this week (public beta 7, dev beta 8). Aside from one of my most anticipated features being pulled mid-beta, I’m pretty happy so far. Here are some quick thoughts.
Widgets on the homescreen are great
But I think I need time to learn how to get the most out of them. Launch Center Pro is a shoe-in for me here, but we’ll see what else.
Dark Mode, finally
It is quite welcome, especially the option to automatically toggle it with sunup and down. I’m excited for more apps to support it.
Multitasking for Slide Over apps is fantastic
I frequently work in Split View with an app in Slide Over, but I often switch Slide Over apps. This removes a huge point of friction for me.
New text editing gestures go back to the roots
I still remember watching the original iPad keynote while on a company cruise at 1Password. Jobs struck a cord with me about being able to touch content and apps. I think it still rings true today, it’s one of my favorite things about the iPad experience.
These new gestures to pinch and zoom for copy and paste (respectively) feel like a return to iPad fundamentals. Popup and popover menus are fine but, just as with traditional computers, they’re also a proxy for manipulating content. They aren’t quite… iPad.
Like dragging a link from Safari into a Messages conversation, these gestures just feel right to me. And even in the beta, they’re implemented well. I can see them becoming new muscle memory, and another success for removing friction.
A big change to the share sheet
I’ll need some time to get used to the big share sheet redesign, but I like where this went. I frequently share things to specific people, so I like the new, dedicated row for recents contacts now.
While I still like and use AirDrop, I appreciate the reduction of its presence in the sheet (it’s an app icon now which you cannot remove or reorder on that row). I’m still unsure about the distinction between app icons (second row) and actions (scrolling list at the bottom), but I think I like this too.
Shared iCloud folders are still missing
I really hope Apple gets this working either for release or shortly after. Shared folders have been one of iCloud’s embarrassing deficiencies for the better part of a decade, and surely one of the big reasons many people stick with something like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Considering Apple is light years behind with this feature, it actually worries me to see it appear in a beta only to be pulled quickly. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Lots of quality-of-life changes are a big improvement
As you may know, the little changes are often my favorite, and geeze do iPadOS and iOS 13 have a lot of little changes.
A small change to the share sheet
The share sheet now sticks around after you finish sharing to another app. It’s simple to dismiss with a tap anywhere, but I really appreciate this change.
I often find myself sharing a link or photo to multiple apps, people, or services, but this workflow usually isn’t a good fit for automation with Shortcuts. Now that the share sheet stays persistent until dismissed, I save a bit of time during this frequent process.
Name files when saving them to Files
We can finally name a file as we save it somewhere with the Files app (just tap the file name). In fact, that’s what I did with all the screenshots I took while writing this.
The new Safari menu
Lots of disparate controls now collected under a handy menu. Nice. I especially appreciate the dedicated new “Hide Toolbar” button; triggering that manually was always clunky.
Screen Time can set limits for apps
Previously we could only set limits for app categories which causes all kinds of problems, especially catching false positives.
Honorary iPhone mention: Force Touch triggers much faster
I use and like Force Touch, and it’s nice to see it become more speedy and useful in iOS 13.