iPadOS is still inextricably tied to iOS for better or worse, but with the best tablets comes great leftovers, you know what I’m saying? Now we know what's going on with iPadOS, but is it enough? Did iPadOS 17 draw closer to its iOS sibling, or did we get some more differentiation for the tablet OS? Listen, I just recently spent a week using the iPad Pro as a laptop and there are some things Apple needed to improve upon.
Here’s everything we know so far about iPadOS 17, from the release date to the features and supported devices.
iPadOS 17 release date
iPadOS 17 is slated to launch in fall 2023.
iPadOS 17 supported devices
Sorry, folks — if your iPad is old enough to drive, it’s probably not making the cut for iPadOS 17.
iPadOS 17 is set to launch for iPad (6th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation and later), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation and later).
If your product is outside of that range, it's more than likely not making the iPadOS 17 cut.
iPadOS 17 features
iPadOS 17 features updates to the widgets and the lock screen. You can now see animated widgets, which'll let you interact with different apps. If you tap and hold the lock screen, you'll get access to a number of wallpapers, both still and animated. You can even customize the font, add widgets, and perform quick actions without going into the iPad. There are also live activities, which can keep track of food orders, timers, flight plans, etc.
Now iPadOS has the Health app, which can be shared between your iPhone and iPad. For developers, there's HealthKit, which'll let devs work with third party apps via information used in the Health app. The iPad gets an update to its PDF and Notes function, making it easier to scan, review, and sign important documents. You'll also be able to see live collaboration.
There's an improvement to Stage Manager, which will give you more options for configuration. There's a new feature called Follow Along, which will literally let you keep track of people collaborating on different documents in iPadOS.
Safari is also getting an update. With Profiles, users can keep their browsing separate between topics like work and personal.
As per usual, iPadOS is getting some leftovers from iOS, like updated Messages, captioned voice mails, and predictive text. Maps now allows users to download maps and use them while offline. Siri can now be activated by simply saying “Siri.”
iPadOS 17 had the opportunity to shine on the latest iPads, but it needed to step out of the shadow of iOS. Do you think that Apple accomplished that?
If Apple wants consumers to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for overpriced tablets, then the company needs to stop having its tablets play catch up with its equally overpriced phones.
iPadOS 17 seems like a tame update, but we'll see how it feels when it's in our hands.
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Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.