iPadOS 17 public beta is now available, and the long-awaited divine optimization exclusively for iPad has finally arrived

iPadOS 17 public beta is now available, bringing the highly anticipated divine optimization exclusively for iPad

In recent years, iPadOS can be said to be one of the systems with great updates. It has absorbed many new features from iOS and macOS, allowing every user to explore more possibilities through this large screen.

iPadOS 17

On July 13th, Apple officially released the Public Beta version of iPadOS 17, which is more suitable for ordinary users who like to try new things compared to the previously released Developer Beta version. It allows users who are eager for new features to experience them firsthand, and it is also more stable than the developer version.

There is no need to pay to experience the Public Beta version of the system. You only need to participate in the Apple Beta Software Program on the official Apple website to experience iPadOS 17 Public Beta. After registering, update iPadOS to the latest system, and then in Settings-General-Software Update, you can find the option to update to the Public Beta version.

What is the experience of iPadOS 17? Is it worth upgrading right away? If you happen to have an iPad, I hope this experience of iPadOS 17 can help you fully understand this new system.

“Interactive widgets” is a significant update of iPadOS 17 in terms of appearance. In previous versions of iPadOS, widgets still served the purpose of “message display”. However, after upgrading to iPadOS 17, interactive widgets can efficiently perform some “use-on-the-go” tasks without entering the app, such as playing music, confirming to-do items, and so on, with just one click.

I personally think that interactive widgets are a more suitable upgrade for iPad. After all, lightweight software that can be used-on-the-go should not occupy the entire desktop, and widgets can also make better use of the iPad’s large screen to display more information. Of course, I also hope to see more developers carry out targeted development and design, which can make the iPad more user-friendly.

Desktop support for widgets in iPadOS 17

In addition to interactive widgets on the desktop, iPadOS 17 also extends widgets to the lock screen. The experience is similar to the current iOS design, with a translucent frosted glass effect that presents information on the lock screen page in real time, and these widgets still support interaction.

Up to five large square widgets can be placed horizontally

Up to four widgets can be placed vertically

Thanks to the larger screen space of the iPad, placing widgets has become more flexible. After testing, it was found that when used horizontally, the left side of the iPad can accommodate five large square widgets, such as time, weather, device battery level, calendar, and smart home switches, placed directly on the side of the screen. You can browse this information first time after waking up the screen, and directly complete the corresponding operation by clicking. When used vertically, the iPad can accommodate four small rectangular widgets (consistent with iOS 17).

In addition to updating lock screen widgets, iPadOS 17 also brings a series of lock screen upgrades. The new wallpapers are closer to iOS 17, including astronomy, unity, emoticons, and other new wallpapers, making the iPad suitable for everyone’s style. Among them, the most worth discussing is the live photo lock screen. It uses the neural network of the processor to select the most suitable video segment as the wallpaper. When waking up the iPad, the lock screen becomes more dynamic.

From the perspective of appearance design, the updates of iPadOS 17 are mostly focused on the “personalization” level. The arrival of the new system makes the iPad more beautiful and practical, and also meets the individual needs of everyone.

In last year’s iPadOS 16, Apple brought us the “Foreground Dispatch” feature. It allows multiple apps to appear on one screen in the form of “groups” and each app can be adjusted to different sizes, improving the efficiency of split-screen usage. In this year’s iPadOS 17, the “Foreground Dispatch” feature has been further upgraded. Pages of different apps can be freely adjusted in size and position, making the experience closer to that of a Mac, which also enhances the experience of using the Foreground Dispatch on small devices.

Foreground Dispatch fully upgraded

In addition, Apple has also considered the situation where small windows are hidden by larger windows after app stacking. When you are ready to enlarge a window, you can see that one side of the small window always retains a convenient position for clicking, which can be said to be a very clever design.

FaceTime calls can be made using the built-in camera of a monitor

Furthermore, if you have a monitor with a built-in camera at home, you can also make FaceTime calls using the camera of the external monitor.

You can understand it in this way: when you use the iPad to activate the Foreground Dispatch and connect it to a monitor, it becomes an innovative form of “computer”. When you connect the Magic Keyboard or a combination of a keyboard and mouse, its experience has become infinitely close to that of a Mac.

However, after testing, I also found some differences. Firstly, the display on the monitor still follows the design concept of iPadOS, so closing an app requires clicking the “three dots” in the app center and then selecting close. Additionally, when the iPad is locked, the display on the monitor will also turn off.

Video calls with external monitors are compatible with iPads equipped with A14 and subsequent chips.

Another important point to note is that although the foreground scheduling currently covers a wider range of devices, not all devices can enjoy the new features. For example, as mentioned earlier, the ability to freely adjust page sizes is only supported on iPad Pro and iPad Air with A12X and M series chips, while using an external display for video calls is compatible with iPads with A14 and later chips.

From the updates to iPadOS in terms of productivity this year, it can be seen that Apple is planning to make the iPad more productive. When the iPad is connected to an external display, its experience is already very close to that of a traditional “computer.” Perhaps based on this upgrade, both the iPad and Mac will become the “Apple computer” in people’s eyes, with the only difference being the user groups they cater to: the iPad focuses on serving the “creative crowd,” while the Mac leans towards “traditional office work.”

While the system continues to iterate, the built-in apps on iPadOS are also constantly being updated. In iPadOS 17, the Notes app has received a significant update. It is not just an app for recording text information, but also a very capable PDF reader. After upgrading to the new system, we can directly use Notes to browse and edit PDF files, and we can also use iCloud to collaborate and synchronize with friends online.

In addition, the new Notes app also utilizes machine learning. It can automatically recognize names, addresses, and other information in PDFs, and help us directly fill them in on the PDF, greatly improving efficiency.

In the “Infinite Memo App,” Apple has introduced three new brushes, including shape filling, pen, and watercolor brushes, allowing every user to unleash their creativity on this infinite canvas.

The “Infinite Memo” app adds multiple new brushes.

From the updates of these system-level applications, it can be seen that Apple is continuously strengthening the connection between iPad and Apple Pencil. Perhaps in the future, the combination of iPad and Apple Pencil will become a standard configuration for every iPad.

In this year’s iPadOS 17, the Health app has also arrived on the iPad. Health data collected from iPhone and Apple Watch can be directly viewed on the iPad. From the appearance, the iPad version of the Health app is optimized for the large screen of the iPad. On the left side, there are different health categories, and on the right side, there are specific information for each category.

Additionally, “Mental Health” is also the most significant upgrade of the Health app this year. It originated from the previous “meditation mindfulness” and, through more detailed functions, presents its mental health status in a dataized form. Users can choose their mood from “very unpleasant” to “very pleasant” and further describe their current mood based on different keywords. Moreover, after long-term recording, the Health app can help us trace our mood for a period of time in the past, allowing us to understand the importance of mental health.

From the various updates of iPadOS 17 this year, this system originating from iOS is continuously learning from the advantages of iOS and macOS and combining them with its own product design philosophy. You can find shadows of Apple’s other product lines in iPadOS and discover that their experience on the iPad is actually more natural.

Perhaps starting from iPadOS 17, your next computer can not only be a Mac but also an iPad.

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