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Apple announces iPadOS 18 with a built-in calculator and customizable homescreen

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Apple offered a preview of iPadOS 18 during its WWDC 2024 keynote, providing a brief glimpse of the latest version of its tablet software. Along with a new built-in calculator, the software update will bring AI features like ChatGPT to Siri as well as several new customizability options. Like in previous years, the new update will arrive in the fall, with a developer beta available today and a public beta slated for release next month.

The software update finally adds a built-in calculator to Apple’s tablets. This means iPad users will no longer need to download third-party apps, which are often chock-full of ads and rarely optimized for the iPad’s larger form factor, just to perform simple math calculations.

The Apple Pencil can solve math problems after you write them.
Image: Apple

The new calculator also works along with Apple Pencil, so you can solve math problems after writing them out with the stylus. Apple is also introducing Smart Script, which improves the appearance of text as you write using machine learning. It’s also capable of recreating your own handwriting style, spell-checking you, and transforming typed text into your own style.

You can personalize your homescreen.
Image: Apple

Other new features include a new screen-sharing feature in SharePlay that allows you to remotely control another person’s iPad, a redesigned Settings and Photos app, and a customizable floating tab that makes it easier to navigate apps.

The software update also brought plenty of AI-powered features to Apple’s tablet lineup. Apple’s Siri now integrates with ChatGPT, while you can now create your own custom emoji and images. Siri can also now answer more questions and perform specific tasks in and across apps, like “make this photo pop.” Apple also introduced a new accessibility feature that lets people with physical disabilities control their devices with just their eyes.

The news comes a month after Apple updated its iPad lineup with several new tablets, including an M4-powered iPad Pro and an M2-powered iPad Air. For the first time, the high-end Pro models sport OLED displays while the iPad Air comes in two sizes: 11 and 13 inches.

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