iPadOS 13 Beta Software: Review, Part 1

In Pre-Press on June 26, 2019 at 10:46 am


A public beta version of Apple’s new iPadOS 13 software is now available. Note that iPadOS has now been separated from the iPhone for the first time. The two products are now so different the separate software would seem to be essential.

As generally recommended, don’t download the public beta to a device that you rely on for your everyday work. Fortunately I have a “spare” iPad – the previous generation of iPad Air 9.7 inch – that I am able to give over to test the software in its current raw form. There are apps that won’t currently work with the new OS, and it is still beta software – it’s not finished!

The first noticeable change is the number of apps now available on the standard home screen. Thirty apps (6 columns x 5 rows in landscape) are now able to be shown (see pic above), plus up to thirteen on the dock. This has been needed for a long time – there has been far too much blank screen real-estate between apps, especially noticeable on the 12.9 inch version!


In addition to all of the app potential, home screen can also, with a slide over from the left, incorporate your Notifications widgets as well, either permanently or in soft form that can be slid away again. Note that the number of apps remains at thirty – they are just squeezed closer together.


Slide over and split view both get a lot of attention. Split view now allows two files from the same app to be compared next to each other (as above) – a corrected text maybe, viewed next to the original.


Slide over allows for a number of apps to be included at the same time, with the user able to shuffle between them to view the app required. The image above shows three apps that have been put into slide view, with the user now able to select which one should be uppermost (easier to see than explain!).


The keyboard can be changed to a mini floating keyboard, as opposed to the half screen static version. The new swipe capability (run your finger over the letters for a word) makes both easier to use in my opinion. The Apple version of a swipe keyboard seems to be very good as well!


The Files app too has become much more functional, and closer maybe to the Mac Finder with the ability to see a path of opened folders and files.


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