Apple reveals new iPadOS 14 which features a new handwriting system called ‘Scribble’ that will recognize both English and Chinese

  • Apple announced a new range of features of iPadOS 14 at the WWDC 2020
  • The new features will make the tablets function even more like macOS devices
  • The company also introduced a major enhancement to its handwriting features to support the Apple Pencil, including Chinese character recognition

Apple unveiled a range of new features for iPadOS 14 at its keynote presentation at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

The latest version of the company’s forthcoming tablet operating system has been revamped in several key ways that will make it more closely resemble standard features currently used in Apple’s macOS for laptops and desktops.

iPadOS 14 will come with a new ‘Sidebar’ feature that will give users more options for organizing and navigating files across a range of apps, including Photos, Notes, Music, and Files.

WWDC is the firms annual developer conference where it updates programmers on the latest innovations but this year will be different as it is all online due to COVID-19

Users can pull up at any time by pressing a new small icon in the corner of each app, which will reveal a new list of features running along the lefthand side of the screen in each app, much like the sidebars you might find for those same apps in macOS.

In Photos the sidebar will allow users to drag pictures into different albums and  organize images by date, location, tagged people, and more.

In Music, the sidebar will let users navigate between Listen Now, Playlists, Radio stations, and will also support a new fullscreen player that shows song lyrics scrolling by on the right side of the screen.

iPadOS 14 will also feature a revamped universal search function similar to macOS’s search feature, letting users find and launch apps, or quickly pull up specific documents from emails, calendar appointments, or other saved files on the device.

The search bar can also be used to perform quick internet searchers without having to first open a web browser.

The last major update unique to iPadOS 14 is ‘Scribble,’ a new feature designed to work with handwritten inputs using Apple Pencil.

Scribble will now allow users to handwrite into every text field in iPadOS, and automatically convert it to typed lettering, with the goal of making handwriting as capable as a keyboard on tablets.

Scribble will also support a new sub-feature called ‘Shapes,’ that will automatically straighten any hand-drawn circles, rectangles, or lines a person draws if they hold the Pencil down for an extra second or two after finishing drawing the shape.

Scribble will also recognize and Chinese characters and allow users to switch back and forth between languages in the same document or even line.

Finally, iPadOS 14 will also support several of the new features introduced iOS 14, including live widgets, a compact Siri interface that doesn’t block out the whole screen, and a new smaller notification system for calls that also won’t block out the whole app.

Apple hasn’t announced a final launch date for iPadOS 14 yet, but it’s expected to arrive in the fall of 2020. 

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