At the beginning of this month a rumor surfaced claiming that, for the first time ever, Apple would decouple an iPadOS release from an iOS release this year, outing iPadOS 16 about a month after iOS 16.
Today Apple itself has confirmed just that. In a statement provided to TechCrunch, the company said this:
This is an especially big year for iPadOS. As its own platform with features specifically designed for iPad, we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on its own schedule. This Fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS, as version 16.1 in a free software update.
The aforementioned rumor from the beginning of August pegged the culprit for the delay as being the new Stage Manager multitasking feature, that will be available on iPads with Apple M chips only.
In the meantime, Apple has pushed iPadOS 16.1 beta to developers. This would be the first time when a .1 version launches instead of the .0 one, so it’s the year of premieres for Apple’s tablet software, it seems.
That said, iOS and iPadOS may actually sync up again with this move – with iOS 16.1 releasing at the same time as iPadOS 16.1. Either way, iPhones will have a head start on enjoying the new branch.