iPadOS 18 rumors: Siri and AI, rumored features, release date speculation, and more

iPadOS 18 mockup tile
(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

iPadOS 18 is right around the corner and it could be a big update. Apple usually releases iPadOS updates in mid-September, so we don’t have to wait much longer. There are some exciting hints and rumors surrounding Apple’s next iPad update, including a Siri upgrade and some mysterious new AI features. 

We will know more about iPadOS 18 the closer we get to WWDC 2024, so make sure to stay tuned and bookmark this page for all of the latest rumors and details surrounding Apple’s next iPad update. For now, here’s what we know so far, plus a few additional features we’d like to see in the next version of iPadOS.

iPadOS 18: Release date 

wwdc 2024 hero image

Apple could announce iPadOS 18 at WWDC 2024 (Image credit: Apple)

Apple has not announced an official release date for iPadOS 18 yet, but it’s a safe bet that they will unveil the update at WWDC 2024, slated for June 10 through 14, 2024. Historically, Apple tends to release iPadOS updates alongside iOS updates, so iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 will likely have the same release date. 

Apple has consistently released software updates in mid-September, so we will probably get iPadOS 18 sometime in the second or third week of the month. However, there have been exceptions. iPadOS 15 came out in June 2021 and iPadOS 16 came out in late October 2022. So, it’s possible, although unlikely, that Apple could release iPadOS 18 early or push it back outside that September window. It will most likely depend on how major the changes to iPadOS are.

iPadOS 18: Supported devices 

iPad mini 6

Some iPads, like the 2018 iPad Mini 6, might not get iPadOS 18 (Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

We can expect nearly all of the iPads in Apple’s current line-up to be compatible with iPadOS 18, but unfortunately, some older models will likely get left behind. Apple ends software support for all of its devices eventually, but this time many features may simply be too demanding for the hardware on older iPads to handle. Specifically, the AI features might not be compatible with iPads running older chips. 

Current rumors hint that iPadOS 18 might not support iPads with the A10X Fusion chip and, presumably, any chips that preceded it, including the standard A10 Fusion chip. If this rumor pans out, we could see many iPads lose software update support starting with iPadOS 18 including iPad Pros from 2017 and earlier, iPad Airs and Minis from 2018 and earlier, and standard iPads from 2019 and earlier. 

That means so long as you have an iPad Pro from 2018 onward, an iPad Air or Mini from 2019 onward, or an iPad from 2020 onward, you will most likely get the iPadOS 18 update. However, we won’t know for sure until Apple confirms which models are eligible when they officially unveil the update. It will largely depend on the extent of the AI features coming to the iPad since those are the most likely cause of hardware incompatibilities.

iPadOS 18: Features 

Apple Siri and AI mockup tile

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

Most of the rumors surrounding iPadOS 18 are based on iOS 18 leaks, but one thing is clear: AI will be a major theme in Apple’s next round of software updates. It’s no secret that Siri is long overdue for an update. Apple’s AI assistant looks like a clunky chatbot in comparison with the likes of ChatGPT

So, it makes sense that Apple has been gearing up for some big AI updates on its devices. At an earnings call in February 2024, Tim Cook even specifically mentioned AI, noting, “As we look ahead, we will continue to invest in these and other technologies that shape our future. That includes AI, where we continue to spend a tremendous amount of time and effort and we’re excited to share details of our ongoing work in that space later this year.” 

It’s a safe bet that Cook may have been referring to WWDC and new iOS and iPadOS updates. Unfortunately, most of the leaks and rumors about Apple’s AI plans are focused on iOS. Apple is likely to apply AI in similar ways on iPadOS, though, so there are still a few hints we can take from iOS 18 rumors. 

For example, any updates to Siri will probably get rolled out on both platforms. It’s still up in the air how much Apple could overhaul Siri, but at minimum, it will likely get some improvements to natural language processing and hopefully get better at answering questions accurately. 

There are also rumors Apple is planning to integrate AI features in some of its apps, such as Apple Music and iMessage. Since these are apps Apple operates in-house that run on both iOS and iPadOS, there’s also a good chance any new AI features will make it to both iPhone and iPad.

iPadOS 18: What we want to see 

iPad Pro

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Very little has leaked about iPadOS 18 so far, but there are a few additional features that would be nice to see in this update. For example, Apple’s Journal app is currently only available on iOS. It would be great to see them bring it to the iPad, preferably with support for the Apple Pencil and privacy features such as a passcode. 

I’m a big fan of journaling on my iPad since the Apple Pencil allows me to write by hand but the digital platform allows for more creativity and the ability to lock your device. So, it would be nice to see Apple bring its official journaling app to the iPad. 

I would also love to see Apple release some AI features and apps specifically for the iPad. There are all kinds of things you can do well on an iPad that don’t really work on an iPhone, such as digital art and video editing. Apple could enhance those experiences on the iPad with AI features designed specifically for creative tasks, such as generative AI tools or, even better, AI editing tools in apps like Final Cut Pro. 

Despite being one of the most popular video editing apps in the Apple ecosystem, the iPad version of Final Cut Pro is still missing a lot of the capabilities you get on the macOS version. Of course, that is due in part to hardware differences, but Apple could potentially resolve this issue with the help of AI. 

While all of these features would be great additions to iPadOS 18, Apple has confirmed very little about this update. It’s also kept things pretty airtight in terms of leaks and rumors. So, we will have to wait until we get closer to WWDC 2024 to learn more about what exactly Apple is planning to unveil in iPadOS 18. There is one more thing we know right now, though – iPadOS 17 will be the end of the road for many iPads. 

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