Apple’s tablet gets closer than ever to replacing your computer


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With the arrival of the WWDC 2022 kickoff on Monday — the highlight of which is always a keynote address jam-packed with software updates for all of Apple’s hardware product lines, including the just-announced iPadOS 16 — the week-long developers conference finds one of Apple’s signature annual events almost back to normal.

Apple moments ago unveiled a new iteration of the OS that powers its iPad line of tablets. The iPad is, of course, a premium piece of hardware that, for all of its strongest qualities, has nevertheless felt a little bit hampered for a while now. Why? Well, mostly for one reason: The software that can make it difficult to perform certain complex tasks. The kinds of tasks that users take for granted on a desktop.

Does iPadOS 16 finally close that gap, or at least start to? I think so. But keep refreshing this page as we unpack and work through the details that Apple is sharing right now.

iPadOS 16 = making Apple’s tablet more like a MacBook Air

“Today,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the opening moments of the event, “we’re going to push our platforms further than ever.” Heading into WWDC, iPad loyalists were optimistic that this year is the year. That the time is now for Apple’s gorgeous line of tablets to finally make the leap from being basically giant iPhones, in terms of the software experience, to something more closely resembling a computer.

Ahead of the iPadOS 16 announcement, word began to circulate that a revamped multitasking interface was, thankfully, on the horizon. According to Bloomberg, the revamped design should “make it easier to see what apps are open” and to switch between active applications.

Image source: Apple

“This year, we have a big release,” Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said during the iPadOS portion of Monday’s event. A release, he continued, that will take the iPad even further. iPadOS 16 promises new ways to collaborate and to get work done. Plus new features for Pro users that take advantage of the power of the tablet’s desktop-class chip under the hood.

Bestowing the iPad with more desktop-like functionality, including the ability…