iPadOS 17 will give iPad users the Lock Screen enhancements that debuted for iPhone last year. Another major addition for tablet users is interactive Home Screen widgets, a long-requested feature. And these are just a few of the changes coming in the iPadOS version announced at WWDC23.
“With interactive widgets on the Lock Screen, updates to PDFs and Notes, as well as enhancements to Messages and FaceTime, iPadOS gives users even more ways to get things done easier and faster than ever,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering, in a statement.
iPadOS 17 is not exactly a major upgrade
iPadOS 16 brought some of the most dramatic changes yet to Apple tablets, especially Stage Manager, a more Mac-like user interface with applications in floating, resizable windows. With the many enhancements in in the previous version, no ground-breaking changes are in the 2023 update. Which isn’t to say there aren’t some welcome improvements.
As noted, the customizable Lock Screen that debuted in iOS 16 made the jump to iPadOS 17. And many of the screens have been enhanced to take advantage of a larger tablet display. That includes the Astronomy one.
Speaking of oft-requested features, very shortly after Apple bought Home Screen widgets to iPhone and iPad, users began asking for these to be interactive. iPadOS 17 answers this request.
Another major improvement is an iPad version of the Apple Health application, a detail that leaked out weeks ago. Previously this software had been limited to iPhone, but can now take advantage of larger tablet screens.
And in a small but welcome change, iPad users will be able to set multiple timers.
In addition, tablet users will also get many of the improvements coming in iOS 17, like Apple’s efforts to make Autocorrect smarter with AI. And the “Hey Siri” wake command is being replaced with simply “Siri.”
Betas and full version release dates revealed
Apple will release iPadOS 17 this autumn. It will be a free software update for iPad (6th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation and later), 10.5-inch iPad Pro and 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation and later).
But those who don’t want to wait will have early access to a beta version. Developers can begin testing it now, while a public beta will be available in July.