Apple Wiki
Apple Wiki

iPadOS is an operating system developed by Apple for their iPad line of tablet computers. It was first announced on June 3 during the 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference and released as iPadOS 13.1 in September 2019. Having been derived from iOS, iPadOS is Apple's third mobile operating system, after watchOS, and their most recently created operating system.

iPadOS 17 is the current major release of iPadOS, which is compatible with the following iPads: iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad (5th generation and later), and iPad mini (5th generation and later).


See also: iOS: History

The first iPad was released in 2010 and ran iPhone OS 3.2. This operating system, which had until then been used on the iPhone and iPod Touch, was rebranded as "iOS" with the release of iOS 4.[3]

Although the iPhone and iPad initially had feature parity, over time, the iPad incorporated a growing set of differentiating features not available on the iPhone such as picture-in-picture and the ability to display multiple running apps simultaneously (introduced with iOS 9 in 2015). iOS 11, released in 2017, added drag and drop and a pull-up dock that more closely resembled the one in the macOS than the one on the iPhone.

Thanks to additional exclusive features being added over time, iOS on the iPad became more distinct from the iPhone. To emphasize the different feature set available on the iPad, Apple announced that the iPad would receive its own separate operating system. Apple has since debuted many iPadOS-exclusive features including Stage Manager and Universal Control.


There has been many debate about featureset from iOS versus iPadOS. Regardless of any application that you can download from the App Store, the iPad's larger screen is the main advantage to the iPhone. People can watch YouTube videos on a bigger screen, stream video and TV the same way as you would do on the iPhone but on a bigger screen. People are also able to have a full-size musical keyboard on the iPad.

People can also access the App Store and similarly install iPhone applications like the iPhone. Therefore, using an iPad vs iPhone in terms of usability is identical and convenient as most people have already learned the iOS on the iPhone.

There is no start-up or booting required, and it has a powerful battery that lasts for hours. You don't need to think about the orientation when you carry the iPad. Just press the power button, and the screen will automatically rotate to whatever position you are holding. You can always lock this feature by pressing the lock button on the side of the iPad.

Moreover, with some iPhone accessories that run on the iPad such as a full-size Bluetooth keyboard, you can turn your iPad into a full-size notebook.

iPhone vs iPad applications[]

When the iPad was first introduced, it ran the same applications as iPhone applications, which meant that once you buy an iPad you automatically have access to the App Store and over 200,000 applications. There are applications that are labeled as HD, indicating that they can take advantage of higher resolutions of iPads, but you could also run iPhone apps.

Default applications, such as Mail, Safari, Photos, and YouTube, take advantage of the bigger screen and higher resolution of the iPad. Many of those applications use columns to better organize application contents. Once you rotate the iPad, the app rotates and changes its orientation and user interface automatically (unless you lock rotation).

iPhone applications that have not been specifically adapted for the iPad will display at double scale due to the smaller size of iPhone screens. If you look at the right bottom corner of those older applications, you will see a 2X button. When you tap this button, the iPhone application will expand to fill more of the iPad screen.

The good news is that any iPhone application already owned through iTunes can be synced or directly downloaded to an iPad through the same iTunes account without paying additional fees.


Game apps for iPadOS.

iPad vs iPhone games[]

Games look and play better on iPads due to the larger screen than the iPhone. Some iPad-specific HD games take full advantage of the higher resolution, such as board games that can be set on a table for group play. Apple Arcade also works better on iPad.


External links[]

iPadOS 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18
Spun off from iOS in September 2019
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