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These are the iPads that will support the iPadOS 16 update

The iPadOS 16 was one of the headline announcements of Apple’s WWDC keynote and it comes packing huge new features for the range of tablets. The big question though is – will it work with your iPad?

Apple does an excellent job at ensuring even older devices are frequently updated to new software versions, however it’s often the case that a new version of iPadOS simply cannot run comfortably on an older device.

With the iPadOS 16 update, there are also a number of features that require more powerful iPads with an M1 chipset, so we’ll run through those too.

Which iPads can run iPadOS 16?

The following iPads will be able to update to iPadOS 16 when it arrives in full later this year. These devices will also be able to run the current developer beta, and the public beta Apple has announced will arrive in July

  • iPad Pro (all current and previous models)
  • iPad Air (3rd gen and later)
  • iPad (5th gen and later)
  • iPad Mini (5h gen and later)

This does mean the compatibility is slightly different to that of iPadOS 15. The iPad Mini 4 is no longer supported, and neither is the iPad Air 2. If you want to run to you run the new update you’ll need to upgrade your iPad.

Which iPads can run Stage Manager in iPadOS 16?

However, just because your iPad can run iPadOS 16 it doesn’t mean it can take advantage of all the new features. One of the big additions this year is Stage Manager, a new way of multitasking on an iPad. It lets you resize windows, alter the display zoom and properly utilise an external monitor.

Stage Manager works with any M1 iPad, including the three below:

All these three iPads run on an M1 chipset and will be fully compatible with Stage Manager. We’d also assume all forthcoming M1 (and hopefully M2) iPads will support the feature.

Which iPads support Reference Mode in iPadOS 16?

Another iPadOS 16 feature that isn’t widely supported is Reference Mode. This lets you use the device as an HDR or SDR reference monitor with various colour profiles and will be of great use to someone using the iPad as the secondary monitor for grading.

There’s only one iPad that supports this mode:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2021 with M1

This is likely as this is the only current iPad with a true HDR display. If the rumours are true that the forthcoming 11-inch Pro update with also include an HDR capable Mini LED display we’d guess that would support the feature too. You’ll also need to use it with an Apple Silicon Mac.

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