Apple this morning is rolling out the iPadOS 16.1 beta to registered developer devices. It’s a break from the standard release cadence that has tied the tablet operating system to its smartphone counterpart, iOS, since its initial release in 2019.
In a comment to TechCrunch, the company noted, “This is a particularly important year for iPadOS. As our own platform with features designed specifically for iPad, we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on our own schedule. This fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS, as version 16.1 in a free software update. “
In other words, Apple will skip the fall iPadOS 16.0 release and go straight to 16.1. This means that the first version of iPadOS 16 will be shipped to non-beta users once the first iOS version arrives. It looks like two 16.1 releases will arrive – or roughly – around the same time, though Apple hasn’t confirmed the speculation. The move is unique, but not unprecedented, for Apple software releases.
It can also represent further differences between operating systems, most of which are homogenous, save for workflow and other features customized for larger screens. These two operating systems are built on the same platform, but it seems likely that the company will do more to differentiate the two operating systems, in the future, as it continues to see the iPad as a tool for other companies. serious work.
As Apple notes in its comment, this at least means that – like macOS – the iPadOS release is not directly tied to the iOS release schedule. The company may update the tablet’s operating system as it deems appropriate.
iPadOS 16 debuted earlier this summer at the company’s annual WWDC event. At the heart of the new software is Stage Manager, which, like its macOS counterpart, offers easier multitasking and switching between apps. The update comes amid user criticism surrounding the tablet’s rollout of the new feature.
Fittingly, upgrading to Stage Manager is the headline update here. I’ve come to really appreciate Stage Manager on desktop, but using it on a tablet presents its own unique set of parameters, including smaller screen sizes and interactivity default touch screen. The big update this time around is the ability to restore Stage Manager’s side rails with a gesture while the feature is in fullscreen mode. Updates other than 16.1 are the standard series of beta bug updates.
Late last month, Apple responded to user feedback about iOS 16 by bringing edit history to iMessage. The iPhone OS is set to arrive in the fall, possibly around the company’s rumored September 14 iPhone event.