ipados 16

iPadOS 16: The features we’d love to see

iPads deserve more.

When WWDC 2022 rolls around, we’ll almost certainly catch our first glimpse of Apple’s latest operating systems. That’ll likely include iPadOS 16, which — as the name implies — runs on Apple’s iPad tablets.

Last year’s iPadOS 15 reveal left a lot to be desired, especially for those who own the newest iPad Pro models. We’re hoping for a whole lot more in 2022, though. So here are the features we’d love to see show up in the very next version of iPadOS.

Support for multiple “desktops”

multiple desktops

The latest iPad Pro models are way too powerful for the operating system they contain. When people see the word “Pro,” they expect pro-level features. They don’t expect to get a speed boost to the exact same experience people are getting at $329.

It is my sincere hope that, with iPadOS 16, Apple finally allows iPad Pro models from the past few years (along with the upcoming iPad Pro 2022) to finally shine. One way the company can do that is by enabling multiple “desktops.” By that, I mean multiple screens that can have apps open when a monitor is connected versus simply mirroring the iPad’s display.

The utility this would provide should be fairly obvious. Multi-screen support is something we enjoy on just about every desktop computer and laptop. It allows for increased productivity by letting you use two completely different apps on two different screens.

If Apple can add this feature to iPadOS 16, even if it is only reserved for the iPad Pro line, that would give the operating system its first significant new feature in many, many years.

Support for multiple users

iPadOS 16 multiple users

How many of you share an iPad with a loved one? It’s kind of a mess right now, isn’t it? For some reason, Macs are fully capable of multi-user sign-on and have been for decades. The same desktop or laptop can belong to multiple people, no problem. But iPads? No sir.

In the world of iPad OS, iPads are treated like iPhones. You must have your own, otherwise you’re installing everyone’s stuff all at once and everyone has access to everything. Then there’s no privacy. Seems very anti-Apple, don’t you think?

This needs to end with iPadOS 16.

Long story short, Apple has the perfect tech in these devices (either Touch ID or Face ID) to distinguish between users. With increased space on most iPads these days, it has the storage capacity to handle data for multiple users. All that’s left to do is provide multi-user sign-on that stores different iPad configurations and brings them up based on who signs in.

People have been asking for this for years, Apple! Just do it already.

More multitasking options in iPadOS 16

iPadOS 16 multitasking

Apple can’t quite keep consistency with the iPad. On one hand, the company is all but certain portrait is the preferred orientation for the device. That must be why the camera is at the top of the short end like an iPhone, right?

Yet if you’re someone who uses your iPad in portrait mode, you’ve likely noticed by now that multitasking is pretty bad in this orientation. If you have two apps open at once, Apple is forcing a vertical split that makes them as skinny as straws. There’s no option to do it any other way.

With iPadOS 16, there should be.

Why on Earth can’t iPad OS use a horizontal split in portrait that puts two wider websites one on top of the other? Is there a reason for that? Also, why is multitasking limited to just two apps? If I’m in landscape, why can’t I split three separate web browser windows?

It’s not like an iPad Pro couldn’t handle these features. It’s running an M1 for crying out loud. My MacBook Air can do them just fine. The iPad Pros could be just as capable given the opportunity.

Unleash your OS already, Apple. Stop with the babysitting already.

Removal of the icon grid

iPadOS 16 grid

Last year, the one bright spot in otherwise disappointing iPad OS release was that widgets came to the iPad home screen. The monkey’s paw even curled for that, though, as Apple decided that widgets required removing much of the icon space on the iPad home screen.

Why did this have to happen? Because of the home screen grid. Apple had to ensure the widgets and icons played nicely with one another in the grid.

This grid needs to die.

In the year 2022, I am about fed up with how uncustomizable the iPad home screen is. There’s no way to, say, only have icons on the bottom of the screen and nowhere else. There’s no way to put a widget anywhere you want without shifting all the other icons and widgets around. It’s dumb.

If the grid goes away, you just put stuff where you want. Does this allow for people to create something messy? Yes, of course. But guess what? They do this on macOS and we’ve survived. The world hasn’t ended.

With iPadOS 16, we pray that Apple gets rid of the grid.

How would you like to see iPadOS 16 change?

If you have some thoughts about the changes you’d like to see in the next version of iPadOS, be sure to tweet them over to @gizjodotcom. We might include them in an article someday!

Gizjo Picks