iPadOS is coming this September and will be providing a tablet exclusive Operating System to Apple users for the first time.

Multitasking is already one of the main features Apple have integrated into their iOS platform but the change to a dedicated OS will make it all the more important to ensure your apps work correctly with it. For those who don’t already use it; multitask allows users to switch from one app to another or use two apps at once with Split View, Picture in Picture and Slide Over modes. These options give users greater flexibility with their screen space. They’re a clear indicator of Apple’s long term goal of making the iPad a potential PC replacement.

Designing your app to work within these parameters and effectively support multitasking will be expected more than ever with the introduction of iPadOS. You will need to take into consideration the amount of CPU power used and how the app will work in a smaller screen space. Depending on your apps functionality they will need to be able to deal with interruptions (including audio) and will need to transition with all of the new functions added. Another challenge is ensuring it runs responsibly whilst in the background.

Our Experience

Here at Indiespring we have been developing iPad specific apps for years and improving usability by taking advantage of the extra screen real estate. This has allowed us to give our clients additional flexibility in their apps’ features as well as giving end users a better experience. It seems to us that Apple is encouraging more developers to take this approach with the breakaway release of iPad OS.

The image above is an example of why developing two separate apps is key. The iPad version used the addional space to add leaderboards, live chat functionality and a more intuitive UI for users of to the existing website.

“With the Video Poker iPad app there were numerous features the larger screen allowed for. This gives our iPad users a more complete VideoPoker experience in which the larger screen provides space to add popular features from the Video Poker website.”  Jake Hill – App Developer


New Features

There are some new features in iPadOS which are worth bearing in mind for businesses looking to improve their apps on the new platform:

  • Mouse Support and an AssistiveTouch option within Accessibility.
  • Improved Apple Pencil to help you take notes, draft emails and with PencilKit you can easily add drawing capabilities into your app.
  • New keyboard shortcuts for the iPad designed to allow easy document manipulation as the iPad moves into the computer space.

“Building an iPad specific app can help streamline the features on your mobile app. This improves performance for mobile users who might otherwise have been affected by app bloat. The average session length on mobile is half the session length on tablet devices meaning the key functions of the app on mobile need to be reached in a more timely manner.” Steve Sandbach – Project Manager

You should be considering at the start of your design phase which platform your target users are using as the experience may need to be different for mobile and tablet users. Market research can help you make the most informed decisions and employing the services of an app specialist digital agency like Indiespring can ensure you have both iOS and iPadOS covered as you design and develop new and existing apps.