We’ve been saying for years: the iPad is an incredibly powerful and flexible piece of hardware that has been held back by iPadOS. In 2019, Apple officially split iOS and iPadOS, indicating that tablet software will grow on its own, and we’ve been waiting for that ever since. With the iPadOS 16, we’re getting the first really big step in that direction.
There are dozens of new features, big and small, but these are the four biggest things that can change the way you use your iPad. Remember, the iPad is getting a lot of new features in iOS, such as Message SharePlay, Live Text Update, iCloud Shared Photo Library, and more. These are especially the features of iPadOS that excite us the most.
IPad multitasking is a mess. There are split views and slide over and resizable views (when they aren’t) and you can’t see the dock, except when you can … and it’s enabled with all the hints that users can’t find.
The iPadOS 16 doesn’t fix this mess, but it does By Add a new mode that gives you Real Multitasking on iPad. It’s called Stage Manager and is only available on iPads with an M1 processor or later (the latest iPad Air and iPad Pros).
You drag the current app to the bottom-right corner of the screen to resize it in a floating window, show Dock and other recent apps on the left. Apps can overlap, you can drag and drop between them and you can even create groups of apps for your various tasks. It works with the new full external display support, which lets you place up to four apps and up to four on your iPad. More Apps on external display.
Finally, the real multitasking power that takes advantage of the latest iPad M1 chip!
Collaborative document editing
Today, when you share a document with someone with a share sheet, you are actually sending them only a copy. With iOS 16, you’ll be able to choose between this or “Collaboration” which will send a link to one or more people via messages that provides editing of those documents in each of the message conversations. When you send a share like this from a message group, everyone is automatically added, and the message thread is updated whenever someone changes.
You can even start a FaceTime call with the whole collaboration group with just a few taps. It’s going to work with most of Apple’s apps — files, keynotes, numbers, pages, notes, reminders, and start Safari — and third-party developers will be able to tap into this feature with a new API.
It’s also coming to iOS and macOS, but Apple has highlighted it as an iPadOS feature, and for good reason – this kind of collaborative on-the-go productivity is for the things that make tablets.
The weather comes on the iPad
We know it’s just an app, but we’ve been bothering Apple about it for years: the iPad has the same weather widget as the iPhone, but when you tap it opens a web page on a third-party weather site. Turn on. With iOS 16, the iPad Finally The Weather app gets, reconfigured for larger displays.
But there is more to it than that. Predicted when Apple bought Dark Sky in 2020, it is building a new WeatherKit framework that allows weather data to be added to their own apps.
Now, where is the calculator? Looks like we’ll have to wait for iOS 17.
Freeform Collaboration App
Freeform is a new collaboration app that is coming to iPadOS 16 “later this year,” which means it probably won’t be available when the iPadOS 16 launches. But it’s pretty flashy, and it speaks to the way Apple has begun to reinvent the iPad as a collaborative productivity device.
Real-time idea collaboration boards aren’t new, but Freeform is about embracing Apple’s concept. It’s basically a large flexible canvas that lets you preview almost everything in it প PDFs, notes, photos, audio, web links, and more. You can then add or draw notes anywhere with Apple Pencil support. Live cursors show you where others are working and you can pan and zoom in to explore the whole concept space. It looks quite chic and can really transform the way we work on our iPad.