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iPadOS 16 delayed? October launch rumored for the update

A report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests that Apple will make changes to its release schedule this Fall, staggering the software updates for iPhone and iPad instead of launching them simultaneously.

Apple tends to run on a very predictable schedule for its big releases: new iPhones are revealed every September, with the latest versions of iOS and iPadOS made available to the public shortly afterward. Even in years when certain hardware was delayed (like iPhone X not launching until November 2017), the software is always ready on time.

This year could be different, though, if Gurman’s link to anonymous “people with knowledge of the matter” is correct. Apple has made big multi-tasking changes to iPadOS this year, with feedback from its beta testing program suggesting the software might need more work before it’s ready for the big time.

That would mean an iOS 16 release in September as usual, alongside the iPhone 14 series, with iPadOS 16 shunted back a month or so and released separately. It could even coincide with an October or November announcement of new iPads.

Stage Manager in iPadOS 16

Some of the criticism leveled at iPadOS 16 is that its best new features – including Stage Manager – are limited to iPads with the M1 chip, meaning millions of iPad users will miss out. Our somewhat optimistic hope is that Apple uses this extra time to rebuild the multi-tasking features to work with a wider range of iPads.

It would be a shame for iPadOS to be delayed, but it would be a bigger shame for users to miss out on its best capabilities.