This year has seen several smartphone brands defy old conventions. OnePlus, which gave up its trademark alert slider on the brand new OnePlus 10T, is one example of this. Samsung, which formally abandoned the Note series in favor of a well-rounded S23 lineup, is another. Apple is another company that adheres to a strict schedule of launch cycles and software updates. And, if new reports from a usually reliable source are to be believed, Apple may join the list of companies that deviated from a predetermined pattern in 2022. In this case, the company is likely to make significant changes to the iPadOS 16 rollout schedule for its iPad lineup.
For years, Apple has followed a pattern of releasing stable versions of iOS and iPadOS on the same day — typically in September each year. I expect this pattern to shift in 2022. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple executives are considering postponing the release of iPadOS 16 by one month in 2022.
If this is correct, iPad users around the world will be unable to upgrade to the stable build of iPadOS 16 before October 2022. According to Gurman’s sources, Apple will release iOS 16 as usual, which means that iPhone users will be largely unaffected by this change.
Possible reasons for delayed iPadOS 16 release
According to Gurman, Apple’s decision to postpone the release of iPadOS 16 stems from the belief that the upcoming version of the operating system will be a significant upgrade in terms of the iPad’s multitasking capabilities. It appears that Apple engineers have struggled to integrate these newer features into the software in a way that is intuitive and easy to use.
iPadOS 16 will include a new multitasking feature called Stage Manager. This multitasking method will be significantly different from the multitasking approach used by the company for desktop computers (running macOS). The primary goal appears to be to differentiate the multitasking experience on iPadOS and macOS as much as possible. And it appears that accomplishing this is proving to be a major challenge for Apple engineers.
One of the reasons for the delay, according to Gurman, is negative feedback from Apple’s developer community. After playing with the iPadOS 16 Beta for a while, these developers have not only found several bugs, but the general consensus appears to be that the new iPadOS 16 interface is confusing. Many of these developers have also reported app compatibility issues.
Because Apple is expected to release a new M2-based iPad Pro in the coming months, delaying the release of iPadOS 16 may make sense for the company. What remains to be seen is how existing iPad owners will react to Apple’s unusual delay.