We don’t know yet what it will look like, but in less than a month, WWDC 2020 will give us our first glance at the next generation Apple operating system. And this year, all eyes are on iPadOS. After separating itself from iOS last year to give the iPad more room to breathe, Apple’s tablet is on the verge of collapse with New trackpad support and “reimagined” cursor. This is what we hope iPadOS 14 brings to take things to the next level.
When Apple added multitasking on iOS 11 with Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture, it gave the iPad a new identity. However, Apple hasn’t done much to update the picture since then. While the iPhone 11 has smart movements that help you move around without fumbling for the home button, multitasking on the iPad is a confusing mix between touching, tapping, holding, dragging, and sliding, nothing intuitive. And it’s no better when you use a trackpad.
With iOS 14, Apple needs to re-imagine the iPad’s movement in a serious way to make it as smart as on the iPhone, with intuitive controls that feel natural and smooth.
Apple’s Magic Keyboard is more than just a way to type on your tablet. This is a new experience that is closer than ever to the MacBook, with a better trackpad, backlight keyboard and laptop ergonomics. But when you install your iPad Pro there, you get the same touch-based interface as before. Apple might have added a cursor, but the iPad experience hasn’t changed, so the whole system feels fixated.
Special desktop mode will change it. Imagine a system where the traditional iPad OS turns into pointer friendly, with a floating window, a cleaner home screen, and a dynamic dock. The iPad isn’t just a tablet anymore, and Apple must fully embrace the two worlds.
This one is the biggest head scratcher of all. Ten years after the launch of the original iPad and we are still missing one of the most basic features: many users. This goes against everything Apple is fighting for – flexibility, versatility, ease of use and privacy – and makes it more difficult than sharing a tablet with your children. Amazon even allows you to create different profiles for children on their tablets so you don’t have to damage your workspace with games and time limits that you don’t want. We want to set up multiple users for everyone, but we will accept a special version of children.
Launchpad for iPad
Since the beginning of iOS, Apple has refused to let us hide our applications, forcing us to obsessively manage and prioritize our applications and home screens by opening all Marie Kondo on our device. The iPad is the only tablet that forces you to stare at icons all day and block wallpapers from display. It might be weird in 2010, but it’s time we got the Launchpad option in the dock that allowed us to completely hide the application from view.
While we are talking about the Mac application that we want to see on iPad, the Finder should be near the top of the list. The iPad has gone a long way with file management thanks to iCloud Drive and the Files application, but it’s still very inadequate compared to Finder on Mac. From limited display options to crippled search and lack of download folders or compression and extraction of original files, iPad shows its shortcomings every time it needs to interact with documents, which, you know, like all the time. Finder will help change that.
Better support for USB-C devices
It’s amazing that the iPad Pro has a standard USB-C port and not the Lightning port that other models have, but it’s almost as useless as it is on the Mac. Some devices don’t work, others have frustrating limitations, and nothing is as easy as on a Mac or PC. It would be nice if iOS 14 let us use the USB-C port on the iPad like we did on the old MacBook – for anything.
Advanced mode for external display
Speaking of annoying things connected to your iPad’s USB-C port, iPad’s external display support needs to be improved. When standing, you can mirror your iPad’s screen to an external monitor (including the LG UltraFine 4K screen with an iPad Pro USB-C port) and that’s it. So if you want to expand your iPad screen like almost everyone who uses a second monitor on their Mac, you’re out of luck. And who doesn’t want to turn their 12.9-inch iPad into a 50-inch iPad?
There are several applications that we always want to work with, like Safari and Pages, or Facebook and Twitter. As it stands, we need to launch them separately in Split View every time we want to use them together, which can be boring. We like the way to link two or even three applications so that when we tap on the icons, they are launched automatically in Split View or Slide Over to save us from problems.
Low power mode
The low power mode on the iPhone is great when we need to save the remaining battery to make sure we make it to a power outlet before the screen goes completely dark. For some reason, it’s not on the iPad and we’re not really sure why. You can mimic the effects of low power mode by dimming the screen and turning off Bluetooth, but the set-it-and-forget-it option will be better.
Small pop-ups for FaceTime and Siri
This must be easy. When a FaceTime call comes in, it interferes with your work with a full screen overlay that must be followed up. It’s the same when you need to ask Siri. Notification of small banners will be done, like on a Mac.
Vertical split screen
If you like us, 90 percent of the work you do on iPad is in landscape mode. But for times when we use it in portrait mode, it is very frustrating that we are limited to one application at a time. We are not sure why Apple limits Split View to landscape mode but we want to see it raised.
Pile on the dock
The iPad dock has become stronger and like a Mac over the last few updates, but it’s still missing one of our favorite features: Stacks. Sure, you can put folders in the dock, but the stack is at a different level. On our Mac, this is the best way to keep things neat without having to drag lots of things into folders.
It doesn’t need to work the same way – we think the “smart” stack for newly downloaded applications, music files or recently played iCloud – but this will be a great addition to the iPad dock.
PiP for non-video applications
When you need to get things done while watching videos on your iPad, Picture in Picture ensures that you don’t have to stop doing one thing just to do something else. But why should we limit it only to video players? Just like Slide Over, developers can build smaller versions of their application that can float in small windows when we need them. A bit like a widget but useful.
Come on Apple, even your watch has a calculator. With a giant screen, Apple can change an imperfect calculator into full size TI-83. But we will even take the small one at the Control Center.
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