iPadOS 16: Five features I’d like to see as we head towards WWDC 2022

When iPadOS 15 was announced back at WWDC 2021, I was disappointed to find that it was more of a catch-up to iOS 14, with widgets on the home screen.

While the new Focus feature and better multitasking options were welcome, they didn't go far enough in improving how I used the iPad at the time. As these updates felt so minor to me, I decided to switch to a MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021), and I've been happy with it since.

However, with WWDC 2022 confirmed for June 6, there's a good chance we'll see iPadOS 16. Hopefully, we'll see the operating system set itself apart from iOS, with features that are not only exclusive to the iPad but justifies the 'Pro' in iPad Pro.

With this in mind, here are five features that I'd like to see for iPadOS 16.

iPad home screen with widgets in iPadOS 15

(Image credit: Future)

1. External monitor support

This is a feature that many iPad users have been wanting, myself included when I owned one. While you can connect an iPad to a display, it only mirrors what's being shown on the tablet, and worse, in a resolution that doesn't adapt to the monitor.

We're in a time where completing your work on two or three monitors is normal. You can swap apps and windows between these displays and macOS or Windows 11 handles them fine.

But in iPadOS, that's not possible. Let's see an additional multitasking window show when an iPad is connected to a display. This way, you can swipe an app to another display, and let it display in the full resolution that the monitor is capable of.

2. Redesigned lock screen

There are parts of iPadOS where it looks as though it's an iPhone feature but supersized. Siri was guilty of this for years, where it would cover the entire screen, but thankfully this was resized in a compact menu in iPadOS 13.

The lock screen should be next to benefit from this. While we were given refined notifications in iPadOS 15, there's plenty of space being wasted, especially on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Let's see a widget displayed at least – perhaps weather as the default, followed by the choice of adding another. While you can swipe to the left and have some widgets display, having them show as soon as you wake the screen would be a nice touch.

3. Record more than one person in a call

This has been a bugbear of content creators, especially those who record podcasts. While you're able to take part in calls and group calls thanks to FaceTime, Skype and others, there's been no way to record everyone separately.

This is how many people capture the recordings for a podcast, as it enables audio editors to place separate audio files to make an episode.

Currently, on iPadOS, there's no way of doing this.

So, let's see an easier way to record multiple people on a call and be able to save them all as separate files, ready to edit into a podcast.

This one change could open up the iPad as a portable podcast machine – from recording a guest, to placing the file into Garageband or Ferrite, then saving it as a finished podcast file, ready to upload to a provider.

4. Final Cut

While there are apps like iMovie and Luma Digital that can edit your video projects, some content creators want the extra power and features that an app like Final Cut provides.

This is Apple's pro version of its video editing apps and has only been available on macOS. But with the Mac and iPad both running on Apple Silicon, users have been wishing to see Final Cut on the iPad.

Seeing this as part of iPadOS 16, along with widgets and shortcuts, could really appeal to pro users. And being able to carry on with their Final Cut projects from Mac to iPad would improve workflows, no need to use a different app on an iPad.

5. Better picture-in-picture support

This is a feature that was once exclusive to the iPad, before moving over to macOS, then iOS 15. However, its features have stayed the same since its debut in iOS 9 on iPad. It's time for some improvements.

To have a timeline slider would be a great benefit, as you currently have to go back to the app that's originally playing the video and press the slider to switch to a different part of what's playing.

Another welcome feature would be the ability to place the video anywhere on the display. While you can do that to a point now, the video has been known to place itself below menus or obstructed by an app. On macOS, you can solve this by holding down the command button and dragging the video anywhere on the display.

If these two improvements arrived on iPadOS, there'd be an increase in its use, especially with YouTube's decision to bring the feature to its app for Premium users.

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Adobe announces Creative Cloud Express, a hint towards its freemium future?

If you're keen to use Adobe's powerful creative tools, but are less excited about their high prices, the company's new Creative Cloud Express app could be for you. Effectively a lite version of its software suite, the app is free to use on mobile devices or via web browser, with extra features costing $ 9.99 / £10.10 / AU$ 14.29 a month.

Creative Cloud Express is designed for students, small business owners, or for those who want to turn a hobby into a career. Instead of a collection of apps, here you download just one app that gives you features to edit photos, trim videos and create GIFs, while making content that’s relevant to your customers.

It’s the first freemium product from Adobe, and with Christmas fast approaching, it could be a great entry point for those who want to try out Adobe’s products on their new devices.

Who would want this?

Available from today, you can download Creative Cloud Express for free, from the Microsoft store, Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The free plan includes:

  • Create on both web and mobile.
  • Thousands of templates, design assets, and Adobe Fonts.
  • A limited collection of royalty-free Adobe Stock free collection photos.
  • Basic editing and photo effects including removing backgrounds and animations.
  • 2GB of storage.

You only need to sign up and you can use the above features straight away. It’s a new angle that Adobe is offering here, as you would have had to sign up for a free trial for Creative Cloud at least, to see if apps such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro were suited to your needs.

The paid plan includes a 3-month free trial with more images and templates to use, alongside the ability to export a project into PDF and other useful features. You can sign up and get a feel for whether Express or the full Creative Cloud package is best for you.

Its press release also stated that an Enterprise edition of Express is coming in 2022, which would help businesses offer the package to its employees in one go.

Analysis: A hint towards the future? 

So far the new offering from Adobe looks impressive, with its demos showing both tablets and web browsers using Express. With many users going through their favored web browser to use certain web apps, it could show what the future holds for Adobe and Creative Cloud going forward.

Express looks to be the start of this, and if its features expand to those that are inspired by Adobe’s other apps such as Illustrator and XD, this new package is an enticing and exciting start.

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Cyber Polygon 2021: Towards Secure Development of Digital Ecosystems

Cybersecurity is one of the most important topics on the global agenda, boosted by the pandemic. As the global digitalisation is further accelerating, the world is becoming ever more interconnected. Digital ecosystems are being created all around us: countries, corporations and individuals are taking advantage of the rapid spread of the Internet and smart devices. In this context, a single vulnerable link is enough to bring down the entire system, just like the domino effect.

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