One of the smaller additions to iPadOS is a redesigned Home screen and corresponding updates to the widget system.
It isn’t the most groundbreaking new feature, but it’s still incredibly handy. It also helps add some usability to the iPad’s Home screen — which, since it’s based on iOS, isn’t really meant for a computer replacement.
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- A few tips for iPad Widgets
- Also, reconsider Widgets in general
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Here’s how it works.
The new Widget system in iPadOS
Previously, swipe from the left on an iPad would bring you to the Today View. It worked, but it didn’t make the best use of an iPad’s generous display.
There’s a big difference in iPadOS. Just swipe from the left on the Home screen and you’ll see that the Widgets pop out and nestle-in right beside your app icons.
This only happens in Landscape view, however. If you swipe from the left in Portrait mode, the Widgets will appear as an overlay pane. Also, by default, the widgets pane will disappear when you swipe to other app screens on your iPad.
When you first open up the Widgets, you should see an option to Always Show the Today View
Tapping this toggle will “pin” the Today View to your Home screen. That means it’ll stick around even if you navigate away from the Home screen.
If you decide to activate it but don’t like it, you can always edit this behavior by scrolling through your list of widgets and tapping on the circular Edit button. In the Edit menu, there will be a toggle for Always Show the Today View.
Check our detailed step-by-step article on how you can remove widgets from your home screen on your iPad.
A few tips for iPad Widgets
That’s pretty much all there is to the Widgets menu in iPadOS.
As we said, it’s a small change. But it can actually have some big implications for your tablet, depending on how you use it.
For one, we recommend keeping the Today View on your Home screen. The iOS Home screen is objectively pretty space-wasting on a tablet. Keeping the Today View pinned to your Home screen adds some functionality to otherwise wasted space and result in a tighter app grid.
Also, reconsider Widgets in general
In iOS, the Widgets were relegated in their own separate menu that required a swipe to access. This really hampers their usability, especially on a tablet.
Even if you’ve never used Widgets before, you’ll definitely want to try them out in iPadOS.
Just imagine have your iPad out on your desk and being able to see upcoming calendar events or the latest tweets at a glance, without tapping or touching anything.
But, of course, you won’t know how handy widgets on iPadOS are until you try it out for yourself
Download some good apps that support widgets and mix and match them. Keep more important widgets at the top, which other widgets that you check less frequently further down in the list (since you’ll need to scroll through to view them).
Depending on what kind of creative or professional work you do, some widgets will be more useful to you than others.
The bottom line is to just try them out until you find something that works for you.
What are some of the features you are looking forward to in the new iPadOS? Please let us know in the comments below.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.