iPadOS 16: News, Release Date, Features, and More

September's update will let you unsend messages, share Safari tabs & much more

iPadOS 16 is the upcoming OS version that will hit Apple's tablet line this fall. A great deal of changes are coming, including a few like full external display support, the ability to edit sent texts, and the option to easily copy items out of a video.

When Will iPadOS 16 Be Released?

Big OS updates to the Apple iPad become available to the public every year in the fall, so continuing that long-confirmed cycle of iPadOS releases in September would make sense this year, too.

Plus, even without a year-after-year update to rely on, Apple announced iPadOS 16 on June 6 at WWDC 2022. So we already know everything about it!

That said, Apple appears to be making a change this time around, and will delay iPadOS 16 until October:

If your device is compatible with iPadOS 16 (see the supported devices list below), 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.

Release Date Estimate

Although iPadOS 15 arrived in September in 2021, we'll go with Gurman: expect iPadOS 16 in October.

iPadOS 16 Features

There's a lot coming with this OS update. Below are just a few notable features.

  • Edit and undo messages: Recently sent texts can be edited or completely unsent, and an email can be unsent within 10 seconds.
  • Mark messages as unread: Even if you've already read the text, you can "undo" the read status to make sure it's brought to your attention again later.
  • Photo sharing: Smart rules for automatically sharing photos with people; share a totally separate library with up to five other people; and collaboration so everyone has the ability to contribute photos, edit them, and delete them.
  • Share browser tabs: Joint Safari work is possible through Tab Groups, where everyone you share a tab set with can view the pages you've added and add others for everyone else to access.
  • Edit strong password suggestions: When Safari suggests a strong password, it might not be suitable for the specific site you're needing it for (not all password requirements are the same). Now, you can change up the suggestion so it works perfectly.
  • Changes to Notes: Locked notes can be encrypted with your passcode, you can insert shapes and arrows, anyone with the link to a note can collaborate with you, and your notes can be auto-organized in a Smart Folder.
  • Locked Hidden/Deleted albums: These albums are now locked by default, accessible only after authenticating with your face, finger, or passcode.
  • Siri improvements: Your tablet's digital assistant can now insert emoji when sending messages, hang up FaceTime calls, and even skip the confirmation step when sending messages.
  • Stage Manager: This new feature for iPad has a lot going for it, including full external display support for the M1 iPad Pro, and the ability to drag and drop files and windows between your tablet and external display. Here's how to use Stage Manager.
  • Live Text: Copy, find, and translate text from paused videos and photos.
  • Reference Mode: This lets the iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display match the color requirements in workflows like review and approve, color grading, and compositing, where accurate colors and consistent image quality are critical.
  • Apple Pay Later: Apple Pay purchases can be split into four equal payments over six weeks.
  • Contacts widget: You'll be able to see unread messages and missed calls right from the home screen.
  • Focus schedules: A Focus can be turned on automatically at a specific time or location of your choosing, or while using a particular app.
  • Virtual memory swap: Your tablet's available memory allotment can be increased by using the hard drive's storage.
iPadOS 16 shared photo library

There's a lot more happening with this upgrade. Additional features include find and replace for Mail, Messages, and more; an updated weather app built for the larger screen; SharePlay support for Game Center games; transit fares built-in to Maps; Memories and Featured Photos can be disabled; more offline capabilities for Siri; whole-house view in the Home app; duplicate contact merging; duplicate photo detection; and dictation with automatic punctuation.

We'll also see quicker parental control setup for new child accounts; Music Recognition songs sync with Shazam; handoff in FaceTime; file extension renaming in the Files app; and a slew of accessibility enhancements like door detection in Magnifier, live captions in FaceTime video calls, and adjustable pause time for Siri.

See Apple's full list of iPadOS 16 features for the comprehensive list.

iPadOS 16 Supported Devices

You'll see the option to upgrade to iPadOS 16 when it becomes available, but only if your device is eligible for the update.

Check your iPad's model number against this list to see if you'll have the option to install it:

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

The Latest News About iPadOS 16

You can get more mobile device news from Lifewire. Here are some of the latest stories and early rumors about iPadOS 16:

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