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iPadOS will let you plug flash drives, memory cards into your iPad

The iPad gets a significant step closer to Macs and other PCs.

iPads are getting more and more like Macs.

iPads are getting more and more like Macs.

Stephen Shankland/CNET
This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple's annual developers conference.

With the upcoming iPadOS, you'll be able to plug external drives and SD cards into your iPad the way you already can with your Mac or Windows PC.

"iPadOS ... supports external drives, allowing users to easily plug in USB drives, SD cards or log into an SMB file server, all from within the Files app," Apple said in a statement Monday at its Worldwide Developer Conference, aka WWDC, in San Jose, California.

The new feature reflects how much closer iPads and Macs are becoming. iPads and Macs remain separate product lines, but with software tools like Project Catalyst -- formerly called Marzipan -- Apple is breaking down the barriers.

Another big step: iPadOS also will support mouse pointers, early tests of the beta software indicate.

Follow all of today's Apple news.

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