Apple announces iPadOS 17 with New Lock Screen, Interactive Widgets, and more

Pururaj Dutta
Appleosophy | Apple announces iPadOS 17 with New Lock Screen, Interactive Widgets, and more
Image: Apple Newsroom

Apple has just unveiled the highly anticipated update to the iPad Operating System – iPadOS 17. With this new version of iPadOS, Apple brings in useful features and changes as well as refinements across the system. The newly announced features are Interactive Widgets, New Lock Screen, and more.

Here’s what Apple announced for iPadOS 17 at WWDC 2023:

New Lock Screen:

Apple has introduced the new lock screen to iPadOS, making it more personal and useful. Similar to iOS 17, users will be able to stylize the lock screen in various ways. Apple has also added a smooth slow-motion effect for a Live Photo Wallpaper. Along with these exciting new changes, Live Activities are also coming to iPadOS, allowing users to check the status of their activity right from their Lock Screen.

iPadOS 17 Lock Screen
Image: Apple Newsroom
Live Activities on iPadOS 17
Image: Apple Newsroom

Interactive Widgets:

Widgets are now interactive on the Lock Screen and Home Screen of iPadOS 17, meaning that you can now turn on the lights, play a song, or mark a reminder as done from the widget itself, without having to open any app.

Interactive Widgets on iPadOS 17
Image: Apple Newsroom

New PDF Experience:


With iPadOS 17, users can quickly fill in details such as names, addresses, and emails in a PDF Form as iPadOS now uses machine learning to identify blank fields in a PDF. The PDF experience on the Notes App has also improved dramatically. According to Apple, “PDFs will appear full-width, making it easy to flip through pages, make a quick annotation, or sketch directly in the document with Apple Pencil. Users can now review and mark up PDFs and scanned documents right in their note, and with live collaboration, updates appear in real time when users are sharing a note with others.”

PDF AutoFill on iPadOS 17
Image: Apple Newsroom


Apple has added support for Video and Audio Messages for FaceTime with iPadOS 17, which is useful when users call someone who is not available. Along with Video and Audio Messages, Apple also added new effects such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain, and more. These new effects can be activated with simple gestures during a FaceTime call. According to Apple, “FaceTime now extends to the biggest screen in the home. Powered by Continuity Camera, users can initiate a video call directly from Apple TV, or start the call on iPad and then hand it off to Apple TV to see friends and family on their television. With Center Stage, users will have perfect framing even as they move around the room.”

FaceTime on iPadOS 17
iPadOS 17 Lock Screen


Searching for Messages has become more powerful and precise with search filters on iOS 17 – Users can now start and add search filters to the search field to further narrow down the results. Along with this, Apple has added an expandable menu in the Messages App which allows users to display iMessage apps with a simple tap, resulting in a sleeker look. Audio Messages can now also be transcribed automatically.

Messages on iPadOS 17
Image: Apple Newsroom


The Health App makes its way to the iPad for the very first time, allowing users to view and log their Health data in a more detailed manner. The Health App on iPadOS 17 supports the same features as iOS 17, including new features such as Mental well-being.

Health on iPadOS 17
Image: Apple Newsroom

According to Apple’s Press Release today, iPadOS 17 also includes:

  • Stage Manager adds even more flexibility to the position and size of the windows, giving users more control over their workspace, and supports built-in cameras on an external display.
  • Freeform offers new drawing tools; support for hover, tilt, and snap to shape; the ability to add connection lines and new shapes to any object; and Follow Along to guide collaborators around the board.
  • Spotlight helps users find information and take action even faster by offering shortcuts to the next action, enhanced visual results, and video search.
  • Visual Look Up expands its recognition capabilities to food, storefronts, and signs and symbols on things like the laundry tags on clothes.
  • Keyboard brings improvements to autocorrect, allowing users to enter text faster and easier than ever before. Inline predictive text helps users quickly finish sentences, and the new speech recognition model in Dictation improves accuracy.
  • Siri can now be activated by simply saying “Siri.” Once activated, users can issue multiple commands back to back without needing to reactivate it.
  • Sharing content using AirPlay is even easier with on-device intelligence now learning a user’s preferences. AirPlay will also work with supported TVs in hotels, allowing users to easily enjoy their favorite content on the TV when traveling. Built with a foundation of privacy and security, this capability will be available before the end of the year in select hotels, starting with brands from IHG Hotels & Resorts.
  • Reminders introduces a new intelligent grocery list experience, making shopping easier by automatically grouping related items into sections, and provides a new column view to display sections horizontally across the screen.
  • Maps now allows users to download maps and use them while offline. Users can select an area, search and explore rich place information, and get routes for all modes of mobility, all while offline.
  • Privacy updates include the expansion of Communication Safety, adding protections for children as well as a Sensitive Content Warning for adults. Updates to Photos and Calendar permissions help users make more informed choices about what data they share with apps. And a Lockdown Mode update enhances the protections for those who may be targeted by mercenary spyware.
  • New accessibility tools make iPad even more accessible. Assistive Access is a customizable interface that helps users with cognitive disabilities use iPad with greater ease and independence. Live Speech helps nonspeaking users type what they want to say and have it read aloud during phone, FaceTime, and in-person conversations. Personal Voice gives users at risk of speech loss the option to create a personalized voice that sounds like them and integrates seamlessly with Live Speech. And in Magnifier, Point and Speak helps users who are blind or have low vision interact with electrical appliances and other physical objects with small text labels.

Do note that as iPadOS 17 is still under development, it is currently only available to Developers for beta testing with it expanding to Public Beta Testers next month. For Beta Testing iPadOS 17 as a Developer, you need to have a Developer Account with Apple and turn on Beta Updates under Settings>Software Update. The update is expected to be released to the public in September this year along with iOS 17, tvOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS 14.

uWill you be updating your iPad to the first beta of iPadOS 17? How excited are you about these new features? Let us know down in the comments or tweet to us on @appleosophy! Be sure to download the Appleosophy App from the App Store or visit our website to stay updated with the latest Apple news!

Pururaj Dutta
Author: Pururaj Dutta

Pururaj is the Editor and Manager of Redfruit Media Brands, including popular platforms like Appleosophy, TechPod Social, Apple Summit, and Silicon Report. As a tech enthusiast, he enjoys exploring & reviewing new products, and sharing his insights with the community. With a strong passion for technology, Pururaj is dedicated to providing accurate and insightful information to his readers.

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