iPad users just got a massive free software upgrade

iPadOS 17 was unveiled at WWDC 2023, and includes a host of new features

iPadOS 17
(Image credit: Apple)

WWDC 2023 really is the gift that keeps on giving. We've already seen a whole host of new hardware, like the 15-inch MacBook Air. Now, iPadOS 17 has been unveiled – and it brings a whole host of upgrades for iPad users.

First, there's a host of upgraded widgets on the device. That includes interactive widgets. These can be used directly from the home screen, without needing to open the app itself. It includes things like checking off your to-do list, playing music and activating devices in your smart home.

Next, there's some changes to the lock screen. There's a new range of wallpapers on offer, as well as a host of wallpaper personalisation options. That look pretty similar to the update we saw on iPhone in iOS 16.

Live activities is another new feature for the lock screen, which gives you quick access to actionable panels on the screen. That includes things like timers, sports scores and food delivery. In fact, the whole thing looks remarkably similar to the Dynamic Island, albeit at the bottom of the screen.

The Health app also makes it's debut on the larger screen. It's been specifically designed for the iPad screen size, offering access to all of your health data at a glance, and tying in seamlessly with other devices like the Apple Watch.

PDFs also got a big boost. iPadOS will now natively recognise fields in a PDF, allowing users to quick fill information that is saved on their profile, like name, address and telephone number. That also works on documents scanned with the camera, and allows you to save a signature for quickly filling out documents.

PDFs are also going to be natively viewable in the Notes app. The PDF fits right in with the rest of your notes, and expands to the full width of the screen, with the ability to swipe through pages. You can keep multiple PDFs in one note, annotate them with the Apple Pencil, and even collaborate with other users in real time.

That looks perfect for students. I can see it being really useful to combine materials with your own notes, and annotate on the fly, even with other collaborating too.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.