Apple offered a preview of iPadOS 17 at WWDC 2023 today. The new tablet software update is set to gain many of the same features of iOS 17, including a handful of new Messages features (like automatic voice note transcriptions), expanded AirDrop capabilities, and smarter autocorrect for text input.
The iPad is also catching up to iOS with the ability to personalize the lock screen; this works much the same way that it does on the iPhone. Apple’s software VP Craig Federighi also showcased new interactive widgets that can be placed on the homescreen. iPadOS 17 will also bring over the Health app. And last, the iPad will be able to display Live Activities just like iOS.
The Notes app and PDF annotation are also getting attention in the upcoming release. “Thanks to new machine learning models, iPadOS can identify the fields in a PDF,” Federighi said. iPadOS 17 will include new ways to organize, annotate, and collaborate in real time on PDFs in the Notes app.
Last month, Apple released Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad, finally answering calls from power users clamoring for professional-grade apps on the platform. But based on this initial preview, iPadOS 17 could leave power users underwhelmed. Stage Manager, a feature intended to unlock greater multitasking flexibility on the iPad, has proven underwhelming and at times buggy since it debuted last year. Federighi mentioned that Stage Manager will add more flexibility on window sizing and positioning in iPadOS 17.