iPadOS 14: the 5 best new features for iPads in 2020 | Applications and Software

The system that last year gave iPads a new sense with the transformation of the Archives app, support for external storage and even a mouse, gained very welcome changes in 2020. Some apps were redesigned to use the full potential of the big screen, Apple Pencil has gained a whole new experience and widgets are increasingly important. We have separated the five best news from iPadOS 14.

10 best new features of iPadOS 14 on video

1. Widgets increasingly important

Widgets are not new to Apple, they have been part of the system for a few years. But with the iPadOS 14, they gained even more prominence and different sizes. At the moment, developers will be able to create widgets in three sizes: small, medium and large.

Unlike iOS 14 on the iPhone, it is not possible to add them to the desktop, they remain fixed on the left side of the screen. One possible explanation for this is the fact that the iPad has a portrait and landscape view, which could misalign the widgets on the desktop. Another explanation may be the way Apple wants the user to interact with the widgets on the iPad: always on the fixed sidebar, never like the iPhone. We will only know in future versions.

2. Redesign of iPad apps and the new search bar

Apple is proud to say that today App Store has more than 1 million applications made especially for the iPad. With that thought in mind, some essential apps have undergone modifications to improve the experience with the iPad’s big screen.

The app Photos won a sidebar to easily access albums, favorite photos, places and all the options that were previously hidden. The app Files was redesigned, resembling even more with the Finder macOS. And more: Music, Shortcuts, Recorder, Calendar, Notes, Email, Contacts, all have a new sidebar for a more unified experience.

Speaking of unification, another experience borrowed from macOS was the new search bar that inherited the same functions. More compactly, it is possible to search for contacts, applications, content within the applications, open links and search the web. In addition to being faster and auto-completing words as they are typed, it is possible to use it even with other open apps, just using the Cmd-Espaço shortcut, exactly as in macOS.

3. Scribble and news in the Notes app

This is undoubtedly the biggest novelty of the iPadOS 14 and one of the most necessary for everyone who uses the iPad without a case and only with the pen. THE Scribble is a function designed for use with Apple Pencil. In any text field you can write by hand and the writing is converted to typed text.

I tested it in Portuguese and it worked very well – any application can use this function thanks to the Apple Pencil palette. There is an exclusive brush for Scribble that can be activated at any time.

The Notes app is heading to be one of the best options for those who are always writing by hand. It is now possible to interact with notes by selecting them, changing colors and even moving them. This selection is done through machine learning, since the app can differentiate between written text and a drawing.

For typed notes, Apple Pencil also gained interactions. Just cross out a word to delete or circle to select. The app also does automatic recognition in some ways. Are they:

  • Lines
  • Curves
  • Square
  • Rectangle
  • Circle
  • Oval
  • Heart
  • Triangle
  • Star
  • A cloud
  • Hexagon
  • Thought bubble
  • Outlined arrow
  • Continuous line with 90 degree curves
  • Line with arrow at the end
  • Curve with arrow at the tip

The app also recognizes dates that become an event on the calendar with just one click. There is also the recognition of URLs, just write an address as an annotation and it is transformed into a link.

Another novelty in the Notes app, but for now only works with the system language set to English or Chinese, is the possibility of copying handwritten texts in the form of typed text.

4. Writing with the voice

This year Apple also made improvements in keyboard speech recognition. For those who use the iPad without accessories or for those who can’t write with Apple Pencil for a long time, it is possible to dictate everything that needs to be written. According to Apple, speech recognition improves according to use and all processing is done locally, completely offline, thus prevailing the user’s privacy.

Still on the keyboard, a small detail that used to take up a lot of screen space and has now been redesigned is the popover menu that shows emojis in a more compact way, being activated only when you use the iPad with a keyboard.

5. A minimalist Siri

Apple’s virtual assistant was never my first option when it came to answering questions or setting an alarm, mainly due to the invasive form of the old interface. On iPadOS 14, everything is more discreet and works great on top of other apps. The answer is shown in a reduced form, but in some cases it is possible to expand and read more about what you have researched.

Old Siri interface:

Siri interface on iPadOS 14:

When does iPadOS 14 arrive?

The iPadOS has no release date yet, but we can expect it in mid-September along with the new iPhones. The new system will support the following iPad models:

  • iPad Pro (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5 ″
  • iPad Pro 9.7 ″
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

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