iPadOS 15: It’s all about great new productivity features

June 8, 2021

Apple today previewed iPadOS 15, which introduces a more intuitive multitasking experience, new ways to collaborate with Note, new widget layouts for the Home Screen, translating highlights and the ability to build apps for iPhone and iPad, with Swift Playgrounds.

Get More Done with Multitasking and Keyboard Shortcuts

On iPadOS 15, a new multitasking menu appears at the top of apps, letting users go into Split View or Slide Over with just a tap. Users now have quick access to the Home Screen when using Split View, making it easier to get to the right app. Using the new shelf, they can also multitask with apps that have multiple windows like Safari and Pages, as well as quickly preview emails.

Organize and Personalize iPad with Widgets and the App Library

Users can now place widgets among apps on Home Screen pages, providing more information at a glance and offering a more personalized experience. Designed specifically for the larger display of iPad, a new, larger widget size is perfect for showcasing videos, music, games, photos, and more. iPadOS 15 also brings all-new widgets for App Store, Find My, Game Center, Mail, and Contacts.

Also coming to iPad is the App Library, automatically organizing apps into helpful categories like Productivity, Games, and Recently Added, and allowing users to access all their apps right from the Dock.

Capturing Thoughts with Quick Note and Organizing with Tags

Notes goes systemwide with Quick Note, a fast and easy way to take notes anywhere across the system. Whether browsing in Safari or finding a restaurant on Yelp, users can bring up Quick Note anywhere to jot down a thought and add links, providing an easy way to get back to exactly what they were looking at.

Notes also has new ways to organize, collaborate, and capture information. Tags make it easy to categorize notes and find them quickly with an all-new Tag Browser and tag-based Smart Folders. For users working with others in shared notes, mentions create a way to notify collaborators and link them back to the note, and a new Activity view shows recent updates in the note.

More Natural FaceTime Calls and Shared Experiences with SharePlay

Users can now share experiences with SharePlay while connecting with friends on FaceTime, including listening to songs together with Apple Music, watching a TV show or movie in sync, or sharing their screen to view apps together. Shared playback controls let anyone play, pause, or jump ahead. Users can extend playback to Apple TV, and watch it on their TV while sharing the moment with friends and family connected over FaceTime. SharePlay also lets users share their screen, perfect for browsing the web together.

A Redesigned Browsing Experience with Safari

Safari gets a new tab design that lets users see more of the page as they browse. A new tab bar takes on the color of the webpage and combines tabs, the toolbar, and the search field into a single, compact design. Tab Groups offer a new way to easily save and manage tabs — great for planning trips, shopping, or storing frequently visited tabs. Tab Groups also sync across Mac and iPhone, so users can continue their project from anywhere or easily share them with friends and family. Safari on iPad also now supports web extensions, available from the App Store.

Tools to Find Focus

iPadOS 15 delivers powerful tools that help users focus and reduce distractions. Focus is a new feature that filters notifications based on what a user is doing. Users can set their device to help them be in the moment by creating a custom Focus or selecting a suggested one based on their context, like during their work hours or while they’re winding down for bed. Users can also create Home Screen pages with apps and widgets that apply to moments of focus to only display relevant apps and reduce temptation.

Translate Comes to iPad

When using the Translate app, Auto Translate detects when someone is speaking, and in which language, so users can converse naturally without having to tap a microphone button. For even more personal conversations, face-to-face view allows two people to sit across from each other with iPad between them and see translations of the conversation from their own side. Text can now be translated anywhere on iPad by selecting it and tapping Translate, and handwritten text can also be translated. In combination with Live Text, users can even translate text in photos.

Build Apps with Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is the best and easiest way to learn how to code. And now with Swift Playgrounds  users have the tools to build iPhone and iPad apps right on their iPad and submit them directly to the App Store, offering new ways for anyone to create apps and share them with the world. Code is immediately reflected in the live preview while building apps, and users can run their apps full screen to test them out. A new open project format based on Swift packages can open and be edited in Swift Playgrounds for iPad as well as within Xcode on Mac, offering users even more versatility to develop apps across iPad and Mac.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.