iPadOS 15 review: Nice improvements, but where’s the ambition?

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iPadOS 15 review
Improvements are nice, but just not enough.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple somehow created the world’s greatest and most disappointing tablet operating system. iPadOS is by far the best you’ll find for larger touchscreens, and yet, it leaves us wanting so much more.

This year’s iPadOS 15 release is an incremental upgrade over its predecessor. It improves upon the split-screen multitasking system, adds some new features like Focus mode, and finally allows us to put widgets anywhere.

But it’s still iPadOS as we know it, and it’s still holding back iPad Pro. We could be doing so much more with the hardware, especially now that the newest models pack even-speedier M1 chips. But Apple won’t let us.

Here’s our full iPadOS 15 review. It lays out what’s good about the new operating system — and explains why we think it’s time for a little more ambition.

New M1 MacBook Air hits all-new low after $149 discount

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MacBook Air M1 2020
Get yours before the discount disappears.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s awesome new MacBook Air with M1 chip is now more affordable than ever before, with up to $149.01 — the biggest discount yet — off the usual price on Amazon. Order yours today for as little as $849.99.

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Restoring iPhone 13 or a new iPad from backup can break Apple Music

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Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio are coming to Apple Music subscribers beginning June 2021.
A day-one update fixes the problem.
Photo: Apple

Apple warned owners of iPhone 13 and its newest iPad models on Friday that restoring their device from an earlier backup can cause problems in Apple Music. A bug prevents some users from accessing the Apple Music catalog and settings, and from using Sync Library on their new device.

The problem affects only iPhone 13, the 2021 iPad mini and the new ninth-generation iPad. Installing a software update fixes the problem.

Apple Watch 7 packs new ‘communications transmitter’ for data transfer

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Apple Watch Series 7
But you probably won't be able to use it.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch Series 7 comes with a brand-new “communications transmitter” for wireless data transfer, regulatory documents reveal. The 60.5GHz module works with a “Wireless Serial Dock” that could enable faster transfer speeds.

It seems, however, that the new connectivity option is likely going to be reserved for internal use.

Apple fans worldwide get their hands on iPhone 13 and new iPad models

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iPhone 13 and new iPads hit the Apple Store
Are you one of the lucky ones?
Photo: Apple

iPhone 13, the 2021 iPad mini and the ninth-generation iPad hit the Apple Store on Friday morning. Cupertino showed off photos of customers getting their hands on its newest devices in Beijing to celebrate the occasion.

Those who preordered online last week also started receiving their new devices today. Twitter and other online platforms have become flooded with images from excited Apple customers with new products to unpack.

Make Apple Watch workouts more comfortable with ActionSleeve 2

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Twelve South ActionSleeve for Apple Watch
Always comfortable and out of your way.
Photo: Twelve South

Do you find your Apple Watch is uncomfortable on your wrist during intense workouts? Wear it on your arm where it’s out of your way with the superb ActionSleeve 2 from Twelve South — now available from the Cult of Mac Store.

Made from a soft and lightweight fabric, ActionSleeve 2 feels good even when you’re hot and sweaty. It doesn’t prevent Apple Watch from tracking your heart rate and other statistics, and it’s machine washable so you can keep it clean.

You can already save $30 on Apple’s new 10.2-inch iPad

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New budget iPad 9 gets better video chat, doubles storage
Bag yours for just $299.
Photo: Apple

Amazon is already offering $30 off the new 10.2-inch iPad that was just launched by Apple. Bag yours with a speedy A13 Bionic processor, a gorgeous Retina display, and 64GB of storage for just $299 before the discount ends.

This year’s iPad refresh also brings an upgraded front-facing camera with the same Center Stage technology found in the latest iPad Pro.

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Newest 12.9-inch Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro sees rare $24 discount

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How to preorder a 2021 iPad Pro
This offer won't last long!
Photo: Apple

Apple’s newest Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro just got a rare $24 discount on Amazon. Bag your 12.9-inch model today for $324.88 before the price returns to normal.

The brilliant Magic Keyboard is perhaps the best accessory you can get for iPad Pro — if you’re a regular typist. It’s works beautifully, it is fantastically designed, and no other iPad keyboard is as enjoyable to type on.

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