Apple Announces iPadOS 18 With Apple Intelligence and More

Different iPad Models Screens

Apple just announced the iPadOS 18. This major update came almost a year after the iPadOS 17, and it represents the iPad’s first significant step toward AI. Users get to enjoy a slew of AI-powered features. The update supports iPad 7th Gen and newer models, although many AI features only work on Apple Silicon iPad models.

The expectations were set high at the Apple 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). While all these new functions seem exciting, how will they impact user experience? To help you reach a more informed, unbiased opinion, let’s dive into the details. Here’s what you’ll get with the iPadOS 18.

1. Apple Intelligence

Using AI on iPadOS 18
Image Credits: Apple

Apple and OpenAI made headlines last May when rumors surfaced about the potential integration of ChatGPT into Apple devices. Tech speculators even dubbed the rumored services as “Apple GPT.” At the time, however, the community could only speculate about which functionalities would benefit from this merge.

The speculation ended at WWDC when Apple revealed its own take on AI integration: Apple Intelligence. While not a direct ChatGPT integration, Apple Intelligence leverages generative AI and personal context to deliver a new level of intelligence to the iPad experience. It’s designed to be integrated into iPadOS 18 deeply, enhancing various aspects of the user experience while prioritizing privacy.

One of the most notable applications of Apple Intelligence on iPad is in the new system-wide Writing Tools. You can use it to rewrite, proofread, and summarize various pieces of texts, directly within apps like Mail, Notes, Pages, and even third-party applications. Imagine effortlessly refining an email, polishing a document, or distilling a lengthy article into key points.

Apple Intelligence also plays a role in the new Calculator app, particularly in the Math Notes feature. Users can write or type mathematical expressions and see them solved in real time, with the added benefit of variable assignment for tackling more complex problems.

2. Built-in Calculator App

Calculating on Notes iPad
Image Credits: Apple

In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, iPadOS 18 is finally introducing a native calculator app. After years of perplexing absence and reliance on third-party options, iPad users can now perform basic calculations right out of the box.

But Apple didn’t just stop at the basics. They’ve transformed this fundamental tool into a powerful mathematical companion. With the new “Math Notes” feature, you can jot down equations by hand or type them out, and the calculator will solve them instantly. It’ll even display the answers in your own handwriting. And this isn’t just for simple arithmetic—you can assign values to variables, making it a valuable tool for students tackling complex problems or anyone crunching numbers for a project.

The graphing feature takes computations even further, allowing you to visualize equations with a single tap. You can plot multiple equations on the same graph to see their correlation. Also, because Math Notes are automatically saved in the Notes app, your calculations are accessible across Apple devices.

3. Apple Pencil Features

Better Notes App iPad
Image Credits: Apple

iPadOS 18 takes the Apple Pencil’s capabilities to new heights with powerful features designed to enhance handwriting and note-taking experiences. The updated Notes app now boasts improved handwriting recognition and editing tools, making it easier to jot down ideas, sketch diagrams, or annotate documents with the Apple Pencil.

Additionally, the all-new Calculator app with Math Notes revolutionizes how users interact with mathematical expressions. With the Apple Pencil, you can write out equations naturally and see them instantly solved, adding a new layer of interactivity and intuitiveness to mathematical problem-solving on the iPad.

These enhancements demonstrate Apple’s commitment to making the Apple Pencil an even more integral part of the iPad experience, empowering users to express their creativity and productivity in more natural and intuitive ways.

4. Floating Tab Bar

iPadOS 18 reimagines multitasking with its innovative floating tab bar. Think of it as a supercharged Dynamic Island. This innovative tool hovers above app content, providing a faster way to access and manage essential tabs without cluttering the screen. Users can now rearrange tabs, add new ones from the sidebar, and customize in-app tasks—all from one subtly integrated bar.

By keeping key tabs at your fingertips while maintaining focus on the primary content, the floating tab bar transforms how you interact with apps on iPad, enhancing productivity and streamlining navigation for a more enjoyable and efficient experience.

5. Redesigned Photos App

The Photos app gets a major overhaul, capitalizing on the iPad’s spacious display. It’s designed to streamline photo management and automatically organize your library. You won’t have to bother with manual sorting anymore. A simplified single view combines familiar grid navigation with new, intelligent collections that group photos by themes. You can even pin your favorite collections for quick access.

Moreover, the redesigned Photos app boosts photo organization with enhanced people and pet recognition. It can now identify faces and group photos of specific people or pets together. The supercharged search function also lets you locate accurately analyzed assets with more precision.

6. Game Mode

iPadOS 18 is set to elevate the gaming experience on iPad with the introduction of Game Mode, a feature previously exclusive to Mac. This mode minimizes background activity to optimize performance and maintain high frame rates for hours of uninterrupted gameplay. Coupled with Personalized Spatial Audio, players can expect an immersive, console-like experience in upcoming titles like Assassin’s Creed Shadows and Resident Evil 7 biohazard.

These are just a few of the standout features that iPadOS 18 brings to the table. This major release promises an exciting leap forward for iPad users, with M4-powered models like the iPad Pro and iPad Air poised to take full advantage of the enhanced performance and AI capabilities. However, even older iPad models will see significant improvements, ensuring a more intuitive, productive, and enjoyable experience across the board.

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