iPadOS makes Apple Pencil much faster and better [Opinion]

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Apple Pencil in iPadOS 13 decreased latency
At WWDC, Apple VP Craig Federighi revealed one of the ways iPadOS 13 improves the Apple Pencil.
Screenshot: Apple

Without changing the hardware, iPadOS 13 manages to decrease the latency of the Apple Pencil. And that’s just the start: there are also new features for non-artists to take advantage of this active stylus.

Check out our first impressions of using an Apple Pencil with the initial beta of Apple’s next operating system.

External drive support is iPadOS’ best new feature [Opinion]

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iPad Pro with thumb drive
With the right adapter, an a tablet running iPadOS 13 can access USB-A drives and SD cards.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Mouse support has drawn more attention, but giving iPad Pro full access to external drives is the biggest improvement in iPadOS 13. It will make using a tablet easier and cheaper for professionals and average users alike.

With adapters, it’s now possible to access everything from hard drives to microSD cards. This feature is a real gamechanger.

Apple has the wrong attitude toward mouse support on iPad [Opinion]

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An iPad trackpad?! Too bad it’s only a dream.
It could be so much better.
Photo: Brydge

Apple will finally bring mouse support to iPad (and iPhone) when it rolls out major software updates this fall — and that’s awesome. Finally, you will gain full control over your device without needing to lift a finger.

But I think Apple takes the wrong attitude when it comes to mouse support on iOS.

Its current approach could hold back development of the feature later on, and could negatively impact people who really need it. It also goes against Apple’s mission to make the iPad a laptop replacement.

Safari in iPadOS is almost as good as macOS [Opinion]

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Safari in iPadOS desktop-class browsing
At WWDC, Apple Safari and Desktop Engineer Charles Ying promised iPadOS will include a full-featured browser.
Photo: Apple

Apple promised the Safari browser coming to iPads later this year will be “desktop class.” That’s a vague term, but tests with the first beta of iPadOS 13 show that it comes very close to the macOS version. There’s still room for improvement, though.

Even so, this is a major milestone for Apple’s tablets. Limitations in Safari have held the iPad back for far too long.

iPad is a whole new beast after leaving iPhone behind

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Ipados
The iPad is now almost as capable as the Mac. Almost.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

At first look, iPadOS — Apple’s new operating system designed specifically for the iPad — doesn’t seem to have added so much. If you discount the iOS 13 features that the iPad shares with the iPhone, the iPadOS extras look rather pedestrian. But these small changes show a big change of direction for the iPad. Apple is turning it into a new kind of mobile computer, instead of a big iPhone.

Imagine that you saw somebody roll a rock a few feet away from another rock. Maybe it crests a small bump in the grass. But then, when you take a step away, you see that the rock is now perched on the edge of a canyon. To mix metaphors, iPadOS is like Wile E. Coyote floating over the big drop. Only the drop goes up instead of down, or something.

iOS 13 hopes: 6 small tweaks that would bring big improvements [Opinion]

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iPhone iOS 12 lock screen
The two application links on the Lock screen are pre-set. iOS 13 really should allow users to choose these.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Reports of significant changes in iOS 13 have been popping up for months, but there are plenty of minor modifications that would enhance day-to-day use of the iPhone and iPad.

Here are half a dozen we think Apple should include in the next iOS version when it debuts this fall.

5 improvements iPad users expect from iOS 13 [Opinion]

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So powerful, and yet it can’t even copy a file off a USB stick.
Better support for external monitors is one of the features iPad users want in iOS 13.
Photo: Apple

Those of us with an iPad have big expectations for the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system. These tablets pack performance comparable to laptops, but the software continues to lag.

Here’s what Tim Cook and Co. can do to remedy that.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 20, 2019 but is being revisited in the lead up to WWDC 2019.

How Apple could turn personal data into a gold mine for the masses [Opinion]

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Apple is the best on privacy, but it's still not close to what we need.
Apple is the best on privacy, but it's still not close to what we need.
Photo: Ash Edmonds/Unsplash

Apple should be building a data marketplace for its users, not raising fears about privacy. Privacy is about preventing the leakage of personal data and does nothing about the ownership and monetization of that data.

Individuals should be getting paid for their data directly, not the companies that collect that data. And that should be the focus of Apple’s efforts.

Why adding mouse support to iPad is a touch of genius [Opinion]

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IPad mouse
Confused? You will be.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A recent rumor says the iPad Pro will soon be compatible with USB-C mice. The idea is that you can just plug one in, and — perhaps by enabling an option in the Accessibility settings — use a mouse just like you would use a mouse on the Mac.

But what would such a feature look like? And would it actually be useful, or would it just be confusing? Let’s think about that.

Living with a MacBook keyboard is like managing a chronic condition [Opinion]

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Taking it out on your problematic MacBook butterfly keyboard will only make things worse.
Taking it out on your keyboard will only make things worse.
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At this point, we all know the MacBook’s butterfly keyboard can prove problematic. Apple recently admitted the problem is real — and even issued a rare apology.

Anecdotally, pretty much every MacBook owner I know has experienced keys sticking or repeating at one time or another. But occasionally I meet someone who seems blessed with a faultless MacBook keyboard. And Apple claims the problem only affects a small number of MacBook users.

So what is going on? I have a theory — and a tip that might keep your MacBook’s keyboard from crapping out if it hasn’t already.