iPad for Writers: iPadOS 13 Review

Safari

Safari on the iPad is no longer just a bigger version of the iPhone Safari. On iPadOS 13, Safari is now almost as capable as the Mac version. I say almost because there are still some hiccups with how certain websites render, especially if they require a certain plug-in only available on desktop computers.

But the main websites a writer might need, such as Google Docs, QueryTracker, as well as the backend CMS systems within WordPress and Squarespace render—and function—just as they do on a laptop.

Google Docs was a specific pain point for a lot of writers who wanted to switch to the iPad, or even to write on the go when they weren’t at their desk, but the only alternative was a severely limited app from the App Store. Not anymore.

YouTube also renders in-browser, so you no longer have to rely on the app to watch videos anymore. Having a desktop-class browser on the iPad makes so many more websites available to users than before, expanding the functionality of the device and preventing the need for a bunch of one-off apps cluttering up the homescreen.

The new Safari also comes with a download manager, so files that used to have to be downloaded on a Mac and transferred over can now be saved directly to the Files app on the iPad.

Right now, downloads are saved to your iCloud’s Downloads folder by default. The default folder can be changed under the Safari section of the Settings app, but I’d like to specify the location at the time I initiate the download like I can on my Mac.

To adjust font sizes, view a stripped-down “Reader” version of an article, or request the mobile version of a website for some reason, tap the “Aa” button in the address bar. This will open a small menu of options to help tailor the browsing experience to the user.

All in all, this is possibly the most significant update to Safari on the iPad since the original iPad was released. It’s a game changer and makes browsing the web so much easier—and more fun than it used to be.

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