Apple typically releases new iPadOS updates alongside new iOS builds in September. However, it appears iPadOS 16 may not launch until October.
According to anonymous sources, the delay is mostly due to Stage Manager, which allows users to manage several tasks simultaneously, resize app windows, and efficiently switch between them. Stage Manager in its current form is buggy, with beta testers also finding the interface confusing. Despite being a key highlight of iPadOS 16, Stage Manager is only compatible with the Apple silicon-powered iPad Pro.
Bloomberg also notes that shifting the release could allow engineers to focus more on the release of iOS 16, whose beta period has also been running behind schedule. Staggering releases may push the iPadOS 16 launch to arrive closer to the introduction of new iPad hardware, like an iPad Pro with an M2 chip and a cheaper entry-level iPad featuring a USB-C port.
The delay could open the possibility for Apple to release iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura at the same time in October. The company usually drops major new macOS builds in October, a month after a new iOS build is out.
Alongside Stage Manager, users can look forward to several new features in iPadOS 16. There’s a built-in weather app, improved support for external displays, and new controls for productivity. Apple has already reported that some of the planned features most likely won’t all be included in the initial iPadOS 16 release, such as a white boarding app called Freeform.