iPadOS 18: New Calculator, Handwriting Tools, and Apple Intelligence


Apple has unveiled iPadOS 18, introducing a range of new features designed to improve the iPad experience. These updates include a new Calculator app with Math Notes, advanced handwriting tools in Notes, and more customization options for the Home Screen and Control Center. The Photos app has also been redesigned, and new messaging features have been added.

iPadOS 18 also introduces Apple Intelligence, a personal intelligence system integrated into the operating system. It uses generative models and personal context to simplify tasks and improve user experience. According to Apple, this feature is built with privacy in mind and takes full advantage of Apple silicon and the Neural Engine.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, stated, “Our most versatile device is becoming even more powerful and intelligent than ever with iPadOS 18.” He highlighted new ways to personalize the Home Screen, a redesigned Photos app, updates to the Notes app, the addition of Calculator with Math Notes, and the introduction of Apple Intelligence.

The new Calculator app for iPad includes Math Notes, allowing users to type or write out mathematical expressions and see them solved in their own handwriting. The app also features a graphing tool and a history function to keep track of previous calculations. With unit conversions and scientific calculator options, users can quickly convert measurements and solve complex equations.

Handwritten notes receive a boost with Smart Script, which smooths and straightens handwriting in real-time. Users can easily edit handwritten text, add space, scratch out sentences, and even paste typed text in their own handwriting. The Notes app also introduces new text highlight colors and the ability to collapse sections under headings for better organization.

Customization options have been expanded with iPadOS 18. Users can now personalize the Home Screen by placing app icons and widgets in any open position, choosing light, dark, or tinted appearances, and resizing app icons for a streamlined look. Control Center has been redesigned for easier access to frequently used controls, with new customization options and support for third-party app controls.

The new tab bar in iPadOS 18 floats above app content, providing easier navigation and complementing the sidebar. Users can reorder or add tabs from the sidebar, enhancing their in-app experience. The Photos app has also received its biggest redesign yet, automatically organizing libraries and offering new ways to browse and pin favorite collections.

Messages in iPadOS 18 now include text formatting options like bold, underline, italics, and animated text effects. Users can react to messages with any emoji or sticker and schedule messages to send at a later time. Safari, touted as the world’s fastest browser, introduces Highlights and a redesigned Reader experience for a more streamlined presentation of web content.

Privacy controls have been enhanced in iPadOS 18, allowing users to lock and hide apps, manage app access to contacts, and seamlessly pair Bluetooth accessories. Apple Intelligence provides new systemwide Writing Tools for rewriting, proofreading, and summarizing text across various apps, as well as new image capabilities with Image Playground.

Other updates in iPadOS 18 include a new Passwords app, improved SharePlay features, enhanced gaming experiences with Game Mode and Personalized Spatial Audio, and new tools in Reminders and Calendar. Apple Maps now offers offline access to custom walking routes and thousands of national park hikes.

Image: Apple

Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.