iPadOS 14 review: we expected more

Review: iPadOS 14. All in all, we are moderately satisfied with this update. However, we expected more from Apple

What are the best new features of iPadOS 14 ? Does this update really bring major innovations? And does iPadOS 14 contain enough innovations for Dutch-speaking users? You can read it in our iPadOS 14 review!

iPadOS 14 review

Last year, the iPad received the biggest update to date. We therefore felt that iPadOS 13 has made the iPad mature . Although in terms of bugs things did not always go smoothly, the iPad needed its own platform, iPadOS . This year Apple is expanding this further with iPadOS 14 and we ask ourselves in this review: is it enough? Because we do miss some useful functions that Apple has promised, but which are of little use to you as a Dutch-speaking user.

browser cannot be written on with your Pencil.

It seems to work a bit if you use short sentences in Dutch, but in the end it turns out to be a frustrating experience where too many spelling mistakes are made. It happens too often that Apple converts your Dutch text to something similar to English. Apple itself also emphasizes that it only works well in English and Chinese. This eliminates a lot of useful functions for people who like to use their Apple Pencil.

Extensive Apple Pencil support
Let’s get straight to the point. The most prominent feature of iPadOS 14 is one that you really only find on the iPad, but that does not work well in Dutch.

You can use the Apple Pencil in many more places. For example, you can simply write by hand in a search field and shapes are now automatically recognized while drawing. There is also advanced support for handwriting recognition while writing text. That sounds great, but it only works if you have set up an English keyboard. Otherwise, the URL box of your browser cannot be written on with your Pencil.

It seems to work a bit if you use short sentences in Dutch, but in the end it turns out to be a frustrating experience where too many spelling mistakes are made. It happens too often that Apple converts your Dutch text to something similar to English. Apple itself also emphasizes that it only works well in English and Chinese. This eliminates a lot of useful functions for people who like to use their Apple Pencil.

After some closer reading of the text on Apple ‘s iPadOS 14 page, it mainly causes confusion . It seems Apple just wanted to emphasize the fact that Scribble also works in Chinese. But if you look at the fine print of the footnotes, only English and Chinese are mentioned. The Apple Pencil is not discussed at all on the Dutch version of the iPadOS 14 page.

All those ambiguities make it unclear for an ordinary user: you hear or read about nice new functions and then have to wait and see whether it also works in Dutch . Too bad, maybe it will come in 2025. Or never.

By the way, we read some iPadOS 14 reviews of English-language sites and it showed that it does not always work well in English. Only if you write very clearly, the text recognition works flawlessly and instead of moving a text block, you sometimes drag the entire app aside.

What, no widgets on the home screen?
Yet another setback. In iOS 14 for iPhone, you will find a new Home screen with many more options than before. You can put widgets (almost) anywhere on your home screen, there is an App library for all your apps and you can hide home screens for an extra tidy look. We’ve been using it a lot since iOS 14 , but you can’t use it on the iPad. We think that is a big miss. The large screen of the iPad is perfect for displaying many widgets with information.

We would like to see the option to add at least one or two widgets. For example, you can create a page per app category on your home screen. Apple is increasingly trying to promote the iPad as a real workhorse. Then we don’t like the option to place widgets everywhere. After all, there are no technical objections to support it; the iPads are usually more powerful than the iPhones in terms of processor .

Fortunately, new design for widgets

It does not mean that the iPad is completely devoid of widgets. You can use them, but in a separate sidebar. You can also access it from the Notification Center. Despite the limitations, the new widgets are a nice addition to the iPad. The smart stack widget in particular is very useful.

Better navigation through apps
The iPad is more like the Mac from iPadOS 14, including a new sidebar in apps. You can now navigate apps in a streamlined way. For example, you can use a sidebar to open folders without having to go all the way to the previous screen. It’s a bit like the Finder interface on the Mac .

You’ll also find a new date picker in the Calendar app in the form of a calendar. We think this is a nice addition, because you can see faster on which day a certain date falls (or vice versa). You will also find a new toolbar in the Calendar app. This allows you to quickly switch to your incoming invitations, a list view of the calendar or an overview of all your calendars.

Finally, for example, in the Mail app you have a new function called ‘Popover’. This allows you to quickly switch between inboxes without having to leave the current inbox. Again: just like on the Mac. They are small additions to the navigation through apps, but they make apps better.

Spotlight is more like Mac’s

The Spotlight search function has also been addressed. This now looks more like that of the Mac and now also completes your words automatically. What’s the best about Spotlight in iPadOS 14? It works everywhere! Previously, you always had to go to the home screen to search your iPad , even if you were using an external keyboard. From iPadOS 14, Spotlight opens exactly in the app you are currently using, provided you use a keyboard.

The advantage of this is that you can read an app while searching. For example, if you need to find a specific file with a difficult name, you can retype it from Safari if you had it open. Spotlight thus looks much more like the Mac variant.

App selector and multi-window support still too limited
In the run-up to WWDC, we hoped the iPad would do a little more with the app picker. For a ‘computer’ we think this is still very limited. You will still only see your recently used apps. That’s okay in itself, but slightly more advanced features like sorting by app group would have been nice.

Furthermore, we would like to see Apple spend some more time on multi-window support. At the moment you can use a maximum of 2 apps at the same time, but the iPad can handle a lot more in terms of processor power. That is why Apple could have supported 4 apps at the same time, all of which, for example, take up 25% of the screen (especially on a 12.9-inch iPad), but that is unfortunately still a thing of the future.

iPadOS 14 lacks many (minor) iOS 14 functions

We’ve already highlighted it when it comes to widgets, but there are a lot of features that the iPad doesn’t have and the iPhone does . For example, you cannot search for emoji and there is no translation app . Moreover, the Translation app is of little use to you, because it doesn’t work in Dutch.

Definitely a translation app from iOS 14 is a no-brainer for the iPad. It is indeed a device on which you must be able to process text. Nor is it an app with a complicated interface. We hope that Apple will add the app and then immediately add Dutch support.

We also want to be able to search for emoji with text, so that you no longer have to scroll through the jungle of pictures. And there is still no Calculator and Weather app on the iPad. They are small functions that are fine on the iPad, but Apple chooses not to make them.

Some iOS functions have been adopted

Some minor features are available on the iPad, such as the revamped iOS 14 calling screen . Siri also has a new interface on the iPad and there are new iMessage functions in group conversations . So it is not the case that Apple has not taken over anything at all.

Advantages +

  • No fewer than 17 iPad models are supported, a record!
  • Installation went smoothly for most people (but the device is also used less intensively)
  • Spotlight clearer
  • Navigation improved

Cons –

  • Not enough iPad-specific functions
  • Still not a Weather and Calculator app
  • Scribble and handwriting not available in Dutch
  • Translation app not available in the Netherlands
  • The potential of iPadOS as a new, standalone platform has not been sufficiently exploited

Conclusion iPadOS 14 review

All in all, we are moderately satisfied with this update. We expected more from Apple, now that iPadOS has split off and would get additional features tailored entirely to this platform. There was more potential and Apple did not get enough of it in our opinion, especially when we look at the functions that have been added in iOS 14 .

Most unfortunate we find that the widgets, App Library and hiding home screens are missing. In addition, there are many functions that do not work in Dutch, such as the Translation app, the Scribble functions and the handwriting recognition. This makes the list of real innovations very sparse.

So is it a worthless bad update? Not quite. Thanks to the new Spotlight and improved navigation, the iPad with iPadOS 14 becomes a better replacement for your computer. But we would have liked to see some more productivity features and features that are really tailored to the iPad . These are all small improvements that make using the iPad just that little bit more pleasant, such as the renewed calling screen , a smaller Siri interface and the improvements for iMessage . We are also happy that this update can be installed on no fewer than 17 (!) Different iPad models , so almost everyone benefits. And we haven’t actually heard any complaints about the installation.

But the really big leap forward is missing this year.