iPadOS 17: everything you need to know

Apple ipados 17 lock screen
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple unveiled iPadOS 17 at its Worldwide Developers Conference, WWDC 2023, and the software update is set to bring changes to the company's first-party apps and improvements to the overall experience of using your favorite iPads.

Though the Android counterpart of iPadOS 17, Android 14, also targets big-screen devices, Apple’s greatest strength is its rate and breadth of developer uptake of its features. The company made its case at WWDC 2023 to developers ahead of the September release of iPadOS 17 to new and existing iPads, urging them to prepare for features like widgets and live activities.  

There was also some overlap with iOS 17 via iMessage, Facetime, and other small updates. We've rounded up the latest info below and we’ll update this article as more details emerge about iOS 17, so make sure to check back! 

iPadOS 17: cut to the chase

  •  What is it? Apple’s next big iPad update
  •  When was it announced? WWDC 2023 on June 5
  •  How much does it cost? It’ll be a free upgrade
  •  What iPads are supported? iPads from the sixth generation and newer

iPadOS 17: release date, announcement, and availability

iPadOS 17 was to be announced at WWDC 2023 on June 5, alongside iOS 17 (for iPhones). After it was announced and detailed, Apple will likely begin a beta testing period, where developers and enthusiasts alike can try out either the developer preview or beta releases on their own devices, ahead of its formal release later this year.

iPadOS 17 is expected to be released in or around September, again alongside iOS 17. Whether it comes in tandem with a new iPad or iPad Pro is as yet unknown. 

iPadOS 17: supported iPads and compatibility

Apple will be issuing iPadOS 17 to all iPads from the iPad sixth generation and later, the iPad Air third generation and newer, the iPad Mini fifth generation and newer, and select 12.9-inch iPad Pro (second generation and later), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 11-inch iPad Pro, all models.

At least all of the current best iPads will be carrying on for another year or more.

iPadOS 17: coming features

Apple's iPadOS 17 focused primarily on missing features from iOS, bringing in improvements to the homescreen via way of interactive widget support, the lock screen by way of live activities and customization, and the Apple Health app which finally bridges the gap to iPadOS after 9 years.

Specific to iPadOS, the company implemented improvements to PDF support across the platform. This included the basic PDF viewer in Files, as well as the Notes app. 

Apple also brought common features to iOS 17, including features like enhanced expressivity in iMessage and Facetime, profiles in Safari, and more powerful autocorrect.

Michael Allison
Staff Writer, Phones

A UK-based tech journalist for TechRadar, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a primary focus on mobile phones, tablets, and wearables.

When not writing on TechRadar, I can often be found reading fiction, writing for fun, or working out.