Apple finally released iPadOS 16.1. The debut of the Stage Manager multitasking system has drawn most of the attention, but plenty of other new features are worth checking out, too.
Monday’s launch is extra-significant because iPadOS 16 never launched. Version 16.1 is the first replacement for last year’s iPadOS 15.x.
Stage Manager: Floating app windows at last
The highlight of iPadOS 16.1 for many users will be Stage Manager, an optional multitasking system that puts applications into floating, resizable, overlapping windows.
It’s available to every tablet running an M-series processor plus earlier iPad Pro models released since 2018.
Stage Manager has drawn so much attention that other new features are being overlooked. There’s a lot more to iPadOS 16.1 than app windows. Here are four other new features that improve Apple tablets.
1. Files app gets a major upgrade
Complaints about the limitations in iPad’s version of the Files application go back years. The new version should quiet some of the grumbling.
It adds sortable columns. Previously, Files had semi-hidden options for arranging files in various ways. The upcoming version does this in a way similar to macOS, Windows, etc.
And it can change file extensions, too.
2. Finally, an iPadOS Weather app
Apple put the Weather application on the very first iPhone in 2007, and 15 years later it’s finally being ported to iPadOS 16.1. The Weather widget just sent users to a website.
The new app provides real-time weather conditions, plus forecasts for the next 24 hours and the next 10 days. Animated maps show where it’s raining, and where it will rain in the next couple of hours. It also displays wind speed and direction, air pressure, humidity, recent precipitation and more.
3. Mail and Messages improvements in iPadOS 16.1
The latest version of the Apple Mail application includes many new features, but the standout one is Undo Send. You get 10 seconds to change your mind about sending an email.
Plus, users can set an email to automatically send itself later. And there’s also now a Remind Me feature in Mail.
Texts generally aren’t as important to iPad users as email, but the upcoming version of Messages lets users edit texts within 15 minutes of sending them. It lets users unsend texts, too. (Texts sent to Android users will be left out of these new features.)
4. Hand off FaceTime calls between Apple devices
The pandemic took video calls mainstream. iPadOS 16.1 improves that by letting users easily switch a FaceTime call between iPad, iPhone and Mac.
Install iPadOS 16.1 today
These aren’t all the changes in iPadOS 16.1. iCloud Shared Photo Library also debuts in this version, and the Safari browser adds Shared Tab Groups. If any of all of these enhancements appeal to you, you can upgrade now.
iPad users can install iPadOS 16.1 by connecting the device to a Mac, or to a PC running iTunes. Alternatively, an over-the-air update is also possible. That’s accomplished by opening the Settings app and going to General > Software Update.