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iPadOS 16 Preview – see what’s in store for iPad in 2022

Apple’s hybrid WWDC 2022 event may be offering in-person sessions and good old-fashioned hands-on time with its new MacBook hardware, but its keynote address remained a slick pre-recorded production. For those watching remotely (which is most people), that’s a good thing, thanks to Apple’s fine-tuned pacing and expert staging.

Case in point: Apple’s oh-so-brief but still informative rundown of the changes coming to iPadOS 16. There was a lot of overlap with iOS 16, but there were a couple of interesting morsels in there. Here are the new features coming exclusively to iPad this year.

Weather at last

Apple kicked off this section with the news that every iPad owner has been waiting to hear for years. Finally, Apple is bringing its Weather app to iPad, complete with new animations to take advantage of those big beautiful screens. WeatherKit, meanwhile, will let developers build Weather info into third-party apps.

Enhanced collaboration

Apple is really pushing the iPad as a work tool, and iPadOS 16 adds the ability to kick off collaboration efforts through the share sheet across Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, Safari, and supported third-party apps. The ability to collaborate through iMessage threads in particular looks to be a seamless experience.

New Freeform app

Apple offered a sneak peek of a brand new app called Freeform. It’s essentially a collaborative real-time brainstorming board, complete with Apple Pencil support and integration with FaceTime and Messages.

Pro-level M1 enhancements

Display Zoom makes use of the M1 chip to increase the pixel density of your iPad’s display, while Virtual Memory Swap utilizes the iPad’s storage to power up memory-intensive apps. Elsewhere, Apple is bringing Stage Manager over from macOS to iPadOS. This translates to a new multitasking-friendly interface for seamless app switching, full external display support, and fully resizable windows.

Reference Mode

Reference Mode is an extremely niche new feature that applies specifically to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display, enabling it to match the color requirements of pro-level visual tasks. Photo and video editors rejoice!