iPadOS 16 Wish List: Every new feature we hope to see at WWDC
Apple’s WWDC Keynote will launch in less than two weeks, and we’re expecting a great show with new OS features and hopefully some new hardware. We’re waiting for the big update on iOS and macOS — but what we want is some meaningful change in iPadOS.
Since the launch of the iPadOS in 2019, Apple has not given it the attention it deserves. Last year, it got the app library and got an irresistible implementation of desktop widgets, but we’re hoping the iPadOS 16 will finally be an update that improves Apple’s tablet. Here we want to see eight features unveiled at WWDC.
It’s a request for features that appear on everyone’s list of favorites each year and will remain so until Apple decides to do something about it. It’s simple: if Apple wants to give the iPad a better computer experience, it needs to allow multiple user accounts. Like Macs, people share iPads between family members and roommates, and you don’t need to be tied to a single iCloud account.
As good as the iPad Pro’s hardware, form factor, and processor are, it’s still stuck with the same interface as its remote $ 329 cousin, and has been severely damaged by iOS. And as it turns out, the Magic Keyboard is a more convenient desktop accessory than a productivity tool, but with a newer interface it will be more efficient. A desktop or pro mode will change it immediately.
Google does something similar to its Chrome tablets, but Apple can do better with a hybrid MacOS-iPadOS environment that switches seamlessly between tablet and desktop modes when unlocking touchpad features with an intuitive, powerful interface.
Speaking of Pro mode, if Apple wants the iPad to be an alternative to desktop computers, it needs desktop-caliber apps. Lots of third-party developers make these: Adobe, Pixelmator, Shapr3D— but Apple’s main apps are missing when working on the iPad. Where is Final Cut Pro? Excode? Logic Pro? Speed? It’s been over six years since Apple released the iPad Pro, and we’re still waiting for Apple to release a single Pro app.
Dominic Thomaszewski / IDG
External monitor support
The iPad technically supports external displays, but it gets it almost as early as. When you plug an iPad into an external display, you’ll see a uniform home screen for everything on your iPad, with ugly black bars on each side. Yes, some applications take advantage of unique dual-screen capabilities, such as ProCreat and Lumafusion, but in most cases, the experience is less than great. Much like the Magic Keyboard suggestion above, we’d like to plug an iPad into an external display and get a wider desktop like the Mac.
The iPadOS 15 has a great feature called Quick Notes that lets you swipe from the edge of the screen to bring up a floating square that lets you quickly write down your thoughts and then swipe it. This is a neat feature which is frustrating because it is very limited. If Apple can access this instant via note, it can be done with the help of a calculator, music, messages, any app that requires a small window and no more than a few seconds of interaction. This is not contrary to our desire for interactive widgets on the iPhone, but they will be more effective on the iPad, where the key to the multitasking experience.
When it comes to multitasking, an upgrade to iPadOS is a major requirement. The current incarnation is confusing and complex, and Apple’s changes to iOS 15 — Shelf and Three-Dot Menu করে try to eliminate some of the confusion when adding unnecessary complexity levels. No one new to the iPad can simply launch their tablet and instantly know how to multitask — and we’re willing to bet, if not, most iPad users don’t even know how to use split-screen and slide-overs.
Mack, there’s nothing to learn. Anyone completely new to the platform will instantly learn how to multitask without tutorials or learning curves. The iPad doesn’t have to be like multitasking Mac, but it does require the same level of insight.
Freedom from the grid
We understand why Apple prefers the iPhone grid. With a small screen, icons and apps need to be neat and organized, but that doesn’t matter with a tablet. Since its debut in 2010, the iPad has been integrated with the iPhone grid which is very wide, very limited and very limited. And now that we have the desktop widget, the limitations feel even more limited.
Widgets on the iPad may be a better experience, but Apple has rarely stopped short of offering us a customizable, personalized desktop. Instead of jumbling them at the top of the grid, the icons should be placed anywhere on the screen and locked in the nearest grid. Then we can create an iPad desktop that we don’t really mind seeing.
There are rumors that Apple plans to launch some “fresh” apps at WWDC, but we really want the missing iOS apps to come to the iPad: notably, Weather, Wallet, Calculator and Health. We don’t know why they’re not there, but it’s time for Apple to add them.