The iPadOS Versions Guide

The iPad operating system breaks away from iOS

iPadOS is the operating system for Apple’s wildly successful tablets. iPadOS 13 was the first iteration of the OS and iPadOS 14 is the latest. Get the details about each version.

iPadOS 14: Redesigned Widgets and a New Scribble App

iPadOS 14 redesigned widgets.

Released: September 16, 2020

The latest version of iPadOS features several refinements to the interface, redesigned apps, and augmented reality. It also adds more privacy information in the App Store and delivers a privacy report for the websites you visit. When using Airpods, you'll get battery notifications, and you can switch seamlessly from your iPad to your iPhone and vice versa.

A cool new app called Scribble converts handwriting to text, and you can use your Apple Pencil in any text field. You can also scratch to erase and circle to select text

Apple's Today View widget was redesigned to fit more information on your home screen. Apps have been enhanced with sidebars and pull-down menus for easier navigation.

When you make or receive calls through your iPhone, Facetime, and other calling apps, the call information displays in a compact design that takes up very little of the screen.

The Messages app gets pinned conversations, inline replies, and the ability to type a name to send them a direct message. Finally, cycling directions and electric vehicle routing have been conveniently added to Maps.

iPadOS 13: Widgets, Dark Mode, Gestures, and More

Apple Pencil and iPadOS 13 panel
Apple Inc

Released: September 24, 2019
Final Version: iPadOS 13.7

With iPad OS 13, you can fit more apps on the screen at once, and it also allows for the new Pinned Widgets feature. 

This OS also adds improvements to Slide Over and Split View. You can have several apps open in Slide Over, making it much faster to switch between them in the right-side column Apple puts them in. Split View can now bring up two “Spaces” with the same app, so you can, for example, open two Pages documents at once.

There are improvements for Apple’s fancy stylus, Apple Pencil, here as well. The latency of the device has been decreased so there’s less lag between when you put the tip down on your iPad and when the screen is affected. There’s also a whole new palette for Apple Pencil in iPadOS 13, handy for full document markup, and extending the screen of your macOS Catalina-powered Mac more useful.

iPadOS 13 adds a few more gestures, specifically tailored to text editing. You’ll now three-finger pinch to copy, three-finger spread to paste, and three-finger swipe to undo. Double three-finger pinch and you can cut text just as easily.

The Safari browser will now identify itself to web servers as a Mac so that you’ll get a computer-optimized website the first time around. This is a fantastic addition for those who use web apps like Google Docs or WordPress. 

The much-anticipated Dark Mode is here in iPadOS 13, and it’s not just inverting colors. It’s been created from the ground up and integrated across the whole system. 

iPadOS 13 comes with Apple Arcade, a premium game subscription service, a new Siri voice, smarter maps and ways to share your stuff with other people, improved Notes, and an all-new Reminders app, the ability to add fonts, privacy-focused Sign In with Apple, and much more.