iPads are great for media consumption, but when it comes to getting work done, laptops are the way to go. Sure, the iPad Pros of the recent years have been as powerful as some of the MacBook Pros, but the software has always been limiting. However, with the introduction of the iPad OS, Apple has shown that it’s, in fact, serious about the iPad.
My 10.5-inch iPad Pro had been collecting dust for quite a while now. I used it primarily for Netflix and YouTube video consumption, but of late, I have been so busy with work, I barely had time to play with it.
About a month ago, when Apple unveiled the new OS for the iPad- the iPad OS, I got excited. After a week or so, the company released its first public Beta software and I have been using it since. I am currently running the public Beta 4, and it has completely changed my perspective of the iPad.
Multimedia Powerhouse Turned To A Workhorse
I know a few people who have been using the iPad primarily, but I could never get around the lack of a ‘proper’ File System, support for limited peripherals, and inadequate software features to do real work. The iPad OS seems to have solved a lot of my issues with the platform.
This is the first time I have seen a software update make a device so much more usable. It’s not just the addition of new features that make the new OS a pleasure to use.
The new UI is made specifically for the iPad. Up until this point, the iOS for iPad looked more or less like blown-up iPhone UI. Not any more.
The departure from iOS can be seen starting the Home Screen. You can now fit a lot more apps on the screen, up to 30, to be precise. Earlier, there used to be too much of wasted space throughout the user interface.
Dark Mode On The iPad
It’s not just the iPhone that is getting the system-wide Dark Mode feature. The iPad gets it too, and it’s just as lovely. Now, you get an option of a light or dark appearance in addition to Night Shift and True Tone in the display settings.
Finally, You Can Change The Wi-Fi Network From Control Center
While it’s embarrassing to be excited and talk about a feature that has been present in the Android platform since its inception, I will mention it anyway. You can now finally change the Wi-Fi network from the control center and also select Bluetooth devices from the control center itself.
This is one single feature that got me the most excited about the new software update. If you have a MacBook and a recently launched iPad, you can use your iPad as a secondary display for your MacBook! If you are someone who uses an external monitor for work, this feature may be a game-changer for you.
Also Read: iPhone 11- What to expect
Using Apple SideCar that is baked into iPad OS as well as Mac OS Catalina, you can seamlessly connect your Macbook to the iPad. Even better, certain applications like Adobe Photoshop have Apple Pencil support. So, you can draw on your iPad and have it appear on the MacBook.
Support For External Mice
This feature was supposed to bring your iPad closer to the PC experience, but honestly, it has turned out to be a feature that has been the most disappointing for me.
For those who still think that the iPad has native support for external mice- it doesn’t. It is just an accessibility feature that is designed for those who have difficulty touching the iPad screen. And it’s exactly what it sounds like- accessibility feature which mimics touch input. So, there’s no right-click nor does it display a conventional pointer.
At least for now, this feature has limited uses. I was able to connect my Master MX mouse to the iPad using Bluetooth without a problem and was able to assign different buttons for different tasks (a few of the buttons were not recognized though). The OS is still in beta, and there is hope that Apple will bake-in full mouse support in the final form of the software.
Full-fledged File System And Support For USB Thumb Drive
It was funny when Apple launched the Files app for the iPad last year but limited it so much, and we could barely do anything from there. Thankfully, with the iPad OS, there’s a lot you can do with the app.
One major highlight of the update is that external thumb drives are officially supported. You can stick in any USB-C/ full-sized USB thumb drive using lightning to full-size USB adapter, and it will be instantly recognized in the Files app. You can then access, copy, and edit the files as you would do on a standard computer.
Not only that, you can have two instances of the same app open side by side. So, you can have two Files app open at the same time and drag files from one window to another.
Safari Is Now A Desktop-Class Internet Browser
Furthermore, there’s an integrated Download manager on the browser which will let you download anything over the Internet- even unsupported applications. To test this feature, I downloaded uTorrent for Windows on my iPad, and it worked like a dream!
How All Of These New Features Add Up?
There’s no doubt that the iPad OS is a significant software update. All things added up, iPad OS has made me use my iPad again. I have been using it for work recently, and surprisingly enough, it’s holding up pretty well.
As a content writer and SEO specialist, I do most of my work on an Internet browser. Since Safari now runs natively as a desktop browser, I can do my work effortlessly. WordPress works like a breeze on Safari, and I can download files and images off the Internet without any issues.
The support for external peripherals also means that I can copy files to my iPad directly without having to use my MacBook. My iPad Pro 10.5 running on iPad OS combined with the Keyboard Folio Cover and Master MX has made me wonder whether I need my MacBook Pro for work anymore.