Apple today unveiled an operating system designed specifically for iPad, a move that positions the company’s signature tablets to better compete with low-cost laptops in an era where the lines between devices are blurring.
The new iPadOS, announced Monday at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, separates the iPad from the iOS system that has long been used on both phones and tablets. Apple’s iPadOS features a redesigned home screen that takes advantage of the iPad’s larger display, more ways to multi-task between apps and better functionality with the Apple Pencil.
Apple also plans to offer a desktop quality browsing experience as part of the iPad update and the ability to plug in USB drives. Later in the conference, Apple showed off the ability to use an iPad as a second screen, a useful tool for working on creative projects.
Apple’s line of iPads lead the tablet market, though they rule over a shrinking domain. Giving the iPad more PC-like features opens it up to a bigger subset of customers who don’t need a high-powered device and might otherwise purchase a low-cost laptop like a Google Chromebook or a low-cost Windows PC.
Renewed focus on iPad shows Apple’s desire to pitch it as a competitor to Windows-powered notebooks & Google’s Chromebooks. Key highlights: full desktop browser, easier editing & support of external USB drives. Makes iPad a more viable day to day tool to do business. #WWDC19 pic.twitter.com/g256lHCVS3
— Ben Wood (@benwood) June 3, 2019
Here are a few of Apple’s other major announcements from WWDC:
Sign In with Apple: Apple has been on a privacy kick in recent months, and today it is targeting the third-party sign-in — the process of using an email address or social media account to log in to an app or website.
The new Sign In with Apple feature lets users sign in to apps and websites with their Apple ID. Apple then obscures that identification for the user by providing developers with a randomized ID.
Mac Pro and Apple Pro Display: Bearing an obvious resemblance to a cheese grater, the new Mac Pro is presented as anything but. The Mac Pro computer boasts Xeon processors with up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a 1.5TB capacity, and what Apple calls the world’s most powerful graphics card.
The company says Mac Pro and the Apple Pro Display, which features a 32-inch Retina 6K display with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, are the “most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of pro customers and will change pro workflows forever.”
The computer starts at $5,999, the display runs $4,999 and Apple is also offering a $999 Pro Stand. The devices will be available to order this fall.
iOS 13: The latest version of the iPhone operating system is headlined by the addition of dark mode, upgrades to camera and photo features and a souped up version of Apple Maps.
Apple says it drove nearly 4 million to rebuild its basemap, and it has added broader road coverage, better pedestrian data, more precise addresses and more details about terrain. The new map will roll out across the U.S. by the end of the year.
The Photos app in iOS 13 will curate a user’s picture library using on-device machine learning to hide repeat photos and pick out the best images. Apple will also offer more editing tools for photos in the latest version of iOS, rolling out this fall for iPhones 6s and up.
MacOS Catalina: The rumored demise of iTunes is coming as Apple confirmed that it will replace its original music store with upgraded versions of its three top entertainment apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV.
As part of the latest macOS update, dubbed Catalina, Apple will also offer better accessibility features like the ability to control devices entirely via voice. Catalina will be available this fall to Macs introduced after mid 2012.