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

The update lets you unsend messages, share Safari tabs & much more

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The iPadOS 16 update hit Apple's iPad line in late Oct 2022. Many changes arrived, 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.

iPadOS 16 Release Date

Apple released iPadOS 16 on Monday, October 24, 2022.

If your device is compatible with this upgrade (see the supported devices list below), you're prompted to install it directly on your device, or you can check for iPadOS updates manually via Settings > General > Software Update.

While there was an iOS 16 release for the iPhone, the first release of iPadOS 16 was actually 16.1. Clearly Apple had anticipated releasing them at the same time, but pushed iPadOS in order to fix up some pesky bugs.

iPadOS 16 Price

iPadOS updates, assuming your iPad is supported are free. Now, not all iPads are compatible (see below), but for the ones that can install it, there's no need to pay anything.

iPadOS 16 Features

There's a lot in this update. Below are just a few notable features.

  • Edit and undo messages: Recently sent texts can be edited (within 15 minutes) or completely unsent (within two minutes), 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 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.
  • 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. This is for iPad Air 5 with 256 GB of storage or M1 iPad Pro.
iPadOS 16 shared photo library

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.

There's also: 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 (for 2020 iPad Pro and newer), live captions in FaceTime video calls, and adjustable pause time for Siri.

Some features are available only for M1 iPads, including Stage Manager, as mentioned above, which lets you resize windows, focus better on one app, overlap windows, group apps together, and more. Also exclusive to the M1 iPad Pro is full external display support with resolutions up to 6K, which provides access to apps on the external display and drag-and-drop functionality between the two displays.

Additionally, the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro gets a few of its own features: Reference Mode and Reference Mode with Sidecar. 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.

See Apple's New Features Available With iPadOS 16 page for the comprehensive list.

iPadOS 16 Supported Devices

You'll see the option to upgrade to iPadOS 16 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 about iPadOS 16:

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