The annual main keynote for this year’s WWDC came and went. In previous years, Apple announced new features for iPadOS shortly after iOS. This year, however, is an exception as they announced iPadOS 16 at the very end for a very good reason. Apple wanted to make this year’s update a huge deal for all existing iPad users, especially for the latest models with the most capable M1 chip.
First things first, iPadOS 16 shares most of the all-new features found in iOS 16. This includes: iCloud Shared Photo Library, editing/unsending recent messages in Messages, the all-improved Mail app, all-new Live Text features, and Passkeys in Safari. The feature that iPadOS most notably lacks is the widely customizable Lock Screen with widgets, tweaked notifications, and live activities.
Now that we’ve gotten those features that can be found across all of Apple’s latest OS’s, let’s take a deep dive in all of the exclusive features in iPadOS:
Ever since the iPhone has had the Weather app from the very beginning, customers have asked and even pleaded with Apple to create an iPad version of the said app. Your wish has granted and is about to come true – say hello to Weather on iPad. This all-new app really should be worth the wait. Instead of just cloning app with the smartphone interface, this take has been optimized to take full advantage of the larger display on iPad. With the larger display, you’ll see more forecast modules at a glance as well as the full-screen maps. Tapping on any module will show more details about air quality, local forecasts, and so on. Because the weather could be unpredictable, you can still get severe weather notifications just like you would on an iPhone.
The iPad has been the perfect device for Apple gamers with its tight Apple Arcade integration. With this year’s release, Apple takes it up a notch with an all-redesigned Game Center dashboard, so you can follow your friends’ activities and new achievements. You can even compete in multiplayer games to beat the best score with SharePlay. With the amazing, breakthrough technologies in Metal 3, developers can take advantage of many of the next-generation features that would make games more true-to-life than ever.
With people doing more things on their iPad, Apple hasn’t stopped optimizing its existing apps for iPad. As a result, more everyday tasks that you would do on a Mac can now be done on an iPad. For the first time, you can change file extensions and view folder size in Files. You will also see document menus to quickly perform everyday actions in Photos and Files. Even better, you can even customize toolbars to boost your productivity further with quick access to the most common actions.
Exclusive Features on the M1 iPad Models
Thanks to the breakthrough performance of the M1 chip, the current iPad Air/Pro will receive the ultimate software upgrade that everyone’s been asking for. Also introduced in macOS Ventura, Stage Manager gives iPad users the power to organize apps and windows efficiently, and for the first time, users can now resize windows and overlap them. The M1 iPad will also fully support external displays with resolutions of up to 6K, including the new Studio Display that Apple announced earlier this year. Users will greatly appreciate the much improved external display + iPad setup as they can work up to four apps on iPad and four apps on the external display. Additionally, users can now see more in their apps with Display Zoom. If you have a 12.9-inch model with the stunning Liquid Retina XDR display, you can even use it as a reference monitor when you use Sidecar on your Mac, perfect for professional workflows.
When Apple brought the M1 chip to the iPad Pro last year, many fans were hoping to see what Apple has in store to take advantage of the most advanced hardware. However, iPadOS 15 turned out to be a disappointment for them as it didn’t bring any exclusive features for the M1 models. On the contrary, we now see what Apple can do with the M1 chip on iPad, and I’m sure users would be super excited to take their existing iPad experience to the next level. The developer beta will be available today followed by a public beta next July. The final release will be out in the fall. iPadOS 16 is compatible with all iPad Pro models, iPad Air (3rd generation or later), iPad (5th generation or later), and iPad mini (5th generation or later).