iPadOS: Awesome New Features for iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Air

Awesome New iPadOS 13 Features

With the iPadOS release, which should be out later today, the iPad is inching ever so closer to becoming a laptop replacement. You can now run multiple instances of the same app, you can download files using Safari, not to mention that Safari now loads desktop websites by default. If you’ve just upgraded to iPadOS 13, here is our definitive guide to using all the new iPadOS 13 features for iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Air users.

Awesome New iPadOS 13 Features for iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Air

1. Dark Mode

iPadOS 13 Settings App Dark Mode

You’re going to love the new dark mode in iPadOS 13. It instantly flips the color scheme, giving you a true back background and white text. Not only is it easy on the eyes, but it also helps with the battery life.

To toggle dark mode, open Control Center, and tap and hold on the Brightness bar. In the bottom-left corner, you’ll see a new Dark Mode toggle. Tap on it to switch to the Dark mode.

2. Widgets on Home Screen

iPadOS New Home Screen

You can now view widgets directly on the Home screen and pin them to the Home screen as well. When you’re in the Home screen, swipe right to reveal the widgets. To pin then, swipe to the bottom of the Today View panel and tap on Edit. Then turn on the toggle next to Keep on Home Screen.

3. Open Multiple Windows of Same App on iPad

You can now open multiple windows or instances of the same app. It can be on a new screen or in split view. If an app support it, just tap on a section of an app (like a note or a mail), drag it out of the app and to the right edge of the screen.

Then release your finger to create another window of the same app. If you want to open the window full screen, take the finger to the top of the page and then release it.

4. Open Multiple Apps in Slide Over

To open multiple apps in Slide Over, first, bring forth a floating Slide Over panel, enable the Dock and then drag an app icon over the Slide Over window that’s currently open. You can cycle between open windows by swiping left/right on the little Home bar below the Slide Over panel.

5. See All Instances Of a Single App Together

Apple has brought the App Expose feature to the iPad so you can see app open windows from the current app in one screen and you can quit any windows if needed. When the app is open, bring up the Dock and tap on the app icon to see app open windows together. Swipe up to close a particular app instance.

6. Download Files Using Safari

iPadOS 13 Safari Downloader

Safari gets a download manager on both the iPhone and iPad. When you visit a link that can be downloaded, you’ll see a popup asking if you want to download the file. Then, a new Download icon will appear in the toolbar. Tap on it to monitor all your downloads.

Once the download is finished, you’ll find it in the Downloads folder in the Files app, It will be stored locally.

But you can, and should change the default download location in iPadOS 13. You can even change it to the local storage. Go to Settings -> Safari -> Downloads and switch to On my iPad. You can also go in and select another folder of your choice.

7. Organize and Use Local Storage in Files App

iPadOS 13 Local Folders

If you use your iPad for work that involved juggling a lot of documents and files, this new feature will make your life much easier. You can now organize files in folders directly on Local Store. Previously you could only do this for iCloud Drive or Dropbox. Now, you can create a new folder on your local storage and move files around.

If you have the 256GB iPad, you’ll love this feature. Just open the Files app, go to the On my iPad section and tap and hold anywhere to get the popup to create a new folder.

8. Use External Storage in Files App

iPadOS 13 iPad External Storage

Files app now supports external storage devices natively on your iPad. This is great news for users of iPad Pro with USB-C who have been wanted to use USB-C flash drives with their iPads. In fact, the Files app even works with a Kindle if you have the proper cable. Rest assured, if you can get the storage drive connected to the Files app, it will read it.

Once it’s connected, it will show up in the Sidebar in the Files app. Just tap on the drive to open the directory. You can simply tap and hold on files and folders to drag them to another location like iCloud Drive or your local storage.

9. Use a Mouse With Your iPad

iPadOS 13’s new accessibility feature will let you use a mouse with your iPad. Open the Settings app, go to Accessibility section and turn on AssistiveTouch.

Then go to the Devices section and put your iPad in pairing mode. Connect your mouse to your iPad and then you’ll see a cursor appear on the screen. You can move it around. The left-click will emulate a finger tap while the right-click will open the AssistiveTouch menu. You can change the tracking speed, cursor size, cursor color and more from the AssistiveTouch menu.

10. Use Your iPad As Second Display For Mac

Apple’s new Sidecar feature will let you use the iPad as a secondary display for a Mac that’s running macOS Catalina. It will work both wirelessly and using a wired connection. It’s quite fast and there’s no latency.

If you have an Apple Pencil, you can use the attached iPad as a drawing tablet for your Mac.

11. Use Dark Mode on Schedule

Go to Settings -> Display & Brightness and turn on the Automatic feature. From the new options below, you can set a custom schedule for dark mode based on the sunrise/sunset or a specific time.

12. Reduce Home Screen Icons Grid

iPadOS 13 has a 5 by 6 grid. But you can go back to the old 5 by 5 grid by going to Settings -> Display and then switching to the Bigger option in the App Icon Size menu.

13. Use New Text Editing Gestures

Apple is also taking text selection seriously. You can now just tap and hold on the cursor to pick it up and instantly move it around.

Text selection is way easier now. Just tap on a word and instantly swipe to where you want to select, like the end of the paragraph. iPadOS will select all the text in between the two points.

Once the text is selected, you can use gestures to copy it. Just pinch in with three fingers to copy, pinch out with three fingers to paste and swipe back with three fingers to undo typing or action.

We’ve written more about the text editing gestures in detail in our guide.

14. New Reminders App

iPadOS 13 Reminders App

The Reminders app has been redesigned from the ground up. It now has a dashboard-style interface, with multiple lists, grouped lists, subtasks, and rich attachment support.

But the best new feature is the new text input suggestions. You can type a reminder and then type time and day in the end. You’ll see a suggestion in the keyboard field to attach it to the reminders. This is not as great as third party apps but it’s better than nothing.

15. Take Full Page Screenshots in Safari

When you take a screenshot in Safari and tap on the preview box, you’ll see a new Full Page option at the top. Tap on it and you’ll be able to mark up and capture the entire page.

16. Quickly Take Screenshot and Mark-Up with Apple Pencil

You can swipe in from the bottom corner of the screen using the Apple Pencil to take a screenshot and to start annotating it. You’ll also see an option to take full page screenshot in the right side.

17. Use the Compact Keyboard with Gesture Typing

iPadOS 13 has a new compact floating keyboard that you can shrink and move around anywhere. Just pinch in on the keyboard to get into this mode. Once you’re in this mode, you can also use the gesture typing feature.

18. Find The New Updates Section in App Store

When you open the App Store, you’ll notice that the Updates section is gone, instead, it’s deserved for Apple’s Arcade gaming service. To find the Updates section, tap on your Profile icon at the top from the Today section.

In your profile page, you’ll find the app updates in the bottom part of the screen. You can update all apps if you want. Swipe left on an app to reveal a Delete button. Using this you can delete the app from your iPad.

19. Better Formatting in Mail App

Mail app on the iPad is growing up in a big way. It now offers Mac-class formatting options. When you’re in the Compose box, tap on the Aa icon from the toolbar to reveal all the formatting options. Here, you can change the font, font size, color, indentation, formatting and lot more.

iPadOS 13 also has a new feature that lets you download Fonts from the App Store as apps. Once downloaded, they’ll directly appear in this formatting menu in supported apps like Mail, Notes and more.

20. Use Third-Party Fonts

Apple is going to support fonts in iPadOS 13. They’ll be available as apps from the App Store. Once installed, you’ll be able to manage them from Settings. Any app that supports the native fonts picker (like in the Mail app), will be able to support these third-party fonts.

21. Long Press App Icons for Menus

Apple has enabled the Haptic Touch and Peek feature across all iPads. So you can tap and hold on an iPad to get a contextual menu. Tap and hold on a link in Safari to see a preview and options for opening it in a new tab or window and more.

22. New Way To Rearrange Apps on Home Screen

iPadOS 13 officially replaces 3D Touch with Haptic Touch on all iOS devices. There’s now a new way to rearrange apps on home screen. This means that when you tap and hold on an app icon, it will show a contextual menu instead of entering the Home screen editing mode.

To do that you’ll have to tap on the Rearrange Apps button from the menu or you can keep holding the app further.

23. Use The New Photo Editor

iPadOS 13 Photo Editing

The new and improved photo editor in the Photos app is a good replacement for Snapseed or Darkroom for basic image editing. It has a simpler, Instagram editing style interface. It has more editing features like vibrance, brillance and more. We’ve covered the feature in detail here.

24. Use The New Video Editor

When you edit a video on the iPad, you’ll now see the new editor. You can quickly crop the video, change the aspect ratio, orientation and apply basic image editing features to the video. All the changes are non-destructive so you can go back to the original video at any time.

25. Toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth From Control Center

iPadOS 13 Wi-Fi selection in Control Center

The little feature makes the experience of using an iPad as a work device much easier. Open the Control Center, and expand the toggles panel. Now, just tap and hold on the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggle. You’ll now see a list from which you can pick Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth connections to switch to.

As someone who as three different networks in my house, this little feature is a god sent.

We have just covered only the major new iPadOS features in this article, don’t forget to check out our article for the comprehensive list of new iOS 13 features, which includes more than hundred new and hidden features.

Your Favorite iPadOS 13 features?

What are some of your favorite iPadOS 13 features? Let us know in the comments below.