• Apple unveiled a new iPadOS 18 with Apple Intelligence at its Worldwide Developers Conference.
  • The update includes a long-awaited calculator app with Math Notes, a whiteboard-style tool.
  • Despite these updates, it's uncertain if the new features will boost iPad sales significantly.

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference was a big moment for the iPad, its less-loved flagship product.

The tablets will come with iPadOS 18, which means they will include Apple Intelligence, a redesigned Photo app, new notes features, and new messaging functions. The new OS18 also brings a calculator app to the iPad — a feature the device never had.

The app looks a lot like the iconic orange and white calculator users have long seen on the iPhone. But the app also comes with a new, iPad-only feature called Math Notes: It supports the use of the Apple Pencil and allows people to write down math problems and helps solve them.

Based on Apple's demo, the app looks like it comes with some cool features.

According to the tech giant, users can use the whiteboard-like tool to solve algebraic equations, calculate a budget, and create graphs from text "with just one tap." Math Notes will automatically be accessible in the preexisting Notes app.

The app also has a history function to view past calculations and a feature to convert height, weight, and currencies.

New calculator feature revealed at Apple WWDC 2024. Foto: Apple

The launch not only brings a much-awaited app to a bigger screen but also improves it, which may make the iPad popular with students and those in finance.

But it is unclear if the new OS18 features will boost sales for the tablet, which can cost up to $3,000. iPads made up only 6% of Apple's sales, while the iPhone was more than half of sales, according to the company's last earnings report in May.

The features may also do little to calm critics who say that Apple is playing catch-up with other Big Tech companies when it comes to AI. Apple's calculator seems less impressive than OpenAI's GPT-4o, which can look at a math problem and verbally talk the user through the solution step-by-step.

But the overall conference and a list of other releases, including Apple Intelligence, impressed analysts.

Apple "did exactly what they needed to do, which is show the world that they mean business when it comes to AI," Gene Munster, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management, said.

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