iPadOS 18: New features, release date, and more

iPadOS 18 New features, release date, and more

Apple officially announced the new generation iPadOS 18 at WWDC 2024, bringing a number of new features and improvements to the iPad. This article will introduce the important highlights of iPadOS 18 in depth to help you grasp the key points of the new iPad system at once.

Customization options: Home Screen

  • Similar to iOS 18, you can place apps and widgets on the Home Screen at will.
  • You can also adjust the appearance of apps and set colors in dark mode.
  • App icons and widgets can be enlarged or removed.

Control Center: Tweaks and more

  • Add more controls from the Controls gallery, such as media player and home control.
  • New Controls API for quick vehicle unlock and quick shooting for social media.
  • You can also customize size and position of Control Center.
  • Support switching between groups.
  • Support for adding third-party apps to the Control Center.

Calculator app: An enhanced version leverages Apple Pencil

  • Support for calculating complex formulas.
  • You can handwrite or type equations and insert them into charts.
  • You can add multiple equations to the same chart and see how they relate to each other.
  • The new Math Notes allows you to use the Apple Pencil to write math expressions and calculate them instantly.
  • History support to review previous calculations.
  • Support for unit conversions to quickly convert units such as length, weight, currency, etc.
Calculator app An enhanced version leverages Apple Pencil

Smart Script: Flexible handwritten note-taking

If you use Apple Pencil to write notes in the Notes, even if the handwriting is not good, iPadOS 18 will automatically optimize the handwriting through the Smart Script, making the handwriting smoother and straighter, and even retaining the user's personal handwriting style.

At the same time, Smart Script also improves the ability of Apple Pencil to edit handwritten text, and can quickly add spaces and delete sentences in a certain paragraph of handwritten text. When you insert typed text between handwritten texts, the system will automatically adjust the distance between paragraphs of text to adapt to the increase or decrease of content.

Maps: Topographic Maps announced

The new iPadOS 18 Maps also offers an additional topographic that allows you to browse thousands of detailed hiking and trail routes, including all 63 U.S. national parks. Maps also allows you to store your favorite national park hikes, custom walks and locations in the new Places Library and add personalized annotations to those locations. The feature is currently only available in Japan and the United States.

New tab bar: It floats at the top for a nicer view

  • It can be cleverly integrated into the sidebar, allowing users to explore all the features of the app.
  • Supports adjusting the order of tabs or adding tabs in the sidebar.
  • Optimize the tab bar to hover over app content.
New tab bar It floats at the top for a nicer view

Refreshed Photos app: Simplified view and easier search

The Photos app, the biggest design innovation to date, takes full advantage of the iPad's large screen to automatically manage photo library so you can enjoy your memories without spending time searching for photos.

  • New Simplified View: Replace the traditional grid design with an intuitive single view to enhance the user
  • Themed Photo Collection: Intelligently organize photos and browse by theme, eliminating the trouble of album classification.
  • Pin Favorite Photos: Users can pin their favorite photo collections to the top for easy and quick access.
  • New Carousel View: Supports daily updates of selected content such as people, pets, places, etc.
  • Autoplay Feature: Dynamically present the entire gallery, allowing users to relive good memories while browsing.

Messages: Get more expressive

  • Send messages at a scheduled time.
  • Add bold, italic, underlineand strikethrough text formats and new animated text effects.
  • Optimized Tapback and supports responding to messages with any emoji or sticker.

Safari: Reader mode is improved

Safari now makes it easier to discover information on the web with Highlights and a redesigned Reader.

  • Supports using machine learning to present key information on web pages. You can browse article summaries and view the locations of restaurants, hotels, or landmarks.
  • Support listening directly to artists while reading articles about songs or albums.
  • Optimize the reader view with support for reading articles and abstracts by rendering.
Safari Reader mode is improved

Better privacy features: Hide apps and more

iPadOS 18 also enhances the privacy of users stored on the device, mainly providing the following three new privacy control features:

  • Enhanced Privacy Protection: Lock apps and hide apps to prevent others from viewing them. Hiding also protects notifications and sensitive information from being searched, notified, or displayed by the system.
  • Precise Permission Management: Users can choose apps to access only specific contacts, rather than the entire list, providing more detailed privacy control.
  • Improved Accessory Connectivity: Developers can now achieve seamless pairing of Bluetooth accessories without relying on other accessories nearby, enhancing the privacy and convenience of device connectivity.

Apple Intelligence: iPad is getting smarter with AI

iPadOS 18 includes Writing Tools, a new system-wide tool that helps users rewrite, proofread, and summarize text for virtually any writing scenario, including Mail, Notes, Pages, and third-party apps.

In addition, ChatGPT is integrated into Siri on all Apple platforms and Writing Tools available system-wide, allowing users to directly utilize ChatGPT, saving users the hassle of switching back and forth between tools.

Apple Intelligence iPad is getting smarter with AI

Other features updated:

Game Mode:

New Game Porting Toolkit 2 allows developers to migrate more games to iPad, iPhone, and Mac.


Store passwords, verifications and security alerts in one place for easy access.


Users can create scenes, manage different parts of a board by theme, or move quickly around the board to easily present content.


  • Supports instructing someoneto perform by tapping and drawing in screen sharing.
  • You can remotely control someone else's iPad or iPhone.


  • Support collapsing paragraphs under headings or subheadings to manage the content of notes.
  • Support selecting 5 new highlight colors to highlight information that needs to be emphasized.


  • Eye Tracking, which allows you to control the iPad with your eyes.
  • Vocal Shortcuts, support custom voice to perform tasks.
  • Vehicle Motion Cues feature, which supports displaying animated dots on the edge of the screen to help passengers reduce motion sickness.
iPadOS 18 features

iPadOS 18 supported devices and release date

iPadOS 18 supports all iPad upgrades launched in 2019 and later (iPad Pro is 2018 and later models). There are a total of 20 iPad models that can be updated to iPadOS 18.

  • iPad Pro (M4)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • iPad Air (M2)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (7th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)

iPadOS 18 is currently available in Developer Beta for developers to download, and a public beta is expected in July for anyone to sign up and download. The official version of iPadOS 18 is expected to be available to all iPad models that support the update in mid-September.

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