Wednesday, June 9, 2021

iPadOS 15 Adds SharePlay, App Library, And More

Apple has announced iPadOS 15. The operating system update revamps the multitasking experience, adds “SharePlay,” and more.


Apple says the new multitasking experience is even more intuitive. A new multitasking menu appears at the top of apps, letting users go into Split View or Slide Over with just a tap. Users now have quick access to the Home Screen when using Split View. Apple says this makes it easier to get to the right app. Using the new “shelf,” they can also multitask with apps that have multiple windows like Safari and Pages, as well as quickly preview emails.

Using an external keyboard, users can access new keyboard shortcuts and a redesign of the menu bar. Users can set up and switch between Split View and Slide Over with new shortcuts for multitasking right from the keyboard.


Users can now place widgets among apps on Home Screen pages. This provides more information at a glance and offers a more personalized experience. A new, larger widget size is designed specifically for the larger display of iPad. iPadOS 15 also brings all-new widgets for App Store, Find My, Game Center, Mail, and Contacts.

Also coming to iPad is the App Library. It automatically organizes apps into categories like Productivity, Games, and Recently Added. Plus, the Apple Library allows users to access all their apps right from the Dock.


Apple says that FaceTime in iPadOS 15 makes conversations feel even more natural. Users can now share experiences with SharePlay while connecting with friends on FaceTime. This includes listening to songs together with Apple Music, watching a TV show or movie in sync, or sharing their screen to view apps together. 

Shared playback controls let anyone play, pause, or jump ahead. Users can extend playback to Apple TV. They can watch it on their TV while sharing the moment with others connected over FaceTime. SharePlay also lets users share their screen.


Swift Playgrounds 4 allows users have the tools to build iPhone and iPad apps right on their iPad and submit them directly to the App Store. Code is immediately reflected in the live preview while building apps, and users can run their apps full screen to test them out. 

A new open project format based on Swift packages can open and be edited in Swift Playgrounds for iPad as well as within Xcode on Mac.


According to Apple, other iPadOS features include:

  • Universal Control lets users work with a single mouse and keyboard to move between iPad and Mac. Users can even drag and drop content back and forth between devices. The Shared with You feature works across the system to find the articles, music, TV shows, photos, and more that are shared in Messages conversations, and conveniently surfaces them in apps like Photos, Safari, Apple News, Music, Podcasts, and the Apple TV app.
  • Photos includes the biggest update ever to Memories, with a fresh, new look; an immersive, interactive interface; and integration with Apple Music, which uses on-device intelligence to personalize song suggestions that bring memories to life.
  • Maps offers enhanced details in cities for neighborhoods, commercial districts, elevation, and buildings, new road colors and labels, custom-designed landmarks, and a new night-time mode with a moonlit glow.
  • Mail Privacy Protection helps stop trackers from snooping on an email. An App Privacy Report provides transparency into how apps are sharing information with other companies.
  • Now, with on-device speech recognition, audio of Siri requests is processed entirely on the iPad by default. Siri also adds Announce Notifications on AirPods; this is the ability for users to share what’s on their screen just by asking, and more.
  • iCloud+ combines the usual iCloud features with new premium features, including Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay, at no additional cost. Current iCloud subscribers will be upgraded to iCloud+ automatically this fall. All iCloud+ plans can be shared with people in the same Family Sharing group.
  • There are new accessibility features. The VoiceOver screen reader now uses on-device intelligence to explore objects within images. This enables users to discover more details about the people, text, table data, and other objects within images. Support for third-party eye-tracking hardware enables users to control iPad using only their eyes. 
  • Background sounds play continuously and mix into or duck under other audio and system sounds to mask unwanted environmental or external noise, and help users focus, stay calm, or rest. Sound Actions lets users customize Switch Control to work with mouth sounds. Users can now customize display and text size on an app-by-app basis.

The developer preview of iPadOS 15 is available to Apple Developer Program members at starting today, and a public beta will be available to iPadOS users next month at

New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models. For more information, visit

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