Apple’s iPadOS 16 brings full external display support, overlapping the windows of M1 iPads

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At WWDC 2022, Apple unveiled iPadOS 16 with advanced multitasking for iPad M1s, full external display support, and new collaboration tools.

Apple uses WWDC to announce its latest operating system updates for its flagship products, like iPadOS for iPad. Many new features from iOS 16 have been included in iPadOS 16, along with significant changes specific to Apple’s tablet lineup.

When multitasking features like Split View were first introduced in 2019, they were hidden away and somewhat difficult to learn. Apple hadn’t done much to change how multitasking worked on iPad until iPadOS 15, but even those moves were just shortcomings.

Now Apple has rebuilt iPad multitasking for high-end users around a new windowing system that also brings full external display support.

Manager

Stage Manager introduces overlapping windows and advanced multitasking on iPads with M1 processor. The macOS Ventura feature will also debut with iPadOS 16, which displays recent apps in a drop-down side panel for quick task switching.

Multiple overlapping windows are coming to iPads running the M1

Connect iPad to an external display and run up to eight apps at the same time, four on iPad and four on the external display. This multitasking system reinvents the capabilities of the iPad with all-new app interactions.

Collaboration and free form

Another major addition to iPadOS is in-app collaboration using technologies like SharePlay and FaceTime. Users can open documents in apps like Pages and interact with them live with others live from a Group FaceTime call.

Users will also be able to share groups of tabs in Safari and see who is currently viewing each tab. In a group of shared tabs, each user can add tabs and interact with them separately.

Freeform is a new app coming to iPad later in 2022

Freeform is a new app coming to iPad later in 2022

A new app called Freeform provides a flexible canvas to brainstorm on together. Work together in one space, as if you were writing on a whiteboard. It will launch on iPad later in 2022.

A new reference mode for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display will meet the color demands of professional workflows. So if a user color grades and composes a video with the iPad Pro as a secondary monitor for the Mac, it will be just as accurate as the Mac’s display.

M1 powered iPads get another feature called Display Zoom. It allows users to increase the pixel density of their display so they can see more in their apps. Virtual Memory Swap also allows iPad apps to access up to 16 gigabytes of memory.

Additional features coming from iOS 16

The Weather app comes to iPad with a widescreen design. Developers also have access to an API called WeatherKit.

iPadOS 16 shares many features of iOS 16

iPadOS 16 shares many features of iOS 16

Focus modes are enhanced across the OS with third-party APIs to choose what content to display in an app. For example, display only certain email accounts in the Mail app based on the active Focus.

The Messages app has been updated to allow editing an iMessage after it’s been sent, or removing it from a chat entirely. Additionally, SharePlay is integrated with Messages so users can watch content together and discuss it in text form.

Continuity upgrades include a new FaceTime feature that allows users to make a FaceTime call between devices.

Apple has included updates to several of its proprietary apps with new developer APIs. One of the biggest updates is to Apple Maps with APIs to add detailed maps and Look Around to third-party apps.

Compatibility

Apple dropped compatibility for iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2. Otherwise, all other iPad models compatible with iPadOS 15 work with iPadOS 16.

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (4th generation)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation)
  • iPad Air 4
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st and 2nd generation)
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air 3
  • iPad (9th generation)
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 6
  • iPad mini 5

Some features are limited depending on the processor installed.

  • Stage Manager: Available on iPad Air (5th Generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th Generation), and 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd Generation)
  • Reference Mode: Available on 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display and Mac computers with Apple Silicon.
  • Display Scaling Mode: Available on iPad Air (5th Generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th Generation), and 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd Generation)


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