iPadOS 16 Overview Updated September 19, 2022

iPadOS 16: New features, compatibility, release date

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30 'iPadOS 16' stories

February 2022 - September 2022

ipados 16 supported devices

iPadOS 16 is the next major milestone release of Apple’s operating system for the iPad. Focused on iPads with Apple’s own silicon, this operating system brings some of the most requested features from Pro users. Here’s everything you need to know.

New features in iPadOS 16

While iPadOS 15 finally made it easier to understand multitasking features, added Universal Control, and even brought the App Library, iPadOS 16 wants to integrate even more macOS Ventura with the iPad by adding several continuity features.

Stage Manager and external display support

ipad-stage-manager iPadOS 16

The main feature of iPadOS 16 is exclusive to the M1 iPad Air and M1 iPad Pro. Here’s what you can do with it:

  • Resizable windows: Resize your windows to make them the perfect size for your task;
  • Center app: Focus on the app you’re working with without going full screen;
  • Fast access to windows and apps: The windows of the apps you’re working in are displayed prominently in the center, and other apps are arranged on the left side in order of recent use;
  • Overlapping windows: Create overlapping windows of different sizes in a single view, giving you the control to arrange your ideal workspace;
  • Group apps together: Drag and drop windows from the side or open apps from the Dock to create app sets that you can always get back to.

Another important feature coming to M1 iPad users running iPadOS 16 is the ability to have proper external display support.

As Apple explains, full external display support comes to iPad Pro with the M1 chip with resolutions up to 6K, which means you can work with different apps on your iPad and external display running iPadOS 16.

Related:

Freeform

With iPadOS 16, Apple is planning to add its own collaborative canvas. Freeform will be perfect for diagramming new projects, aggregating important assets, or just brainstorming on a whiteboard with your coworkers.

You can draw or write anywhere while also embedding images, video, audio, PDFs, documents, and web links. It will be available in a future update later this year.

iCloud Shared Photo Library, Messages, Weather, and Mail updates

iPad weather app

For the iPadOS 16 update, Apple highlights the iCloud Shared Photo Library, which lets you share a separate iCloud photo library with up to five people that can add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos.

With Messages, Apple is focusing on three important features:

  • Edit a message: During 15 minutes, users can make up to 5 edits to a given message, and recipients will be able to see a record of edits made to the message;
  • Undo send: Unsend any message for up to 2 minutes after sending it;
  • Mark as unread: Mark messages as unread when you don’t have time to respond but want to be sure to reply to the sender later. 

For the first time, iPadOS 16 is bringing a new Weather app. It will have a similar experience found on macOS Ventura with animated background, more weather details, forecast, air quality, and more.

Last but not least, Mail is getting smarter by improving search results, notifying you whether there’s a missing recipient or attachment, while also letting you schedule a message or undo sending an email.

Focus, Files, FaceTime, and Safari

With iPadOS 16, Apple is expanding the Focus Mode capabilities by bringing Home Screen page suggestions, Focus filters, which help you set boundaries within Apple apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari to draw boundaries for each Focus you enable, and Focus schedules, which turn on automatically at a set time or location, or while using a certain app.

The Files app also brings a new navigation button, sortable columns, the ability to change file extensions, and an enhanced Open and Save panel, which makes it easy to save files with related files and rename folders inline to better organize your files. 

Talking about FaceTime, Apple is bringing handoff to the app, which lets you move FaceTime calls seamlessly from your iPad to your iPhone or Mac, and vice versa. There’s also a new Live Captions feature that automatically transcribes dialogue integrated into your video calls. FaceTime will also be important for the Freeform app once it launches later this year.

Safari, for example, adds shared tab groups, web push notifications, and even more to iPadOS 16.

This software update also shares a bunch of features with iOS 16, which you can learn more about it here.

Device compatibility

Different from iOS 16, Apple is making iPadOS 16 available to a bunch of iPads. That said, the most exciting features will only be available to M1 iPads.

Here are all the iPad models receiving the update:

  • iPad Pro 12.9 (5th gen);
  • iPad Pro 11 (3rd gen);
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (4th gen);
  • iPad Pro 11 (2nd gen);
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (3rd gen);
  • iPad Pro 11 (1st gen);
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2nd gen);
  • iPad Pro 10.5 (2nd gen);
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (1st gen);
  • iPad Pro 9.7 (1st gen);
  • iPad Air (5th gen);
  • iPad Air (4th gen);
  • iPad Air (3rd gen);
  • iPad mini (6th gen);
  • iPad mini (5th gen);
  • iPad (9th gen);
  • iPad (8th gen);
  • iPad (7th gen);
  • iPad (6th gen);
  • iPad (5th gen).

When will iPadOS 16 come out?

iPadOS 16 was announced on June 6, during WWDC 2022’s keynote. A public beta is now available, while the official release of iPadOS 16 is expected for later this fall. A report by Bloomberg believes Apple will release iPadOS 16 alongside macOS 13 Ventura in October, after an iPad/Mac event.

How to install iPadOS 16 public beta?

  1. Make a fresh backup of your iPad important in case you want or need to downgrade to iOS 15 (Apple recommends doing a Mac or PC backup)
  2. On iPad, head to Apple’s Developer website
  3. Tap the two-line icon in the top left corner, sign in if you’re not already under Account
  4. Tap the two-line icon again in the top left corner, choose Downloads
  5. Swipe down and tap Install Profile next to the iPadOS 16 beta
  6. Tap Allow to download the profile, hit Close
  7. Head to Settings on your device and tap Profile Downloaded near the top
  8. Tap Install in the top right corner – enter your passcode if needed
  9. Read the consent agreement, then tap Install two more times
  10. Your iPhone or iPad will prompt you to restart to complete the changes
  11. After it reboots, head back to Settings > General > Software update
  12. You should see iPadOS 16 available, tap Download and Install
  13. When iPadOS 16 is installed, Apple says to head to Settings > Privacy & Security to enable a new Developer Mode if you’re working on an app

iPadOS 16 Stories September 20

Apple is seeding iPadOS 16.1 beta 3 alongside iOS 16.1 beta 2, macOS Ventura beta 8, tvOS 16.1 beta 2, and watchOS 9.1 beta 2. This beta was followed by a company’s statement more than a month ago saying it would delay the iPadOS release to improve some of its new features.

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iPadOS 16 Stories September 14

Apple is seeding iPadOS 16.1 beta 2 a few days after releasing iOS 16, watchOS 9, and tvOS 16 to all users. This beta was followed by a company’s statement a month ago saying it would delay the iPadOS release to improve some of its new features.

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iPadOS 16 Stories August 23

Earlier this month, a Bloomberg report revealed that Apple was considering postponing the release of iPadOS 16 until October as the company was not happy with the Stage Manager experience. Apple has now confirmed that the release of iPadOS 16 is being delayed, and developers can now install the first iPadOS 16.1 beta.

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iPadOS 16 Stories August 21

iPadOS 16 brought a handful of new features, especially for M1 iPad users. With the public beta now available, if you want to know how you can take full advantage of the upcoming operating system and whether it’s worth upgrading to an M1 iPad Air or M1 iPad Pro, here are their exclusive features on iPadOS 16.

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iPadOS 16 Stories August 3

Apple is planning to delay the release of iPadOS 16 by a month, according to a new report from Bloomberg. While iOS 16 is still expected to be released during its usual launch window in September, Apple needs more time to perfect the iPadOS 16 experience as it relates to Stage Manager.

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iPadOS 16 Stories July 28

Apple is launching its new Stage Manager feature with iPadOS 16 for M1 iPads and on Mac with macOS Ventura to help “make focusing on tasks and moving between apps and windows easier and faster than ever.” Follow along for a hands-on look at how to turn on Stage Manager on iPad, how it works, and how to use it.

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iPadOS 16 Stories July 4

Stage Manager is Apple’s solution for improving (or at least trying to) the iPad’s multitasking system. The feature lets users run apps in windowed mode, but there’s a catch: it only works with the M1 iPad Air and iPad Pro. Apple hasn’t said a word at this point about changing the feature requirements, but we’ve found a way to see how Stage Manager would work on the iPad mini.

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 27

iPadOS 16 was previewed during the WWDC 2022 keynote a few weeks ago. During the presentation, we learned that a new multitasking feature was coming to the iPad operating system as well as full support for an external monitor, and more. But then, just after that, we discovered most of the “Pro” features were reserved for the M1 iPad models. That said, what’s left for non-M1 iPad users?

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 17

The Stage Manager feature of iPadOS 16 has been in the spotlight this week – not because of what it allows iPad users to do but because of its controversial requirements. 9to5Mac covered how users are upset about Apple’s decision to keep it restricted to M1 iPads, while the company’s explanations don’t seem all that believable. But if you could change that, would you be fine with having a limited version of Stage Manager on non-M1 iPads?

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 16

Last week, Apple previewed during the WWDC 2022 keynote its 2022 software updates: iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, macOS 13 Ventura, and tvOS 16. All of these operating system updates will be available a few months from now. Which of them are you most excited to try?

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 15

Here we are again with another article about Stage Manager. One of the main features of iPadOS 16 has been making many iPad users upset as it requires the M1 chip, leaving users of older iPad models stuck with the original iPadOS multitasking system without floating windows. But it seems that Apple has its own ways of enabling Stage Manager on older iPads.

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 14

With iPadOS 16, Apple announced multiple new features that are exclusive to iPads based on the M1 chip, such as Stage Manager for running apps in windows and also virtual memory swap for the first time on an iOS device. Interestingly, while memory swapping is reportedly one of the requirements to have Stage Manager, it turns out that the base model iPad Air 5 lacks this capability.

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The Stage Manager controversy doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon, despite Apple’s attempts to explain its reasoning for limiting the feature to M1 iPads.

I expressed my own disappointment that my 12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro won’t get the feature, but it’s an even bigger blow to those who bought a 2020 model, only to discover that it is excluded from the headline iPadOS 16 feature just two years later …

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 13

iPadOS 16 brings one of the biggest upgrades to iPad multitasking ever thanks to the new Stage Manager feature. So far, Stage Manager on iPad has been met with mixed opinions and criticism for Apple’s decision to limit it only to the newest M1 iPad Air and iPad Pro.

In a new interview with TechCrunch, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, elaborated on the future of Stage Manager, the decision to limit to the M1 iPads, and more.

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 10

One of the main new features of iOS 16 is the new customizable lock screen, which not only has widgets but also lets users add animated wallpapers and change the color of the text. Unfortunately, the new lock screen is only available on the iPhone, but iPadOS 16 has a secret debug menu that lets you enable it on the iPad – sort of.

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 9

Apple this week announced iPadOS 16 with significant changes to how the iPad works, especially for M1 iPads, which now have real multitasking with windows and support for external displays. In addition to these features, iPadOS 16 also for the first time allows device makers to create drivers for iPad with the new “DriverKit” API.

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 8

Apple announced some major changes coming to iPadOS 16, with a particular emphasis on multitasking upgrades powered by the new Stage Manager feature. To the dismay of some iPad users, however, these new multitasking tasking features are exclusive to the newest M1 iPad Pro and iPad Air.

Why is that the case? Apple has attempted to give us an explanation of sorts…

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 7

While Apple’s Mail app didn’t quite get the overhaul we were looking for at WWDC, the app is still getting its largest update in years. We have notable new features coming to Mail alongside macOS Ventura, iOS 16, and iPadOS 16 later in the fall; let’s see what’s ahead.

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It was a close-run thing in our poll, between iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and the MacBook Air. For me, iPadOS was the most exciting announcement, and Stage Manager the standout feature.

But there’s a huge caveat in the small print for Stage Manager, which poses a big dilemma for me …

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 6

Apple has announced today the release date for the much-anticipated, iPadOS 16 update. With it comes a slew of new features to improve the iPad experience.

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Apple just announced iPadOS 16 during the WWDC 2022 keynote. The new operating system for iPad finally brings the Weather app, multitasking improvements, plus tons of features available on iOS 16.

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As the opening keynote of WWDC 2022 is hours away, we’re due to hear about new features coming with a significant iPadOS 16 update. Ahead of the announcement, let’s go through some of the current rumors on iPadOS 16 features.

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iPadOS 16 Stories June 2

We’re just days away from WWDC 2022, where Apple will unveil its next round of operating system updates. The announcements will be headlined by iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. A new report from Bloomberg today sheds more light on what to expect, saying that Apple is planning “major changes” for the iPadOS experience to “satisfy pro users.”

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iPadOS 16 Stories May 27

A report yesterday noted clues to a new ‘iPad multitasking mode’ in iOS 16, which appears to reference the ability to create arbitrarily sized windows rather than the limited, fixed options currently available.

We’ve been calling for a more powerful operating system on the iPad for years now, and have made a number of specific suggestions …

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