Apple today announced the iPadOS 16 Preview at WWDC 2022 keynote, a major update that expands the powers of the iPad. Stage Manager, which takes advantage of the M1 chip‘s power, offers a new way to multitask with multiple overlapping windows and complete support for external displays.
Easy collaboration in Messages
Messages now have new features that make it simple to collaborate and manage shared content across Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, and Safari, as well as third-party apps. Everyone in the thread is automatically added to the document, spreadsheet, or project when users send a collaboration invitation via Messages.
Everyone can see updates to a shared file right at the top of the Messages thread when someone makes a change to it. When a user is working on a collaborative project, they may immediately hop into the relevant Messages conversation or start a FaceTime call with their collaborators by simply tapping.
iPadOS 16 enhance the value of daily messaging. Users can now edit or recall recently sent messages, recover communications that have been accidentally deleted, and mark conversations as unread so that they can return to them later. Users may now start a SharePlay session via Messages, allowing them to choose a shared activity — such as a movie, TV show, workout, or game — and enjoy it together in real-time while chatting.
Related: What’s new in iOS 16 preview
Freeform – A Real-Time Collaboration
Freeform is a powerful new collaboration tool with a customizable canvas that allows users to see, share, and work in one location without having to worry about layouts or page sizes, and it also supports Apple Pencil.
Users can see other people’s contributions as they add content or make changes, all while working in a real-time environment. Freeform, which will be available in iPadOS 16 later this year, allows collaborators to start a session from FaceTime and see updates from others in the Messages thread.
More tools for Apple Mail
With the new tools in Mail, being more productive is easier than ever. Users are offered the choice to cancel a message’s delivery before it reaches the inbox of the intended recipient, schedule emails to be sent at the most convenient time, and move sent emails to the top of their inbox to quickly send a follow-up.
Remind Later allows users to resurface messages at any time and date, and users can be informed if they fail to add an important part of the message, such as an attachment or recipient. Additionally, an all-new search experience corrects typos and uses synonyms for search phrases to provide more full and accurate results, and lets users get a deeper perspective of contacts, shared material, and more.
New iCloud Shared Photo Library
iCloud Shared Photo Library is the best way to share photos in Memories, Featured Photos, and the Photos widget with up to six family members, so everyone can collaborate and enjoy the collection. Users can choose to submit all of their previous images or use setup tools to contribute specific photos based on a start date or individuals in the photos.
Manually, via Bluetooth proximity, or via sharing ideas in For You, photos can be added to the collection. The library is updated for everyone when someone in the Shared Library adds, edits, or deletes photos.
Safari has received significant updates that make it even more collaborative, customizable, and secure. Users can collaborate on a set of tabs with friends and view updates immediately while working together, share tabs and bookmarks, and start a conversation right from Safari with Shared Tab Groups. Tab Groups have their own start pages with a background image, bookmarks, and unique sections that everyone may see and change.
Passkeys, an easier and safer sign-in solution designed to replace passwords on the web and in apps, make browsing in Safari even more secure. Passkeys are stored on the iPad and are unique to the site for which they were created. Hackers can’t leak passkeys or fool users into sharing them because they’re unique digital keys that stay on the device and are never saved on a web server.
Users can use their saved passkey to sign in to websites or apps on Apple and non-Apple devices by scanning the QR code with an iPad and authenticating using Face ID or Touch ID.
Default Weather app for iPad
Weather is an iPad app with beautiful animations that takes full advantage of the iPad’s stunning display. Users can see the most relevant weather information with only a swipe, or explore maps to check precipitation, air quality, and temperature with just a few taps. Users can also receive notifications when a severe weather alert is issued in their location, as well as monitor the air quality using a color-coded scale.
Powerful updates to Live Text and Visual Look Up
Live Text recognizes text in images across the system using on-device intelligence, and the feature now applies to video, making text entirely interactive in stopped video frames. Users can rapidly translate languages or convert currencies by just tapping on a video. With just a tap, users may now extract the topic from an image or separate a subject by removing the background, and Visual Look Up’s recognition capabilities have been expanded to include birds, insects, statues, and more.
iPadOS 16 adds a slew of new features to the iPad Pro, making it a must-have tool for creative professionals. Reference Mode allows the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display to match color standards in processes like color grading, compositing, and review process color grading, where correct colors and consistent image quality are important.
Display Zoom now allows users to increase the pixel density of the display to view more in their apps, which is especially handy when using Split View, thanks to the performance of the Apple-designed M1 chip. Virtual Memory Swap allows you to use your iPad storage to expand the available memory for all apps, delivering up to 16 gigabytes of memory for the most demanding apps, making multitasking a snap.
Multitasking with Stage Manager
Stage Manager is a brand-new multitasking experience that organizes apps and windows for you, making switching between tasks a snap. Users can build overlapping windows of various sizes in a single view for the first time on the iPad, drag and drop windows from the side, or start apps from the Dock to form groups of apps for faster, more flexible multitasking.
Other open apps and windows are sorted on the left-hand side in order of recency, with the window of the app users are working on prominently displayed in the center.
Stage Manager enables complete external display capability with resolutions up to 6K on iPad Pro and iPad Air with the M1 processor, allowing users to set up their perfect workspace and work with up to four apps on the iPad and four apps on the external display.
iPadOS 16 release date and compatibility
Starting today, Apple Developer Program members can download the developer preview of iPadOS 16 from developer.apple.com, and a public beta will be available to iPadOS users next month at beta.apple.com. iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), and all iPad Pro devices will receive the updated iPadOS 16 as a free software update this fall.