iPad, Apple Watch & Mac: The 7 Most Exciting Changes Coming Soon

iPad, Apple Watch & Mac: The 7 Most Exciting Changes Coming Soon

Every June at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) Apple announces the software that will power its devices later this year. Tomorrow, I’ll be looking at the best innovations coming to iPhone, but today it’s the turn of Apple’s iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

Here’s what to look out for and which gadgets are compatible.

Apple iPad

1. Stage Manager

Works with iPad Pro 12.9in 5th generation, iPad Pro 11in 3rd generation, iPad Air 5th generation

This is the feature Apple saved until last, and you can see why. It’s a simple, effective and very cool way to multitask on the iPad. Currently we can use neat mechanisms like Slide Over and Split View, but Stage Manager is significantly more intuitive. It means that you can have multiple windows onscreen at the same time with one front-and-center and others peeping round the corners so you don’t forget them. You can have four live simultaneously, plus another four on an external monitor if one is connected.

It’s a significant update but it needs a lot of power to work well, so Apple has restricted it to just three models, all with the same Apple M1 processor on board.

2. There’s a Weather app. Finally.

Works with all iPads that support iPadOS 16: iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), and all iPad Pro models.

It’s only taken 12 years, but Apple has at last created its own Weather app for the iPad. There have been plenty of third-party apps for the platform, including the feisty and funny Carrot, but this one looks deep-down fantastic.

It has plenty of detail, with a 10-day forecast, today’s temperature hour-by-hour, expected rainfall, wind direction and more. It’s in the same style as the iPhone app but the extra real estate means it is handsomely laid out and very informative. As with the iPhone, the background to each location reflects the current weather: sunny skies in Palma de Mallorca, ominiously rolling clouds in New York, splashy rainfall in (sigh) London.

3. Smart tools for Mail

Works with all iPads that support iPadOS 16: iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), and all iPad Pro models.

Once you’ve sent your email, you can recall it, though you need to be quick about it: you’ve got 10 seconds to change your mind. You can also schedule messages so they send at just the right time. These are both features found in some third-party apps, like the brilliant Mailbutler, which can also tell you when your emails have been read. But it’s good to have these things built in.

Just as importantly, a new search system will offer more complete results, Apple says.


Apple Watch

4. Updated Sleep tracking

Works with all Apple Watches that support watchOS 9: Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (second generation) or later, running iOS 16.

Apple’s sleep tracking is good, but I always missed the sleep stages other apps had. Now, it’s here. So you’ll be able to see how much of last night was deep sleep or REM, for instance. It’ll also show heart rate and respiratory rate when you sleep, which is a great step forward. And you’ll be able to contribute to the wealth of knowledge about sleep by contributing your sleep stage data in the Apple Heart and Movement Study, which is in the Research app.

5. Workout updates

Works with all Apple Watches that support watchOS 9: Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (second generation) or later, running iOS 16.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’m looking forward to this. Every time Apple introduces an updated, more specific workout update, it makes it more accurate. That’s a good thing but every single time, it means the calorie burn count is lower. I’d rather live in ignorance and have an easier workout.

Okay, I’m joking, but you see where I’m coming from.

This time around, there are new workout views to show more metrics, such as Heart Rate Zones to monitor how intensely you’re working out. And the new workout type supported is Multisport so when you’ve told it which workouts you’re about to do, it will know when you’ve switched from running to biking to swimming. There are also more updates to running, offering insights into stride length, ground contact time and vertical oscillation. Measuring all that just from your wrist is pretty neat.


Apple Mac

6. Continuity Camera

Oh my, this is cool. You’ll be able to use your iPhone camera as your webcam. It doesn’t work with all iPhones or Macs but basically, you can attach the iPhone to the back of the MacBook Pro, say and it wirelessly connects to the Mac. Suddenly, you have a really high-grade camera for videoconferencing. You’ll look your best on everybody else’s display—so you’re really doing them a favor, right?

Even cooler, you can share your physical desk simultaneously, which is handy if you’re comparing material swatches, photos or whatever. The ultra-wide camera comes into play here and adjusts the image, squaring corners and so on, to make it look the same as what you see in real life.

7. Major updates to key apps

Mail gets a tweak on the Mac as well as the iPad and Safari adds Tab Groups which lets you collaborate with others and see what they’re looking at live. You’ll be able to start a Messages conversation or FaceTime call from within Safari, too. And Messages lets you edit or recall messages after the event, for up to 15 minutes. You can even recover deleted messages for 30 days after you gave them the chop.

There’s lots more to come so please check back as I’ll be continuing to add and discuss new features.

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