Apple iPadOS 16 arrives with a new multitasking experience for iPad M1s
Apple today announced its next-generation operating systems, and we’ve already covered what’s new in iOS 16 and macOS Ventura. So now let’s turn our attention to iPadOS 16, which, unsurprisingly, has many similarities to iOS 16 and offers many of the same features. However, there are also some iPad-specific things, and perhaps none more interesting than Stage Manager’s new multitasking experience.
It only works on iPads with Apple’s M1 chipset and automatically arranges apps and windows. It also allows you to create overlapping windows of different sizes in a single view, drag and drop windows to the side, or open apps from the dock to create groups of apps for faster multitasking when you need it.
iPadOS 16 Scene Manager
The window you are currently working on is displayed prominently in the center, while other open applications and windows are arranged on the left in order of age. Stage Manager also unlocks full external display support with resolutions up to 6K. If you connect your iPad M1 to an external monitor in this way, you can work with up to four apps on the iPad and four apps on the external display simultaneously.
iPadOS 16 external display support
Then there’s also a new Freeform collaboration app in iPadOS 16, which features a “flexible canvas.” It lets you view, share, and collaborate in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes, and is fully compatible with Apple Pencil. It’s a real-time collaboration canvas and “later this year” will allow people to log in from FaceTime and see each other’s updates in the Messages feed.
The Mail app now gives you a moment to unsend a message, and you can also schedule emails. The app will notify you if you forgot to include an attachment or recipient, there’s a new feature that will remind you of certain messages later, and sent emails will be moved to the top of your inbox for quick follow-up. A new search experience gives you better results by correcting typos and using synonyms for search terms, as well as providing a richer view of contacts and shared content.
Mail app in iPadOS 16 improves search
Safari gets shared tab groups that allow users to collaborate on a set of tabs with friends and see instant updates. You can also share bookmarks, not just tabs, and start a conversation in Safari. Tab groups have dedicated customizable homepages with a unique background image, bookmarks, and sections that anyone can view and edit.
Safari Shared Tab Groups in iPadOS 16
Safari also supports passkeys, touted by Apple as “an easier and more secure sign-in method designed to replace passwords on the web and in apps.” These are unique digital keys stored on the iPad and specific to the sites you create them for. Since they are never stored on a server, they cannot be stolen. You can sign in to websites or apps with your password by scanning the QR code with your iPad and then using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.
The Weather app comes to iPad with iPadOS 16, and Siri can automatically launch shortcuts from apps, insert emoji when sending messages, and handle more types of offline requests. The Home app has a completely new design and adds support for Matter, a new smart home connectivity standard that allows accessories to work together seamlessly across different platforms. Notes can automatically straighten your handwriting and you can lock personal notes with your iCloud password.
Finally, iPadOS 16 has a Color Accuracy Benchmark mode that enables the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to “meet color demands in workflows such as review and approval, color grading, and compositing.” Display Zoom allows you to increase the pixel density of the screen, and Virtual Memory Swap uses storage to expand available memory up to 16GB.
Reference mode in iPadOS 16
Like iOS 16, iPadOS 16 will launch today in developer preview form, with an open beta available next month. iPadOS 16 will be available this fall as a free update for iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), and all iPad Pro models.
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