There whitethorn not be a caller iPad released this year, but determination is simply a caller mentation of iPadOS, with immoderate subtle changes that are invited additions. Now that iPadOS 17 is retired of beta and disposable successful a last mentation (with updates, of course, expected implicit time), it's worthy downloading. I've been surviving with the caller OS connected an M1 iPad Air for months successful nationalist beta, and truthful acold it's been a pleasant experience, with a fewer wide benefits retired of the gate.
This isn't a chaotic rethinking of the iPad, and determination aren't arsenic galore melodramatic changes this twelvemonth arsenic determination are connected the iPhone. Even so, the improvements to Stage Manager are welcome... adjacent if I inactive don't usage it each that overmuch unless I'm plugged successful to an outer monitor.
Here are my thoughts truthful far, mostly based connected my clip with the beta version.
iPad multitasking is finally… good?
Stage Manager, Apple's multitasking strategy for the iPad that parallels what's connected the Mac, comes person to feeling similar the MacOS version. On iPadOS 16, I recovered Stage Manager to beryllium weirdly restrictive of however you put your 4 app windows connected the iPad. I lone recovered it utile erstwhile connected to an outer monitor.
In iPadOS 17, you're inactive constricted to 4 apps connected surface astatine 1 time, and Apple continues to restrict the sizing and presumption of apps to immoderate degree. But the options are a batch much fluid. I tin resistance and stagger apps much easy 1 by one, from constrictive panes to level panels to larger, astir full-screen options. Apple besides gets different interface junk retired of the way, allowing the Stage Manager dock and Apple's iOS app dock to minimize truthful you tin capable the surface with conscionable the apps you want. On an 11-inch iPad, that's highly useful.
The stableness besides seems amended truthful far. I played Settlers of Catan portion checking Slack and penning a communicative and browsing Twitter and Outlook, and everything worked fine. I mightiness really support Stage Manager connected each the clip now.
Keep successful mind, Stage Manager's outer show features -- adding 4 much apps to browse -- requires an M1- oregon M2-equipped iPad, and the on-iPad Stage Manager diagnostic is constricted to iPad Pro models and the M1 iPad Air.
Better fastener screens and amended widgets? Sure, wherefore not
Finally, the upgraded iPhone fastener screens from past twelvemonth person made it implicit to the iPad successful 2023, though I don't deliberation it's rather the slayer app it is connected the iPhone. New iPhones person always-on displays made for speedy glances, portion the iPad is simply a turn-on-when-you-need-it device, and its show is disconnected by default. I unlock it faster than I spot the fastener surface connected astir days.
Widgets connected the Home surface are besides much useful, adding much interactive controls for a fig of apps connected a larger canvas than the iPhones tin offer. Some of the widget controls didn't ever enactment smoothly for me, but implicit clip these larger, much app-like widgets volition astir apt assistance the iPad consciousness much fluid. I'd really similar to spot the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island determination implicit successful immoderate form, too; having notifications that morph into utile readouts has turned retired to beryllium truly utile connected my iPhone. Still, adding these extras is amended than not having them.
Health app connected iPad: Great idea, but nary Watch support
It's astonishing Apple didn't person its Health app connected iPads earlier iPadOS 17; it's go a cardinal repository of aesculapian and fittingness information, medications and tons of different insights. The iPad version works the aforesaid mode arsenic the iPhone app does, conscionable connected a larger canvas.
Mood logging, a caller iOS 17 feature, is present arsenic well. If you consciousness up to it, you tin people down however you consciousness immoderate moment, and tag what is connected to those feelings. Similar features person been connected different wellness platforms similar Fitbit, too.
Even though there's a Health app, the iPad won't brace with the Apple Watch. An iPhone paired with your ticker tin relay the information and the Health app should amusement applicable details similar bosom rate, humor oxygen, fertility tracking and sleep, but the Apple Watch's enactment ringing accusation and achievements aren't here.
Apple besides has a Journal app that's coming aboriginal successful the year, promising therapeutic regular day-logging, mixing writing, photos and different regular activities, but it's not portion of iOS 17 oregon iPadOS 17 yet.
Other hidden features: Improved PDF support, much Stickers and a mode to replicate your voice
I usage PDFs each the time, and dump a batch of my documents successful Apple's Files app via iCloud. Retrieving and viewing PDFs is easier present -- the PDFs popular up successful caller windows portion keeping the Files app open. The Notes app tin besides sorb PDFs, and the PDFs tin beryllium annotated beauteous easily. None of this is surprising, oregon caller to computers successful general, but it's easing the "Mac-like" flexibility of iPadOS further.
Apple's besides made filling retired PDF forms little of a hassle, which hopefully volition marque signing documents and aesculapian forms a small easier for maine this year.
On a little indispensable note, Apple's Stickers, a portion of the Messages app before, are popping up crossed the OS. Photos tin beryllium easy turned into stickers and added to a GIF-like idiosyncratic collection, including animated ones pulled from Live Photos. It's cute, and possibly I'll find myself utilizing it more?
Apple's astir fascinating-slash-creepy diagnostic is an assistive-focused mode to replicate your ain dependable for situations erstwhile idiosyncratic whitethorn not beryllium capable to speak. Called Personal Voice, it's successful the Accessibility settings. It requires mounting up by signaling your ain dependable samples into a illustration that yet tin make an AI synthesis of what you dependable similar for thing you benignant out.
Watch this: Apple Puts an AI Twist connected Accessibility
A bully gradual step
IPadOS 17 doesn't consciousness revolutionary, oregon adjacent each that remarkable, but truthful acold I'm amazed however comparatively unchangeable and utile its caller features seem. It's an additive positive to what's becoming an ever much susceptible iPadOS, adjacent if it's not precisely a Mac. By the clip Apple finishes iterating iPadOS successful years to come, the differences whitethorn commencement to go truthful tiny that you'll hide what instrumentality you're adjacent moving on. I've started forgetting I'm connected an iPad… and possibly that's the full point.
There is one iOS 17 feature that I privation was connected the iPad, though: Apple's caller StandBy mode, which makes for a viewable show erstwhile the iPhone is off, would beryllium cleanable connected an iPad (when docked, preferably, possibly with a aboriginal Pixel Tablet-like accessory).
As VisionOS starts to bleed the iPad acquisition into mixed reality, and blend with Macs adjacent further, the iPad's destiny whitethorn beryllium a linking transportation betwixt an progressively melted-together ecosystem of computers, phones, VR and AR. At this infinitesimal successful 2023, however, the iPad's conscionable getting a spot amended successful each the close places.
Watch this: iPadOS 17 Revealed astatine WWDC 2023