In September of 2020, Apple launched a brand new version of iPadOS that brings a bunch of new changes to its iconic tablet. Here’s everything that you’re getting, how to get it, and whether your iPad will be able to run it.

Update 01/26/21: Apple released iPadOS 14.4.

The latest: iPadOS 14.4 is available

Apple has released iPadOS 14.4, an update to the iPad operating system that includes some minor improvements and bug fixes. Here are the release notes:

iOS 14.4 includes the following improvements for your iPhone:

  • Smaller QR codes can be recognized by Camera
  • Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications
  • Notifications for when the camera on your iPhone is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera in iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

This release also fixes the following issues:

  • Image artifacts could appear in HDR photos taken with iPhone 12 Pro
  • Fitness widget may not display updated Activity data
  • Typing may be delayed and word suggestions may not appear in the keyboard
  • The keyboard may not come up in the correct language in Messages
  • Audio stories from the News app in CarPlay may not resume after being paused for spoken directions or Siri
  • Enabling Switch Control in Accessibility may prevent phone calls from being answered from the Lock Screen

Here is information about the security updates in iPadOS 14.4:

Kernel

Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

Impact: A malicious application may be able to elevate privileges. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.

Description: A race condition was addressed with improved locking.

CVE-2021-1782: an anonymous researcher

WebKit

Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

Impact: A remote attacker may be able to cause arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.

Description: A logic issue was addressed with improved restrictions.

CVE-2021-1871: an anonymous researcher

CVE-2021-1870: an anonymous researcher

To update your iPad, launch the Settings app, the tap General > Software Update.

What are iOS 14’s main new features?

App design

The biggest change you’re going to see on your iPad is with apps. Apple is bringing a refined design language to the iPad, with sidebars, pull-down menus, and toolbars that look more like Mac apps than ever before.

Apple WWDC keynote Apple

Tablet apps have new sidebars, toolbars, and menus in iPadOS 14.

Many of Apple’s own apps, including Photos, Music, Shortcuts, Voice Memos, Calendar, Notes, Files, Mail, and Contacts have new drag-and-drop sidebars that make navigation and organization easier, and streamlined toolbars in Files, Calendar, and other apps keep things simple. Also, you’ll see Mac-like popovers when doing things like picking emoji and pull-down menus that distill buttons down to a single tap.

Redesigned widgets

ipados14 home screen Apple

Widgets have gotten a makeover in iPadOS 14.

Widgets took on greater prominence in iPadOS 13 when they were given a spot on the home screen, but in iPadOS 14 they’re getting even better. Just like in iOS 14, widgets on the iPad have been completely redesigned to be more versatile, informative, and intelligent. Widgets now come in multiple sizes so you can choose how much information to show, and a new gallery will help you discover new widgets, even if you haven’t installed the app yet.

Search

ipados 14 search Apple

You can search for anything wherever you are in iPadOS 14.

In iPadOS 14, search is more like it is on the Mac. For one, it has a new compact design that lets you start search from anywhere—on the home screen or in an app—and doesn’t take over your whole screen. But far more importantly, search has been completely rebuilt, with better organization, typing suggestions, and strong when searching. You’ll be able to locate and launch apps quickly, call contacts, get answers, and find just about anything on your iPad no matter where it’s hiding.

Scribble

Apple Pencil may be known as a drawing tool, but in iPadOS 14 it’s picking up some serious skills for writers too. Apple is enhancing Apple Pencil’s text capabilities by bringing the Apple Watch’s Scribble tech to the iPad for enhanced handwriting recognition and conversion in all text fields. So you can use your Apple Pencil as a primary input device now.

ipados scribble Apple

You can now write in any text field on your iPad and it’ll convert to typed text.

Scribble is more than a keyboard replacement, however. In addition to text conversion, you can scratch out something you’ve written to erase it, circle something to select it and copy or move it, and paste handwritten notes as if they were text. And on-board AI recognizes addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and other data in handwritten text just like like it does with typed text so you can call someone after jotting down their number.

And Scribble isn’t just limited to text. Apple’s handwriting engine will also help you draw geometrically perfect lines, arcs, and shapes. So if you’re really bad at drawing, you can make something that kind of looks like a circle or a star or even an arrow, and and your iPad will convert it to its “ideal form.”

When you draw a shape with your Apple Pencil, the system will recognize it and make it “geometrically perfect,” while data detectors can distinguish phone numbers, dates, and addresses in your own handwriting. And you can also select words and sentences to move them or change the color all in your personal handwriting. You can also select handwritten notes as text and the coolest feature of all: scratch something out to delete it.

Safari

safari tabs favicons Apple

The new Safari update brings automatic favicons to every tab.

Like the Mac, Apple is bringing major enhancements to its browser on the iPad. Not only is it faster, but it’s also easier to navigate. You can see more tabs at once thanks to its streamlined design, and active tabs are no longer blank. In iPadOS 14, favicons appear by default so you can quickly switch between them. You’ll also be able to translate entire webpages with a tap ( English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian, or Brazilian Portuguese only), and you’ll get an alert when one of your passwords might have been involved in a data breach. Then you can either change your password or switch to Sign in with Apple for tighter security.

Augmented Reality

Apple’s AR ambitions are literally laser-focused on the iPad with the iPad Pro’s new LiDAR Scanner, and it’s only getting more powerful in iPadOS 14. Apple’s new ARKit 4 is loaded with new APIs that will fuel the next generation of AR apps, including Depth, Location Anchors, Extended face tracking support and object occlusion, and video textures

What about iOS 14’s features?

Along with these specific features, the iPad is also getting many of the cool new features in iOS 14, including a compact interface for Siri and calls, App Clips, which let you start using an app without downloading it, and on-device dictation, which is speedier and more private than before. But you’re not getting everything. Most notably the App Library and Translate app aren’t making their way the the iPad, but you can find the full list of what you’re not getting here.

Which devices are supported?

If your iPad can run iOS 13, it’ll also be able to run iOS 14. Those devices include:

iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
iPad Pro 10.5-inch
iPad Pro 9.7-inch
iPad (7th generation)
iPad (6th generation)
iPad (5th generation)
iPad mini (5th generation)
iPad mini 4
iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPad Air 2

How can I get the iPadOS 14?

Once iPadOS 14 is released on September 16, Apple will begin sending notifications to users, prompting them to make the update. That can take quite a while, though, and there’s no need to wait for it. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap Software Update.

Follow the prompts to install and reboot your iPad, and you’ve got iPadOS 14!

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LaraZ
Author: LaraZ