Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is underway, and that means we’re getting a preview of the operating system updates that will run on Apple’s hardware later this year. Leading up to the event, there had been news and speculation around iPadOS bringing a completely new multitasking experience to Apple’s tablet. And boy did Apple deliver.
For starters, Apple has finally added a weather app to the iPad. Something that everyone who owns an iPad has scratched their heads, wondering why it’s not available. In addition to the weather app, iPadOS 16 will also gain all of the new features that Apple announced for the iPhone in iOS 16, such as new iMessage features,
A new Collaboration feature lets you share a document and instantly begin working on the document together with whoever is in the group. For example, if you’re talking in iMessage with a group of coworkers, you can send a Pages or Keynote document to the group and begin making changes to the document, as a group, in real-time. The same approach to group collaboration will also work during a FaceTime video call, including sharing tabs in Safari.
Freeform is a new app coming later this year. Apple previewed the app that looks more like a shared virtual whiteboard that allows users to draw, sketch or write down ideas and notes as a group during a FaceTime call. You can embed photos, videos, audio, links or — basically — any type of media straight into the app. Freeform will also make its way to the iPhone and Mac later this year.
GameCenter is also getting a series of updates that make Apple’s gaming platform much more social, showing you what your friends are playing, and their scores and making it easy to start playing a game with your friends.
But perhaps the biggest announcement regarding iPadOS 16 is that Apple is focusing on bringing desktop-class apps to the iPad by improving various aspects of the overall experience. For example, you can now customize the toolbar in apps, or there’s a system-wide undo/redo feature.
Stage Manager is a feature that’s making its debut on the iPad and Mac with this year’s software updates, but it’s a feature that looks like it’ll completely change the way power users use the tablet. You can resize windows and even have overlapping windows — a first for the iPad — while keeping small thumbnails of open apps on the left side of the screen.
There’s undoubtedly plenty more to dig up in iPadOS 16 — which I’ll begin doing the moment the developer updates are available.