iPadOS 16: Here’s what we know so far about new features, supported devices, and more

By | May 21, 2022


WWDC 2022 will start a couple of weeks from now. On June 6, Apple will announce iPadOS 16, which will mark the next major release of Apple’s software platform for the iPad. Head below as we recap all of the latest rumors and expectations for iOS 16 this year, including new features, release info, and more.

When will iPadOS 16 be announced?

iPadOS 16 will likely be announced on June 6, during WWDC 2022’s keynote. The event will be online, although some students and developers will be able to attend the keynote in person at Apple Park.

Following the announcement, Apple will test the operating system for a few months until it’s released for all users around September, as the company has done over the past years.

Recently, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said that the iOS 16 beta build release schedule is a bit different this year. According to the journalist, Apple has plans to introduce the first public beta of iOS 16 along with the third developer beta in July.

The reason, according to Gurman, is that the current internal builds are “a bit buggy.” As a result, Apple engineers will need more time to make the iOS 16 beta stable enough before letting anyone install it on iPhone and iPad devices.

iPadOS 16 supported devices

One of the biggest questions people have every year is whether or not Apple will drop support for any older iPad model. With last year’s release of iPadOS 15, Apple maintained compatibility with all of the devices that were supported by iPadOS 14, although limiting many functions.

An early rumor indicates that Apple plans to drop support for the iPhone 6s and the original iPhone SE. If that’s the case, iPadOS 16 could be incompatible with iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad (fifth generation), and the original iPad Pro models.

With that in mind, here’s what iPads could possibly receive iPadOS 16:

New features with iPadOS 16

As of now, there are two main features expected for iPadOS 16: a new multitasking interface and revamped look for notifications.

The rumored focus on notifications is interesting because Apple has made numerous changes to the iOS notifications system over the last two years, with the introduction of features like Notification Summary and Focus Modes. It seems, however, that Apple still isn’t happy with the implementation of notifications throughout iOS, and is planning more changes for this year.

Additionally, iPadOS users have been asking year after year for Apple to bring a better multitasking interface for Pro users. Windows, for example, would be the safest bet to really improve the iPad experience with bigger screens. Although the company made it easier to use Slide Over and Split View, the operating system is still not there yet.

Pro apps, such as Final Cut Pro, and the ability to have different accounts for the same iPad – just like on macOS and tvOS – have been feature requests from users for years as well.

9to5Mac’s Take

We expect more details on iPadOS 16 to emerge as we approach WWDC 2022 kicking off June 6. Although Apple will announce tons of new features, if iPadOS 16 finally gets a proper multitasking interface, this will be a huge improvement for the operating system.

Personally, I hope to see Apple revamp notifications in a way that makes it much clearer and easier to see your latest notifications without awkward grouping. I’m also hoping for some updates to home screen widgets, particularly in regards to interactivity, and major updates to the Home app and HomeKit in general. 

What do you hope to see in iPadOS 16? What’s on the top of your wishlist? Let us know down in the comments!

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