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How iOS 9 could save the iPadFaced with declining sales, the iPad needs a shot in the arm. CNET's Luke Westaway says the new features revealed in iOS 9 could change the fate of Apple's tablet.
The iPad has been a difficult device for Apple, but change is due in iOS 9 which was just unveiled at the company's WWDC conference could give Apple's tablet a much needed shot in the arm. Revealed all the way back in 2010, the late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs promised that the iPad would fill the space between a smart phone and a laptop. That vision resonates with shoppers and in 80 days Apple sold 3 million Ipads. Sales continued to skyrocket but have declined more recently. The smartphones became bigger and the laptops became more portable. Apple's solution is to make the Ipad a lot more With iOS 9, Apple's tablet will get Slide Over, which let's a second app occupy on-screen space without closing whatever you're running. The more ambitious Split View gives you simultaneous control of two windows, which can be resized to fit your need. Meanwhile, you'll be able to size down videos so they play in a smaller portion of the screen, treat the iPad's keyboard like a track pad for easier custom movement and text selection. And there are even keyboard shortcuts when you've got a physical keyboard connected, hinting that there might be an official iPad keyboard in the works. The new ideas on show for the iPad aren't especially new. And have been seen on rival tablets before but, until now Apple has resisted making its tablets this computer-like. The fact that these iOS 9 treats are only coming to the iPad shows Apple is keen to differentiate its tablets from it increasingly large phones and with the attractive split view feature only available on the iPad Air 2. The company is generating reasons to upgrade. If Apple's plan works, this new computery iPad OS could turn things around for the faltering tablet. Tim Cook and pals are still playing a dangerous game though. By making the iPad less like an iPhone, they're making it more like a Mac. And if Apple continues to computerize its tablets, it'll have to take care not to put people off buying its more expensive laptops. iOS 9 is expected to launch in a few months, so stay tuned.