This past week Apple held their annual worldwide developer conference, WWDC, where they announced their software plans and roadmap for the coming year. This year was a huge conference for iPad, and also for iPad-wielding lawyers!
Let's start with the name, this fall, iOS will be divided into two distinct operating systems for mobile devices. iPhones will still use the iOS name, while iPad will get its own version of the operating system called iPadOS. This is great news for iPad as it will no longer be constrained by design and feature requirements that have to work with a small display, and new capabilities can be added that are specifically useful to the larger screen size and use cases of an iPad.
One example of how iPadOS will be distinctive from the iPhone iOS can be seen in the Files app, which will now support Column View with previews, making it easier to navigate in and out of folders, and iCloud Drive support for folder sharing. This ties in nicely with our upcoming support for the Document Browser, which will allow you to import files into LIT SOFTWARE apps using the Files app and any cloud integrations you enable (e.g. Dropbox, Box, Citrix Files, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.).
Apple has also added USB flash drive support to iPadOS. This means that you will be able to plug a flash drive into your iPad and import documents directly into a case. There will also be support for external drives, SD cards, and SMB file servers. This will make getting your files into the apps easier than ever. Take a look at this video by AppleInsider to see it in action: https://youtu.be/Kc5a5-6FhJQ
As an added bonus, the Files app will also be able to work with zip files, allowing you to compress and uncompress files right on your iPad!
The iPad Home screen is getting a refresh with the ability to add your widgets so you can see your upcoming appointments, or the weather forecast, without opening any apps. And Dark Mode is coming to the iPad. We don't know many lawyers who are looking forward to this feature, but we have to be prepared in case the feature is turned on, and we will be.
One feature that has been frequently requested by lawyers, however, is better writing ability in DocReviewPad and TrialPad. So, we are happy to announce that we will be adding Apple’s PencilKit annotation tool to both DocReviewPad and TrialPad as soon as possible. PencilKit will make for much smoother writing and note-taking in our apps.
Mouse support will also be added to iPad in the new iPadOS. It can be found under the Accessibility settings. The cursor isn't the most beautiful thing right now, but you’ll be able to use a mouse to navigate the interface with the apps.
In addition to all the above, iTunes for Mac is being split up into three separate apps (Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV). This means that Mac users will not be able to use iTunes File Sharing features to transfer files between their Mac desktop and their iPad. However, there is good news for fans of File Sharing, in that the file transfer ability is coming to the main Finder, making file transfer easier than ever before. Windows users can still use iTunes File Sharing.
We expect that some of these exciting new features and improvements may be refined or changed leading up to the official release of iPadOS (dubbed iPadOS 13), but we're looking forward to implementing many of these features in the new LIT SUITE and continue to add ongoing improvements and new features - making the best litigation apps available on the iPad even better.
As Steve Jobs used to say, one more thing…something called “Project Catalyst” was announced by Apple last week. This may be the most exciting development for us as Project Catalyst will allow app developers like LIT SOFTWARE to create a Mac version of our apps! With over one million iPad apps available, this is great news for all our users, especially lawyers who love their Mac products as much as they love their iPads. When Project Catalyst was announced on stage LIT SOFTWARE was honored to have two of our apps featured in the background artwork on stage (which might offer you a hint about more of our future plans!)
For more details about iPadOS and what to expect this fall, here’s a preview from Apple: https://www.apple.com/ipados/ipados-preview/