iPadOS 16 takes the versatility of iPad even further, introducing new ways to collaborate via Messages, big updates to Mail, iCloud Shared Photo Library, passkeys and new collaboration features in Safari, the Weather app, pro features including Reference Mode and Display Zoom, and an entirely new multitasking experience with Stage Manager. iPadOS 16 is now available as a free software update.
New Ways to Share and Connect in Messages
New features in Messages make it possible to edit, undo send, and mark conversations as unread, making everyday messaging even better. With iPadOS 16, users can invite friends and family to SharePlay via Messages, and enjoy a shared activity — like a movie, TV show, workout, or game — in sync while they chat in a Messages thread.
In addition, new collaboration features make working with others quick and seamless. When users send an invitation to collaborate via Messages, everyone on the thread is automatically added to the document, spreadsheet, or project, and when someone makes an edit to the shared document, activity updates appear at the top of the thread.
Mail Introduces New Smart Tools
Being more productive is easier than ever with new tools introduced in Mail. Users can set reminders to come back to a message at a later date with Remind me, receive automatic suggestions to follow up on an email if they haven’t received a response, and get automatic alerts when they’ve forgotten to include a recipient or attachment in an email. Users can also cancel delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox and schedule emails to be sent at the perfect moment.2 With the biggest update to search in years, Mail uses state-of-the-art techniques to deliver more relevant, accurate, and complete search results.
Relive Memories with the New iCloud Shared Photo Library
iCloud Shared Photo Library gives families a new way to share photos seamlessly with a separate iCloud Photos library that up to six people can collaborate on, contribute to, and enjoy. It’s easy for users to either share all of their existing photos from their personal libraries, share based on a start date, or from the people in their photos. Users will receive intelligent suggestions to share photo moments that include participants in the library and any other people they choose. Every user can add, delete, edit, or favorite the shared photos and videos, which will appear in each user’s Memories and Featured Photos so that everyone can relive more complete family moments.
New Security and Collaboration Features Come to Safari
Browsing in Safari is even more secure with passkeys, a next-generation credential that can’t be phished or leaked, making it safer and easy to use. Designed to replace passwords, passkeys use Touch ID or Face ID for biometric verification, and are securely synced with end-to-end encryption using iCloud Keychain so they are available across Apple devices including iPad, iPhone, and Mac. Created as a joint effort in collaboration with the FIDO Alliance, Google, and Microsoft, passkeys will work across apps and the web, and users can sign in to websites or an app on non-Apple devices using just their iPad.
Safari also adds shared Tab Groups to share a collection of websites with friends and family, making it seamless to add tabs and see what others are viewing.
A Real-Time Collaboration Space Using Freeform
Coming to iPadOS 16 in an update later this year, Freeform — a powerful productivity app with a flexible canvas — will give users the ability to see, share, and collaborate all in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes, and with full support for Apple Pencil. Users will be able to view others’ contributions as they add content or make edits, all while enjoying a real-time collaboration space. Freeform will allow collaborators to add virtually any kind of file — images, video, audio, PDFs, documents, and web links — to the canvas and preview it inline, without leaving the board.
The Weather App Comes to iPad
Designed to take full advantage of the stunning display, Weather comes to iPad with immersive animations, detailed maps, and tappable forecast modules. So with just a tap, users can see the most important weather information, or explore maps to check precipitation, air quality, and temperature. Users can also be notified when a severe weather alert is issued in their area, or check the air quality using a color-coded scale.
Visual Look Up and Live Text Get Powerful Updates
Users can tap and hold on the subject of an image to lift it from the background and place it in apps like Messages. Visual Look Up also expands to recognize birds, insects, and statues, helping users quickly get information about objects and scenes in photos.
Using on-device intelligence, Live Text can now recognize text in videos across the system, making text completely interactive in paused video frames. With a single tap on a video, users can quickly copy and paste, translate, convert currency, and more.
Pro Features Take Demanding Workflows Even Further
iPadOS 16 brings new powerful features that make iPad Pro an indispensable tool for creative professionals. Reference Mode enables the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display to match the color requirements in workflows like review and approve, color grading, and compositing, where accurate colors and consistent image quality are critical.
Powered by the performance of the Apple-designed M1 and M2 chips, Display Zoom allows users to increase the pixel density so they can view more in their apps, which is especially useful when multitasking with Stage Manager and Split View. With Virtual Memory Swap, iPad storage can be used to expand the available memory for all apps, and delivers up to 16 gigabytes of memory for the most demanding apps, helping to make multitasking absolutely seamless.
Powerful Multitasking with Stage Manager and Full External Display Support
Stage Manager is an entirely new multitasking experience that automatically organizes apps and windows, making it quick and easy to switch between tasks.3 For the first time on iPad, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes in a single view, drag and drop windows from the side, or open apps from the Dock to create groups of apps for faster, more flexible multitasking. The window of the app users are working on is displayed prominently in the center, and other open apps and windows are arranged on the left-hand side in order of recency.
In an update for M1 and M2 iPad models later this year, Stage Manager will unlock full external display support with resolutions of up to 6K, so users will be able arrange the ideal workspace, and work with up to four apps on iPad and four apps on the external display simultaneously.
Additional iPadOS 16 Features
- Dictation offers a new on-device experience that allows users to easily move between voice, touch, and Scribble with Apple Pencil. Users can type with the keyboard or write with Scribble, tap in the text field, move the cursor, and insert QuickType suggestions, all without needing to stop Dictation. Dictation also features automatic punctuation and emoji dictation.
- Siri adds the ability to run shortcuts as soon as an app is downloaded without requiring upfront setup. Users can add emoji when sending a message, choose to send messages automatically — skipping the confirmation step — and hang up phone and FaceTime calls completely hands-free by simply saying “Hey Siri, hang up.”
- The Home app gets an all-new design that makes it easier to navigate, organize, view, and control smart home accessories at a glance, as well as Matter support — a new smart home connectivity standard that allows compatible accessories to work together seamlessly across different ecosystems, and provides more choice and interoperability — all while maintaining the highest level of security.
- Desktop-class apps enable new capabilities optimized for the iPad display, so apps are more capable with new elements and interactions, including a consistent undo and redo, a redesigned inline find-and-replace experience, a new document menu, customizable toolbars, and the ability to change file extensions, view folder size in Files, and more.
- Apple News introduces a new My Sports section, where users can easily follow favorite teams and leagues; receive stories from hundreds of top publishers; access scores, schedules, and standings for the top professional and college leagues; and watch highlights right in the News app. Favorites will sync with the Apple TV app to offer a seamless sports experience.
- Notes allows users to create neater handwritten notes with the ability to automatically straighten the handwriting, use their iCloud password to lock personal notes, add screenshots in Quick Note, and take organization even further with powerful Smart Folders and filtering capabilities.
- Game Center makes it easy for users to play with or compete against their friends through the redesigned dashboard that shows friends’ games activity and accomplishments all in one place.
- Handoff in FaceTime allows users to start a FaceTime call on one of their Apple devices and seamlessly hand it off to another Apple device nearby. When switching to a different device, the connected Bluetooth headset transitions simultaneously so users don’t miss any of the conversation.
- New accessibility tools include Live Captions in FaceTime; a new Magnifier mode that delivers richer descriptions of the surroundings; Hover Text, which helps users to easily read input fields, menu items, button labels, and other text on iPad; support for over 20 additional languages in VoiceOver and Spoken Content; and more.
iPadOS 16 is a free software update that is available starting today for iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), and all iPad Pro models. For more information, visit apple.com/ipados/ipados-16. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.