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Smartphones & gadgets

Your iPad just got its biggest upgrade in years – 7 new features try now

Typically with the changing of seasons from summer to fall comes a slew of new Apple devices. This year is no different as the Cupertino company updates its line of iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

Along with four models of iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7, a new entry-level iPad and a redesigned sixth-generation iPad Mini are being released. Tap or click here to check out some features on these updated Apple devices.

It’s no surprise most are razor-focused on the iPhone. After all, it’s Apple’s bestselling product and a driving force of success. iOS 15 also launched with updates for the venerated smartphone. iPadOS 15 hit the scene with many of the same updates, but the tablet-based operating system packs exclusive goodies.

Crossover features

Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating systems usually share many features and updates, and the latest release is no exception. Both iPhone and iPad get Focus mode, Facetime updates including SharePlay and spatial audio, new Memoji, notification updates and more. Tap or click here for more about iOS 15.

Sure, there’s some crossover but the iPad has some unique capabilities that shine in iPadOS 15. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Widgets

Your apps live on your home screen to give you easy access. Now they are finding company among your widgets. You can get instant information such as weather, maps and your calendar as soon as you unlock your tablet. Find My, Contacts, Game Center, App Store, and Mail have new widgets, while many have grown in size.


2. App Library

App Library automatically organizes your apps into groups like Productivity, Recently Added and Games. It’s built right into the Dock for easy access.


3. Quick Notes/Tags

You can now scribble over any app or screen by opening a Quick Note via keyboard shortcut, from the Control Center or swiping up from the corner. You can put anything in a quick note, including links, Safari highlights, tags and mentions.


4. Seamless use with a Mac

Connect a single mouse and/or keyboard to work on your iPad and Mac simultaneously. You can even connect them to more than one of the same device. Try moving your cursor from your Mac to your iPad, then type on your Mac. The text will show up on your iPad.

Tap or click here to hear what Kim Komando thinks about iOS 15.

5. Multitasking Menu

A new multitasking menu is at the top of apps, so you can go into Split View or Slide Over with a tap. You get easy access to your home screen, where you can pick the apps you want to work with simultaneously.


6. Keyboard shortcuts

Attach a keyboard to your iPad and you’ll get a list of shortcuts. Hold down the Command key to view shortcuts for a specific app. You can use shortcuts to quickly set up and switch between Split View and Slide Over.


7. Center Window

Touch and hold an email, note or message to bring it to the center of your screen without leaving your current view. You can see the Multitasking menu here as well.

Update your iPad now

Your iPad will let you know when an update is available. You can start the process immediately or later on.

It’s a good idea to back up your iPad before installing any major updates such as a new operating system. You can back up your iPad using iCloud or your computer. If you want to back up all of your devices, we recommend our sponsor IDrive.

IDrive protects all your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android devices with just one account. Its versatile and user-friendly platform has made saving and recovering data easy for small businesses and individual use.

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You can manually check for and install updates on your iPad in a few steps:

  • Go to Settings > General Software Update.
  • Tap Download and Install Now if the option is available.
  • You may want to plug your phone in so you don’t lose power during the update.

If you’re using an iPhone, iPad or Mac, you need to update your device right now to protect against a vulnerability. Tap or click here for more on the bug and updating instructions for your Apple products.

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