For the first few years of the iPad’s life, Apple basically treated it like an overgrown iPhone. Yes, its bigger screen meant people would want to use it differently, and third-party developers did a fine job retooling their software to make full use of that extra screen space. It wasn’t until iOS 9 when Apple really invested in tablet-specific features like Split View and Slide Over, and it was that subtle shift in priorities led us directly to the present — and to iPadOS.
Don’t be fooled by the name, though: iOS and iPadOS are still mostly the same thing. Nearly every feature I’ve discussed in our iOS 13.1 review is present here, along with a series of changes that are helping to slowly close the gap between iPads and more traditional computers. To get a sense of iPadOS’s progress, I vowed to put as much of this review together on an iPad Pro, and honestly, I’m pretty pleased with the results.
I couldn’t do everything, but the fact that I could write the copy, edit and watermark my photos, address fixes in Google Docs and lay out almost everything for the site speaks to how much more capable iPads can be after an update. We’re still not at the point where iPadOS turns iPads into full-blown computer replacements for most people, but the update is a big step down that path.
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