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How to Update Your iPad to iPadOS 14

iPadOS 14 is here, and all of the impressive new features are just a few minutes away from being on your iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini or iPad Pro. In this short How To article, we’ll show you just how to update your device to iPadOS 14.

1 – Make sure your iPad can run iPadOS 14. The following iPads are compatible:

  • All iPad Pro models

  • iPad (7th generation)

  • iPad (6th generation)

  • iPad (5th generation)

  • iPad mini 4 and 5

  • iPad Air (3rd generation)

  • iPad Air 2

Of course, the new iPad Air (4th generation) and iPad (8th generation) that were announced on Tuesday can also run iPadOS 14. They’ll come preloaded with the new OS.

2 – Ready to upgrade? Turn on your iPhone and launch the Settings app. Scroll down to General, then tap it. Under General you’ll find Software Update.

3 – If the iPadOS 14 update is available in your area (it should be!), you’ll see it listed. Tap Download & Install.

4 – You’ll need to agree to Apple’s usual “terms and conditions”. As soon as that’s complete, iPadOS 14 will begin to download to your device. When the download is complete, the iPhone checks the downloaded update file to ensure that no glitches occurred in the download.

5 – Two things can happen; you can either wait and the downloaded OS will be installed at night when your iPhone is plugged in, not in use, and on the network. However, if you’re as impatient as I usually am, just click the blue link titled “Install iPadOS 14” and the installation begins. Your device will display a white Apple logo on a black background, and will reboot several times. When it’s done, you can take advantage of all of the new features of iPadOS 14!

So, What ARE Those New Features?

Here’s what Apple had to say yesterday about iPadOS 14 in the press release announcing the new iPad Air:

iPadOS 14, available beginning Wednesday, September 16, brings new features and designs that take advantage of the unique capabilities of iPad, such as its large Multi-Touch display, and versatile accessories. iPadOS 14 further integrates Apple Pencil into the iPad experience for better note-taking capabilities, and new ways to work with handwritten notes. When taking notes on iPad, Smart Selection uses on-device machine learning to distinguish handwriting from drawings, so handwritten text can easily be selected, cut, and pasted into another document as typed text using the same familiar gestures. Shape recognition allows users to draw shapes that are made geometrically perfect and snap right into place when adding diagrams and illustrations in Notes. Data detectors work seamlessly with handwritten text, recognizing phone numbers, dates, addresses, and links, making it easy for users to perform actions like tapping a handwritten number to make a call.

iPadOS 14 also brings Scribble to iPad, allowing Apple Pencil users to handwrite directly in any text field, making actions like replying to a quick iMessage or searching in Safari fast and easy — all without ever needing to put Apple Pencil away. Scribble uses on-device machine learning to convert handwriting into typed text in real time, so writing is always kept private and secure.

iPadOS 14 makes the iPad experience even more distinctive and powerful in other ways, including:

  • New compact designs for incoming FaceTime and phone calls, Siri interactions, and Search to help users stay focused on the task at hand.

  • Universal Search to quickly find practically anything, from locating and launching apps, to accessing contacts, files, and information, to getting answers to common questions about people or places.

  • New sidebars for many apps including Photos and Files, and streamlined toolbars that consolidate controls into a single place, making them more useful than ever.

  • Beautifully redesigned widgets that present timely information at a glance right on the Home Screen.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!