APC Australia

IPadOS 16: what’s new

A quick rundown of the recent additions, including Stage Manager.


All the iPads now run iPadOS 16, with the biggest change being the introducti­on of Stage Manager. It’s an optional feature that has to be activated from the Settings | Home Screen & Multitaski­ng menu, so why should you be tempted?

On the iPad mini you may not be, as it works best with a big screen. The idea is to bring something closer to the windowed multitaski­ng of macOS to iPadOS, where apps aren’t as locked in position and size as they are in the Split View and Slide Over options. Apps can live in windows that overlap and be resized – though only to certain sizes, based on an invisible snapping grid.

It’s an interestin­g idea, but it’s not yet perfect. Sometimes it crashes or causes unexpected effects in apps, and it’s fiddly: you might open an app and find that it appears in a small window on a screen with nothing else on – resizing it to fill the screen just feels like an unnecessar­y extra step. There’s a shortcut to do this with two taps, but if you don’t know to look for the dots at the top of a window, you’d have to drag using the control on the bottom corner, which is slow.

Outside of that, iPadOS 16 adds some great smaller features. The ability to send scheduled messages in the Mail app is massively welcome, as is the Weather app (and accompanyi­ng weather widgets selection). The ability to edit and unsend iMessages can also be really useful if you use the platform profession­ally, as well as personally.

Beyond all these, iPadOS continues to be an interestin­g mix

of excellence in many ways, and frustratio­n in others. Its app support is far beyond the competitio­n, in terms of delivering apps that are both powerful as well as being usable with touch, and designed specifical­ly for the space that the tablet screen gives you.

And iPadOS is still as slick and reliable as ever, aside from Stage Manager’s foibles. The integratio­n with Apple’s services and its other devices is excellent, thanks to old familiars such as Handoff (to move a task you’re in the middle of between your iPhone, iPad or Mac) and Sidecar (which enables your iPad to be a second display for your Mac, with touch controls).

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Stage Manager brings improved multitaski­ng to iOS 16.
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