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iPadOS 17 vs iPadOS 16: What’s new?

Apple took to WWDC this June to showcase all the new software features coming to the iPad with iPadOS 17 later this year.

If you’re wondering what’s new and how the update differs from iPadOS 16, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to discover all the new features coming to the iPad in 2023.

iPadOS 17 customisable lock screen

iPadOS 17 has customisable lock screens

It’s been a year since Apple introduced custom lock screens for the iPhone and now iPad users will be able to get in on the fun and personalise their own lock screens in iPadOS 17.

Users will soon be able to create multiple lock screens using their own images and Live Photos as wallpapers and combine them with a choice of fonts and colours to highlight the date and time in their own personal style.

iPadOS 17 interactive widgets

iPadOS 17 introduces interactive widgets

With iPadOS 17, iPad users will be able to complete simple tasks by just tapping on a widget instead of going through the motion of opening up an app. Interactive widgets will be available on both the lock screen and the home screen, allowing users to switch on lights, play songs, mark reminders as complete and more with the tap of a finger.

On a similar note, iPadOS will be getting Live Activities with iPadOS 17. This feature makes it easy for users to stay up to date on current happenings like sports scores and the progress of an Uber Eats order by glancing at the small bar at the top of the screen.

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iPadOS 17 PDFs

PDFs have gotten an upgrade in iPadOS 17

Thanks to machine learning, iPadOS will now be capable of identifying fields in a PDF, making it easier to fill forms out from the convenience of your tablet.

The Notes app has also been given a handy update that will cause PDFs to appear full-width in the app. This’ll mean that users can flip through pages, scribble down ideas and doodle in PDFs and scanned documents on the go and with their Apple Pencil without moving into a third-party app.

iPadOS 17 Live Stickers

You can create Live Stickers on iPadOS 17

Apple announced a number of updates to the Messages app this time around, including the ability to create Live Stickers from photos by lifting a subject from its background and then dropping those stickers directly into chats.

Messages is also getting new search filters that make it easier to search for more specific things across conversations, as well as automatic transcriptions for audio messages. That means you won’t need to pull your headphones out or find a quiet place to stop and listen when you’re out and about.

iPadOS 17 FaceTime

iPadOS 17 lets you leave a message in FaceTime

With iPadOS 17, you’ll have the option to leave an audio or video message when someone misses your FaceTime call.

FaceTime is also getting a new series of Reactions, including hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams and rain, which can be activated during a call with simple hand gestures.

iPadOS 17 Health

iPadOS 17 finally gets the Health app

Finally, Apple is bringing the iPhone’s popular Health app to the iPad.

Going forward, iPad users will be able to view their health data on a more spacious screen with a design that has been optimised for the iPad display. This includes new ways to look at Trends, Highlights and interactive charts.

The health app will also get medication tracking, Cycle Tracking, emotion and mood tracking and the ability to view health records from multiple supported institutions, though we’ll have to wait and see whether that includes health records here in the UK or if that’s more of a US-focussed feature.

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