Apple has confirmed that iPadOS 16.0 will not get a public release and that the tablet-centric OS won’t appear until after iOS starts hitting phones. In a statement to TechCrunchAttributed only to “the company,” it said, “we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on its own schedule. This fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS as version 16.1 in a free software update.”
Despite Apple traditionally releasing iPadOS and iOS together, it has always felt like this decoupling was a possibility ever since Apple split the iPad OS as a separate entity in 2019 (And indeed, the first version of iPadOS released as 13.1, less than a week after the messy initial rollout of iOS 13.) Still, it’s a pretty big change of pace for Apple — while the company has made a habit of postponing individual features of its mobile operating systems, it’s quite another thing to do. operating system itself push back, skip the first version.
This news, confirming a message that Bloombergs Mark Gurman released earlier this month comes along with the first beta of iPadOS 16.1. Currently, Apple’s developer site does not appear to have any release notes for the 16.1 beta. The company is also releasing a new iOS 16 build for iPhone developers, but it’s for 16.0, not 16.1.
Apple did not immediately respond The edge‘s request for comment on why iPadOS will be released later, skipping the first version. However, many people in the beta for the upcoming OS have noted that the flagship feature, the Stage Manager multitasking system, feels very undercooked. When my colleague David Pierce previewed the operating system, he said he hated Stage Manager and prominent iPad user Federico Viticci recently tweeted a plea to Apple to delay the feature, reporting that he was experiencing crashes “every few minutes” and “UI glitches everywhere” while using it. He also said he sees some parts of the feature’s design as “fundamentally misplaced.”
The fact that going back to the classic Split View and Slide Over now feels *so* fun is… pretty telling.
If Stage Manager is the future of iPadOS for professional users, I hope Apple understands that it can’t be rushed. We have been waiting for this for years; might as well get it in the spring of 2023.
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) August 18, 2022
While it may sound like iPadOS isn’t ready for primetime yet, the delay could lead to strange behavior for iPad users who immediately upgrade to iOS 16 for their phones. Messages edited on iOS will almost certainly appear differently on an iPad based on the system’s behavior in the betas, and it’s hard to say for sure how iPadOS will handle things like iCloud Shared Photo libraries. Plus, as someone who lives the beta life, I can tell you that it can be annoying to get used to features on one device and then not have them on another with a very similar operating system. I can imagine getting frustrated after forgetting that my iPad doesn’t support passkeys or emoji dictation yet.
The iPadOS slowdown also raises the question of what’s going to happen with macOS Ventura, which also includes Stage Manager. However, it’s easier to ignore on the Mac (I had to ask a colleague how to even activate it), and Apple’s desktop OS doesn’t have the same tradition of updating alongside the iPhone.
Despite the potential drawbacks, it’s still probably a good idea to push back an OS release if it’s not finished yet. Apple hasn’t technically given an actual date for when iPadOS (or iOS, for that matter) comes out, but the wait is just a little longer now.