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Definition: iPadOS

The OS in Apple's iPad that debuted in the fall of 2019. iPadOS superseded iOS, which had been Apple's mobile operating system since day one for both its tablets and phones. However, iPadOS runs all the iOS apps that previously ran on the iPad (as of 2020, more than two million iOS apps were developed).

iPadOS accelerates the trend of making the tablet's user interface operate like a laptop and desktop computer. For example, the cursor can be moved around the screen, and there are new keyboard shortcuts. Local files are viewed like desktop file managers with access to the network. For the first time, iPads natively accept mice, USB drives and SD cards. In addition, the Files app supports the SMB protocol, which lets iPad users view files in a Windows home network (see SMB). See iOS, iOS versions and iPad.