The next iPad operating system will have a major change to how the Apple tablet will be used, according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg. And it’s just days away, as it will be featured in Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which starts next Monday, June 6.

The big change is one that’s been top of the wish list for a lot of people for a long time: better multitasking. The iPad, especially when a keyboard is connected to it, is an accomplished computer. As Apple’s recent ad said, “Your next computer is not a computer”. It’s true that the iPad Pro is more powerful than a lot of regular laptops.

But there’s been one problem in using your iPad as though it was a MacBook with a touchscreen, and that’s multitasking. So, it’s great news that iPadOS 16 will have a “redesigned multitasking interface that makes it easier to see what apps are open and switch between tasks,” as Gurman’s sources put it.

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For me, Gurman’s key sentence is this: “It also will let users resize app windows and offer new ways for users to handle multiple apps at once”. That’s pretty cool and overcomes a lot of the limitations the iPad currently has for productivity purposes.

There’s often been a perception that the iPad hardware has been so powerful that the software hasn’t kept up, especially with the advent of the Apple M1 processor which is found in the iPad Pro as well as Apple’s laptop and desktop computers.

Gurman says this announcement will be one of the biggest at the conference. No kidding. Since at the moment you are restricted to two windows running side-by-side plus a third one that pops over them to sit at the edge, a move to windows you can resize will be a change of seismic proportions.

The announcement will be followed by beta release for developers, then a public beta and final general release software in the fall.

More details as we have them.

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