iPadOS 15: Release Date, Features, and Supported Devices

Everything to know about the newest iPad operating system

iPadOS 15 mockup

iPadOS 15 is the latest version of the iPad operating system. It arrived in the fall of 2021, alongside iOS 15, and the two operating systems are, again, sharing many features. Some iPad-specific introductions include Quick Note, Swift Playgrounds, Universal Control, and changes to multitasking.

When Did iPadOS 15 Come Out?

Apple doesn’t miss a beat rolling out new versions of its operating system; just look at the release date of the previous versions of iPadOS.

Apple revealed iPadOS 15 at the WWDC 2021 on June 7. It officially became available to the public on September 20, 2021, as a free software update for iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models.

iPadOS 15 Price

iPad updates are free. If your device is compatible with iPadOS 15, you're prompted to install it directly on your device.

Learn how to check your iPadOS version if you’re not sure how to install updates.

iPadOS 15 Features

Every Apple OS update introduces changes. There are usually new features, sometimes new apps, and always lots of minor tweaks. Features from iOS 15 arrived in iPadOS 15, too, but beyond those changes—which include SharePlay, notification summaries, and Shared with You—are several others:

  • Multitasking: A new multitasking menu provides buttons to go full screen or enable Slide Over or Split View. A center window can be made by holding down on a note or message. A new shelf showing all your open windows is available at the bottom of the screen for easy access to switch to one or close the windows. If you have a keyboard attached, the Command key reviews keyboard shortcuts that speed up multitasking.
  • Widgets: More flexible widgets were one of the earliest rumors about iPadOS 15. You can place widgets on the Home Screen right next to your other apps. Most come in a new larger size.
  • Notes: Quick Note is a new iPadOS feature that lets you easily jot down notes over any app or screen. It can be triggered from Control Center, a keyboard shortcut, or via a swipe motion with your finger or Apple Pencil. Notes provide context to easily return to wherever you were when they were created, and they're available on your other devices, too, with support for tags for simple searching later.
  • Live Text: Translate text on the fly and grab text from photos to instantly copy things like phone numbers or directions.
  • Universal Control: Use one keyboard and mouse/trackpad to control your and Mac and iPad. The mouse can move freely between the devices, and the keyboard is ready to go wherever your mouse is focused.
  • Interactive Memories: A new, immersive interface in Memories where you can personalize your story with a song from Apple Music.
  • Swift Playgrounds: Learn, code, and submit apps to the App Store right from your iPad.

Before Apple revealed what iPadOS 15 would include, we had hopes that there'd be some other additions like user profiles and advanced file management. Maybe they'll arrive in v16.

iPadOS 15 Supported Devices

You can get iPadOS 15 on these devices:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

The Latest News About iPadOS 15

You can get more mobile device news from Lifewire. Here are some of the latest stories and early rumors surrounding iPadOS 15:

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