Apple Unveils iPadOS 18 With AI-Powered Calculator App and Math Notes, Smart Script in Notes


Apple announced several new features, artificial intelligence (AI) integration, and the launch of a new app for iPadOS 18 during the keynote session of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024. More than 14 years after the launch of the first iPad, the Cupertino-based tech giant is finally launching a built-in Calculator app with an AI-powered Math Notes feature. The operating system will also get the ChatGPT-powered Siri, Apple Intelligence features, and Home Screen and app icon customisation. A developer beta of iPadOS 18 has been made available by the company.

iPadOS 18 gets a Calculator app

The iPad will finally get a built-in Calculator app with iPadOS 18. The app features the same design elements as its iOS counterpart and can similarly be used as both basic and scientific calculators and for unit conversions. The larger display on the device will allow more buttons and functionalities to show up simultaneously. There is a History option that allows users to check previous calculations as well.

ipados 18 calc iPadOS 18 Calculator

iPadOS 18 Calculator app
Photo Credit: Apple

But this is not the main highlight of the app. A new Math Notes calculator has also been added to the Notes app that allows users to type or write out mathematical expressions. Once the user puts an equal sign next to the expression, it will be solved in the user’s handwriting in real-time. Math Notes can also solve variables-based questions and show graphs for the results. Multiple equations can be added to the same graph to see their relation to each other.

iPadOS 18 brings new features to Notes app

The Notes app has also received some upgrades. Content can now be organised by collapsing sections under headings and subheadings. Five new text highlight colours have also been added.

ipados 18 smartscript iPadOS 18 Notes app

iPadOS 18 Notes app features
Photo Credit: Apple

Apple has added a new Apple Pencil-driven feature dubbed Smart Script that will help users who take handwritten notes. The feature uses intelligence to improve the legibility of the written text without taking away the look and feel of the user’s handwriting. It also allows users to edit handwritten text similar to typed text. Meanwhile, typed text can also be pasted in the same handwritten style.

iPadOS 18 customisation features

Just like iOS 18, iPad users will also be able to customise their Home Screen and app icons with the upcoming software update. App icons and widgets can now be placed in any position, as Apple is ditching its grid format. App icons can also be customised to appear in dark, light, or with a tint. Further, icon size can be increased and users can also remove the names for an aesthetic appearance.

ipados 18 icons iPadOS 18 customisation

iPadOS 18 Home Screen customisation
Photo Credit: Apple

The Control Center is also getting a redesign. Now users will find different stacks of settings tools in the Control Center. Users will find a set of controls for media playback, Home controls, and connectivity. One can swipe between these controls to reach their desired space. Apple is also asking developers of the new Controls API to create more such controls for users.

Other iPadOS 18 features

  • A new redesigned tab has been added to help show the favourite tabs. It morphs into the sidebar to help users get a fluid view. Users can reorder or add tabs from the sidebar.
  • Photos app will now automatically organise libraries. A new carousel view will show users the highlights in different libraries.
  • New text formatting tools are coming to the Messages app including animated texts. Users will also be able to schedule messages.
  • Safari browser gets a Reader view that will allow users to get to the crux of the information instantly.
  • iPad users will also be able to lock and hide apps.
  • Apple Intelligence features such as systemwide Writing Tools, image capabilities, the AI-integrated Siri, and ChatGPT integration will also be available with iPadOS 18.
  • A Passwords app will be added to save and track login credentials.
  • SharePlay will offer remote access and the ability to draw on the screen.
  • The Calendar app will show both events and tasks from Reminders.

iPadOS 18 availability and device compatibility

The developer beta of iPadOS 18 is currently available through the Apple Developer Program. The global stable version of iPadOS 18 is expected in September or October this year. The following iPad models are confirmed to receive the iPadOS 18 update:

  • iPad Pro (M4)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • iPad Air (M2) iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (7th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)

Notably, the Apple Intelligence features will only be available on iPad with M1 and later with Siri and the device language set to US English.

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