Dane Trethowan <grtdane@...>
These changes to Apple iPad OS are going to make things all that much easier for those of us who use the iPad as a recorder etc.
The following article appeared in Today's "Theaustralian" newspaper.
File management makeover, operating system to boost iPad
Apple chief design officer Jonathan Ive and senior vice president of
hardware engineering Dan Riccio look at the screen of an iPad in San Jose.
Apple’s iPad is getting a file management makeover, and that means vastly
increased functionality. You’ll be able to plug in USB drives, SD cards, and
external drives, and access media as you would on a laptop. This is expected
to majorly extend the iPad’s usefulness.
The new feature was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in
San Jose last week and will be available around spring, when Apple releases
its first iPad-specific operating system, iPadOS. If you can’t wait until
then, you can download a public beta (trial) version in July.
It’s one of a slew of changes to the iPad. They include a feature called
Sidecar, where you use an iPad as a second screen for a Mac.
The Files app currently lets you access and open files on an iPad, or
through various cloud services. These services include iCloud Drive, Box,
Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Adobe Creative Cloud and Google Drive. You can
move iCloud Drive files to your local drive, or use regular iPad services to
email, share and print them.
But it lacked the versatility of managing files on external drives available
on a laptop.
The shift to iPads with a USB-C drive has finally seen Apple make this much
easier. iPadOS will let you plug in external hard drives, USB flash drives
and SD cards using an adaptor, and access and transfer files to and from
Apple says the new functions will apply to all current iPad models, iPad Air
and even five-year-old iPad Minis. But iPads with lightning connectors
rather than USB-C ones won’t be able to power external drives. In those
cases, you’ll need an external power source.
When you plug in a drive, you will be able to drill down into nested
folders, manage and move files. An external drive will be visible along with
iPad folders, and those from the cloud services. But folders used by the
Photos app won’t be visible.
You will be able to locate images and email them as attachments, or edit
them without needing to copy them into iPad storage. You can post files
stored on external drives straight to social media.
You will be able to open a third-party video editing app on an iPad and work
with a bunch of high-resolution videos sitting on an SD card. You can more
easily process media on the go.
The same features will work with an iPhone, although you will currently need
a lightning adaptor, which means no external power support, and you will
have to make do with the smaller screen. You will be able to create local
folders on an iPad.
Apple is adding SMB support, so from your home network you can access files
from a home PC, file server and network storage.
Apple also announced changes to Safari on iPad. Users will see the desktop
version of websites rather than the more limited mobile sites. Users will be
able to manage and edit WordPress and Squarespace websites from iPad.
Apple says the new file management will support external media formatted as
FAT, exFAT (used by Windows), HFS and APFS (used by macOS)
Safari on iPad will have a download manager — again, the iPad will have a
more desktop-like functionality. The Files app will interact with a
There’s lots of general changes. The iPad home page will display widgets on
the left side and you can configure a series of widgets that scroll up from
There’s new gestures for accessing several apps at the same time side by
You can have two instances of the same app running next to one another. You
could show two Notes app documents side by side, scroll through one and
selectively copy text to the other. Slide over mode lets you access selected
apps by sliding left from the right side of the screen. You could set up
your iPad to access your calendar, mail and messages in this way.
Text editing has been overhauled. Scrolling up and down documents requires
less effort, moving the cursor around a document is more intuitive, you can
copy and paste using three finger gestures, and Apple virtual keyboards
support swipe typing.
Apple says it has reduced the latency (delay) using Apple Pencil from about
24 to 9 milliseconds.
Chris Griffith attended Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose
courtesy of Apple.