Finally available, iPadOS 16 includes a number of utilities that increase the functionality of your iPad. With it, Apple offers strong features that raise tablets to levels of adaptability and usability that are almost comparable to laptops. At least until M1-exclusive features debut later this year, new iOS-related features are great additions to the ecosystem and iPads dating back to 2018 enjoy very uniform enhancements. Although the productivity-focused Stage Manager function may use some polishing, you should still be able to appreciate the rest of this outstanding OS.

Naturally, there is considerable overlap between iPadOS 16 and iOS 16, which is to be expected considering how close the two operating systems are. (Credit: PCMag) For instance, the addition of new edit, undo, and mark-as-read tools enhances the functionality of iMessage on both iPads and iPhones. If you send a message to someone else using iPadOS 16 or iOS 16, you can alter or cancel the message by long-pressing the sent message (within a two-minute window). Apple does a great thing by allowing you to view the message’s edit history.

Our reviews are reliable. Messages can also be marked as unread by moving your mouse over them or by left-clicking. This keeps the message’s unread status indicator—a blue dot—in tact. It should be noted that the sender can still see that you received and read the message because this feature only functions on your end. Additionally, these functionalities are only functional while communicating with other iMessage users. (For additional information, see How to Edit and Unsend Texts on an iPhone: Erase Embarrassing Typos.)

With the new shared photo library feature in iPadOS 16, anyone with the necessary access rights can see and download photos. You can instantly add any image to this well by selecting the new Shared Library icon (a two-person silhouette) that can be found in the top-right corner of the Photos app. This icon is also present in the Camera app, ensuring that any pictures you shoot are automatically added to Shared Library. This is a fantastic tool for documenting memorable occasions that you want other people to remember, such birthday or graduation parties. Through the Photos option in Settings, you can modify and modify who has access to this collection.

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IPADOS 16 GETS LIVETEXT AND VISUAL LOOK UP The improvements to Live Text in iOS 16 also make their way to iPadOS. With this function, you may highlight text in a picture and copy, paste, translate, or quickly search the internet for it. Also included in this functionality is video. When you pause a video, the words you hover over in a frame are correctly recognized by Live Text. The accuracy of this tool has its limitations, though; Live Text struggles to distinguish words in a fuzzy or moving video.

This remarkable AI has been enhanced to recognize an image or video’s subject rather than just the text. This function, called Visual Look Up, allows you to long-press the topic to highlight it as a distinct PNG, apart from the background. The highlighted subject can be copied and pasted into iMessage, Mail, or Notes, among other programs. I like having this feature built into the operating system because I routinely use photo editing applications for such uses. Since the launch of the iPadOS 16 beta in July, my family has continued to receive stickers featuring my cat.

WORK-RELATED FEATURES OF IPADOS 16 The much-lauded Focus system redesign is included in iPadOS 16. Focus may be tailored to your work or objective, allowing you to control how apps operate while Focus is engaged. For instance, you can disable email notifications while your Personal Focus is active to ensure that you never receive an email after business hours again. Focus helps block out the noise, but it takes self-control to be able to disengage from the dreaded sense of obligation that comes with disregarding work-related contacts.

If you use your iPad for business, you’ll be happy to know that iPadOS 16 brings some nice improvements to collaboration. You might transmit copies of files to others in order to share them with them with iPadOS 15. Any modifications made to these files, however, would only be retained on each user’s personal device. This discomfort is removed by collaborative permissions in iPadOS 16. Anyone with access to the project can use this to edit, add, or remove things from the file. This functionality might seem familiar if you’ve used Google Docs in Android 13 before.

Finally, Apple provided iPad owners with the Weather app to address a glaring iPadOS deficiency. It’s incredible that iPads didn’t already have this feature, but it’s a great addition anyway.

STAGE MANAGER AND HARDWARE SUPPORT Stage Manager is a multitasking app that transforms how you use your iPad (Credit: PCMag). Due of its Mac-like windowing and window customisation capabilities, it is a significantly more comprehensive and user-friendly feature than the iPad’s basic Slide Over capability. Thankfully, Apple changed its mind about restricting Stage Manager to iPads with the M1 chip. The iPad Air (5th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later), and iPad Pro 11-inch all include expanded Stage Manager capability (1st generation and later).

You must activate Stage Manager from the Control Panel because it isn’t turned on by default. When your iPad is in use, the display shows a tiled strip of your installed apps on the left side of the screen, with your primary app located in the center. You can now have up to four open programs in this workspace thanks to the new window-resizing options; any more, and the least-used app is moved into its own workspace. These more compact workspace tiles, though, can be used to balance out several apps, not just one. You can have four workplaces with four apps grouped in each tile, and up to four on your main display, with some clever screen management. That is a significant improvement over Android 13’s two-app, split-screen mode, giving you access to 20 programs at any given moment. Stage Manager delivers the iPad MacBook-like capability and is a great tool for organizing commonly used apps.

The support for external monitors is the second significant change. This enables you to add more apps to a Stage Manager workspace and use a monitor as a second iPad screen. Unfortunately, only iPads with Apple’s M1 Chip may use the feature (including the 5th Gen iPad Air; the 11-inch, 3rd Gen iPad Pro; and the 12.9-inch, 5th Gen iPad Pro). Note: In order to smooth out some kinks, Apple deleted this functionality from iPadOS 16 (it was in the beta). Support for external monitors is expected to arrive later this year.

Your iPad now has laptop-like capability thanks to practical keyboard and right-click enhancements. Before, long-pressing or tapping opened the same menu as a right-click (a basic cut, copy, or paste tab). Depending on the program you’re running, right-clicking a blank screen area in iPadOS 16 allows you to create a new folder or access app-specific features. In some instances, the additional input doesn’t change the function, but the menu’s presentation does. For instance, Notepad now has the options for Replace, Format, Look Up, Translate, and Share. Even new keyboard shortcuts have been introduced, such as Globe F for fullscreen/zoom and CMD M for minimize.

Nagging Stage Manager problems are still present in iPadOS 16, especially with reference to the additional display features that Stage Manager added. In our tests, we saw the following:

When using this feature for an extended period of time, the system may crash, returning you to the lock screen.

When resizing windows, Stage Manager has the unpleasant propensity to obscure the tile strip on the left side of the screen. Alternately, as you reposition an active window on your screen, it moves to a tile strip.

Instead than enhancing the workspace you’re using right now, Stage Manager enjoys designing new ones. Stage Manager forces you to switch between, drag, and add programs from the tile strip whenever you open an app from the dock or Spotlight since it does so in a new Workspace that is distinct from the one you were working in.

You can only zoom to a few predefined sizes in Windows, which are also not genuinely resizable. Windows can only be moved to certain locations on an invisible grid, and the same rule applies to their placement.

Since the iPad is picky about where you need to touch for the system to acknowledge the input, moving windows is annoying (you must hold the very top of a window).

Stage Manager offers much greater freedom when using apps, but it also has some drawbacks. With improvements to iPadOS 16, we anticipate seeing an increase in its usability.

Exciting New Developments iPadOS 16 includes a number of little adjustments and enhancements that together make for a significantly more user-friendly experience. (Credit: PCMag) For instance, the additional keyboard and trackpad features alone give the iPad a genuine laptop feel. There will be more as well. Developers may now write specialized drivers for the macOS and iPadOS platforms using Apple’s new DriverKit. For instance, by increasing the number of supported tablet attachments, these drivers may improve Thunderbolt (and letting developers improve functionality for existing ones).

The display scaling on your iPad is now easier to modify. Previously, you could only switch between displays that were zoomed in and out. The More Space option in iPadOS 16 makes the UI, icons, and font elements smaller so that the screen appears more open and desktop-like. When using Stage Manager, this is quite helpful.

For iPads powered by the M1, Virtual Memory Swap is now a feature. In essence, the iPad uses empty storage space for RAM functions when your device runs out of RAM capacity for apps and other projects. Because RAM and storage are both included on the M1 chip, memory types may communicate effectively and fast. But this new technology has its limitations. One is that it is only available on M1 iPads. Additionally, you cannot utilize this feature with iPads with 64GB of storage because it requires 128GB.

YOU SHOULD DOWNLOAD IPADOS 16 iPadOS 16 incorporates all of the wonderful features that make iOS 16 a fantastic mobile operating system, in addition to iPad-specific improvements that are either very successful or have a lot of potential. Stage Manager lacks Apple’s customarily highly polished experience, giving the impression that it was prematurely launched by the business. However, an upgrade planned for later this year could make improvements. In either case, iPadOS 16 is worthwhile to acquire because it delivers some MacBook-like features and further integrates Apple’s stellar mobile platforms.

Examine our evaluation of macOS Ventura for additional information on Apple software.
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