iPadOS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. for their iPad line of tablet computers. The successor of iOS 12 on iPad, it was announced at the company's 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC),[10] as a derivation from iOS but with a greater emphasis put on multitasking. It was released on September 24, 2019.

iPadOS home screen in dark mode running on an iPad Pro (2018)
DeveloperApple Inc.
Written inC, C++, Objective-C, Swift
OS familyUnix-like, based on Darwin (BSD), iOS
Working stateCurrent
Source modelClosed source
Initial releaseSeptember 24, 2019 (2019-09-24)[1]
Latest release13.3[2] (17C54)[3] (December 10, 2019 (2019-12-10)) [±]
Latest preview13.3.1 beta 1[4] (17D5026c)[5] (December 17, 2019 (2019-12-17)) [±]
Marketing targetTablet computers
Available in40 languages[6][7][8][9]
Update methodOTA, Software Update, App Store
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
Default user interfaceCocoa Touch (multi-touch, GUI)
LicenseProprietary software except for open-source components
Preceded byiOS 12
Official websitewww.apple.com/ipados/
Support status
Articles in the series


When the first iPad was released in 2010, it ran iPhone OS 3.2. The operating system, which had so far been used on the iPhone and iPod Touch, was rebranded to iOS with the release of iOS 4.[11] While the iPhone and iPad initially had feature parity, the iPad continued to receive a growing set of differentiating features not available on the iPhone—such as picture-in-picture and the ability to display multiple running apps simultaneously, which were introduced with iOS 9 in 2015. iOS 11, released in 2017, added drag and drop and a dock more similar to the one on macOS than that for the iPhone.

Over time, the iOS on the iPad became more and more separate from the iOS on the iPhone, by getting more exclusive features over time, so in order to emphasize the exclusive set of features available for the iPad, Apple announced at WWDC 2019 that the variant of iOS that runs on iPad devices would be rebranded to iPadOS, starting in 2019 with iPadOS 13.[10]


iPadOS 13

The initial release of iPadOS 13.1 was on September 24, 2019; there was no 13.0 release.[12]

iPadOS 13.1.1 was released on September 27, 2019.[13]

iPadOS 13.1.2 was released on September 30, 2019.[14]

iPadOS 13.1.3 was released on October 15, 2019.[15]

iPadOS 13.2 was released on October 28, 2019.

iPadOS 13.2.2 was released on November 7, 2019.[16]

iPadOS 13.2.3 was released on November 18, 2019.[17]

iPadOS 13.3 was released on December 10, 2019.[18]


Home Screen

Unlike previous versions of iOS, the icon grid displays up to five rows and six columns of apps, regardless of whether the device is in portrait or landscape orientation. The first page of the home screen can be configured to show a column of widgets from applications for easy access. Spotlight Search is no longer part of the widgets but can still be accessed by swiping down from the center of the home screen or pressing Command + Space on a connected keyboard.


iPadOS features a multitasking system developed with more capabilities compared to iOS, with features like Slide Over and Split View that make it possible to use multiple different applications simultaneously. Double-clicking the Home Button or swiping up from the bottom of the screen and pausing will display all currently active spaces. Each space can feature a single app, or a Split View featuring two apps. The user can also swipe left or right on the Home Indicator to go between spaces at any time, or swipe left/right with four fingers.

While using an app, swiping up slightly from the bottom edge of the screen will summon the Dock, where apps stored within can be dragged to different areas of the current space to be opened in either Split View or Slide Over. Dragging an app to the left or right edge of the screen will create a Split View, which will allow both apps to be used side-by-side. The size of the two apps in Split View can be adjusted by dragging a pill shaped icon in the center of the vertical divider and dragging the divider all the way to one side of the screen closes the respective app. If the user drags an app from the dock over the current app, it will create a floating window called Slide Over which can be dragged to either the left or right side of the screen. A Slide Over window can be hidden by swiping it off the right side of the screen, and swiping left from the right edge of the screen will restore it. Slide Over apps can also be cycled between by swiping left or right on the Home Indicator in the Slide Over window and pulling up on it will open an app switcher for Slide Over windows. A pill shaped icon at the top of apps in Split View or Slide Over allows them to be switched in an out of Split View and Slide Over.

The user can now have several instances of a single app open at once. A new Exposé mode has been added which allows the user to see all of the instances of an app.[19]

In many applications, a notable exception being YouTube, playing videos can be shrunk down into a picture-in-picture window so the user can continue watching it while using other apps. This window containing the video can be resized by pinching and spreading and can be docked to any of the four corners of the screen. It can also be hidden by swiping it off the side of the screen and is denoted by an arrow at the edge where the video is hidden and swiping it will bring it back onscreen.


iPadOS Safari now shows desktop versions of websites by default,[20] includes a download manager, and has 30 new keyboard shortcuts if an external keyboard is connected.[21][22][23]


Sidecar allows for an iPad to function as a second monitor for macOS and is named as such due to the setup's resemblance to articulated motorcycles. When using Sidecar, the Apple Pencil can be used to emulate a graphics tablet for applications like Photoshop.[24]


iPadOS allows external storage, such as USB flash drives, portable hard drives, and solid state drives to be connected to an iPad via the Files app. The iPad Pro 3 does connect over USB-C but the Lightning camera connection kit also works to connect external drives with previous iPads.[25]

Supported devices

iPadOS 13 supports iPads with an Apple A8 / A8X chip or later. The software does not support devices with 1 GB of RAM including iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 3. Devices supported by iPadOS 13 include:

An upgrade to iPadOS is automatically offered to supported devices.[26]


  1. "iPadOS". Apple Inc.
  2. Juli Clover (December 10, 2019). "Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.3 With Communication Limits for Screen Time, Safari Physical Security Key Support, and More". MacRumors. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  3. "iPadOS 13.3 (17C54) - Releases - Apple Developer". Apple Developer. Apple Inc. December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  4. Juli Clover (December 17, 2019). "Apple Seeds First Betas of iOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 13.3.1 to Developers". MacRumors. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  5. "iPadOS 13.3.1 beta (17D5026c) - Releases - Apple Developer". Apple Developer. Apple Inc. December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  6. "Apple – iPad Pro – Specs". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  7. "Apple – iPad mini 4 – Specs". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on October 24, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  8. "Apple – iPad Air 2 – Technical Specifications". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on October 26, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  9. "Apple – iPhone XS – Technical Specifications". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  10. Wuerthele, Mike (June 3, 2019). "Apple unveils iPadOS, adding features specifically to iPad". AppleInsider. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  11. Tartakoff, Joseph (June 7, 2010). "Apple Avoids iPhone-Like Trademark Battle Thanks To Cisco, FaceTime Deals". paidContent. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  12. Clover, Juli (September 24, 2019). "Apple Releases iPadOS With New Home Screen, Multitasking Improvements, Apple Pencil Updates and More". MacRumors.
  13. Juli Clover (September 27, 2019). "Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.1.1 With Siri and Battery Drain Fix, Keyboard Vulnerability Update and More". MacRumors. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  14. Juli Clover (September 30, 2019). "Apple Releases iOS 13.1.2 and iPadOS 13.1.2 with Fixes for Camera, iCloud Backup, HomePod Shortcut, and Flashlight Bugs". MacRumors. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  15. Juli Clover (October 15, 2019). "Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More". MacRumors. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  16. Juli Clover (November 7, 2019). "Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.2.2 With Fix for Background Refresh Bug". MacRumors. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  17. Juli Clover (November 18, 2019). "Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.2.3 With Bug Fixes for Messages, Mail and More". MacRumors. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  18. Juli Clover (December 10, 2019). "Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.3 With Communication Limits for Screen Time, Safari Physical Security Key Support, and More". MacRumors. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  19. "iPadOS lets you open multiple instances of the same app for powerful multitasking". Cult of Mac. June 6, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  20. Hardwick, Tim. "Safari on iPadOS Optimized to Work With at Least Some Desktop Versions of Websites". MacRumors. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  21. "iPadOS Preview: Desktop-class Safari, Download Manager, and more!". iMore. July 18, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  22. Warren, Tom (June 3, 2019). "Apple reveals iPadOS for iPad with a new home screen, multitasking improvements, and more". The Verge. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  23. Lumb, David; Tablets, John McCann 2019-07-09T13:32:07Z. "iPadOS: public beta, release date and features list". TechRadar. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  24. Lee, Dami (June 3, 2019). "Sidecar lets you use your iPad as a second display for your Mac". The Verge. Archived from the original on July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  25. "How to use external storage on iPad and iPhone with iOS 13". Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  26. Dan Grabham; Maggie Tillman (September 10, 2019). "Apple iPadOS preview: All the key new iPad features explored". Pocket-lint.
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