Apple recently showcased new stuff coming to iPhones, iPads, and Macs at WWDC. As an iPad owner and a generally very impatient person, I couldn’t wait till September (or whenever) to get the official update. So immediately the Public Beta went live, I signed up and installed iPadOS 14.
I don’t know what I expected, but let me just say the update feels pretty underwhelming.
I had written a post detailing all the new stuff coming to the iPad, and as I installed the Beta update and restarted my device, I was excited. I expected a whole new experience. That never happened:
- There are no visual changes to talk about.
- Widgets? Well, that update was mainly for iPhones. On the iPad, widgets are still on the very left as usual. Only that now adding them is pretty weird, and harder. They can’t be moved around.
- I really don’t use Siri, so the only change is where it pops up from. Its abilities still pretty much feel the same.
- The sidebar looks good on Apple Music. But it isn’t present in other Apple Stock Apps. For example, wouldn’t it make sense to have it on the App Store, and on the Podcasts App? Apple is just making it hard to use their own apps with different UIs on different Apps.
- I haven’t noticed any serious improvements to Search. Nothing really feels “enhanced”.
For me, all the new things Apple is introducing to the iPad feel pretty minor tweaks that would have been done easily through App Store updates. They’re so minor, Apple could have just sent out small app updates and things would be fine.
The only thing I know would need a whole OS upgrade is Scribble – the feature that allows you to use the Apple Pencil on ALL text boxes. It is the only new thing I have liked and seen an impact of with iPadOS 14.
Though it still feels finicky, I quite enjoy the feature because it makes the Pencil more useful. For people who don’t draw, and those who don’t write down a lot of notes but have the Apple Pencil, there are now more ways to interact with your iPad because you can use the Pencil anywhere there’s a text field. You will no longer be tapping the keyboard while balancing the Pencil on your hand because you can instead just write what you wanted to type.
For example, normally it would be so hard to type a URL or a search term to Safari while holding the pencil. Now I just write what URL or search term I want with the Pencil. No need to constantly put the Pencil down, pick it up later. It has made my writing so easy because instead of using a third-party Note-taking app to write posts then convert them to text and copy them to the blog, I can directly write posts in the browser (though that takes quite a long time). The Notes app is also now much better and converts text when you copy what you’ve written.
That’s pretty much all with the upcoming update.
iPadOS 13 felt like a really major upgrade to the iPad. It changed a lot and was a whole new direction for Apple with tablets. iPadOS 14 doesn’t. It still feels tied to iOS, which it sought to break free from. Maybe there will be new features later on, but for now, don’t expect a lot on your iPad when the official update rolls out.