Apple recently released the first major update to its iPad operating system since iOS 11, introducing a new system called iPadOS. The latest version is codenamed 16.1 and includes many new features and improvements that make iPads more useful as computers; it’s also the first version of iPadOS available as a free upgrade for all devices running iOS 12.1 or later. Most importantly, Apple has stopped calling the software “beta” and now sees it as the final software for users to enjoy. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about iPadOS 16.1 if you use an iPad regularly.
New iPadOS Features
New system font - Apple has redesigned the system font for iPadOS, replacing the Helvetica Neue typeface that has been a part of iOS since iOS 7. The new system font is called Apple Sans, and it’s designed to be legible on an iPad’s Retina display, with a reduced width for more efficient use of screen real estate. - Dynamic wallpaper - iPadOS features a dynamic wallpaper that changes with the time of day. At sunrise, the wallpapers are in blue tones; during the day, they’re in white; and at sunset, they’re red. - But that’s not all — Apple’s latest tablet software occasionally features a special animated wallpaper, like a scene from a nature documentary complete with narration.
Improved Typing Experience
The first iPadOS feature we’ll cover is what Apple calls “smart type.” This is a less obvious change than the new wallpaper, but it makes typing on an iPad more efficient — especially on larger iPad Pro models.
Split Screen and Slide Over
Probably the most significant feature added to iPadOS is the ability to drag and drop items between apps. Previously, you could only drag items between apps on macOS, and the feature was coming to iOS 12 as well. - On iPadOS 16.1, you can drag almost anything between apps.
Dock and Desktop View
The iPadOS dock has a few small but significant changes. The first and most obvious is that there are six icons in the dock instead of four. Additionally, the icon representing the app you’re currently using appears with a small icon of the app above it to indicate a secondary function.
Enhanced Apple Pencil Support
One of the most significant improvements to iPadOS is the introduction of a new app called Apple Pencil. In Apple Pencil, you can customize the button on the stylus, choose between single and double-click actions, adjust palm rejection (to prevent false touches caused by resting your palm on the screen while using the Pencil), and choose whether the Pencil activates Siri or opens the Notes app.