iPadOS 16 could introduce a new iPad multitasking interface

Apple is expected to boost iPad multitasking by introducing a new multitasking interface in iPadOS 16, according to a reliable Bloomberg reporter.

A top-down view of a white work desk with a your male's hands holding Apple's ninth-generation iPad in hands with the default home screen shown on the display
  • Apple is expected to introduce unspecified multitasking improvements in iPadOS 16 that should make multitasking on the iPad better than where we’re now.
  • With iPad hardware outpacing its software, a better multitasking system is needed if the Apple tablet is to fulfill its promise and become a useful computer.
  • The improvements to iPad multitasking, along with other new features, will be previewed at Apple’s upcoming developers conference in June before the new software updates are released publicly sometime in the fall.

iPadOS 16 should boost iPad multitasking

“I’m not expecting an end-to-end redesign of iOS’s interface, even though it hasn’t changed much since iOS 7 nearly a decade ago,” Gurman writes in his Power On newsletter on Bloomberg before saying that “there might be a new iPadOS multitasking interface.” He doesn’t specify how the new multitasking interface might differ from the current implementation. We’ll know how this new feature works when Apple’s upcoming developer conference rolls with a keynote on June 9.

One could have predicted as much by taking a quick look at the current state of iPadOS. While there’s no doubt that the past two iPadOS releases have brought tweaks to make using the iPad feel more like using a real computer, there’s still plenty of work to be done. The iPad multitasking interface is perhaps the biggest mess right now. It’s so bad that some of our team members have stopped running multiple apps at once because juggling between them is often an exercise in frustration.

And it’s a shame, really. The iPad is a great machine, especially the iPad Pro and Air models outfitted with the M1 chip. So how comes that the same silicon does so much more in a Mac? Because of Apple’s software limitations, that’s why. Apple would be also wise to improve some of its key apps, such as Mail and Messages.

What else is coming at WWDC?

Prior reports have pointed to a rumored mixed-reality headset from Apple arriving at the end of this year or next year. Gurman thinks Apple might preview the device’s rOS (Reality Operating System) software at WWDC. He has learned from sources that the iOS 16 beta is “chock-full of references to the headset and its interactions with the iPhone.” Last but not least, Gurman also expects new activity and health-tracking features in watchOS 9 and even a pair of Mac hardware announcements, one of which could be an overhauled MacBook Air.