iPadOS 16 – Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on October 27, 2022 by Saad and Ernest

iPadOS is Apple’s attempt to take their tablet, the iPad, to new heights. With new features released with every iteration, iPadOS 16 seems to be no different. With that said, we’re going to be going through everything you need to know about the new tablet-based operating system. From its released ate, new features, and compatible devices – we’ll be walking you through it all!

iPadOS 16: Compatible Devices

Apple’s ability to bring new software to older devices without a major loss in speed or functionality is commendable. And iPadOS 16 this year is no different. Here’s a look at all the compatible devices that will be able to download and install iPadOS 16: 

iPad Air

ModelCompatible with iPadOS 16
iPad Air (3rd gen)Yes
iPad Air (4th gen)Yes
iPad Air (5th gen)Yes

iPad Mini

ModelCompatible with iPadOS 16
iPad Mini (5th gen)Yes
iPad Mini (6th gen)Yes

Classic iPad

ModelCompatible with iPadOS 16
iPad (5th gen)Yes
iPad (6th gen)Yes
iPad (7th gen)Yes
iPad (8th gen)Yes
iPad (9th gen)Yes

iPad Pro

ModelCompatible with iPadOS 16
iPad Pro (1st gen)Yes
iPad Pro (2nd gen)Yes
iPad Pro (3rd gen)Yes
iPad Pro (4th gen)Yes
iPad Pro (5th gen)Yes

Note: All iPad Pro models released till date will support iPadOS 16

iPadOS 16 Release Date

iPadOS 16 is already available as a Developer Beta and Public Beta. So, if you aren’t eager to wait, you can always download the public Beta and download the latest available version of iPadOS 16. 

One point to note, though, you’ll be running into a lot of bugs and glitches with the entire operating system. So, if you use the iPad as a primary device and can’t have it crash on you randomly, I’d recommend waiting for the official release.

Speaking of, the first beta of iPad OS 16 came out around June 10, 2022. Generally, we would’ve expected the firmware to be coming out in mid-September. However, it seems like Apple is really focusing on trying to nail down any bugs and is bringing in last-second features and improvements.

Initial Release DatePublic Beta Release DateOfficial Release Date (Expected) 
June 10 2022July 12 2022 October 24 2022

Therefore, the release date of iPad OS 16 will be somewhere around the second to the third week of October. This gives us an estimated date of 8th-15th October. The first official version of iPad OS 16 will also be accompanied by the iterative iPad OS 16.1 update a few weeks after the initial release.

How To Install iPadOS 16

There are three ways you can download iPad OS 16. Depending on your usecase, you may be interested in going for one or the other. But, before we delve into the nitty-gritty. Here are the differences between each version of iPad OS 16:

Release NameRelease TimeBugsUpdate FrequencyFree?
Developer BetaFirstPlentifulA lotNo
Public BetaMidSomeNot a lotYes
Official ReleaseLastAlmost NoneMonthlyYes

Developer Beta

The developer Beta requires you to have an Apple Developer account. After enrolling, you’ll be able to download the Developer betas of iPadOS 16. After that, following the on-screen instructions and downloading the Developer Beta profile should let you download the earliest preview versions of iPadOS 16. 

Public Beta

The public Beta of iOS 16 is free and requires you to have registered through the iPad OS 16 Public Beta program. If you have, downloading the Beta is quite simple. Here’s how:

ipados public beta
  • Open Safari on your iPad and head to the following link
  • Download the Beta profile on your iPad
  • Once the profile is successfully downloaded, head to General and tap on Software Update
  • If an update is available, you’ll be able to download and install it 

Note: We recommend backing up your device before installing a Public Beta as they’re often buggy. 

Official Release

The official release does not require you to sign up for anything and is completely free. Here’s how you can download iPad OS 16 on a compatible iPad when it is officially released:

  • Open the Settings application on your iPad
  • Head to General and tap on Software Update
  • If the update is avaialble, tap on Download and Install
  • The update will install, your iPad will restart and you’ll be on the latest version of iPadOS 16

iPadOS 16: New Features

Now that we’ve got the installation, compatible devices, and the release date out of the way, its time to talk about the new features that are exclusive to the iPadOS 16. We’re going to be ranking these features from the most important to the least. 

Stage Manager

Stage Manager is Apple’s way of bringing true desktop-like multitasking to the iPad. While it seems to currently be limited to the M1 lineup of iPad Pros, its induction into the ecosystem is quite promising.

With Stage Manager, you can now resize applications freely and overlap them over each other. This lets you view multiple applications at the same time while also being able to free size according to what you see fit. While we did see better multitasking in iPadOS 15, it doesn’t hold a candle to what Stage Manager brings to the table.

It is a shame that I’ll only be able to use this feature on my M1 iPad Pro, though

External Displays

Instead of mirroring your display, iPadOS 16 now lets you extend your display on an M1 iPad Pro. Surprisingly, you can go up to 6K resolution on the secondary monitor. And, courtesy of Stage Manager, you can up to a total of eight applications on your iPad and monitor combined.

You can either use your Apple Magic Keyboard or connect an external mouse and keyboard to be able to navigate through the monitor. You can also drag and drop windows from your monitor to your iPad. 

I find this feature particularly exciting since it enables users to utilize an extra monitors and helps make a bigger case for the iPad in terms of it being more of a laptop rather than just a measly tablet.

Zoomed Out Display

I always had one qualm with the larger 12.9” iPad. The great resolution allows for more text to be shown on the screen at any given time. But, sadly, there was no option to enable a more zoomed-out resolution.

With iPadOS 16, you can do just that. With the scaled-out display, you can see much more on your screen at any given point. It took me a bit of getting used to. But, after a while, I just couldn’t go back.

Here’s how you can enable a more zoomed-out display on iPadOS 16:

  • Open the Settings application on your iPad
  • Head to Display & Brightness and tap on Display Zoom
  • Change it from Default to More Space and tap Done
  • As soon as you do, you’ll be prompted to restart your iPad, do so.
  • After the reboot is done, you’ll now be greeted with smaller text but a lot more information being displayed on your iPad at any given moment.

Weather Application

ipads have weather official app

I have no clue what took Apple this long. But, we finally have the Weather application on the iPad. You can now take a look at…well, the weather, what else? A lot more actually. You can find the detailed forecast for an entire week, take a look at the hourly forecast, and find out the UV index, sunset timings of a particular location.

Basically, everything that you are used to and love on the iPhone version has been expanded to suit the larger display on the iPads. I’m pleasantly surprised with the integration of 120 Hz animations as well, they look quite great as I see rain drizzling down on my screen.

The application is useful, and convenient, and also, you can use Siri to finally ask for the weather conditions and get an actual detailed response courtesy of the new application. Perhaps, we’ll see a Calculator application next time?

Other Features

These features aren’t really exclusive to iPad OS 16. Instead, they’re a part of the wider iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura update. But, they bring some serious improvements to the iPad. Therefore, it is worth mentioning them!

  • Undo and Delete iMessages: Finally! Embarrassment b’gone. I can finally edit and delete messages on iMessage for a specific duration of time. Point to note though, if someone’s running an older version of iOS / iPadOS, they’ll still be able to see your messages whether you edit or delete them.
  • Files: The Files application has seen major improvements on both the iPhone and iPad. The most notable new inclusion is sortable columns, and the ability to rename and duplicate files much quicker. While it still is no Finder, we’re getting quite close.
  • Better Notes: We can now add screenshots to Quick Notes, inset shapes in the application by drawing them, and also add an iCloud Lock for more personal notes as well. 
  • Apple Maps: You can now add multiple stops in Apple Maps alongside getting more detailed traffic metrics and location data for more multiple locations around the globe as well.

Will iPadOS 16 Have The Customizable Lockscreen?

No, iPadOS 16 does not seem to be coming out with the customizable lockscreen. As of yet, this feature seems to be an iOS / iPhone exclusive. While we may see the feature eventually making its way in later versions of the update, don’t bet on it. So, as of yet, if you want the customizable lockscreen, you’ll have to stick with iOS 16.

Verdict: Is iPadOS 16 Worth It? 

Yes, iPadOS 16 is definitely worth it! It brings a lot of new features to the iPad, especially to the M1-enabled iPad Pro lineup. Regardless, from my testing, I have not seen any major performance drops or battery life issues. So, this seems to be a stable update even though I’ve been using the Developer and Public Beta versions.

So, when the final release comes out, there’ll hardly be any noticeable bugs or crashes. Plus, Apple has already delayed the release of iPadOS 16. This means that the company is uber-focused on ensuring that there’s little to no hiccups. 

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Saad is excellent at what he does. He's a tech fanatic. He strives to improve himself wherever he can. He tries to make each article he writes a little better than before. He explains difficult things in a very simple way.

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I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.