iPadOS 17 feature roundup: Interactive widgets, USB webcam support, Health app, more

in iPad edited June 2023

Apple didn't spend much time on iPadOS 17, but there are several new features coming to the platform, plus almost everything from iOS 17 is included too. Here's everything coming in iPadOS 17.

iPadOS 17 has several new features
iPadOS 17 has several new features

The WWDC keynote spent a lot of time on Apple Vision Pro and visionOS, but iPadOS 17 did get a few minutes of stage time. Despite the short segment, iPad got several features that will benefit users and developers alike.

As expected, Apple brought Lock Screen customization and other features introduced for iPhone in 2022 to iPad. Stage Manager also got some attention despite being announced only a year prior -- which goes against Apple's usual schedule of updating features every other year.

AppleInsider has been searching for new features in iPadOS 17, and there's plenty to look forward to. Here's what we could discover from the keynote and the beta.

Personalization and customization

Apple has slowly pushed for more customization and control across its product ecosystem. That hasn't changed for iPadOS 17 and there are even some custom features for iPad.

  • Interactive widgets on the Home Screen

  • Customizable Lock Screen

  • Live Photos set as Lock Screen wallpapers will animate with frames added by machine learning

  • Astronomy wallpapers optimized for iPad

  • Live Activities on the iPad Lock Screen

Customize the iPad Lock Screen
Customize the iPad Lock Screen

App updates and system changes

Apple brought the Health app to iPad, but there's no word on whether the new Journal app announced for iOS 17 will make it to iPad this cycle. Updates across the system focused on more ease of use and control.

  • Health app on iPad

  • Track mental health

  • A new Screen Time feature will warn if the display is too close to the user's face to protect their eyes

  • PDF editing in the Notes app gets a big update

  • PDF intelligent auto fill

  • System wide PDF editing

  • Link related notes in the Notes app

  • Spotlight shows app shortcuts at the top

  • Stage Manager gets more flexible with more control over window sizes and placement

  • External webcam support

  • Freeform updates with new drawing tools and Follow Along

The list of features specific to iPadOS is usually a little shorter than other operating systems. However, there are universal features that were introduced in iOS 17 that are also coming to iPadOS 17.

Many of the new iPadOS 17 features were also included in iOS 17
Many of the new iPadOS 17 features were also included in iOS 17

Find out what features are coming in iOS 17 with our roundup.

Apple is expected to release iPadOS 17 in the fall. It usually launches alongside iOS after the iPhone event in September but is sometimes delayed to combat last-minute bugs.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 1
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,423member
    I did discover one subtlety in how the Lock Screen customization works with iPadOS (and I suppose older iPhones) as a consequence of my test iPad having Touch ID rather than Face ID. My last couple of iPhones and newest iPad Pro all came with Face ID.

    What I didn’t realize is that you have to unlock your device to edit the Lock Screen. That absolutely makes sense, duh. When the device has Face ID I didn’t realize that that device was unlocked on the fly using Face ID when I long pressed on the Lock Screen. In fact, I was somewhat annoyed every time I’d grab my iPhone and it would be in Lock Screen editing mode seemingly by accident. 

    If your device, in my case my older beta test worthy iPad, has Touch ID you have to unlock the device with Touch ID first, swipe down from the top when the desktop appears, and then do the long press thing to invoke the Lock Screen editor. This behavior has been there all along, but because I’ve never used Lock Screen editing on a Touch ID device I was oblivious to what was really going on. 
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