When iPadOS 15 was announced at WWDC 2021, I was disappointed to find that it was more of a catch-up to iOS 14 with widgets on the home screen.
While the new Focus feature and better multitasking options were welcome, they didn’t go far enough to improve the way I used the iPad back then. Because these updates felt so insignificant to me, I decided to upgrade to a MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) and have been happy with it ever since.
However, with WWDC 2022 confirmed for June 6, there’s a good chance we’ll see iPadOS 16. Hopefully we’ll see the operating system take off from iOS with features that are not only exclusive to the iPad, but also the “pro” in the iPad Pro.
With that in mind, here are five features I’d like to see in iPadOS 16.
1. External monitor support
This is a feature that many iPad users have wished for, including myself when I owned one. While you can connect an iPad to a display, it only mirrors what’s on the tablet, and worse, at a resolution that doesn’t scale to the monitor.
We’re in a time when it’s normal to get your work done on two or three monitors. You can share apps and windows between these displays and macOS or Windows 11 handle them well.
But in iPadOS this is not possible. Let’s look at an additional multitasking window that appears when an iPad is connected to a display. This allows you to swipe an app onto another display and have it display at the full resolution the monitor can achieve.
2. Redesigned lock screen
There are parts of iPadOS where it looks like it’s an iPhone feature, but over-engineered. Siri was to blame for years where it covered the entire screen, but luckily it was resized in a compact menu in iPadOS 13.
The lock screen should benefit next. While we got refined notifications in iPadOS 15, there’s a lot of wasted space, especially on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Let’s see at least one widget displayed – maybe weather as the default, followed by an option to add another. While you can swipe left and have some widgets appear, it would be a nice touch to have them appear as soon as you wake the screen.
3. Record more than one person in one call
This has been a bugbear for content creators, especially those who record podcasts. While you can join calls and group calls thanks to FaceTime, Skype and others, there was no way to record everyone separately.
This is how many people capture the recordings for a podcast, since audio editors can place separate audio files to create an episode.
There is currently no way to do this on iPadOS.
So let’s look at an easier way to record multiple people on a call and save them all as separate files that can be edited into a podcast.
That one change could open up the iPad as a portable podcast machine — from recording a guest, to placing the file in Garageband or Ferrite, to saving it as a finished podcast file, ready to upload to a provider.
4. Final cut
While there are apps like iMovie and Luma Digital that you can use to edit your video projects, some content creators want the extra power and features that an app like Final Cut offers.
This is Apple’s Pro version of its video editing apps and was only available for macOS. But since both Mac and iPad run on Apple Silicon, users wanted to see Final Cut on iPad.
Seeing this as part of iPadOS 16 along with widgets and shortcuts could really appeal to professional users. And the ability to carry their Final Cut projects from Mac to iPad would improve workflows without having to use another app on an iPad.
5. Better picture-in-picture support
This is a feature that was once exclusive to the iPad before making its way to macOS and then iOS 15. However, the features have remained the same on iPad since their debut in iOS 9. It’s time for some improvements.
A timeline slider would be a great benefit as you currently have to go back to the app that was originally playing the video and press the slider to switch to a different part of the playback.
Another welcome feature would be the ability to place the video anywhere on the display. While you can now do this to a point, the video has been known to place itself under menus or be obstructed by an app. On macOS you can solve this by holding down the command button and drag the video anywhere on the screen.
When these two improvements arrive on iPadOS, usage would increase, especially with YouTube’s decision to add the feature to its app for premium users.