The iPad might finally be a true laptop replacement thanks to iPadOS 16

The iPad might finally be a true laptop replacement thanks to iPadOS 16

For a long, long time, lots of dedicated iPad users have been trying to replace their laptops with Apple’s tablet computer. As of iPadOS 16 that might finally become a reality. The iPad might finally have become the laptop replacement so many have been longing for.

If the iOS 16 section of WWDC 22 felt a little underwhelming, the iPadOS 16 section was absolutely jam-packed. Finally, the move to M1 silicon in recent iPads has a reason to exist. There are two key aspects that power users are going to love, starting with desktop-class applications.

From Apple:

  • Desktop-class apps enable new capabilities optimized for the iPad display, from system elements and interactions to new features available on Mac, including a consistent undo and redo experience across the system, a redesigned find-and-replace experience, customizable toolbars, the ability to change file extensions and view folder size in Files, and more.

Stage Manager on iPadOS 16

The second part is Stage Manager, Apple’s new system for supporting both windowed apps and true external display support up to 6K resolution. Paired with windowed applications, you’ll be able to have four on the iPad and four on the external display at any one time. And, you know, just go between them like you would on a regular laptop.

The app you’re working in will always be the most prominent, while other apps you’ve opened recently will be off to the side for quick access. This feels like a good fit, since it deals with having these multiple apps open at once, but retains a touch-friendly approach. You can drag and drop the windows at the side at any time to bring them into focus.

Naturally, this currently only applies to the iPad Pro and iPad Air with M1. Other models won’t get this, which isn’t totally surprising. But iPad power users are going to love it.

About author

Richard Devine
Richard Devine

Editor at XDA, I've been covering tech for over a decade from mobile to gaming and everything in between. Direct enquiries to [email protected]

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