10 iPadOS 15 features that will supercharge your iPads this academic year

It's back to school but with a new Apple operating system to supercharge your iPads in the classroom! Ten OS 15 features that do just that.

September 23 2021 by

Aaron Webb

Where does the time go? Here we are in September with another school year upon us and for many teachers, it will either be a return to face-to-face teaching after a long absence or a mix of in-person and remote educating. For IT teams, this means ensuring teacher and student devices are up-to-date and ready to be used in the classroom or remotely.

For those schools with iPad, there is the added excitement of Apple’s iOS 15 release. During WWDC, back in June, Apple unveiled iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and all of the amazing features they have added to their newest OSs. As always, a large amount of these features serve to supercharge the use of iPad in education.

We wanted to take a moment to highlight 10 of our top features for education that Apple has introduced in OS 15, the benefit these features can have to your school and how they can help empower student success.

Code on Your iPad Using Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is Apple’s education app that enables students to learn how to code with the help of interactive lessons. With the latest update to the Swift Playgrounds app in iPadOS 15, Swift Playgrounds will enable students to build apps with SwiftUI on their iPad while supporting auto-code completion, the ability to see how their app works in real-time and more. There’s also the option to submit the app you develop to the App Store right from your iPad. A truly awesome update and addition to the already popular Everyone Can Code program.

FaceTime Links

Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Team have grown in popularity across the world over the last eighteen months, not just in Education, but the ability for teachers to create a unique FaceTime web link is a great addition for education. For schools using Managed Apple IDs FaceTime can now be used to easily set up a call or share links with an entire class.


iPadOS 15 brings new multitasking controls to iPad, and who doesn’t love multitasking more than teachers and students. The introduction of a new multitasking menu, represented by three tiny dots, appears at the top of every app providing quick access to Split View or Slide Over.

Use Quick Note in iPadOS 15

How often do we turn for a post-it note or that book kept on the desk to make a reminder? Quick Note allows users to jot down information over any app or screen. For students, this is a great way to take notes when using their iPad, and for teachers to make a reminder for later, mid-lesson. The options are endless and a great addition to iPad in the classroom and anywhere learning.

Reduce Distractions with Focus Mode

We see Focus Mode as being a great option for helping teachers stay in the moment when they need to concentrate. Marking, getting that lesson ready, working on lesson planning or simply switching off and stepping away from work. By choosing a Focus that allows only the notifications you want — you can get work done while you’re in the zone or enjoy a distraction-free dinner with friends and family, without the iPad alerting you all evening.

Notes for Student Group Activities and Collaboration

The Notes app gets a host of collaboration features which is great news for education customers, and those using Managed Apple IDs. Students can categorise notes with tags and put them in specific tag folders, great for organising lessons or project Notes.

Apple Live Text

Apple’s new Live Text feature in iPadOS 15 enables users to not only highlight text in simple images but turn those handwritten notes into emails or messages. An amazing feature for taking that piece of writing in a student’s exercise book and adding it into some rich multi-touch content. Exciting to see how educators embrace this feature in their classrooms.

Safari Updates

Apple’s browser gets a great facelift, bringing a new look to Tabs and making it easier to switch between websites — great for those multitasking teachers and students. There are also changes to help organise your tabs —and we know which teachers you are — with the option to create multiple tab groups. Fantastic for those websites you use for specific subject or year groups.

Translate App

For schools who already use Google Translate to support students who have host country language barriers and assist with communication, there is some awesome news to make it easier to communicate and access learning resources from their iPad. The Apple Translate app on iPadOS 15 will be baked into the OS ecosystem, making it more streamlined and helping to bridge the gap between cultures in the classroom.

Improved Accessibility Features

Accessibility and Apple go hand in hand. With Accessibility in Apple’s core values, we see improved features that will only continue to make learning accessible for all. With customised display and text size settings for each app, bold or enlarged text, increase contrast, invert colours and more, this makes the iPad a truly personalised experience for every user. We can’t champion the use of Accessibility enough here at Jamf so check out our webinar and eBook for more information on how Apple accessibility can help make learning accessible for all in your school.

While these are 10 key features for schools we’ve identified within OS 15, there are many other amazing additions and changes. If you would like to dive deeper into Apple’s latest operating system, and the other features available, head to apple.com.

For all the teachers and students, I hope you have an amazing start to the new academic year!

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