Collaboration, weather app, stage manager, and more!


Apple retained WWDC22 in June 2022. It is expected to announce a lot of new features for one of the world’s best-selling line of tablets. Three years ago, Apple separated iPadOS from iOS in order to better focus on the larger form factor. Now, Apple has launched a number of new features for iPadOS 16 including the new Weather app, Stage Manager multitasking, and more. The reveal was along with iOS 16, macOS Ventura, and other updated Apple operating systems.


Craig Federighi noted that Apple wants to “create a premium experience built on the best of iOS like security, navigation, and an intuitive touch interface with powerful macOS capabilities like multitasking and trackpad support. Plus features like the unique Apple Pencil and iPad. Together to deliver the most versatile of devices.” We’ve already worked on it, so here are all the new features included in iPadOS 16.


iPadOS 16 release date and availability

Apple released iPadOS 16.1 to the public on Monday, October 24, 2022. The company skipped iPadOS 16.0 and postponed the initial public release, stabilizing the operating system’s performance. Users of eligible iPad models can go ahead and download iPadOS 16.1.

The following iPads support iPadOS 16:

  • iPad 5 and later
  • iPad Air 3 and later
  • All iPad Pro models
  • iPad Mini 4 and later

What’s new in iPadOS 16

iOS and macOS improvements

First and foremost, Apple has indicated that many of the same features it introduced in iOS 16 and macOS Ventura are also available on iPadOS 16. These include a shared photo library, shared tab groups, and passkeys in Safari. Shared Photo Library is an automatic library of photos shared by members of your family group that all family members can access to add, edit, or remove photos. Photos can be added automatically by date range or by selecting Who in Photos.

Additionally, iPadOS gets shared tab groups and passwordless login. As mentioned earlier, Microsoft, Google, and Apple are working together to remove passwords where possible. Apple fully embraces the concept in its latest releases for all of its platforms.

Weather on iPad

Apple also introduced an all-new Weather app on the iPad. The new app takes full advantage of the large screen and includes animated wallpapers that reflect the current weather conditions. Each unit in the weather app can be tapped to provide additional data. Apple has also built WeatherKit APIs for developers to build Weather in their iPad apps.

Collaboration in iPadOS 16

Collaboration is sharing the original document in real time so that everyone can work on it at the same time. It is somewhat similar to Google Docs, but the great thing is that you can start a collaboration through Messages or FaceTime right from the share sheet. Simply select Collaborate and select the conversation you want to share with. This works in both Messages and FaceTime.

You can also share groups of tabs from Safari to the group. When you do that, you’ll see icons for whoever is looking at the tab in real time. In addition, Apple opens up APIs to allow third-party developers to take advantage of collaboration if they want to.

freeform

Apple gave us a preview of a new collaborative app called Freeform. Freeform is a large collaborative space similar to a whiteboard where a group can work together using tools similar to those in Notes with different bruises, sticky notes, photos, etc. It’s an unlimited space where you use touch to drag the interface around, and pinch to zoom in and out. It will be available in a future update to iPadOS 16 in late 2022.

Metal 3 and other game improvements

For the first time, iPadOS 16 brings Metal 3 APIs to the iPad. Apple is looking to iPads to be 3D-graphics gaming machines with hardware-accelerated Metal 3 technology. Additionally, Apple has a new API that allows larger asset packs to be downloaded in the background while playing the game.

With your Game Center account, you can find friends, track progress in different games, and view leaderboards for different games. Games on iOS have been largely the domain of phones. However, Apple is pushing to attract more gamers to the iPad. These moves are designed to do just that.

Desktop-class apps and system-wide features

Apple rolls out a number of desktop-class apps and features at the system level on the iPad. It’s an extensive list, but some of the ones that stood out included an undo/redo across the system, viewing availability in the calendar, and the ability to find cards and combine them into contacts. You can also change file extensions and view folder sizes in the Files app.

Apple has also introduced a system-wide find and replace that runs concurrently. It has also added a list of documents in Files, Pages, and Keynote that allows you to perform common actions. Finally, it added the ability to customize your toolbars in some applications giving you access to your most used tools.

Stage Manager and Windowed Apps on iPadOS 16

Stage Manager is Apple’s new multitasking interface for macOS, also available on iPadOS 16. Essentially, iPadOS 16 allows you to create workspaces with nested windows that you can move and resize. Then, Stage Manager will organize your apps into different groups and move them to the side so you can interact with your main task front and center. It’s a quick way to switch between tasks which makes this compatible iPad much better at multitasking. Craig Federigi called it “the foundation for a major leap forward in user experience. One that could change the way professional users get work done on the iPad.”

Reference color

Reference mode is only available on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Pro users need accurate colors to complete their work. According to Federighi, “Reference mode meets color requirements in workflows such as review, approval, hue, and compositing. Where accurate colors and consistent image quality are critical. Stand alone device or use a sidebar.”

M1 . improvements

Finally, there are a number of improvements that take advantage of the M1 processor in higher-end iPads. You can use the display scale to increase the pixel density of the screen and give you more room to work. You can also use toggle virtual memory which means you can use your iPad memory as virtual RAM up to 16GB of virtual memory for demanding applications.


What is your favorite iPadOS 16 feature, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.



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