This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.

iPadOS 14 was officially released on September 17, and after a week or so of testing it out, I'm about to find out how it's doing, so in this article, I'd like to share 10 things to look out for.

1. No home screen placement of widgets and App Library screen

I'm sure everyone is aware that iOS 14 features the App Library and widgets (which can be placed on the home screen). But unfortunately, these features are not available in iPadOS 14. There is no "App Library" screen and widgets can only be placed on the Today View screen.


In iPadOS 14, widgets can be placed only in Today View on the left side of the home screen.

There are now widgets for third-party apps like Birch that allow you to display your favorite photos, so I wanted to place the widgets where I wanted them on the large screen of the iPad, but.... It's a bit of a shame.

2. It's easy to organize photos

In iPadOS 14, the standard Photos app now supports the sidebar view. It's a common mechanism in file management apps, but I'm grateful that it came out in the Photos app. As a writer, I have to organize a large number of photos, and I wanted the "Photos" app to be easier to manage first than the "Files" app. It gives me better visibility when I want to view a "screenshot" image, for example.

Engadget Japan

The Photos app now supports the Sidebar display.

Also, you can now add captions to photos and videos. If you swipe up while in full screen view, you can swipe up to bring up a column that says "Add a Caption" so you can write text here. This captioning is also a hit in search, so I have a feeling it's going to come in very handy depending on how you use it.


If you swipe up on the photo you are viewing, the "Add a Caption" field will appear.

3. Easy to choose the date on the calendar

The standard iOS Calendar app now makes it easier to choose a date when you create a new appointment. This used to be a pull-down menu, so it was a hassle to spin around to specify a distant date. In iOS 14, you can now choose a date in calendar format.


The date selection in the appointment creation process has changed to a calendar style.

When you register your schedule, you often press and hold the screen directly. However, when you want to add more appointments across multiple dates or in places where there are overlapping appointments, the "+" button is a convenient way to add more appointments, which I think is a welcome improvement.

4. Siri is now more compactly displayed

When you launch Siri and search results are now displayed in a small icon or pop-up that appears in the bottom right corner instead of a full screen. The iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch screen, and using the full screen for Siri was too inefficient. I'm really glad the UI has been downsized.


When Siri is launched, it now appears in the bottom right corner.

5. Easy to navigate to search results

When using the physical keyboard, you can launch an app by tapping [command] + [space] to open a search window, typing an app name and pressing [return]. This could be done in older versions, but the UI has been improved in iPadOS 14 to make it easier to understand.


Type "photo" in the search field that appears with [command] + [space]. You'll see the app icon and words like "-open", and you'll know that [return] will perform these actions.

For example, when you press return, depending on the keyword, it may work as a search in the browser, but I think it's better than before because you can now determine what apps work with the icon display.

6. Entering numbers in a spreadsheet is super easy to write by hand

Scribble, a feature that allows you to convert handwritten characters into text, is a hot topic, but unfortunately, Japanese is not yet supported. However, you can already use it for alphanumeric characters.


Select the "A" pen on the far left, write the number in the "Numbers" cell, and it will be converted to text input.

For example, entering numbers into a spreadsheet is quite cumbersome and nerve-wracking when using a keyboard without a trackpad. On the other hand, writing directly into a cell with the Apple Pencil was much more comfortable than I expected, so if you have the Apple Pencil, give it a try.

7. The evolution of the message is solid

If you're using the Messages app to keep in touch with your family or with your work team, the pinning, in-line replies, and the ability to reply to a specific person added in iPadOS 14 are all welcome improvements.


You can now reply to a person's name or reply to a message. Frequent chats can be pinned at the top.

Pinning allows you to pin the most frequently used chats at the top. You can pin them by tapping the pinning icon that appears by swiping right. Pinning makes it easier to find chats, because Messages app sends notifications to your phone company and two-step verification.

Inline replies and replying to a specific person are familiar features in business chat apps and LINE, for example. It's a must-have feature in group chats to make it clear which person and topic is being referred to.

8. Voice input is easy to use

The Smart Connecor allows you to enter voice input with the keyboard attached, and I didn't notice any time lag between recognition and being converted to text at all. The accuracy of the dictation seemed pretty good, even when I continued to read long sentences. I tried it out on the 8th generation iPad this time, and my feeling is that it's pretty reliable, even for manuscript work.


While the Smart Keyboard is connected, tap the keyboard icon in the lower right corner, then tap the microphone icon for voice input. I read aloud the first sentence of "Kokoro" by Natsume Soseki, and it was recognized with this level of accuracy.

9. Voice memo playback is now clear

Many people take notes while recording on their iPads, and with iPadOS 14, voice memos have evolved. The first is to reduce noise when playing back recorded audio. Tapping the star icon in the upper right corner will reduce wind noise.

(By the way, I was hoping that it would be great if the keyboard typing sounds would go away, but this still wasn't possible.)


Turn on the enclosed icon in the upper right corner to reduce the noise.

Another improvement is that it is now possible to manage recorded sound data in a folder. So far, the only thing you could do was change the title, which was quite a nice improvement for me, as I have a lot of recordings left for interviews.

Engadget Japan

You can create a new folder from the folder icon at the bottom left.

10. Automation has come in handy

There are more triggers for the Automation feature that can be set in the Shortcuts app. So, for example, you can set up automation settings such as "When it's charging," for example. You could play your favorite music, or launch an app you use for work. It has a wide range of applications, so it's a bit of an advanced feature, but it's one of the advancements I'd like to see iPad owners try out.


The screen in the "Shortcuts" app to trigger automation of the charger connection.

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.