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Features of iOS 13 / iPadOS: What You Need to Know

Read Time: 5 minutes

Apple has confirmed that iOS 13—now officially called iPadOS—is scheduled for release in the fall of 2019. This long-awaited OS update will be a game-changer, as it’s the first-ever operating system designed specifically for iPad. As such, we can expect to see some rather significant modifications in the iPadOS release, including mouse support, the ability to use a USB stick and a range of multi-tasking-related improvements.

With the recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and these iOS 13 / iPadOS features confirmed on the Apple website, the tech world is abuzz. The new functions and features may go a long way toward making the iPad a viable laptop alternative. But with every advance, there are challenges. The vastly different iPadOS will likely pose some major problems for mobile apps, necessitating updates if the applications are going to work seamlessly with Apple’s newest operating system.

So what do you need to know as we approach the fall 2019 release of iPadOS / iOS 13? As of mid-June, a specific release date had yet to be announced. But, with a release coming as soon as September, now is the time to discuss the app update process. This OS-related update will be most essential for mobile apps that are designed to work almost exclusively on a tablet. These applications will be the most heavily impacted.

The first step is understanding the new iOS 13 / iPadOS features and the modifications made to existing features. With this information, you and your developer can work to pinpoint potential problem areas that may require updates. By following this process, your app will be updated and ready to work properly by the time the new operating system is released.

iPadOS Will Feature USB Stick / External Storage Support

Inexplicably, it’s been impossible to use a USB stick with an iPad…but that is about to change. The latest iPad Pro was released with a USB port, yet its OS was mysteriously missing the functionality that would give users the ability to actually use the port. This had many tech experts predicting that iOS 13 would include external storage capabilities—a prediction that was confirmed by Apple at WWDC. Many mobile apps could potentially be updated to pull data from external storage devices or, conversely, an app may be modified so it can send data to a USB stick.

iPadOS to Include Mouse Support

In an effort to make iPads more user-friendly and laptop-like, iPadOS will give users the power to use a USB-connected or Bluetooth mouse or trackpad. This new AssistiveTouch feature could prompt updates for apps that require lots of user interaction in the form of clicking, tapping or dragging. A mouse or trackpad will also empower users to highlight, manipulate and edit text in a manner that’s far more similar to what you’d experience while using a laptop. Therefore, any app that involves text editing or even image editing may need some updates to allow for mouse or trackpad usage. Specifically, here’s a look at the features that will be improved in iPadOS:

  • Improved Text Selection;
  • Intelligent Text Selection;
  • Multiselect Capabilities;
  • Undo and Redo Gestures;
  • Cut, Paste and Copy Gestures;
  • More Precise Cursor Navigation; and
  • Scroll Bar Scrubbing.

You’ll even be able to gesture with your voice, giving commands such as “swipe,” “pinch,” “zoom,” “hit the home button” and so on. On a related point, iOS 13 / iPadOS will also include keyboard-related improvements such as the long-awaited QuickPath feature. With QuickPath, users type in a more intuitive, natural manner. You’ll be able to “…swipe your finger from one letter to the next to type without removing your finger from the keyboard.” It’s yet another capability that has been available on smartphones for years, so many are delighted by this new feature. Fortunately, most apps probably won’t see any major issues arising from QuickPath.

iPadOS Will Make Multi-Tasking Easier With Edits in Split View, App Exposé and Beyond

Users have been longing for the ability to access an app via some of the many regions within the iPad interface. Soon, that will also be possible. The new iPad operating system will give users the power to open a window from a single app in multiple spaces within their tablet. Using this feature, it will be much easier to multitask. Split View will allow multiple windows for a single app, which will enable users to work from two documents or compare two images or texts. Apps may need to make some adjustments to accommodate these functionalities and others. For example, App Exposé will let you see all of an app’s open windows with a simple tap to the application’s dock icon. Features like Split View may cause issues surrounding default window selection since mobile app developers have never had to account for multiple windows for a single application.

Other Features of iOS 13 / iPadOS

This first iteration of iPadOS will feature lots of additional features that will make tablets more user-friendly. Dark mode will give your tablet a dark color-scheme that shifts white backgrounds to black. This color scheme can be easier on your eyes while also making your device less bothersome to others nearby. Using the scheduler, you can even shift into dark mode at certain times of the day. Users will also enjoy new Apple Sign In integration, which allows you to use your existing Apple ID to sign into various websites and apps using Touch ID or Face ID. Finally, there will be no need to continually enter usernames and passwords as you go about your day. Oh, and if you have Android or Windows devices, you’ll find that you can use your Apple ID to sign in on those platforms too. iOS 13 / iPadOS also features:

  • Faster Face ID unlock–up to 30% faster!
  • Faster app launch–up to twice as fast, in fact.
  • Smaller app downloads updates, which makes installing and updating much easier.
  • Look Around gives you a chance to explore a location in a 3D 360-degree view, a lot like Google Maps’ Streetview feature.
  • Junction View gives drivers more specific lane information prior to approaching a street junction. So you won’t find yourself crossing four lanes of traffic to make a turn.
  • Shared listening lets you pair two sets of AirPods to a single iPad.

These are just some of the many features you can enjoy with the newest Apple operating system. You can learn more on Apple’s feature preview page. An experienced mobile app development team will go through your app, examining each new feature and functionality, ensuring that it renders properly and plays well with your app interface. At SevenTablets, we have years of experience in the fields of mobile app development and custom software development. Some of our specialties include app testing, UI/UX design and app security. We can also equip your mobile app or software platform with a range of other technologies such as Machine Learning and Augmented Reality (AR). SevenTablets is headquartered in Dallas, with additional regional offices located in Houston, Austin, and soon, Chicago. We work with clients across the nation and beyond, so if you’re ready to create an incredible mobile app or custom software platform, we invite you to reach out to the team at SevenTablets.

Reach out to our team today!

Shane Long

Shane Long

As President of SevenTablets, Shane Long brings experience in mobility that pre-dates the term “smartphone” and the release of the first iPhone. His work has helped revolutionize the growth of mobility by bringing to market one of the first graphics processors used in mobile phones, technology that after being acquired by Qualcomm lived well into the 4th generation of smartphones, as well as helped pioneer the first GPS implementations in the segment. With a strong engineering and business background, Shane understands how the rise of mobility and Predictive Analytics is crucial to greater business strategies geared toward attaining competitive advantage, accelerating revenue, and realizing new efficiencies. As the leader of a B2B mobility solutions provider, he partners with business leaders including marketers and product developers to leverage enterprise mobile applications, big data and analytics, and mobile strategy.

Shane earned a B.S. at Texas A&M (whoop!) and studied mathematics as a graduate student at Southern Methodist University.

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