This year Apple split the release date for the tablet version of its mobile operating system away from the release of iOS 16, and the company just announced the iPadOS 16 update will roll out starting on Monday, October 24th. The new iPads announced today will ship with the latest software on them, and it will be available as an update for the base model iPads (5th gen and later), iPad mini (5th gen and later), iPad Air (3rd gen and later), and all iPad Pro tablets.
Based on our experiences with preview versions, one big reason for the delay is the addition of Stage Manager, a new addition for iPadOS 16 that’s supposed to bring laptop-level multitasking. It should be able to take better advantage of the M1 (and now, in new iPad Pro tablets M2) chips where available, however, after initially announcing it only for the newer tablets, Apple now says the feature will work on older iPads too, albeit without the support for external displays that will be added to the feature with another update due later this year. However, as David Pierce subtly mentions in his hands-on from July, “I hate Stage Manager.” Hopefully, the version that ships will work a little better.