iPadOS 14 FAQ: Everything you need to know

Later this fall, Apple will launch 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 09/15/20: Apple has announced that iPadOS 14 will be released on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. Check that your iPad is supported and see how to get it. Beta testers will be updated to the final version a day earlier.

What are the 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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.