Apple is releasing iPadOS 16 on October 24th to all users

The update comes after one of the most unstable beta processes in recent years for the company.

Along with the unveiling of its latest iPads, Apple has confirmed the iPadOS 16 release date: Monday, October 24th. It comes after the update was delayed and failed to ship alongside iOS 16, the first time major upgrades to iOS and iPadOS were divided.

There’s a lot packed into iPadOS 16. Like previous versions, this edition of iPadOS lines up with the most recent release of iOS with features like text un-sending and editing in iMessage, iCloud Shared Photo Library, SharePlay upgrades, various improvements to the Mail app, Passkeys in Safari, and a full-blown Weather app. But there’s more to the story.

A big reason why the update took longer to ship than iOS 16 is the bug situation. By and large, iPadOS 16 has proven to be one of Apple’s most unstable releases in recent years, at least during the beta testing phase. A majority of issues have plagued Stage Manager, with things like regular crashes and weird UI breakouts standing as the norm more than an exception to a well-crafted feature.

In fact, Stage Manager alone was a driving cause for Apple to not just hold off on releasing iPadOS 16 with iOS 16, but also ship an even bigger update to customers as iPadOS 16.1. There’s a lot more under the hood in 16.1 to justify that too, like support for older iPad Pro models that don’t have M-based processors.

The system has also generally felt unstable. I’ve been using it a lot during the beta process and I’ve noticed that apps feel more jittery than ever, multitasking takes a beat longer than usual, and you’re never guaranteed that battery life will be consistent day-to-day. Overall, it’s been a weird testing period for an iPadOS update.

Here’s to hoping things are a bit more stable by the time next Monday rolls around. The Release Candidate version of iPadOS 16.1 is now in the hands of testers (I’ve also installed it on my iPad), and it’ll be interesting to see if it’s any better than it has been. Stay tuned.