Today at WWDC22 Apple has announced iPadOS 16, which comes with a wealth of new features, including beefier multitasking. Let’s take a look at what’s inside.
The new iPad OS introduces an entirely new multitasking experience thanks to Stage Manager. Other new features include full external display support, new ways to collaborate via Messages, big updates to Mail and Safari, iCloud Shared Photo Library, pro features including Reference Mode, Display Zoom and more.
In a press release, Apple stated
“iPad is our most versatile device, and we’re excited to take what it can do even further with iPadOS 16,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “With Stage Manager, which takes multitasking on iPad to a whole new level, plus new ways to share and collaborate via Messages, Safari, and the new Freeform app, and new pro features like Reference Mode and Display Zoom, users can get even more done on iPad.”
iPadOS 16 and Messages
Starting with Messages, new features will make it easy for users to start collaborating while managing shared content across Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, Safari and third-party apps. Users will be able to send invitations to collaborate via Messages. Everyone who receives the invite will automatically be connected to the document, spreadsheet or project. The projects will update for users in a live setting right at the top of the Messages thread. When a user is working on a collaborative project, they will easily be able to jump into the associated Messages conversation or tap to start a FaceTime call with collaborators.
Concerning Messages, iPadOS 16 makes it even better. Just like iOS 16, users will be able to edit or quickly delete message, and even mark conversations unread. Users will also be able to begin SharePlay sessions via Messages. Furthermore, users will be able to choose an activity, such as a movie or a workout, and enjoy it together while conversing directly in Messages.
One new feature announced today was Freeform, a powerful collaboration app. Featuring a flexible canvas, Freeform gives users the ability to see, share and collaborate in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes. This also includes full support for Apple Pencil. Users will be able to view others’ contributions while also adding their own content or make edits. All collaboration is in real time. Freeform will arrive to iPadOS 16 later this year.
Updates to Mail and iCloud Photo Library
Mail is also seeing improvements. Just like messages, users will be given a moment to cancel the delivery of a message. Users will also be able to schedule emails to be sent at the right time, and will also be able to move emails to the top of their inbox quickly to send a follow-up. Remind Later allows users to resurface old messages at any time, and will also remind individuals when they forgot an important part of a message, such as adding an attachment. Furthermore, an all-new search experience delivers better search results in thanks to correcting typos and using synonyms. Users can also see a richer view of contacts, share content and more.
The iCloud Sharing Photo Library is also arriving to iPad OS. Featured in iOS 16, users will be able to share photos seamlessly and automatically with up to six family members. All six users will be able to enjoy collections from Memories, Featured Photos and the Photos widget. Users will be able to share past photos, or setup tools to help contribute specific photos. Photos can be added manually or through Bluetooth proximity or sharing suggestions in For You. The library also updates in real time.
Safari Updates and the Weather App
Safari is also getting additional updates, including the new passkeys feature. Passkeys are unique digital keys that stay on the device and are never stored on a web server. Hackers will be unable to to leak them or trick users into sharing them. Users will be able to login to sites or apps through Apple and non-Apple devices with a saved passkey by scanning a QR code with the iPad, or using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.
Additional Safari updates include Shared Tab Groups, which will allow users to collaborate with friends on a certain set of tabs. Users will get instant updates as they work together. Tab Groups can also be customized with background images, bookmarks and unique sections.
The Weather App is also arriving to iPadOS 16. Designed to take full advantage of the display, users will be able to see important weather information, explore maps to check precipitations, air quality and temperature. Users can also receive notifications about severe weather alerts issued in the area.
Brand New Features for iPad Pro
New features are also arriving specifically for the iPad Pro thanks to iPadOS 16. Reference Mode enables the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to match the color requirements in workflows like review and approve, color grading and composting where accurate colors and image quality are crucial.
Display Zoom is also a new feature for the iPad Pro. This new feature allows users to increase the pixel density of the display so they can view more within their apps. This is especially useful when using Split View. Additionally, Virtual Memory Swap can use iPad storage to expand the available memory for all apps. This helps deliver up to 16GB of memory.
iOS 16 Features Multitasking Like Never Before
Another new feature for iPadOS 16 is Stage Manager, which is a brand new multitasking experience. For the first time, iPad users will able to create overlapping windows of different sizes within a single view. Much like macOS, users can drag and drop windows from the side or open apps from the Dock to create more dynamic multitasking.
Stage Manager will be available on the iPad Pro and the iPad Air with the M1 chip. The new feature also unlocks full external display support with resolutions up to 6K. Users will be able to work with up to four apps on the iPad, and four apps on the external display.
Additional iPadOS 16 Features and Updates
Lastly, other new features include updates to Dictations, Siri, the Home app, Desktop-Class apps, Apple News, Notes, accessibility and Game Center. Handoff in FaceTime will allow users to start a FaceTime call on one apple Device and seamlessly transfer it to another Apple device nearby.
Apple News introduces My Sports, allowing users to follow their favorite teams, leagues and athletes. Additionally, the Home app will see an all-new redesign that makes it easier to navigate and control. It will also feature Matter support. This is a new smart home connectivity standard that allows compatible accessories to work together seamless across different platforms.
The developer preview of iPadOS 16 is available to those in the Apple Developer Program starting today. A public beta will soon be available.
You can read the full press release here.