Apple released iPadOS 16 in late October 2022, a full month after iOS 16 was released to the public; there were good reasons for that. Apple has finally brought some useful features to the iPad, like Stage Manager, secondary monitor support, a new Weather app, and more. Now that Apple has finally given iPad users some form of external monitor support, what else could Apple be working on for this amazing tablet? Parker Ortolani created a concept that illustrates how Apple could approach iPadOS 17, with a focus on simplicity, usability and enhancing the features that iPadOS 16 brought!
iPadOS 17 iPadOS 16 stage manager
As a first-time iPad user, Apple has made iPadOS 16 available with many new functions and features. After years of begging and pleading, we finally got a version of floating windows, as well as real external monitor support; For years we were stuck with split view and then mirrored your display on the monitor. But with these new features and improvements, some users said it still wasn’t there and that the learning curve was too big, so I think iPadOS 17 will take these features and make them usable for the masses.
Improved stage manager
Stage manager was a bit confusing for people who got in without knowing what the intention was. Stage Manager gave you the ability to have up to four free-flowing windows that can be resized. Now they weren’t infinitely resizable and the floating aspect was still a bit different than traditional desktop-class operating systems. There is still some sort of grid to follow, like the app grid. Then there was the app shelf aspect, which was also an odd implementation of multitasking. The intention and idea were there, Apple just needs to tweak it a bit.
Parker’s redesigned Stage Manager brings some great user interface improvements.
More user-friendly stage manager
Parker envisions an experience that combines Split View and Stage Manager. The idea would be to create full screen grid layouts and have more than two apps open and resizable at the same time. It also spawned a few new features like tidy stages, creating unique focus modes, and a Mission Control-type interface that lets you manage all your apps.
Mission Control would be a great addition to iPadOS; It would be ideal if you could see all your open apps and phases in full and at a glance. Again, Stage Manager was a wonderful addition to iPadOS, but some people were put off by the lack of ease of use. Improving the usability of Stage Manager will be key going forward.
Redesigned lock screen experience
The lock screen is one aspect of the iPad that has been severely neglected. The current state of the lock screen is boring, it has no function. Apple even got rid of the Today View, which was my favorite aspect of iPadOS 13.
The way Parker laid out what a revamped lock screen could look like makes the most sense. It requires very little innovation on Apple’s part, so it’s an easy question. Bring the Today View back to iPad, allow us to add the new iOS lock screen widgets, and give us the same customization features as iOS 16! Let’s use different fonts for time, have specific lock screens for focus modes and use live activities!
Development of the home screen
In my opinion, the home screen for the iPad has actually receded in recent years. Again, having the Today view pinned to the home screen made your iPad feel different from your iPhone. It gave him a differentiator that we no longer have. We got the ability to add widgets, but we still have to follow the grid format that Apple likes to implement.
Apple could easily expand the functionality of iPadOS 17 and give users a more desktop-like feel. First, Apple could bring back an improved version of Today View. With this new Today view, you can pin your favorite widgets or apps. You can add things like quick notes and more to the Today view.
Parker sees Apple also giving us the ability to add files and folders to the home screen. This would be a welcome addition. I’ve always wanted to have a recently edited file easily accessible on my homescreen. An improved context menu is also needed. Being able to launch a new tab, start a new split view, or launch a new window directly by long-pressing an app on the dock would be awesome!
New Apple Pencil features
Now let’s talk about the Apple Pencil. I use my Apple Pencil daily and it has been an essential tool in my iPad Pro workflow. But this version of the Apple Pencil was released in 2018, meaning it’s been five years since it’s been updated. Yes, we got the new hover feature, but that was a minor improvement and only applies to users who have the M2 iPad Pro. Parker represents a feature that would allow the Apple Pencil to have S Pen-like capabilities. He introduces the dial.
Apple Pencil Dial is something that would come to the iPad Pro range, but older ones too. Parker says:
The iPad Pro gets the Apple Pencil watch face. The watch face appears when you hold Apple Pencil over certain elements of apps. It provides shortcuts and quick access to tools at the drop of a hat. And combined with the new Preview for iPad, it enables faster and more efficient document editing.
This would be a logical next step to the hover feature; Hover adds some functionality, but not many can benefit from it. So it would be amazing to add a watch face that gives you contextually relevant shortcuts. I can imagine having my Affinity photo shortcuts front and center without having to go through menus to access them.
Although iPadOS 16 brought a ton of new features that really helped show people that iPad can be their computer, there’s still room for improvement. Features like Stage Manager, expanded monitor support, and Freeform were great additions that just need refinement and improvement for everyone to use. Also, adding familiar iOS features like a new lock screen and home screen will make the transition to iPadOS much easier for customers.
What do you think of these new potential feature upgrades? Are you looking forward to iPadOS 17? What feature would you like to see on the iPad? After all, how do you use your current iPad? Is it your computer or is it just a tablet for you? Let’s discuss in the comments!
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