Should you update your iPad to iPadOS 13?

iPad files
iPad files (Image credit: iMore)

This year, Apple has finally decided to split up the iPhone and iPad with iOS 13, giving us the iPad-specific version, appropriately dubbed iPadOS 13. With iPadOS 13, we're getting most of the same features as iOS 13 like Dark Mode and Apple Sign-In, but there are now iPad-specific features such as pinned widgets, new split-screen views for multitasking, improved Files app, Safari download manager, and more.

We know, we know: getting the shiny new OS is always fun and exciting, but here are some things to consider before you mash that "Download and Install" button on your iPad.

Which iPad do you currently have?

iPad Pro 2017 with iPadOS 13

iPad Pro iPadOS (Image credit: iMore)

First thing's first: can your iPad even run iPadOS? Apple always adds under-the-hood changes in each iteration of iOS that can help improve performance on older models, or slow them down.

iPadOS is compatible with plenty of iPads, going all the way back to the iPad Air 2. Here's the full list of compatible iPads:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

The performance of your iPad model after installing iPadOS may be determined by how old it is. You may not notice decreased performance with more recent models, but you may with something like an iPad Air 2. That's because each new version of OS may need more processing power and battery, especially in the beginning.

What about your apps?

iPad Pro 11

11-inch iPad Pro (Image credit: iMore)

Usually, developers get their hands on a beta OS early so they can start testing it out and making sure that their own apps are compatible with the new OS. However, there will always be some holdouts that won't have an update ready on day one.

If you are using your iPad for any critical work, then we highly recommend checking if the crucial apps you're using are iPadOS 13 ready. Of course, if they aren't, it doesn't mean that they won't work with iPadOS 13, but you may experience some unexpected errors or other mishaps. You can either check the App Store for updates or even try contacting developers directly through email.

When you have doubts, it doesn't hurt to play it safe and wait a few days, especially if you depend on your iPad for important projects.

Security considerations

One thing you should consider, though, is that the latest version of OS usually has security patches to protect you and your data. Especially these days, where it seems more and more people are trying to break through Apple's walled garden. The best way to protect your iPad (and all other electronic devices) is to update your hardware with the latest OS, as long as it's compatible.

If you don't want to get it right away, then by all means, give it a few days to mull over (especially if you have app compatibility issues). But the longer you wait, the more vulnerable you may be to security exploits, so update ASAP if your hardware allows it.

Are you updating?

Are you updating your iPad to the new iPadOS 13? If you did, what do you think of it so far? Let us know in the comments.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.