Not just a bigger iPhone, Apple’s iPad is getting some more productivity-focused features as it makes the move to iOS 16 later this year.
The iPad isn’t just a content-consuming device anymore and hasn’t been for a while, but that doesn’t mean Apple is done adding features remotely.
In the latest version on the way, productivity seems to be well in mind with iOS 16 for iPad, better known as iPadOS 16, which brings some of the what we’ve already heard from Apple’s iOS 16but not everything.
While the look won’t change, some of the features will be a way to manage multitasking on the iPad through something called “Stage Manager,” a feature that lets you use up to four iPad apps to interact with the iPad at the same time, all without any hassle. touch the dock. Kind of.
You can still switch apps with the dock, but Stage Manager gives you access to four apps you work in on the left, and offers a dock for multitasking specifically, so to speak, arranged on the left in the order of when they were launched. were used.
It means that if you’re writing in one app and need to transfer that writing to another, such as Mail or Safari, you can quickly jump between them using a management system for this, and even let apps walk on top of each other.
It also supports the feature on an external monitor, a first for iPad that normally duplicates the iPad’s screen on the monitor, and you’ll basically extend Stage Manager’s left dock with four more apps on that external screen, though it’s a wired external monitor connection, not the wireless way Sidecar works from a Mac†
However, Stage Manager’s additions to multitasking only work on iPad models with an M1 chip or higher, which currently means that the M1 iPad Pro or the most recent iPad Airof the regular entry-level iPad and recently redesigned iPad Mini (or slightly older) out of the running to support this level of content production multitasking, it seems.
Owners of those M1-based iPad models will also see memory improvements as Apple can move memory for desktop-class heavy apps, while all iPadOS 16 devices will see improvements in Safari, support for passkeys (not just passwords, but keys that can be linked to devices), and some of the improvements seen on iOS 16, such as video translation of foreign text in Live Text, shared photo libraries with family members on iCloud, and the ability to share more with other people through Apple’s Messages app .
App tweaks and changes
It’s not just about the major updates to the iPadOS operating system, but also elsewhere in the refresh.
In addition to productivity, there are tweaks to the Weather app, in the sense that it will actually have one. That’s one of those things that the iPad doesn’t quite come standard with, much like a Calculator app, which other companies provide on the iPad, just not Apple. You can get both on iOS 15 on the iPhone, just neither on iOS 15 on the iPad.
There’s still no word on whether that will change for Calculator – if you need an iPad calculator, there are apps, not to mention how you can use google to calculate things for you – but at least the weather will be there.
The Home app for home automation will also see changes, with support for Matter accessories and a way to more clearly organize smart home gadgets, while Apple News will give you more sports news, with a “My Sports” section of curated sports stories in the one place.
There’s also better search in some of those productivity-oriented apps, with Mail and Messages improving there, while also allowing emails to be scheduled and even canceled before being sent within Mail.
Not quite iOS 16
Interestingly, while iPadOS 16 is based on iOS 16, it won’t get the same features we heard about on iOS 16 earlier this week.
Take the nifty additions to the lock screen: they won’t be part of iPadOS 16, because that’s a phone feature, rather than one for desktops.
That could change in the future, either with an update to iPadOS 16 or even a future version, but for now it seems like the cool way to make lock screens different, plus adjust them to different focus states, it seems like an iPhone only thing, not something that Apple might bring to another iDevice in your life.
iPadOS 16 availability
Like all things announced at WWDC, availability seems to be somewhat quick, at least if you want to live a little.
Apple’s update to iPad goes into public beta in July, available to anyone with an iPad to play with, although owners of a recent iPad Air and iPad Pro have the most to gain, given its multitasking capabilities. Developers can live even more dangerously now, with a beta already available, but everyone can experiment with the public beta next month.
And if you don’t want to live with a potentially buggy beta, you can wait until later this year for the full iPadOS 16 release, likely in August or September.
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