Apple is expected to release iPadOS 16.1 today. Most of its improvements aren’t limited to the iPad — you’ll also find them on the iOS 16 and macOS Ventura. But they should help you be more productive, whatever Apple device you’re using.

Here’s an overview of some of the improvements and what they do.

A more Mac-like desktop

Director (see more below) tries to bring the Mac and iPad closer together, but the iPad gets new system elements and interactions in Desktop Class apps, including files. These include sequential undo and redo, customizable toolbars, and the ability to change file extensions and view folder sizes in Files. That alone might be enough for an upgrade, given how important Files has become to some workflows.

Mail just gets a whole lot better

As I’ve mentioned, most of the best improvements in iPadOS 16 apply to all of Apple’s platforms. Take advantage of smart new tools in Mail that let you cancel outgoing messages, schedule emails, and set reminders. Just like on the Mac, the iPad can do all of this and give you a hint when you forget to add an attachment to a message. Search has also been improved: it can better handle typos, use synonyms, and provide much richer mail search results.

Stage manager

The latest big change to the iPad’s user interface is also rolling out to the Mac. Stage manager trying to build a new logic for how you handle applications on both systems. In theory, this is practical: it makes it much easier to switch between different programs or groups of programs, and it helps by keeping the program you’re currently working with in the center. In practice, beta testers seemed to find the new user interface more effective on the Mac than on the iPad, but if people get used to it, the move could help bridge the ever-shrinking gap between the unique nature of both systems.

Apple Stage Manager an apple

Stage Manager represents a major change in the organization of windows and programs on the iPad.

Coming soon: Freeform

It is not available in this release, but Freeform promises so much for all of us. It’s a form of collaborative notebook where users can share diagrams and site plans in one fully editable shared workspace. Freeform works with Messages and FaceTime, so you can work with people and track changes asynchronously.

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