iPadOS 16 brings major usability improvements to help improve your productivity when using an iPad. Apart from improving the system apps, Apple has completely revamped the multitasking experience, added full external display support, and created a real-time collaboration app called Freeform. Here are all the new iPadOS 16 features that you should know about.
1. Multitasking Improvements with Stage Manager
Apple is bringing macOS Ventura’s Stage Manager to iPad. You can now resize app windows of different sizes in a single view and check recently used apps from the left pane. That’s not all. iPadOS 16 also allows you to create a group of apps for a more flexible multitasking experience.
Do note that Stage Manager is only available on iPad Pro and iPad Air modes with the M1 chip.
2. Full External Display Support
Once you connect your iPad to an external monitor, you will no longer see those dated black bars on the side. Stage Manager offers full external display support with resolutions of up to 6K. You can use up to four apps on the external display and four apps on the iPad at the same time.
3. Better Collaboration in Messages
iPadOS 16 makes it easy to collaborate on shared content from Files, Pages, Numbers, Notes, Safari, and third-party apps in Messages. When you share an invite for collaboration in Messages, everyone in the group is automatically added to the project.
When anyone makes changes to the document or spreadsheet, Messages will showcase live updates at the top.
4. Edit Sent Messages
You can now fix typos in sent Messages. Simply, long tap on a sent message and select edit to make changes.
5. Recall Sent Messages
You can undo recently sent messages. Apple hasn’t specified the time limit within which you can recall sent messages in a conversation. For example, WhatsApp allows you to undo messages within a couple of hours.
6. Use SharePlay in Messages
SharePlay experience isn’t limited to FaceTime only. Starting with iPadOS 16, you now watch movies, and TV shows, and listen to music, right from the Messages conversations.
7. Brainstorm Ideas Using Freeform
Freeform is Apple’s direct response to Whiteboard in Windows 11 and third-party software solutions like FigJam. Using several drawing tools, users can brainstorm ideas on a flexible canvas and talk about the same with others via FaceTime or in a Messages thread.
8. Schedule Emails in the Mail App
Most users have always preferred third-party apps like Outlook or Spark to manage emails on iPad. The pretty basic Mail app is changing with the iPadOS 16 updates. You can now schedule an email in the Mail app and cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox.
9. Set a Reminder to Check Emails Later
At times, you might want to check an important email later. You can now add a reminder to check messages in the future. Simply swipe right on an email and select Later. You can then ask the Mail app to remind in an hour, tonight, tomorrow, or later.
10. Search Improvements in the Mail App
iPadOS 16 brings the biggest overhaul to the search function in the Mail app. The updated search menu delivers relevant, accurate, and complete results. You can see recent emails, contacts, documents, and links the moment you start typing queries in the search bar.
11. Share Tab Groups in Safari
Tab Groups is a neat way to combine all the relevant tabs under a single roof. It’s useful when you have dozens of tabs open in Safari and want to separate research tabs from social media ones. The functionality was introduced with iPadOS 15 and now with the iPadOS 16 update, you can share Tab Groups (a collection of websites) with friends and family.
Tab Groups get dedicated start pages that can be customized with a background image, bookmarks, and unique sections everyone can see and edit.
12. Weather App on iPad
For years, Apple has neglected the Weather app on iPad. The company only offered a weather widget and users had to rely on third-party weather apps like Carrot to check weather conditions in detail. With iPadOS 16, the same excellent Weather app arrives on the iPad’s big display.
13. Use Live Text in Videos
Apple is expanding support for Live Text in videos as well. Simply pause the video and use the Live Text button to extract the text from a scene.
14. Translate Languages and Convert Currencies
Apple is adding language translation and currency conversation right into Live Text. You no longer need to do a quick Google search or use a third-party app.
15. Visual Lookup
Visual Lookup uses machine learning and extracts the main subject from an image to share it with others in the IM (instant messaging) apps. You don’t need to use any background remover tool, Visual Lookup will do the same in no time on an iPad.
16. Display Zoom
Do you want to see more app content at a time on the iPad? Instead of continuous scrolling in apps, you can enable Display Zoom which increases the pixel density of the display so that you can view more content in apps. This is useful when using Split View on smaller iPad models.
17. Virtual Memory Swap to Increase RAM
Some Android OEMs like Xiaomi and Samsung already offer something called RAM boost to offer more memory for a better multitasking experience. Apple is boarding the same route with Virtual Memory Swap to expand the available memory for all apps. The company is claiming to offer 16GB of memory for the most demanding apps like Photoshop, and other pro apps.
18. Better Dictation
With better Dictation support in iPadOS 16, Apple is bridging the gap with Google’s crazy fast text-to-speech recognition. Dictation also features automatic punctuation and emoji support.
19. Better Siri Shortcuts
Siri can now run shortcuts from apps, with no setup required. You can also add emojis when sending messages via Siri and skip the confirmation step for a seamless experience.
Apple added new commands to utilize Siri without any internet connection. For instance, you now ask Siri to hang up the call.
20. Redesigned Home App
Apple has developed Matter support – a new smart home connectivity standard for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to use for better compatibility. With iPadOS 16, you get a completely redesigned Home app that’s easier to navigate, use, and control connected smart home accessories.
21. My Sports Section in Apple News
Sports fans, this one is for you. Apple News now features a dedicated My Sports section to follow your favorite NBA team, athletes, and personalized stories from the best international sports publications.
22. Better Handwriting Experience in Notes
Apple Notes is now smart enough to straighten handwriting notes to offer a neater look. Smart Folder in Notes now comes with filtering capabilities like date, time, type, etc.
23. Handoff for FaceTime
You can now easily switch between Apple devices on a FaceTime call. The system not only transfers the FaceTime call but also switches the Bluetooth headset simultaneously so users don’t run into any connectivity glitches and miss conversations.
24. Accessibility Add-ons
New accessibility tools in iPadOS 16 include Live Captions in FaceTime, and Hover Text to easily read input filters, menu items, button labels, and other text on the iPad.
25. Redesigned Dashboard in Game Center
A redesigned Game Center dashboard is coming later this year with the iPadOS 16 update. You can check which games your friends are playing, their achievements, and high scores across games, and thanks to a SharePlay integration, you can start playing multiplayer games on a FaceTime call.
iPadOS 16 is a welcome change, especially for iPad models with an M1 CPU. If you plan to install iPadOS 16 on your iPad, first make sure that your model is on the compatibility list, and then read our dedicated post to learn to install iPadOS 16 without a developer account.