Everyone expected a significant redesign and feature boost to iPads with the iPadOS 15 update last year. The improvements were minimal at best, and now that the highest-selling iPad Air has an M1 CPU inside, we expect Apple to deliver much-needed changes at this year’s WWDC. Here’s our top iPadOS 16 features wishlist.
1. Better Multitasking
The current multitasking setup on the iPad simply mimics the iPhone App Switcher menu. Considering that the iPad has a bigger display, Apple can do a better job here. Perhaps it can keep the big app cards at the top and icons at the bottom to switch between apps. According to industry experts, we could be in for a significant overhaul in the multitasking department with iPadOS 16.
2. Snap Window Layout
iPadOS only allows two app windows side-by-side in Split View. While you can open a third app using Slide Over, it’s not the ideal multitasking experience. Apple should draw inspiration from Windows 11 and offer the ability to open three apps or even four apps side-by-side. Many third-party Mac apps, like Magnet and Rectangle, allow users to keep more than two apps open at a time.
Apple could offer advanced window management when the iPad is connected to an external monitor.
3. Native Apple Apps
For reasons best known to Apple, it doesn’t offer a calculator and weather app on the iPad. Users must rely on third-party solutions from the App Store to use a calculator or check on the weather.
It seems Apple doesn’t want iPads to be used as calculators at restaurants and other commercial establishments. But it’s high time for the company to offer these apps on iPad with the iPadOS 16 update. The omission of the Health app is also surprising since Apple is aggressively pushing iPads in the healthcare industry.
Apple Wallet is another notable app missing from the iPad. With smaller devices such as the iPad Mini, users could use the device to pay at terminals. Also, checking your added cards on a big screen is simply a better experience than an iPhone.
4. More Customization in Corner Gestures
By default, iPadOS is set to take a screenshot and quick note from the left and right corner gestures, respectively, but that’s about it. You can reverse the position of the gesture triggers but can’t use any other function instead. Apple offers better customization in hot corners on the Mac, and we hope to see a similar implementation on iPadOS 16.
It will be great to open selected apps like Netflix or the default Camera app from corner gesture. Support for third-party note-taking apps such as OneNote or Bear would also be great. After all, not everyone prefers Apple Notes for jotting down notes quickly.
5. Interactive Widgets
Similar to widgets on iPhone, iPadOS widgets are only good for taking a glance at the information. They are static, and you can’t take any action using them. For example, users can’t even complete tasks from the Reminders widget or open a specific email in the inbox. The widget will simply open a section in the app.
On Android, one can simply take actions from the widget without opening the app. Interactive widgets make more sense on iPad as iPadOS allows developers to offer extra-large widgets for the home screen.
Apple has nailed the look and feel of widgets on iPhone and iPad, and it’s about time that more functionality is added.
6. Pro Apps for Like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro
Apple happily slaps the ‘Pro’ moniker on iPads without any pro apps like the Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, or Xcode. The company does offer iMovie to perform some light video editing on the go, but it’s nowhere near close to Final Cut Pro’s functionality on Mac. For now, iPad users must rely on Adobe Premiere Pro (which requires an expensive monthly subscription) to enjoy powerful video editing tools.
As for Logic Pro, the company has long ignored GarageBand development in recent years. Logic Pro offers better tools, such as multi-track support, effects, and a vast library of digital instruments for musicians to create stunning content.
Another pro app missing from the iPad is Xcode. While Apple is heavily pushing Swift Playgrounds (an educational coding app) on iPad, the introduction of Xcode will be a dream come true for developers. Now that the M-series CPU powers the iPad Pro and iPad Air lineup, Apple doesn’t have any excuse left to develop and introduce pro apps to iPadOS.
7. Better External Monitor Support
The current external monitor support in the iPad is quite utilitarian. It simply mirrors the iPad screen to the connected display. iPadOS isn’t even smart enough to scale accordingly and fill up the connected monitor’s screen real estate. You will notice big black bars on both sides, in most cases.
The iPad should ideally go into a desktop mode when connected to an external monitor. It also needs to have better external mouse support. We expect to see iPadOS 16 come with the ability to detect each monitor’s aspect ratio and scale automatically.
8. Dedicated iCloud App
Apple has integrated iCloud cloud service right into the Files app. It should develop a dedicated iCloud app like OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive. It should allow users to directly check all the media, files, storage details, and more from the native app.
9. Better Files App
While the default Files app works perfectly fine on the iPhone, the app needs some improvements on the iPad for better file management. iPadOS developers could borrow some ideas from Finder on Mac and add features like tabs, favorites, drag-and-drop support, etc.
10. Better Universal Control
The current Universal Control support is limiting in specific ways. For example, you need to keep the Photos app open on the iPad when transferring photos and videos to it from a Mac. iPadOS should be smart enough to detect the incoming files and add them to relevant apps.
Which iPadOS features are you most looking forward to this year’s WWDC? Do you think Apple will bridge the gap between Mac and iPad or play it safe to keep the entry-level Macs in demand? Share your opinion in the comments.