Next release will be unprecedented, report claims

A new report claims that iPadOS 16, the new software for iPads, will not arrive in September as expected. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, we’ll have to wait until October to see the shiny new OS — though iPhone owners will be happy to know that iOS 16, which will bring new features to the iPhone, is still on schedule for September.

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This is a big change. Until 2019, iOS was the software that ran the iPhone and iPad (and iPod touch). But iPadOS first appeared in September 2019, when the two systems diverged and iPadOS 13 was released at the same time as iOS 13.

That said, this will be the first time that the iPhone and iPad will not receive new operating software at the same time.

So why is this so? “The software’s delay is at least in part due to an ambitious effort to overhaul the iPad’s multitasking capabilities,” Gurman said. The update includes a feature called Stage Manager that allows users to multitask, resize windows, and And jumping between different application clusters.”

There are issues with using Stage Manager in some beta versions, but I will say I love it and think it’s a great update that changes the way I use my iPad.

But Apple has been criticized for limiting it to iPads running the M1 processor, the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air models. I talked to Apple’s Craig Federighi about this (and more), and he told me it’s all about making sure the software is a smooth, responsive experience, and that requires the Apple M1 chip for that.

Gurman claims the delay means “staggering the release schedule will also allow Apple to devote more engineering resources to completing iOS 16, a software update that will ship with the iPhone 14 in September.”

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This delay raises an interesting possibility: Could Apple respond to criticism of Stage Manager exclusivity by tweaking Stage Manager to make it compatible with other models?

I’d love to do so, although my gut tells me that such a change would take longer than the extra weeks predicted here.

Apple is also expected to release two new iPads this year, a new iPad Pro and an entry-level iPad, possibly with a new design and a switch from Lightning to USB-C (making the iPad lineup completely Lightning-free).

Stage Manager is also coming to Macs with macOS Ventura, which is also expected to surface in October. Implementation is “less controversial,” Gurman said.

We’re still a few weeks away from the release of the new software, so there could be a lot of changes, and in theory, iPadOS 16 could still arrive in September. It can even land without a stage manager, the marquee feature will come later.

To me, it seems likely: iPadOS 16 is more than Stage Manager, and I doubt Apple will roll it out any time soon.

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