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The next major iPad software update has been officially delayed

Apple’s big iPadOS 16 update will not launch alongside iOS 16 next month, the tablet maker has confirmed.

The company has today released a developer beta for iOS 16.1. Effectively this means Apple will skip iPadOS 16 next month and instead go straight to iPadOS 16.1 this autumn.

The company has confirmed the decision in a statement (first reported by TechCrunch), citing the flexibility to separate out the launches due to the platform specific features for iPad users.

The also statement passed onto the site (and since requested by Trusted Reviews) says: “This is an especially big year for iPadOS. As its own platform with features specifically designed for iPad, we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on its own schedule. This Fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS, as version 16.1 in a free software update.”

The statement confirms previous reporting from Bloomberg, who’d been first to the news of a potential schedule change for iPadOS 16.

That report contained information that one of iPadOS’s key features – Stage Manager – was not yet ready for prime time. Stage Manager is a headline feature of both iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, and is designed to enable users to quickly access whatever they are working on from thumbnail windows gathered on the left side of the display.

In the beta versions of iPadOS 16, the feature has been buggy, while there have also been compatibility issues with older iPads. While Apple isn’t stating directly that Stage Manager is the reason, and it has delayed key features while still launching the OS, it would appear that iPadOS 16 just isn’t ready yet.

It marks a change in precedent for Apple. Since separating the two mobile operating systems, Apple had maintained simultaneous release dates for its iPad and iPhone hardware. Apple would have been expected to launch iPadOS 16 in the next 2-3 weeks, soon after the iPhone 14 launch event tipped for September 7. We now could see iPadOS 16.1 launch alongside new hardware in October.

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