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The delays are over — iPadOS 16 is finally releasing early next week

Ever since Apple delayed the release of iPadOS 16, its launch date has been up in the air. But alongside the announcement of the 2022 iPad Pro today, Apple finally confirmed that the tablet OS update will be launching on Monday, October 24. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise as Apple itself said that we should expect it to come at some point in the fall, but other than that vague window, the company has been silent on the official release date up until now.

Now, expect the free software update to be rolling out early next week on October 24 in anticipation of the launch of the 2022 iPad and iPad Pro just two days after the OS update on October 26. While the new tablets will come with iPadOS 16 pre-installed right out of the box, they aren’t the only Apple devices that will support it.

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iPadOS 16 is coming to older iPads too

The iPad 10th Gen in all of its new colors.

The list of iPads that will support iPadOS 16 as soon as it launches next week is actually pretty extensive. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect your device to support the update if it’s a model from the last several years. That said, the specific list of supported devices is as follows:

  • iPad 5th Generation and newer
  • iPad Mini 5th Generation and newer
  • iPad Air 3rd Generation and newer
  • All iPad Pro models

If you’ve got an iPad but aren’t sure what generation it is, you can easily check by opening the Settings app, selecting General, and then About. Under Model Name, you’ll see which iPad you have and which generation it is. Once iPadOS 16 launches next week, you’ll be able to find the system update in the Settings app under Software Update in the General tab.

The big changes with iPadOS 16

The M2 iPad Pro.

Earlier this year, Apple spoke about wanting to make the line between tablet and laptop smaller with the introduction of iPadOS 16. To do this, one of the software update’s main focuses is on equipping iPads with the ability to more seamlessly multitask with the new Stage Manager app. In addition to the newfound focus on multitasking and efficiency, iPadOS 16 also adds some hotly requested features like iMessage editing, Passkeys, shared tab groups, and a text search function that works like hitting CTRL+F on a computer keyboard.

There was a communication error on Apple’s part earlier this year that said some of iPadOS 16’s biggest features wouldn’t be available on older iPads that didn’t have the M1 chipset. However, the company has since walked that back and confirmed that Stage Manager will be available on older models.

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