The most important new feature, Stage Manager and windows for apps, is missing on non-M1 tablets. After all, Apple is not so stingy in all areas.
Is it worth upgrading to iPadOS 16 if you don’t have a device with an M1 chip? Apple had announced that it would reserve what is probably the most important new function, window management using “Stage Manager”, only for iPad Pro models with M1 and the iPad Air 5 with M1. However, a look at the update shows that there are also some useful innovations for the other devices – such as the popular iPad mini 6 or the standard iPad.
No window management without M1
Apple had emphasized in several interviews that Stage Manager absolutely needs the M1 hardware. Only these combine “the high DRAM capacity with NAND modules of very high capacity and high performance, which makes our virtual memory swapping [VMS] super fast,” says software boss Craig Federighi. In practice, this means that you can switch between eight apps, which are then “immediately responsive” and have “a lot of memory” available. “We simply don’t have these options on other systems.” Confusingly, however, VMS does not run on all M1 devices covered by Stage Manager. In addition, Apple is said to have an internal switch with which non-M1 iPads can also activate Stage Manager.
However, it cannot be assumed that the company – as with the Home Hub – will reconsider its position and say enables simple window management without quick changes. Accordingly, users of iPads without M1 can only look forward to the other iPadOS 16 functions.
Weather, lock screen, live text, shared photos
In terms of apps, Apple has the iPad with iPadOS 16 finally got its own weather app. This is quite functional, uses the large display area, reports storms and air quality and offers chic animated backgrounds. In Photos, iPad supports the new iCloud shared photo library for families, which also comes with “smart sharing” suggestions. It is also allowed to create family albums together. The news app gets the deletion and editing functionality familiar from the iPhone and Mac and can mark threads and messages as unread. Recently deleted messages can be recovered for 30 days.
Mail comes with a new, smarter search with typo correction, can undo sending (but only for 10 seconds), and offers a resubmission. Safari can split tab groups, pin tabs into tab groups, and sync Safari extensions. Live Text now also captures text content in videos so that you can copy out this content. The Home app has been completely redesigned and will soon be able to Matter. Adjustments to the toolbar structure are now also possible on the iPad, as known from the Mac – iPadOS 16 also supports improved context menus.