Arriving on Apple's tablets later this year, iPadOS 17 is bringing some great new features to the tablet you're already using. Highlights include live stickers in messages, big changes to predictive text, interactive widgets, offline maps, and much, much more. As always, Apple has packed a slew of new features into the operating system -- in addition to bug fixes, of course.
All about customization
An update to iPad with iPadOS 17 is good news given that this is expected to be a very quiet year in terms of iPad hardware, with no major upgrades rumored for any of Apple's tablets. The biggest iPad upgrade on the horizon is a rumored switch to OLED coming in 2024.
At the top of the list of improvements is the addition of new, interactive Home Screen widgets — no more opening apps to do things. Apple's all about customization this year, so it's also bringing iPhone-like Lock Screen widgets to the iPad for the first time, too.
That means that the iPad is now also getting the same new wallpaper interface that arrived on the iPhone with iOS 16, making it easier to change wallpapers on the fly. The new iPadOS 17 Lock Screen is the closest thing to a dashboard view that we've seen to date.
As part of that, Apple has also added Live Activities to the iPad for the first time. There's even support for multiple timers for the very first time, too.
It's taken longer than many would have liked, but the Health app's arrival on the iPad feels like a big deal for Apple's progress into th e world of health and well-being.s between the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch -- and there's full support for HealthKit as well.
It's taken longer than many would have liked, but the Health app's arrival on the iPad feels like a big deal for Apple's progress into the world of health and well-being.
The Apple Notes app is getting new PDF support, including Apple Pencil annotations. Apple also says that Notes-bound PDFs can also make use of collaboration tools that allow multiple people to collaborate on the same PDF, live, and from multiple devices.
Live Collaboration works over the internet, and Apple says that it'll work alongside a FaceTime call for closer working within a team of people.
Apple's iPadOS 17 is going to be made available to the public later this year. And it's shaping up to be a must-install for many.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.