Apple has started rolling out iPadOS 16—the next major iPadOS release with various improvements and new features, such as improved external display support, Stage Manager, customizable UI scaling, new collaboration tools, and all the changes found in iOS 16 Apple released in September 2022.
What iPad models support iPadOS 16?
iPadOS 16 is available for the following tablets:
- iPad Pro (all models)
- iPad Air 3, Air 4, and Air 5
- iPad 5, iPad 6, iPad 7, iPad 8, iPad 9, and iPad 10
- iPad mini 5 and iPad mini 6
With iPadOS 16, Apple ends mainstream support for the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2. Tablets with the Apple A8 CPU will no longer receive feature updates. However, Apple might continue releasing periodical updates for now-unsupported devices to fix security issues or perform other types of maintenance.
What is new in iPadOS 16?
Besides the new features and improvements introduced in iOS 16 (editable iMessage, passkeys, intelligent features, and more), iPadOS 16 contains the following iPad-exclusive novelties:
- Stage Manager: a new way to multitask on your iPad with resizable, floating, and overlapping windows. Users can create groups of apps for specific tasks and seamlessly switch between them with a single tap or mouse/trackpad click. Stage Manager is available on iPad Pro tablets with the Apple A12X CPU (and newer) and the fifth-generation iPad Air (M1-based).
- External Display support: iPadOS 16 significantly improves how the M1 and M2-based iPads work with external monitors. You can now connect monitors with up to 6K resolutions and work with multiple apps on the iPad and external monitor. Note that this feature is not available today, and Apple says it will arrive "later this year." Also, it requires a tablet with the Apple M1 or M2 processor.
- Reference mode on 12.9-inch iPad Pro: the largest iPads with the Retina XDR display can now work as reference monitors for popular color standards and SDR/HDR video formats.
- Display Zoom: Your iPad now supports different display zoom levels to give more space for apps and content. Like Stage Manager, Display Zoom works on the iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro models with the Apple A12X (or newer) processor.
- Weather app: iPads finally have a fully-fledged Weather app, and it does not require the latest model or the Apple M1 processor. The app is available on all iPadOS 16-compatible tablets.
- Desktop-class apps: iPadOS 16 opens the door for more "desktop-class" applications. Developers can equip their programs with customizable toolbars, redesigned buttons, new context menus with multiselect, find and replace, global undo/redo, lists, and more.
- DriverKit: a new set of tools and APIs for developers to build support for various peripheral audio, USB, and PCI devices.
It is worth noting that iOS 16's best feature is not available in iPadOS 16. Apple's latest tablet operating system lacks new Lock Screen customization, leaving users with the same old interface. If you want to dig into the deepest depths of iPadOS 16, a comprehensive list of all changes and new features is available on the official Apple website.
How to download iPadOS 16?
- Launch the Settings app on your iPad.
- Navigate to General > Software Update and wait for your iPad to find iPadOS 16.
- Tap iPadOS 16 and proceed with on-screen instructions. Note that you can stay on iPadOS 15 even on supported tablets. It is a great option for those wanting to wait until Apple irons-out bugs and delivers a couple of maintenance updates for a better experience with fewer bugs.
Do you plan to update your iPad to iPadOS 16 today? What feature excites you the most? Let us know in the comments.
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