When Can You Download iPadOS 16 & Is Your iPad Compatible?

iPadOS 16 will be released sometime in October instead of September. Find out when iPadOS 16 will be released and which iPad models are compatible.

While the newest version of iPadOS has traditionally been released at the same time as the newest version of iOS, this year is different. For the first time since the original version of iPadOS came out in 2019, the new iPad software will be released later in the fall, closer to the macOS Ventura release rather than the release of the newest iPhone software. Many are attributing the delay to the need to fix the unusually buggy iPadOS beta software before making it available to the public. While we're disappointed with the delay, we do anticipate iPadOS 16 to be released in October. Find out which iPads will work with iPadOS once it's available, which iPadOS features will be immediately available and why iPadOS is delayed.

iPadOS 16 Release Date

Availability: iPadOS 16 will be available for download starting in October.

Don't worry if the release date comes along and the update hasn't shown up on your iPad. Apple software releases are usually staggered, so if you don't see an update available for your iPad right away, check back later and you should be able to install iPadOS 16 on your compatible iPad.

Which iPads Will Work with iPadOS 16?

The newest iPads will come with iPadOS already installed, once they are available for purchase. Here's the full list of iPadOS 16 compatible iPads:

  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (5th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)

Not sure which iPad you own? Check out our complete list of iPad models and how to identify them.

New iPadOS 16 Features to Look Out For

When you update your iPad, there will be a number of things you'll notice right away. Here are some of the most talked-about new iPadOS 16 features that will be available as soon as you've installed the update:

  • Weather app is new to iPad and will provide detailed maps, interactive forecast modules, and a larger display.
  • Freeform for collaborating with peers on numerous projects.
  • Mail will allow you to unsend an email before it reaches its recipients, schedule emails, and remember emails with a Remind Later feature.
  • Stage Manager will help you multitask by organizing apps and windows for fast and easy transitions between tasks.

We introduced readers to these new iPadOS 16 features when they were initially announced at the June 2022 WWDC event, but if you're interested in learning how to use these and other new Apple device functions, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter to receive a one-minute how-to each day, delivered straight to your inbox!

What Caused the iPadOS 16 Delay?

The main reason why Apple decided to push the release of iPadOS 16 to October is issues with the feature called Stage Manager. Stage Manager will help improve the iPad's ability to multitask. This will allow you to open multiple apps at once, resize windows, and overlap windows in a single display. Users were complaining that the feature's interface was confusing and that the feature was prone to bugs. Hopefully, the delay will mean that iPadOS 16 will come out with a better user experience. 

Nevertheless, we are hopeful to see iPadOS 16 launch next month! Which new iPad feature are you most excited about?

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Author Details

Kenya Smith's picture

Author Details

Kenya Smith

Kenya Smith is a Feature Web Writer for iPhone Life. She has a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communication and has written articles for two newspapers in her home state of Virginia. She also won first place in non-daily column writing for the 2019 and 2020 Virginia Press Association Awards.