Apple kills iPadOS 16.0 in favor of iPadOS 16.1 with new Stage Manager features

iPadOS 16.0 won’t get a public release because Apple is currently focused on delivering new Stage Manager features with an upcoming iPadOS 16.1 update.

Stage Manager running on an iPad
Image: Apple
  • What’s happening? Apple has confirmed that iPadOS is now on its own schedule. iPadOS 16.0 won’t be released publicly because Apple is making big changes to the iPad’s Stage Manager after beta testers derailed the new multitasking feature as half-baked and not very wet thought through.
  • Why care? Stage Manager definitely needs more work. Of people who have tried it, many are dissatisfied with the fact that Stage Manager only works on the M1 iPad Pros. Apple should address some of those concerns in iPadOS 16.1 so good thing that iPadOS 16.0 won’t be getting a public release at all.
  • What to do? If you have a developer account with Apple, you can now download the first beta of iPadOS 16.1 to test new Stage Manager features on your tablet.

There will be no iPadOS 16.0 version at launch

In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple confirmed that it will skip a public launch of iPadOS 16.0 and instead release iPadOS 16.1 alongside iOS 16.1.

This is an especially big year for iPadOS. As its own platform with features specifically designed for iPad, we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on its own schedule. This Fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS, as version 16.1 in a free software update.

The statement is pretty interesting. Apple used to release one iOS version for both the iPhone and iPad. That’s no longer the case because in 2019 Apple debuted iPadOS as an iOS fork focused on the tablet experience. Calling iPadOS its “own platform with features specifically designed for iPad” takes this to another level.

This is also the first time Apple split iOS and iPadOS launches apart. We hope all this means that Apple is finally taking iPadOS as seriously as some of its customers.

New Stage Manager features coming with iPadOS 16.1

At first, Apple hoped to silence Stage Manager criticism by dispatching its executives to gave a couple of interviews to the press in which they tried to explain why Stage Manager in its current form is such a resource-hungry feature.

But it didn’t work as some prominent members of the Apple community derailed Stage Manager as a half-baked feature with interface glitches appearing everywhere. Read: New to Mac? Learn the basics of the Mission Control feature

This has prompted Apple to simply abandon iPadOS 16.0 and focus on new Stage Manager features in iPadOS 16.1. According to the TechCrunch report, Apple has confirmed that Stage Manager in iPadOS 16.1 introduces a new gesture to resurface the Stage Manager side rail while the feature is full screen.

Apple hasn’t accompanied the first iPadOS 16.1 beta with release notes so we don’t currently know what else has changed, but watch this space as we’ll be keeping tabs on Stage Manager’s evolution. Read: How to quickly edit screenshots with Instant Markup

When will iPadOS 16.1 launch publicly?

Apple on August 23, 2022, released the first developer beta of iPadOS 16.1. At least a few more betas are expected before iPadOS 16.1 is ready for public consumption.

Apple usually holds two press events in the fall, one in September to unveil new phones and watches and the other in October for new tablets and notebooks.

Just as major iOS updates get released to the public a few days before new iPhones arrive, the same should happen with iPadOS 16.1. The rumor mill is expecting the next budget iPad and the next iPad Pro in October. And it’s pretty safe to bet that iPadOS 16.1 will arrive a few days before the next iPad Pro goes on sale.