iPadOS 16 is finally available! In addition to the weather app, for the first time on the iPad, it is possible to use the floating window for real multitasking. However, this feature is not available on all iPad models. In the article, we summarize what you need to know about the new Apple iPadOS 16.
- iPadOS 16 was officially announced on October 24.
- The update finally brings true multitasking to select iPad models.
- The official firmware is now available for download.
Apple’s upgrade to iPadOS is a turning point for the electronics giant’s product range. Because with the new platform manager, Apple is bringing true multitasking to its tablets. This makes select models a strong alternative to the company’s own MacBook models, especially with the keyboard.
Since this is a particularly exciting update, we’ve summarized all the new features on one page. You’ll find the same in the accompanying overviews for iOS 16 and watchOS 9. If you want to install the new iPadOS directly, skip to our article Directly to the new OS release.
New features in iPadOS 16
Platform manager for M1 iPads
Let’s start with the biggest feature that iPadOS 16 brings to iPads. With the platform manager, you can use the new window management in the future, which will be introduced in macOS 13. In this, one window will move to the center of the screen, all other applications will move in a group on the left side of the screen. .
Apple emphasizes that with Platform Manager you can group apps that you want to use at the same time. For example, you need to transfer text from Safari to an image in Photoshop – so you need these applications side by side. At the same time, you need to communicate with the customer by email. Thanks to the level manager, you can switch between the app pair and your messaging program.
What makes Platform Manager unique, however, is the ability to open up to eight programs in windows at the same time. You can resize and move the display just like on a desktop PC. Since iPads are only available at a maximum of 12.9 inches, you can also use the feature with an external display. According to Apple, displays with a maximum of 6k are thanks to the M1.
Combined with a keyboard cover, your iPad can be a better MacBook alternative—but with one major limitation: Level Manager can only be used on iPad models with the powerful M1 SoC. It’s unfortunate, but Apple probably wants to test the performance of iPads this way.
The next “big” feature is pretty small: Apple is bringing its own weather app to the iPad. If you’ve used Apple tablets for a while, you know that it hasn’t been ported to iPadOS yet. If you already want to see weather information on the iPad, you can find an overview of the best weather apps in the linked article.
Freeform and new collaboration features
Apple introduced new features for collaboration at the iPad event—so we’re including them here. The reason for this is definitely the new application “Freeform”, which is a kind of digital whiteboard. You can create graphics, mind maps and connect all kinds of documents on it with the Apple Pencil.
From now on, Apple will not send documents as a copy, but will allow other Apple users to access them. As with documents in Google Drive, you can work on the file together and no longer have to merge different versions.
Reference mode and display magnification
Since Apple products are often used in creative work, the company has introduced two new display features. The reference mode should bring you constant color fidelity on the tablet, including the Apple monitor, when working with a MacBook or Mac. Unfortunately, the mode is only available on the iPad Pro 12.9″ Liquid Retina XDR display.
Display Zoom, on the other hand, changes the pixel size on iPads with the M1 chip. This allows you to see more screen content on the tablet, which should be especially useful on a split view. This is where how you enable the feature becomes crucial. If Apple is anything to go by, the display zoom can be very useful for briefly displaying more information in apps.
Applications at the desktop level
If you’ve used both a Mac and an iPad, you know that Apple often restricts its apps to make them clearer on smaller displays. In desktop-level applications, applications are selected to be full-fledged applications. For example, you can view folder sizes in the Finder or configure taskbars in the Mail app.
A very small feature, but one I wanted to mention. This brings Apple iPads closer to MacBooks.
Other features from iOS 16
In addition to iPad- or Mac-specific features, there are new innovations that Apple carries over from iOS 16. Among them, new options on Direct Text or extended functions for the Messages app. As we previously published a big overview of iOS 16, I’ll point it out at this point:
Availability: Which iPad models will get iPadOS 16?
Although many new features in iPadOS 16 are limited to M1 models, the new operating system is coming to a few models. Apple describes its availability as follows.
- iPad Pro: All models.
- iPad Air: The third generation and new.
- iPad: The fifth generation and new.
- iPad Mini: The fifth generation and new.
Not sure if your model will get the update? No problem: see NextPit iPadOS 16 update guide And find out which model you have and how to access the software update settings.
Release date: When will the new operating system be available?
iPadOS 16 has passed the beta testing stage, and Apple finally started sending out the official update package on October 24. So if your iPad is eligible for the new version, the update should arrive via OTA (over the air). If this does not happen, click Settings > Software Update.
That’s our overview for iPadOS 16! What features do you like so far? Do you think Stage Manager will turn the iPad into a better MacBook alternative?