Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Apple previewed its latest software for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the beginning of June. 

There are plenty of features coming to your iPhone later this year with iOS 16 and a few extra features coming to your Apple Watch with watchOS 9, but there are a few new features heading for iPad too with iPadOS 16.

This is everything you need to know about iPadOS 16, including when it is expected to be released, what features it will be bringing to your iPad, how you can try it out and what iPad models are compatible.

iPadOS 16 release date

  • Unveiled date: 6 June 2022
  • Release date: September 2022 (TBC)

Apple announced the next major software upgrade for iPad during WWDC in the form of iPadOS 16. The preview was revealed on 6 June 2022, with the developer beta available to download now. The public beta will become available from July 2022, and iPadOS 16 will then be released in its official format "this fall". 

It's likely "this fall" is September 2022, around a week after the next iPhone and Apple Watch models are revealed. There's no specific date for those devices as yet, though based on previous release patterns, we'd predict this launch will take place on 13 September, so we'd expect to see the iPadOS 16 release around 20 September 2022. Nothing is confirmed as yet though.

iPadOS 16: How to try the public beta

The iPadOS 16 developer beta is available to download now but the public beta isn't yet. It should be in July 2022 and when it is, it should take around five minutes to get up and running.

You'll need to join Apple's beta software program first, after which you will be able to install any available betas to test, including iOS 16 and watchOS 9. We have a guide that explains how to install an iPadOS public beta if you need extra help when it becomes available.

iPadOS 16: Which iPads are compatible?

Apple typically offers several years of software updates for its devices, more than most Android manufacturers. If your iPad isn't on the list though, it's probably because its hardware isn't powerful enough to run some of the features. Occasionally, your iPad might be compatible with the software but not specific features.

Here is the full list of iPads compatible with iPadOS 16 when it launches later this year:

  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (5th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later) 

iPadOS 16: Features

Here are all the features coming to your iPad later this year. Sadly, iPad doesn't get the Lock Screen capabilities iPhone will get with iOS 16, but it does get many of the iOS 16 features and a couple of extras.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 11

Stage Manager

A feature called Stage Manager will arrive with iPadOS 16, allowing you to have overlapping windows in a single view - like Mac - for the first time on iPad, whilst also allowing you to resize windows and switch between apps with one tap. Up to four apps can be open at once. 

You can read all about Stage Manager in our separate feature to get the low down on what it will allow for. This is one of the biggest iPad changes with iPadOS 16.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 9

Photos

Photos is getting a couple of changes, including iCloud Shared Photo Library that allows you to share photos and videos easily with five other people. You'll be able to choose what to include based on start date or the people in the photos and everyone has equal permissions for adding, editing and deleting photos in the shared library.

There will even be a button in the camera app that allows you to take a photo and add it directly to the shared photo library.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 8

Messages

With iPadOS 16, you'll be able to edit a Message in iMessage up to 15 minutes after it has been sent. You'll also be able to unsend a Message and mark any Message thread as unread. 

Other changes to Messages include the addition of SharePlay - previously restricted to FaceTime - that allows you to watch something directly in Messages in sync with a friend, whilst continuing your message conversation.

What is the Pocket-lint daily and how do you get it for free?

Additionally, you'll be able to share notes, presentations, reminders, Safari Tab Groups and more in Messages with iPadOS 16 to start collaborating instantly and see updates on shared projects in the thread.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 7

Mail

There are a number of changes to Mail, including the ability to schedule emails and unsend emails. There's also better search coming with iPadOS 16 and Mail will alert you if you forget an attachment too.

Security

iPadOS 16 brings a couple of updates to privacy and security. The hidden photos and recently deleted photo albums will be locked by default and you'll also be able to lock a note with Face ID, Touch ID or your password, rather than having to remember a different password.

Safari

With iPadOS 16, there is a feature called Passkeys coming to Safari that offers a more secure and easier way to sign in. There's also Shared Tab Groups coming, allowing you to share tabs and bookmarks, send messages and start FaceTime straight from Safari.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 6

Weather

iPadOS 16 will finally bring the Weather app from iPhone onto iPad, offering minute-by-minute updates, 10-day forecasts and details about air quality, local forecasts and more by tapping forecast modules.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 5

Display

A feature called Display Scaling Mode is coming to iPad with iPadOS 16, allowing you change the resolution of your display to fit more onto the screen. By increasing the pixel density of the display, you can view more in your apps - helpful when using Split View.

The 12.9‑inch iPad Pro will also be able to display reference colour for popular colour standards, as well as SDR and HDR video formats with iPadOS 16.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 4

Gaming

Gaming gets an update too with iPadOS 16, with a redesigned Game Center dashboard that allows you to see how your friend's are doing and compete with their high score. SharePlay is also coming to gaming with iPadOS 16, allowing you to join and play games together. During a multiplayer game that uses Game Center, you'll be able to start a SharePlay session and easily bring in your friends.

Live Text and Visual Look Up

There are a few updates coming to Live Text including the ability to pause a video on any frame that contains text to copy, translate, look up and share. There are also quick actions that make it easier to call phone numbers, visit websites, convert currencies and translate languages.

For Visual Look Up - which is a great feature - you will be able to lift the subject from an image, or isolate a subject by removing the background.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 3

Home

The Home app has been redesigned for iPadOS 16 with a new Home tab to easily navigate smart home devices, as well as a new multi-camera view and new categories for climate, lights and security. Matter compatibility will also be coming.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 1

Family Sharing

Several updates are coming to Family Sharing with iPadOS 16, including easier management of child accounts. There will be a Family Checklist that will offer tips and suggestions to get the most out of Family Sharing, like updating children's settings as they get older. There will also be a Quick Start option to easily set up a new iPhone or iPad for your child with all the appropriate parental controls already in place.

AppleiPadOS 16: Release date and all the features coming to your iPad photo 2

Freeform

Freeform is a productivity app that will launch later this year, allowing you to sketch and jot down notes with Apple Pencil, share files and insert web links, documents, video and audio. You'll be able to invite collaborators, share a link and start working together straight away. As people add thoughts and additions, you can see changes in real time.

FaceTime

FaceTime got a big update in iPadOS 15 but iPadOS 16 brings Handoff. This means you can switch between your Mac, iPhone and iPad with just a tap, and a connected Bluetooth headset switches over too.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.