What new features are actually coming to non-M1 iPads

iPadOS 16 was previewed during the WWDC 2022 keynote a few weeks ago. During the presentation, we learned that a new multitasking feature was coming to the iPad operating system as well as full support for an external monitor, and more. But then, just after that, we discovered most of the “Pro” features were reserved for the M1 iPad models. That said, what’s left for non-M1 iPad users?

Since Apple introduced a variant of iOS for the iPad – called iPadOS – users were expecting it to unlock the capabilities of the company’s tablets. With every year, Apple went a step further to improve this experience by adding new multitasking capabilities, the ability to remove apps from the Home Screen, and ultimately adding an App Library.

After Apple introduced not one but two M1 iPads, users were with high hopes for what would come next with iPadOS 16. At the end of the day, the company was somehow able to fulfill many of these users’ expectations with Stage Manager, Reference Mode, external display support, and more – but at the same time, Apple left a ton of iPad users with almost no good reasons to eagerly await for iPadOS 16 in a few months from now.

What’s left for non-M1 iPad users with iPadOS 16?

If you forget about the main features of iPadOS 16, there are a few nice updates, but not enough to make users really excited about them.

For example, iPadOS 16 brings a new Lock Screen, but without widgets support. With that, it feels like what Apple has done with the ability to remove apps from the Home Screen but taking another year to add the App Library, which iPhone users got in the same iOS 14.

As of now, it seems very plausible that, in a year from now, Apple will finally bring widgets to the iPad’s Lock Screen, but why not now?

Apart from that, after years of saying a Calculator and Weather apps weren’t necessary on the iPad, Apple has finally introduced the Weather app. It’s indeed a nice approach with lots of data, but it took the company more than a decade to bring a proprietary solution. I mean…

In addition, there are iOS 16 features that iPadOS 16 users will be able to enjoy: the ability to edit, undo, and unread messages on iMessage, there’s also iCloud Shared Photo Library, Live Text in Video, FaceTime handoff, and deeper Focus Mode integration.

Although all of these features are pretty nice, they’re not major selling features. One of the most-used apps on iPad, Files, only brings a new navigation button, sortable columns, the ability to change file extensions, and an enhanced Open and Save panel, which makes it easy to save files with related files and rename folders in-line to better organize your files. 

Will this operating system make non-M1 iPad users upgrade?

Again, with iPadOS 16, Apple is finally focusing on M1 iPad users, but as we mentioned several times here at 9to5Mac, owning an iPad these days is very expensive, especially if you want to use the Magic Keyboard or Apple Pencil.

With M1 – and now M2 – Macs killing the competition with a reasonable price, I still don’t think a user should spend more than $1,000 for a tablet – and believe me, I did.

At the end of the day, it feels like Apple is slowly improving the iPad for “Pro” users, but with iPadOS 16, I personally believe the company isn’t helping either M1 iPad owners or non-M1 iPad users.

How do you feel about iPadOS 16? Are you an M1 iPad user? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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