Apple today previewed iPadOS 16, a major update that makes the iPad experience even more versatile. Taking advantage of the power of the M1 chip, Stage Manager brings a new way to multitask with multiple overlapping windows and full external display support. Collaboration is easier than ever with new ways to start working with others in apps across the system using Messages, and the new Freeform app provides a flexible canvas to brainstorm on together. New tools in Mail help users be more productive, Safari adds shared Tab Groups to browse the web with others, and the browsing experience gets even more secure with passkeys. The new Weather app takes full advantage of the stunning iPad display, and Live Text now interacts with text in video. New pro features — including Reference Mode and Display Zoom — make iPad an even more powerful mobile studio. Combined with the power of Apple silicon, iPadOS 16 makes it faster and easier to get more done on iPad.
“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.”
New Ways to Share and Connect in Messages
New features in Messages make it easy to start collaborating and manage shared content across Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, and Safari, as well as third-party apps. When users send an invitation to collaborate via Messages, everyone on the thread is automatically added to the document, spreadsheet, or project. When someone makes a change to a shared file, everyone can see updates right at the top of the Messages thread. And when a user is working on a collaborative project, they can easily jump into the associated Messages conversation or just tap to start a FaceTime call with their collaborators.
iPadOS 16 makes everyday messaging even better. Users can now edit or recall recently sent messages, recover recently deleted messages, and mark conversations as unread so they can come back to them later.1 Additionally, users can now begin a SharePlay session via Messages, so they can choose a shared activity — like a movie, TV show, workout, or game — and enjoy it together in sync while chatting via Messages.
A Real-Time Collaboration Space Using Freeform
Freeform, a powerful new collaboration app with a flexible canvas, gives users the ability to see, share, and collaborate all in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes, and with full support for Apple Pencil. Users can view others’ contributions as they add content or make edits, all while enjoying a real-time collaboration space. Coming to iPadOS 16 later this year, Freeform allows collaborators to start a session from FaceTime and see the updates from others right in the Messages thread.
Mail Introduces New Smart Tools
Being more productive is easier than ever with new tools introduced in Mail. Users are given a moment to cancel delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox,2 schedule emails to be sent at the perfect moment, and move sent emails to the top of their inbox to quickly send a follow-up. Messages can also be resurfaced at any date and time with Remind Later, and users can get notified if they forget to include an important part of the message, like an attachment or recipient. Additionally, an all-new search experience delivers more complete and accurate results by correcting typos and using synonyms for the search terms, and allows users to see a richer view of contacts, shared content, and more.
Relive Memories with the New iCloud Shared Photo Library
iCloud Shared Photo Library is the easiest way to share photos seamlessly and automatically among up to six family members, so everyone can collaborate and enjoy the collection in Memories, Featured Photos, and the Photos widget. Users can share all their past photos, or use setup tools to contribute specific photos based on a start date or people in the photos. Photos can be added to the collection manually, or through Bluetooth proximity or sharing suggestions in For You. When anyone in the Shared Library adds, edits, or deletes photos, the library is updated for everyone.
New Collaboration and Security Features Come to Safari
Safari gets big updates, making it even more collaborative, customizable, and secure. Shared Tab Groups allow users to collaborate on a set of tabs with friends and see updates instantly while they work together, share tabs and bookmarks, and start a conversation right from Safari. Tab Groups get dedicated start pages that can be customized with a background image, bookmarks, and unique sections everyone can see and edit.
Browsing in Safari is even more secure with passkeys, an easier and safer sign-in method designed to replace passwords on the web and in apps. Passkeys are kept on iPad and are specific to the sites users create them for. And since passkeys are unique digital keys that stay on device and are never stored on a web server, hackers can’t leak them or trick users into sharing them. Users can sign in to websites or apps on Apple and non-Apple devices with their saved passkey by scanning the QR code with iPad, and using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.
The Weather App Comes to iPad
Designed to take full advantage of the stunning display, Weather comes to iPad with beautiful animations. With just a tap, users can see the most important weather information, or explore maps to check precipitation, air quality, and temperature. Users can also be notified when a severe weather alert is issued in their area, or check the air quality using a color-coded scale.
Live Text and Visual Look Up Get Powerful Updates
Using on-device intelligence, Live Text recognizes text in images across the system, and the feature now comes to video, making text completely interactive in paused video frames. With a single tap on a video, users can quickly translate languages or convert currencies. And Visual Look Up now allows users to lift the subject from an image or isolate a subject by removing the background with just a tap, and expands its recognition capabilities to birds, insects, statues, and more.
Pro Features Take Demanding Workflows Even Further
iPadOS 16 brings new powerful features that make iPad Pro an indispensable tool for creative professionals. Reference Mode enables the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display to match the color requirements in workflows like review and approve, color grading, and compositing, where accurate colors and consistent image quality are critical.
Powered by the performance of the Apple-designed M1 chip, Display Zoom now allows users to increase the pixel density of the display so they can view more in their apps, which is especially useful when using Split View. With Virtual Memory Swap, iPad storage can be used to expand the available memory for all apps, and delivers up to 16 gigabytes of memory for the most demanding apps, helping to make multitasking absolutely seamless.
Powerful Multitasking with Stage Manager and Full External Display Support
Stage Manager is an entirely new multitasking experience that automatically organizes apps and windows, making it quick and easy to switch between tasks. For the first time on iPad, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes in a single view, drag and drop windows from the side, or open apps from the Dock to create groups of apps for faster, more flexible multitasking. The window of the app users are working on is displayed prominently in the center, and other open apps and windows are arranged on the left-hand side in order of recency.
Available on iPad Pro and iPad Air with the M1 chip, Stage Manager also unlocks full external display support with resolutions of up to 6K, so users can arrange the ideal workspace, and work with up to four apps on iPad and four apps on the external display.