Major changes are coming to our iPads, from the way we select text, to the way we interact with our favorite apps and play videos.
Speaking at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, Senior Vice President Craig Federighi showcased an updated version of iOS 9 that included a few new features designed specifically with tablet users in mind.
Let’s start with QuickType, an enhancement to the iPad’s onscreen keyboard that includes new shortcuts and turns into a trackpad when you place two fingers on it. The trackpad can be used to select text, move objects around, and generally combine the convenience of touch controls and the precision of a mouse.
iPads will also get access to true, onscreen multitasking, which allows two apps to run side-by-side on the screen at the same time. The new feature, which Apple calls Split View, opens two resizable virtual windows on the screen. Users will be able to control each app independently, transferring information from one to the other using simple gestures, and quickly change the program running inside each panel using a brand-new app switcher. Note: While multitasking will work on most recent iPad models, Split View will be available only on the iPad Air 2.
Finally, a new picture-in-picture feature allows users to play a video from one app while using a different app. The video appears in a tiny window can be moved around, or even pushed temporarily off-screen to allow you to focus on your work while your favorite movie or game keeps playing along. The window also includes a set of simple controls that let you pause the video or close and dismiss it without leaving the current app.
The new iPad features will arrive with iOS 9 this fall, with a public beta program open to all starting in July.