Apple unveils iPadOS 17 with interactive widgets, lock screen customization and more

iPadOS 17 is expected to be released later this fall, along with iOS 17

At its 2023 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple gave us a sneak peek of iPadOS 17, the next major update for its tablet lineup.

Here’s what’s new with the new operating system:

A more personalized Lock Screen experience and Widgets

One of the most noticeable changes in iPadOS 17 is the ability to customize the lock screen with different widgets and styles. You can choose from various styles, similar to the lock screen customization on your iPhone, with a new ‘kaleidoscope effect’ that changes with every unlock. You can also add interactive widgets to your home screen, allowing you to play music, control smart home devices, and more directly from the widget without having to open its app.

Live Activities, which let you track things like your Uber Eats order, sports scores, multiple timers, and more, are also coming to iPadOS 17.

The Health App comes to iPad

The Health app coming to iPadOS for the first time, synced with data from your iPhone and Apple Watch, to show you your fitness and wellness data on the larger iPad display. You can view your activity rings, heart rate, sleep patterns, and more on the Health app dashboard.

Image credit (screenshot)

Siri can now be activated by simply saying “Siri”

Siri on iPadOS 17 will now be able to respond to your voice without requiring you to press a button or touch the screen. You can simply say “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri” to activate it.

Working with PDFs is easier

iPadOS 17 also makes working with PDFs easier and faster. You can use autofill to fill out forms and sign documents with your Apple Pencil. You can also scan documents with your iPad camera and convert them to PDFs with a tap. The Notes app in iPadOS 17 now also offers a new way to work with PDFs and scanned documents. Users can now view PDFs in full width, flip through pages, make annotations, or sketch directly on the document with Apple Pencil. Users can also collaborate on PDFs in real-time with others in a shared note.

Interactive messages

Similar to iOS 17, Messages on iPadOS 17 is also receiving an update. The Messages app on iPadOS 17 will offer new ways to connect and express yourself with stickers, effects, and more. Users will be able to create Live Stickers from their photos by lifting a subject from the background and adding effects to make them more fun and lively. Additionally, users will also have access to a new drawer that gathers all their stickers in one place for easy access.

Further, with Messages on iPadOS 17, Apple is improving search by adding filters to help users narrow down results. There’s also a new catch-up arrow in chats so you can quickly review messages in busy chats.

Learn more about changes to Messages here.

Image credit: Apple (screenshot

iPadOS 17 developer beta is available to Apple Developer Program members here starting today, and a public beta will be available to iPadOS users next month at beta.apple.com.

iPadOS 17 is expected to be released later this fall, along with iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma. Apple will likely reveal more details and features of the new software in the coming months. Learn more about the new OS here.

For all of our WWDC 2023 content, follow this link.