iPadOS 16.2 just launched, and for many users of top-tier iPads, the standout feature is full external display support. This makes Apple tablets far better at multitasking than ever before.
There are other improvements in iPadOS 16.2 as well, including the Freeform collaboration app.
iPadOS 16.2 offers full external display support at last!
Apple tablets have grown steadily more powerful over the years. Anyone who still dismisses an iPad as an “overgrown iPhone” is stuck in 2010. While some limitations remain, Apple removed one of the most significant of these with Tuesday’s release of iPadOS 16.2.
iPad users can now connect a second display and open up to four application windows on it. This at least doubles the available space to work in. Adding a 27-inch screen to an 11-inch iPad is a dramatic change.
It’s now possible to have eight applications open simultaneously on a recent iPad Pro or iPad Air. As just one option, that’s Safari and Microsoft Word on the tablet display, with Mail, Slack and Twitter open on the second screen.
Whether or not you like Stage Manager on the tablet, Apple’s new multitasking system is a requirement on the external monitor. That’s because the windows on the second screen must be arranged and controlled with a mouse, not a fingertip.
A mouse and keyboard must be connected to the iPad. And full external display support in iPadOS 16.2 is only available for tablets running an M1 or M2 processor. The new feature is not supported by the older models with an A-series chip that can use Stage Manager.
Freeform and more
All iPad users can use the Freeform collaboration app that premieres in iPadOS 16.2. The software lets users work together in a shared digital space without worrying about layouts and page sizes, and is also part of the just-released macOS Ventura 13.1 and iOS 16.2. Apple first showcased Freeform at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but it’s only appearing now.
iPadOS 16.2 also brings Advanced Data Protection for iCloud to iPad users in the United States. This encrypts many more types of data stored in Cupertino’s cloud-storage system. With it, users can encrypt iCloud Backup, Photos, Notes and more so that no one but them can access the contents — not even Apple.
And karaoke fans will enjoy the launch of Apple Music Sing, which shows users real-time lyrics needed to sing along to their favorite tracks.
The official release notes for iPadOS 16.2 say, “This update introduces Freeform, an app that offers a great place to brainstorm and bring your ideas to life. This release also adds Stage Manager improvements, Apple Music Sing, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, and other features and bug fixes for your iPad.”
Install iPadOS 16.2 today
These aren’t all the changes coming to iPad with the new version. Apple updated the Home app to support Matter, and the Weather app is getting weather-related news. If any of all of these enhancements appeal to you, you can upgrade now.
iPad users can install iPadOS 16.2 by direct, over-the-air download. Just open the Settings app and go to General > Software Update. Alternatively, connect the device to a Mac, or to a PC running iTunes.