At WWDC 2019, Apple confirmed that iPads won’t be getting the iOS 13 update. It announced during the show that the company’s tablet line is getting its own distinct operating system instead, called iPadOS.
iPadOS builds on the same foundation as iOS, adding powerful new capabilities and intuitive features specific to the large display and versatility of the iPad.
iPadOS now contains a new home screen with widgets that can expand alongside app icons. These widgets are the same as the ones you’d normally find in the Notification Center. Apple is also adding in more multitasking gestures to slide between multiple apps and drag and drop apps side by side. All of these apps are then available in an Exposé-like view.
Related: Apple’s Siri is getting a new voice
However, iPadOS will also include an improved Files app. It has a column view just like Finder on macOS, and there’s an information pane so you can make small modifications on files.
Perhaps most importantly, USB drives and SD cards will now be supported in the Files app, so you can just plug them into an iPad and get access to the files within this updated app. You’ll even be able to import photos into apps like Lightroom without having to use a Siri Shortcut.
iPadOS is designed to run on Apple’s iPad devices, and it will give the company more freedom to tweak the operating system for these larger screens. Just as Apple has watchOS for the Apple Watch, tvOS for its Apple TV, and macOS for its range of Mac computers, iPadOS will be separate but familiar to iOS users.
Apple has also not revealed when it will release iOS 13 but, if they follow their usual launch cycle, expect a release to come soon after the new iPhone launches in September.