Apple’s global fanbase was brimming with anticipation and excitement on September 12 as they awaited the tech giant’s latest announcement. This highly-anticipated event revealed a treasure trove of thrilling updates, including iPadOS 17, Apple’s newest mobile operating system. iPadOS 17 piqued the interest of gadget fans with the promise of updated visuals, better cameras, and other useful additions.
First glimpse of what’s in store for iPad owners was revealed as the virtual curtain came down at Apple’s event. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to iPadOS 17, from when it’s supposed to come out to the interesting changes to the design and camera. Come with us as we explore the new iPadOS 17 and all it has to offer in the world of tablet computing, including its features, compatibility, and intriguing potential.
iPadOS 17 Release Date: What to Expect?
On September 18th, iPadOS 17 will be released to the public, giving iPhone users access to cool new features like Live Voicemail, StandBy mode, and the Journal app. Apple made the announcement during Tuesday’s iPhone 15 launch event, having previously unveiled the operating system on June 5 at WWDC.
iPadOS 17 Beta: For tech enthusiasts and early adopters, the iPadOS 17 Beta became available to the public on June 5, with subsequent updates for developers and the general public. To join the beta testing, ensure you’re running iPadOS 16.4 or later and have a compatible iPad.
iPadOS 17 Features: What’s in Store?
iPadOS 17 inherits many features from iOS 17, creating a seamless user experience across Apple’s devices. Here’s a glimpse of some standout features:
1. NameDrop: AirDrop Your Contact Card
Sharing contact information just got easier with NameDrop. By bringing your devices close together, you can swiftly exchange contact details without the fuss.
2. Expanded AirDrop Functionality
AirDrop, known for its short-range transfers, now offers the capability to continue transfers over iCloud. This feature ensures that transfers remain uninterrupted, as long as both parties are signed into their iCloud accounts.
3. FaceTime Enhancements
FaceTime receives a boost with the addition of audio and video messages, reactions, and various improvements. Now, you can leave video or audio messages if someone misses your FaceTime call, and there are exciting new reaction options to explore. iPadOS 17’s FaceTime improvements provide great audio for devices like the AirPods Pro 3.
4. StandBy Mode
With StandBy mode, you can transform your iPad into a clock when it’s charging with Qi or MagSafe. This mode provides at-a-glance information, including smart widgets and the current time.
5. Enhanced Autocorrect and Dictation
Apple harnesses the power of AI to improve autocorrect suggestions and enhance dictation accuracy. Your typing and voice input experience will be smoother and more accurate than ever before.
6. “Siri” Instead of “Hey Siri”
Bid farewell to repetitive “Hey Siri” commands. Now, you can simply say “Siri” to activate Apple’s virtual assistant, making interactions more seamless.
7. Introducing the Journal App
The all-new Journal app is designed to capture your daily thoughts and experiences, akin to traditional journals. It’s a digital space to reflect on your day and life.
8. Other Notable Features
- Quicker password sharing
- Warnings for sensitive messages
- And much more!
iPad-specific features that set iPadOS 17 apart:
1. Redesigned Home Screen Widgets
Apple has revamped widgets across its operating systems, including iPadOS 17. These widgets now offer more interactive elements, allowing you to perform actions directly from the widget, such as turning lights on or off, marking reminders as complete, or playing music. This change brings iPadOS widgets closer to what Android users have long enjoyed.
2. A Fresh Look for the Lock Screen
While iPadOS 16 missed out on the iPhone’s lock screen improvements, iPadOS 17 bridges the gap. The lock screen now offers extensive customization options, enabling you to personalize colors, fonts, and dynamic photo backgrounds. You can even add a column of widgets to your lock screen and monitor Live Activities like timers, flights, and food orders.
3. External Camera Support
For the first time, iPadOS 17 introduces external camera support, primarily targeting FaceTime users. You can connect external webcams or displays with built-in cameras, expanding your video conferencing and content creation possibilities. The first external camera capability in iPadOS 17 will be useful for video conferencing with devices like the Lenovo Legion Go.
4. Stage Manager Evolves
While Stage Manager received mixed reviews in previous iPadOS iterations, it continues to evolve in iPadOS 17. Users will now enjoy more flexibility, with the ability to freely resize windows, move them around, and arrange them for maximum convenience.
5. Health App for iPad
Previously exclusive to iPhones, the Health app now extends its reach to iPads. The iPad-optimized version takes advantage of the larger display, offering a new Favorites view and additional glanceable insights. Virtually all the functions found in the iPhone’s Health app will now be accessible on your iPad.
6. Introduction of the Journal App
In addition to the Health app, iPadOS 17 debuts the Journal app, providing users with a digital space to record their thoughts, much like traditional diaries. It’s a delightful addition for those who enjoy journaling.
7. App Updates
Existing apps like PDFs and Notes receive enhancements, including an improved auto-fill function that leverages machine learning to streamline data entry. Collaborative PDF editing is also introduced, along with new drawing tools in the Freeform app.
iPadOS 17 Compatibility: Is Your Device Supported?
Apple’s commitment to supporting a wide range of devices continues with iPadOS 17. Not only will it come pre-installed on upcoming devices like the iPad Pro 7th gen and iPad Mini 7th gen, but it will also be compatible with several older iPad models, stretching back to the 6th-gen iPad. Here’s the compatibility breakdown:
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation and later)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch
- iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
- iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
- iPad (6th generation and later)
- iPad mini (5th generation and later)
However, it’s important to note that some features, like Stage Manager, may be limited to newer hardware, and certain functionalities might require an Apple M-series processor. On Apple’s website, you can find a complete list of supported devices.
As the release of iPadOS 17 draws near, Apple enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to. The operating system promises a seamless user experience, with exciting features borrowed from iOS 17 and unique enhancements tailored for iPad users. Whether you’re eager to experiment with interactive widgets, personalize your lock screen, or explore the possibilities of external camera support, iPadOS 17 is set to offer a delightful and versatile tablet experience.
Regarding versatile experiences, the upcoming Nintendo Switch 2 may also be of interest to you. Read our in-depth article to learn when it will be available and what features to anticipate. Stay tuned for the official release of iPadOS 17, expected to coincide with the iPhone 15 launch, and prepare to unlock a world of possibilities on your iPad.