iPadOS 18 announced with customizable Home screen, Calculator, more

Today during its jam-packed WWDC keynote, Apple announced the release of iPadOS 18. This is the next major version of iPad software, and it will be available in a developer beta later today and free for all users this fall.

Here’s what iPadOS 18 brings to the iPad later this year.

Customizable Home screen, Control Center, and more

The iPad doesn’t have to wait to gain many of the new customization features coming to iOS 18.

In iPadOS 18 you can customize your Home screen icons and layout with far more flexibility and tools than ever before, placing apps anywhere on the screen without following the standard grid rules from previous versions of iPadOS. You can also change the colors of all your icons with a single theming adjustment.

Control Center can also be configured more than ever before. Now offering multiple pages of content, Control Center will enable third-party controls for the first time, and you can adjust which controls are available—and their size—right from Control Center itself.

App enhancements: tab bars and in-app animations

Apple highlighted how iPadOS 18 will include a variety of enhancements to the way iPad apps work. One example is the new tab bar that you’ll find at the top of different apps for offering navigation controls. The tab bar can morph into a sidebar menu when you need more options.

Another change is the addition of animations throughout various elements in apps.

Calculator finally arrives on iPad

Apple finally did it: the Calculator app is at last coming to iPadOS.

For whatever reason, Calculator, like Weather before it, was for years neglected by Apple as irrelevant to iPad users. Now its absence in iPadOS is coming to an end in iPadOS 18

As you would expect, Apple’s Calculator app looks a lot like its iOS companion, and takes advantage of the iPad’s larger display to offer more buttons and controls on-screen at once. It also supports dynamic resizing when multitasking on the iPad. Whether you’re using Stage Manager, Split View, or Slide Over, you can make Calculator the best size for your needs.

Math Notes is the highlight feature of Calculator, a way to more naturally write out and perform calculations—and it’s available both in the Calculator app and Notes app.

Handwriting updates with Apple Pencil

When using the Notes app, the Apple Pencil now includes more power for handwriting with the Smart Script feature.

If you’re not a big fan of the way your handwriting naturally looks, you can customize it for a more beautiful design with Smart Script. That’s right, Apple will automatically enhance your handwriting to look exactly the way you want it to. You can even paste copied text into Notes in the style of your chosen handwriting.

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