Shown at the opening of WWDC iPadOS 15 did not live up to my expectations . Disappointed. It seemed to me that it did not get any closer to becoming an alternative to the computer. A toy file system manager with an unprofessional name Files cannot be anything serious. The files are too simple and straightforward. Hence, they are limited. Finder, by the way, in the 80s also seemed like a toy, too simple and limited. And then they tasted it, and everything became normal. Maybe Files isn’t as bad as they say? Yes. You know, even a little bit different: it is the Files app that is actually the biggest breakthrough in the entire iPadOS 15 .
Still, there was a very useful feature in iPadOS 15
Stereotypes are to blame for everything. When trying to imagine a professional-grade tablet operating system, we drew in our minds something similar to the Finder. But the file system manager can be arranged differently and cope with its tasks just as well. IPadOS surprised me for the second time this week. Last time – by how Apple subtly and gracefully combined the touch interface with the mouse-cursor-window interface . IPadOS 13.4, which was released in March 2020.
How the Files app changed in iPadOS 15
Files is an application built into iPadOS that allows you to find files, move them between applications, organize their storage, and work with cloud storage. Almost everything you need to turn Files into a flawless file system manager appeared in it in 2019 and 2020. And in iPadOS 15, all this was tidied up and supplemented with finishing touches. And now iPadOS 15 and Files will not be an obstacle in the way of professionals.
There are a lot of new things in Files this year, but at first glance, almost each of them, taken separately, does not attract significant innovation. Interesting, useful – but not a breakthrough. For example, now when copying or transferring large files, you can see the progress of copying. Almost like in macOS: progress is displayed in a small circular indicator. Which is also a button – by clicking or tapping on this button, a panel with complete information about the process opens. In this panel, the process can be interrupted.
Files app on iPadOS 15
But the main thing is different. Files in iPadOS 15 have learned to read disks (flash drives or drives) in the NTFS format used in Windows. Simultaneously with macOS. Right in Files, you can not only open and view PDF files, but also make some changes to them. Remove or add pages, rotate them, and so on. The content of PDF documents is read-only. But this is for now. Everything is much more serious than it seems.
Why do you need the Files app at all?
This is what the Files app looked like in iOS 11
The mass user of tablets doesn’t really need file systems or their managers. They know how to get what they want from an iPad, and that’s fine with them. Some out-of-the-box individuals have tried to use the iPad for something a little more complex. Some even succeeded.
In 2017, two events happened almost simultaneously. In the next 11th version of iOS , the Files application appeared . File system manager for iPhone and iPad. The app was simple, straightforward, but limited. Almost useless. The video, in which the heroine famously controlled Excel, Word and other office programs on the iPad, came out at about the same time. It was titled Why Your Next Computer Isn’t a Computer.
This was the beginning of an ambitious plan. Studying the needs of the market and its ideas about what a professional tablet should be. After splitting iOS into iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, there was some serious work in the latter for Files . And they were used – no matter what. In iPadOS 14, some bugs in Files were fixed , others were added. And along with them, and new functions. In iPadOS 15, problems and flaws were done away with, bugs were eliminated and added what users asked for. A colleague who showed me Files in action said that in a week he found only one bug in iPadOS 15, not in Files. In the first beta for developers!