The iPad Pro is about to start really competing with laptop computers

Apple released several videos on Friday focusing on upcoming software that will arrive in the coming months.

Six new, slickly-produced videos feature new things that Apple’s iPad Pro models can do with iOS 11, which is still in beta. Apple doesn’t usually make advertisements for beta software, suggesting that a big Apple launch is right around the corner. 

That’s because when Apple launched new iPad Pro models June, many of its tentpole features that made it work more like a laptop were software updates. Apple said that iOS 11 will be released to most people this fall. 

The new iPad Pro models received several hardware updates, such as a more powerful processor and bigger screens, but important software features like the new desktop-style dock, drag and drop, and multitasking didn’t ship with those devices. 

“And of course because they’re shipping now, they’re going to ship with iOS 10 but you’ll be able to easily update to iOS 11 as a free update this fall,” Apple VP Greg Jozwiak said in June when the iPad Pro launched. “But you haven’t heard the full iOS 11 story yet as relates to iPad.”

Business Insider’s Steve Kovach pointed out Apple’s promise to make its iPad better in the fall in his video review back in June

“However, it doesn’t quite live up to Apple’s promise to be the iPad that can replace your laptop. There are still a few things wrong with it, especially when it comes to the keyboard. But later this year, iOS 11 is coming out and it’s going to provide a huge update to the iPad software that adds a lot more Mac-like capabilities. Like a new file system and a multitasking feature where windows can float above other apps. And it’s gonna have a new dock that lets you switch between apps without having to return to the home screen.”

Ios 11 ipad pro home screenBusiness InsideriPads now have a dock that works similarly to Mac computers.

The fact that Apple released these videos about an upcoming operating system, something it hasn’t done in the past, is another strong sign that it plans to hold a major event in the near future, most likely to launch the new, redesigned iPhone 8. Apple has launched a new iPhone in September for the past five years.

Apple typically releases the new version of iOS about a week after it announces a new iPhone. 

Check out the new Apple clips below. Many of these videos focus on the more expensive iPad Pro, but other software features will be available for all iPads when they get the new software update: 

The new Mac-style iPad dock will be available for all iPads with iOS 11 -- not just iPad Pro models.

All iPads are also getting an app called 'Files' that gives the iPad a file system.

And iPads have a new, more intuitive way to run multiple apps at the same time.

Apple's stylus, Pencil, only works with the iPad Pro.

If you tap the lockscreen with an Apple Pencil, it wakes up the iPad immediately.

And here's a video highlighting several handy shortcuts and gestures.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.