Monday, June 10, 2024

iPadOS 18 Announced

Apple (preview, MacRumors, 9to5Mac):

With iPadOS 18, Calculator comes to iPad with Math Notes, along with new handwriting tools in Notes — all designed for Apple Pencil.


An all-new Math Notes calculator allows users to type or write out mathematical expressions and see them instantly solved in their own handwriting. They can also assign values to variables when learning new concepts in class, calculating a budget, and more. With a new graphing feature, users can write or type an equation and insert a graph with just one tap, and can even add multiple equations on the same graph to see how they relate. And Math Notes are automatically accessible in the Notes app in the new Math Notes folder.


With the power of Apple Pencil, Smart Script makes handwritten notes fluid, flexible, and easier to read, all while maintaining the look and feel of a user’s personal handwriting. Smart Script allows users to write quickly without sacrificing legibility by smoothing and straightening handwritten text in real time. And it makes editing handwritten text just as simple as editing typed text.


A redesigned tab bar floats above app content and complements the sidebar to help users stay focused on what matters most while keeping favorite tabs within reach. The new floating tab bar elegantly morphs into the sidebar so users can dive deeper into an app’s full functionality.


Update (2024-06-13): See also: ArsTechnica.

Federico Viticci:

As I feared, iPadOS 18 is not a meaningful update for iPad users who hoped Apple would fill some of the longstanding platform gaps between the Mac and iPad. With no Stage Manager improvements, no changes to audio routing, and seemingly very little happening in Shortcuts in terms of new actions (for now), it’s hard to be excited about iPadOS 18. Sadly, everything I wrote last month in my article about iPadOS still stands today.


Unsurprisingly, pro features for iPadOS users are nowhere to be seen, adding to my concerns regarding who’s in charge of this platform and what their vision for it actually is. It’s quite telling that the marquee additions to iPad this year are…a Calculator app and a redesigned tab bar.

Marina Epelman:

Ok, when Craig said “solve math” in the keynote, I cringed and moved on since it was a fleeting moment (not really, but for argument’s sake, let’s say I have). But this shit is on their actual website. Who the hell solves a function?! What does it even mean to solve a function?!

You solve a problem. You solve an equation. You solve a riddle. A mystery. A crime.

You don’t solve a function. Or math (or maths, for that matter).

Steve Troughton-Smith:

I’m not convinced by the new floaty-morphy tab bar in iPadOS 18, and I don’t think I want to put it in any of my apps. It kinda feels like an attempt to simplify/dumb-down the iPad UI too, which is the opposite direction of where I want to see iPadOS go.

Christina Warren:

Still no actual file manager on the iPad, but we got new animations!

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Stage Manager, now entering its third year, is unchanged in iPadOS 18.

Fernando Silva:

Regarding iPadOS 18 and everything they showed we are still missing a few features. Most, if not all, have to do with Apple Intelligence. As of now, Beta 1 does not have any of the Apple Intelligence-related features. There is no new siri animations, no genmojis, no ChatGPT integration.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Math Notes is unexpected and something I genuinely look forward to using often, assuming it works.


> assuming it works.

Why wouldn't it work? There's been similar apps on iOS, iPadOS for probably a decade that are mostly doing the same thing.

Absolutely nothing new here. It's just sherlocking.

The new tab bar looks like churn for churns sake. Another waste of developer time and effort to support something that is only minimally useful.
I’ve actually encountered lots of people who don’t feel the sidebar is easy enough to use, however I think the small little unlabeled button in the top left combined with the fact that it is hidden by default most of the time is the primary culprit of this rather than the fact that it isn’t a tab bar. Apple’s resistance to putting UI on screen making UI undiscoverable and the continued, “your content goes edge-to-edge” schlock continues to degrade the user experience on all of Apple’s platforms. They need to make the button to show and hide it more prominent to let people know it is there and more Apps should default to showing the sidebar when in landscape mode to make it more discoverable.


> Why wouldn't it work?

I try to temper my expectations when it comes to new/interesting Apple features working reliably. I remember getting into Siri Shortcuts and then having to abandon the Siri part because shortcut recognition and execution had a disruptively low success rate. Sometimes I have to abandon the shortcuts themselves because of weird bugs.

That said, Apple Notes is much better at recognizing my handwriting than I expected, so I'm hoping the math-related functionality is reliable.

At least a tab bar is better than a bar tab.

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