Key Features and Enhancements
A menu at the top of apps lets you enter Split View, Slide Over, full screen, or center window with just a tap. You can also quickly close a window from the menu.
Access to all apps
When you enter Split View, the app moves aside to reveal the Home Screen, giving you access to all Home Screen pages and the App Library.
Open a window in the center
Simply touch and hold an email message, note, or message conversation to open it in a window centered on the screen, perfect for quickly previewing the content without leaving your current view. Swipe down on the multitasking control to put it in the shelf or create a Split View, Slide Over, and more from the Multitasking menu.
The new multiwindow shelf gives you quick access to all the open windows for an app. The shelf appears when you open an app and elegantly fades away as soon as you interact with the app. Tap one to open it or flick it away to close.
Improved App Switcher
The App Switcher has been updated to include Slide Over apps and allow you to create Split View spaces by dragging one app over another.
Redesigned keyboard shortcuts bar
The keyboard menu bar has an all-new, compact look that packs the same functionality into a smaller space so you can better access the functions of the app behind it.
All-new keyboard shortcuts view
The keyboard shortcuts view has a new look and added functionality. Keyboard shortcuts are now organized by categories like File, Edit, Format, View, and Search in a more compact space.
More keyboard shortcuts
Additional keyboard shortcuts across apps and the system include multitasking and contextual menus. The globe key is now a modifier, enabling you to perform more tasks from the keyboard.
Full keyboard navigation
Navigate through an app using the keyboard for enhanced productivity. Use the tab key to highlight text fields and buttons, all without taking your hands off the keyboard.
Place widgets on the Home Screen
Place widgets among apps on your Home Screen to take full advantage of the larger space.
Widgets remain in their place whether you’re using your iPad in portrait or landscape.
Find My widget
Keep track of your friends and personal items right from the Home Screen with the Find My widget.
Stay connected to family and friends from your Home Screen with the Contacts widget. Reach them via Phone, Messages, FaceTime, Mail, or Find My. With Family Sharing, you can take additional actions, like approving purchases or Screen Time requests from your kids.
Game Center widgets
The Continue Playing widget displays your recently played Game Center–enabled games across devices. The Friends Are Playing widget helps you discover the games your friends play.
App Store widget
See the stories, collections, and in-app events from your Today tab right on your Home Screen.
Glance at your latest email and get quick access to one of your mailboxes with the Mail widget.
When you upgrade, you’ll see a new default layout, with widgets from the apps you use most arranged in Smart Stacks.
Intelligent widget suggestions
Suggested widgets for apps you already use can automatically appear in your Smart Stack at the right time based on your past activity. For example, if you have an upcoming reservation, the widget for that app will temporarily appear at the top of the stack and disappear after it’s done. An option lets you add the widget to your stack so it’s always there when you need it.
Reorder Smart Stacks
Easily reorder the widgets in your Smart Stacks right from the Home Screen with new controls.
The App Library is now on iPad. It automatically organizes your iPad apps into helpful categories like Productivity and Games or an intelligent category like Suggestions. The App Library gives you one simple, easy-to-navigate view of all your iPad apps.
Get quick access to the App Library right from the Dock no matter where you are, even over an app.
Reorder Home Screen pages
Personalize your Home Screen by reordering pages.
Hide Home Screen pages
Hide pages to streamline your Home Screen. New apps downloaded from the App Store automatically go into the App Library.
Tags are a fast and flexible way to categorize and organize your notes. Add one or more tags by typing or handwriting them directly in the note — like #activities or #cooking.
The Tag Browser in the sidebar lets you tap any tag or combination of tags to quickly view tagged notes.
Custom Smart Folders
Custom Smart Folders automatically collect notes in one place based on tags.
See what others have added to your shared note while you were away. The new Activity view gives a summary of updates since the last time you viewed the note and a day-to-day list of activity from each collaborator.
Swipe right anywhere in your note to reveal details of who made changes in a shared note. View edit times and dates with highlighted text color-coded to match collaborators in the note.
Mentions make collaboration in shared notes or folders more social, direct, and contextual. Type or handwrite an @ sign and the name of a collaborator anywhere in your note to notify them of important updates and link them back to the note.
Images in handwritten notes
Combine handwriting and images in handwritten notes. Just drag images into the drawing area, then position, resize, or even draw directly on them.
Easy to access
Access Quick Note with a swipe of a finger or Apple Pencil. You can also access Quick Note from Control Center or with a keyboard shortcut.
Access Quick Note from anywhere in the system. You can be using any app, on the Home Screen, or in full screen or Split View.
Write any way you want
Write or sketch using the tool palette — making it easy to jot something down just the way you want.
Adjust the size or position of a Quick Note, or even hide it on the side so you can quickly bring it back to add more information later.
Add links from an app to your Quick Note to create context. When you return to the same place in the app or website, a thumbnail of the Quick Note appears in the corner to remind you of what you noted earlier.
Persistent highlights with Safari
Keep track of websites you’ve visited by highlighting text or images in Safari and adding them directly into your note.
Creates a sound field that helps conversations flow as easily as they do face to face. Your friends’ voices are spread out to sound like they’re coming from the direction in which they’re positioned on the call.1
Inspired by the portraits you take in the Camera app, Portrait mode in FaceTime blurs your background and puts the focus on you.1
Voice Isolation mode
This microphone mode spotlights your voice by using machine learning to identify ambient noises and block them out. So a leaf blower outside or a dog barking in the next room won’t interrupt your call.
Wide Spectrum mode
This microphone mode brings every single sound into your call. It’s ideal for when you’re taking music lessons or want your friend to hear everything that’s happening in the space you’re in.
Lets you see people in your Group FaceTime calls in the same‑size tiles, and highlights the current speaker so it’s easy to know who’s talking. You’ll see up to 20 faces in the grid at a time.
Invite your friends into a FaceTime call using a web link you can share anywhere.
Generate a web link for a FaceTime call while creating an event in Calendar, so everyone knows exactly where to meet and when.
Join FaceTime on the web
Invite anyone to join you in a FaceTime call, even friends who don’t have an Apple device.2 They can join you for one-on-one and Group FaceTime calls right from their browser instantly — no login necessary.
Lets you know when you’re talking while muted. Tap the alert to quickly unmute and make sure your voice is heard.
An optical zoom control for your back camera helps you zero in on what matters when you’re on a FaceTime call.
SharePlay: Watch together
Bring movies and TV shows into your FaceTime calls and enjoy rich, real‑time connection with your friends while watching the same videos.
SharePlay: Listen together
Share music with your friends right in your FaceTime calls.
SharePlay: Share your screen
Share your screen to bring web pages, apps, and more into your conversation on FaceTime.
SharePlay: Synced playback
Pause, rewind, fast-forward, or jump to a different scene — everyone’s playback remains in perfect sync.
SharePlay: Shared music queue
When listening together, anyone in the call can add songs to the shared queue.
SharePlay: Smart volume
Dynamically responsive volume controls automatically adjust audio so you can hear your friends even during a loud scene or climactic chorus.
SharePlay: Multiple device support
Connect over FaceTime on your iPad while watching video on your Apple TV or listening to music on your HomePod.
SharePlay: Connect through audio, video, and text
Access your group’s Messages thread right from the FaceTime controls and choose the mode of communication that matches the moment.
Shared with You
Content sent to you over Messages automatically appears in a new Shared with You section in the corresponding app, so you can enjoy it when it’s convenient for you. Shared with You will be featured in Photos, Safari, Apple News, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app.
Shared with You: Pins
For content that’s especially interesting to you, you can quickly pin it in Messages, and it will be elevated in Shared with You, Messages search, and the Details view of the conversation.
Shared with You: Continue the conversation
Alongside shared content in the corresponding apps, you can see who sent it and tap the sender to view the associated messages and continue the conversation right from the app — without going to Messages.
Shared with You: Photos
Photos sent to you over Messages automatically appear in your Photos app. Your library includes the photos you care about most — like the ones you were there for. And in For You, the broader set of shared photos will be featured in a new Shared with You section, your Memories, and your Featured Photos.
Shared with You: Safari
Interesting articles, recipes, and other links sent over Messages automatically appear in the new Shared with You section on the Safari start page and in the sidebar. Articles that can be found in Safari and Apple News will conveniently appear in Shared with You in both apps — so you can enjoy them in either place.
Shared with You: Apple News
Interesting stories sent over Messages automatically appear in the new Shared with You section in the Today feed and in the sidebar of Apple News. Stories found in News and Safari will appear in Shared with You in both apps — so you can enjoy them in either place.
Shared with You: Apple Music
Music sent over Messages automatically appears in the new Shared with You section of Listen Now in Apple Music.
Shared with You: Apple Podcasts
Podcast shows and episodes sent over Messages automatically appear in the new Shared with You section of Listen Now in Apple Podcasts.
Shared with You: Apple TV app
Movies and shows sent over Messages automatically appear in the new Shared with You section of Watch Now in the Apple TV app.
Enjoy multiple photos as beautiful collections in your Messages conversations. A handful of images appears as a glanceable collage and a larger set as an elegant stack that you can swipe through. Tap to view them as a grid and easily add a Tapback or inline reply.
Easily save photos
You can quickly save photos sent to you by tapping a new save button right in the Messages conversation.
Match your devices to your mindset with Focus. Automatically filter notifications based on what you’re currently doing. Turn on Do Not Disturb to switch everything off, or choose from a suggested Focus for work, personal time, sleep, fitness, gaming, reading, or driving.
Focus setup suggestions
When you’re setting up a Focus, on‑device intelligence about your past activity suggests apps and people you want to allow notifications from.
Focus contextual suggestions
Get intelligent suggestions about selecting a Focus based on your context, using different signals like location or time of day.
Create a custom Focus to filter notifications based on what you’re currently doing.
Focus across your devices
When you use a Focus on one device, it’s automatically set on your other devices.
Matching Home Screen pages with Focus
Dedicate a page on your Home Screen to a specific Focus and organize your apps and widgets in a way that reduces temptation by making only related apps visible. The page appears when you’re in a Focus and hides everything else.
Set allowed interruptions so that the most important notifications from people or apps will get through to you while you’re focusing.
Contacts outside the notifications you allow for a Focus will be told that your notifications are silenced. Your status appears the moment someone tries to contact you in Messages, so they know not to interrupt.
Turn on a standard auto‑reply for your contacts when they message you while you’re focusing.
If someone’s status is turned on, signaling that they have notifications silenced with Focus, you can break through with an urgent message. If you’re on the receiving end, you can prevent an app or person from breaking through.
For conversations in third‑party messaging apps, developers can use your status to reflect that you’ve stepped away.
New look for notifications
Notifications have a fresh new look, with contact photos for people and larger icons for apps.
Receive a helpful summary of your notifications delivered daily, in the morning and evening, or scheduled at a time you choose. Your summary is personalized and helps you quickly catch up on what you missed while away focusing.
Mute any app or messaging thread temporarily, for the next hour, or for the day.
If a thread is really active and you aren’t engaging with it, you’ll get a suggestion to mute it.
Notifications from people across your communication apps now feature contact photos to make them easier to identify.
Time Sensitive notifications
Time Sensitive notifications from apps are always delivered immediately, so you won’t miss out on timely alerts like a fraud alert, car waiting outside, or reminder to go pick up your kids.
New notification APIs for developers allow them to automatically send Time Sensitive notifications and adopt the new look for notifications coming from people.
Discover the natural beauty of Earth with a rich and interactive 3D globe, including significantly enhanced details for mountain ranges, deserts, forests, oceans, and more.1
Detailed new city experience
Explore cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London with unprecedented detail for elevation, roads, trees, buildings, landmarks, and more.1
New driving features
An all-new driving map helps you see traffic, incidents, and other details that affect your drive at a glance. See road details like turn lanes, bike, bus, and taxi lanes, medians, crosswalks, and much more.
The transit map has been redesigned for the new city experience and now shows key bus routes.
Frequent transit riders can now get one-tap access to all departures that are near them. They can even pin their favorite lines so that they always show up at the top if they are nearby.
All-new place cards
Completely redesigned place cards make it easy to find and interact with important information for businesses, explore details about cities, and learn about physical features like mountain ranges.
Editorially curated Guides Home
It’s now easier to discover great places with the all‑new Guides Home, an editorially curated destination where you can find Guides for places you’ll love.
When looking for places like restaurants, you can filter your search results by cuisine or whether they offer takeout. Or you can choose to see only places that are open right now. When you move the map while searching, Maps automatically updates your search results.
Maps users can now find their most used settings all in one place, including their preferred mode of transit, reported issues, favorites, and more.
Redesigned Maps contributions
With an all-new design, it’s faster and easier to report an issue in Maps.
Streamlined tab bar
The streamlined tab bar takes up less room on the page and adjusts to match the colors of each site, extending your web page to the edge of the window.
Safari features like sharing, Privacy Report, Translate, and Reader are located in the More menu within the active tab.
Integrated Smart Search field
Search from your active tab with the integrated Smart Search field. Tap the website’s name to expand and reveal the page’s full address or type your search right into the name field.
Tabs have a rounder and more defined appearance, making them easier to work with. Tabs fluidly adapt as you add more, shrinking or stretching to fit the page.
Save and organize your tabs in the way that works best for you. Switch between tab groups using the redesigned sidebar or drop-down menu. Tab groups sync across devices so you have access to your tabs from anywhere.
Customizable start page
Customize the start page to make it your own. You can set a background image and select new sections to display, like Privacy Report, Siri Suggestions, and Shared with You. Customizations sync across devices, so you can have the same Safari everywhere.
Manage your tab groups, bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared with You links in the redesigned sidebar.
New privacy protections
Intelligent Tracking Prevention now also prevents trackers from profiling you using your IP address.
Safari automatically upgrades sites known to support HTTPS from insecure HTTP.
Pull to refresh
Refresh a web page by pulling down from the top of the page.
Web extensions on iPadOS
Personalize Safari on iPadOS with web extensions. Web extensions can add functionality and features to Safari. You can install extensions through the App Store.
Search the web using your voice. Tap the microphone in the tab bar and speak your search to see suggestions or be taken directly to the page you’re looking for.
Live Text in photos
Text is now completely interactive in all your photos, so you can use functions like copy and paste, lookup, and translate. Live Text works in Photos, Screenshot, Quick Look, and Safari.
Visual Look Up
Swipe up or tap the information button on any photo to highlight recognized objects and scenes. Learn more about popular art and landmarks around the world, plants and flowers out in nature, books, and breeds of pets.
Brings together all the information you’re looking for in one rich result. Available for contacts, actors, musicians, movies, and TV shows.
Spotlight uses information from Photos to enable searching your full photo library by locations, people, scenes, or even things in the photos, like a dog or a car. Find images shared through Messages by including a contact name in your search.
Web images search
Spotlight allows you to search for images of people, animals, monuments, and more from the web.
Lock Screen access
Pull down from the Lock Screen or Notification Center to open Spotlight.
App Clips in Maps results
For businesses that support App Clips, you’ll see an action button on the Maps result in Spotlight. Action buttons include Menu, Tickets, Reservations, Appointments, Takeout, Order, Delivery, Waitlist, Showtimes, Parking, Availability, and Pricing.
Improved App Store search
Quickly install apps from the App Store without leaving Spotlight.
Memories: Apple Music
In addition to the hundreds of newly included songs, Apple Music subscribers can add any of the tens of millions of songs from the Apple Music library to enjoy on their devices.
Memories: Song suggestions
Apple Music song suggestions are personalized just for you, combining expert recommendations with your music tastes and what’s in your photos and videos. Song suggestions can even recommend songs that were popular at the time and location of the memory, songs you listened to while traveling, or a song from the artist you saw for a concert memory.
Memories: Memory mixes
Customize your memory by swiping through Memory mixes, which let you audition different songs with pacing and a Memory look to match.
Memories: Fresh new look
Memories has a fresh new look including animated cards with smart, adaptive titles, new animation and transition styles, and multiple image collages for a cinematic feel.
Memories: Memory looks
Inspired by the art of cinematography, 12 Memory looks add mood by analyzing each photo and video and applying the right contrast and color adjustment to give them a consistent look — just as the colorists at film studios do.
Memories: Interactive interface
Tap to pause, replay the last photo, skip to the next, or jump ahead, and the music keeps playing and the timing adjusts to keep the transitions on the beat. Change the song or Memory look or add or remove photos, and the adjustment happens in real time, without the need for the movie to recompile.
Memories: Browse view
View all the content from your memory in a bird’s‑eye view where you can add, remove, or change the memory duration or jump ahead to another part of the memory.
Memories: New memory types
New memory types include additional international holidays, child-focused memories, trends over time, and improved pet memories, including recognizing individual dogs and cats.
Memories: Watch next
Memories suggests related memories to watch next after your memory finishes playing.
Memories: On-device song suggestions
Song suggestions are determined on device to protect your privacy.
Shared with You
The Shared with You section in the For You tab allows you to view photos and videos that have been shared with you in Messages. Photos taken when you were present also appear in All Photos and in Days, Months, and Years views and can appear in your Featured Photos and Memories, including the Photos widget. Save a photo to your library or respond to the sender in Messages.
Richer Info pane
Swipe up on a photo or tap the new info button to view information about the photo, such as the camera, lens, and shutter speed, the file size, or who sent a Shared with You photo in Messages. You can also edit the date taken or location, add a caption, and learn about items detected by Visual Look Up.
Faster iCloud Photos library initial sync
When you upgrade to a new device, iCloud Photos syncs more quickly, so you can get to your photo library faster.
Limited Photos Library improvements in third‑party apps
Third-party apps can offer simpler selection workflows when you grant access to specific content in the Photos library.
People identification improvements
The People album has improved recognition for individuals.
People naming workflow
Correct naming mistakes more easily in the People album.
Selection order in the Photos image picker
The Photos image picker, including in the Messages app, now allows you to select photos in a specific order for sharing.
Suggest less often
Tap Feature Less to let Photos know you prefer to see less of a specific date, place, holiday, or person across Featured Photos, in the Photos widget, in Memories, or highlighted in the Library tab.
Use your keyboard, mouse, and trackpad across Mac and iPad
Use a single keyboard, mouse, or trackpad to work between your devices. When you move from your Mac to your iPad, the cursor for your mouse or trackpad transforms from an arrow to a round dot, automatically changing shape to the one that is best suited for the device.
No setup required
Universal Control works effortlessly — no setup required. Simply use your mouse or trackpad to push the cursor from one device toward the other until it pops onto the second device. Then you can move your cursor seamlessly between the two.
Optional continuous setup
If you use your devices together all the time and want to use Universal Control without the need to link the two using the cursor, you can set them up to work with Universal Control continuously in System Preferences.
Support for multiple devices
Universal Control works with up to three devices.
Drag and drop content between devices
Use your mouse or trackpad to drag and drop content between your devices, perfect for when you’re sketching a drawing with Apple Pencil on your iPad and want to drop it into Keynote on your Mac.
Mail Privacy Protection
Mail Privacy Protection helps protect your privacy by preventing email senders from learning information about your Mail activity. If you choose to turn it on, it hides your IP address so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or determine your location. And it prevents senders from seeing if you’ve opened their email.
App Privacy Report
A section in Settings lets you see how often apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the last seven days. It also shows you which apps have contacted other domains and how recently they have contacted them. This is a good complement to an app’s privacy label, so you can be sure you’re comfortable with how it’s treating your privacy.4
Developers can allow you to paste content from another app without having access to what you’ve copied until you want them to have access.
Share current location
Developers can let you share your current location with a customizable button in their apps. It’s an easy way for them to help you share your location just once, without further access after that session.
Limited Photos Library improvements in third‑party apps
If you’ve granted limited access to your Photos library, third-party apps can offer simpler selection workflows when you allow access to specific content in the library.
On-device speech processing
The audio of your requests is now processed entirely on your iPad unless you choose to share it. The power of the Apple Neural Engine enables speech recognition models with the same high quality as server-based speech recognition.5
Siri speech recognition and understanding improve as you use your device. Siri learns the contacts you interact with most, new words you type, and topics you read about — all privately on your device.6
Siri can now process many types of requests offline without an internet connection, including Timers & Alarms, Phone, Messaging, Sharing, App Launch, Control Audio Playback, and Settings.5
Fast on-device processing
Processing on device means that Siri is incredibly fast.5
Share items onscreen like photos, web pages, content from Apple Music or Apple Podcasts, Apple News stories, Maps locations, and more. For example, just say “Send this to Vivek” and Siri will send it. If the item cannot be shared, Siri will offer to send a screenshot instead.
Refer to contacts onscreen
Siri can now use onscreen context to send a message or place a call. For example, if you’re looking at a contact in the Contacts app, a conversation with someone in Messages, or a notification of a message or missed call from someone, you can say “Message them I’m on my way” and Siri will send it to the appropriate contact.
Siri is even better at maintaining context between requests, so you can conversationally refer to what you just asked. For example, after asking “Is Glacier National Park still open?” you could ask “How long does it take to get there?” and Siri will make the connection.
Siri automatically announces Time Sensitive incoming notifications on AirPods. You can also have notifications that are not Time Sensitive enabled for any app through Settings.7
Control smart home devices at a specific time
You can ask Siri to control a HomeKit device at a specific time. For example, say “Hey Siri, turn off my bedroom lights at 7 p.m.” or “Hey Siri, turn off all the lights when I leave.”
Neural text-to-speech voice in more languages
The latest neural text-to-speech voices are now available in more languages: Swedish (Sweden), Danish (Denmark), Norwegian (Norway), and Finnish (Finland).
Mixed English and Indic language support in Siri
Ask Siri to play your favorite song, call a friend, and more using a mix of Indian English and your native language. Nine languages are supported: Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, and Punjabi.
iCloud Private Relay
iCloud Private Relay is a service that lets you connect to virtually any network and browse with Safari in an even more secure and private way. It ensures that the traffic leaving your device is encrypted so no one can intercept and read it. Then all your requests are sent through two separate internet relays. It’s designed so that no one — including Apple — can use your IP address, location, and browsing activity to create a detailed profile about you.
Hide My Email
iPad OS 15 Features
Key Features and Enhancements