Something to look forward to: On top of the company's new hardware announcements this week, Apple has finally provided a release date for macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16. Before the end of this month, Mac and iPad users will gain many of the features Apple introduced with iOS 16.
On Tuesday, Apple announced that iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura hit public release on October 24, just in time for the new iPad models announced on Tuesday. The updates will introduce many of the features iOS 16 brought to the iPhone last month but will leave behind several older Mac and iPad models.
One of the primary new features for iPads and Macs is iCloud Shared Photo Library. The addition lets users share collections of pictures with friends and family members over iCloud. One nice aspect is that the libraries seamlessly update as soon as anyone in the group takes, uploads, or edits a photo.
Another iOS 16 headline feature included in Ventura and iPadOS 16 is the ability to edit and unsend messages. New mail functions like undo send, schedule send, and rich links also make their way to the tablet and computer updates.
Ventura and iPad OS 16 will complete Apple's adoption of FIDO's passkeys --an alternative to passwords that lets users log into supporting sites and apps by authenticating mobile devices with biometrics or PINs. Apple, Google, and Microsoft started working to make passkeys inter-compatible across Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. Google brought full support to Android last week.
Spotlight's image search feature also debuts in iPadOS 16 and Ventura. Users can now pull information from images and messages when entering searches from the home screen to enhance search results. A new web image search is exclusive to Ventura Spotlight.
Macs also gain the ability to use iPhones as webcams. When users bring their iPhones close to their Macs, Ventura will automatically set up a wireless connection that turns the phone into a camera input. FaceTime calls can also now switch back and forth between iPhones and Macs.
The iPad receives Apple's weather app for the first time with iPadOS 16. Oddly, Apple has given iPhone users native real-time weather updates for years, but iPad users needed 3rd party options like the Weather Channel app for that functionality until now.
Other features coming with iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura include new gaming functionality, like an upscaler based on Apple's Metal graphics API, app organization through Stage Manager, and more.
The latest iPadOS is compatible with all iPad Pros and any standard iPad that can run iPadOS 15. Only iPad Air 2 and iPad mini four owners will need to upgrade if they want iPadOS 16.
Owners of 2017 and earlier Macs will probably need to consider upgrading if they want to run Ventura. The new OS abandons several MacBook Pro models and a few models from the other Mac variants. Check Apple's Ventura page for a complete compatibility list.