What you should know about iOS/iPadOS updates on iPad — 2022

Whether with iOS or iPadOS, Apple tablets have an operating system adapted to their screens, with functions of all kinds that have been added over the years and that are increasingly different from the first versions and from those that are added to iPhones. In this article we tell you everything about iPad updates, how often they come out or how to know which version your device can support.

Do iPads run iOS or iPadOS?

In fact, they carry both, not at the same time, but there may be iPads compatible with versions of both systems. Since the launch of the original iPad in 2010, Apple tablets had iOS as a version of the operating system and although some other exclusive functionality was included that iPhones with iOS did not have, the vast majority of changes were shared by both teams.

Nevertheless iPadOS was introduced in 2019 as an exclusive version of the tablet, starting with version '13' to go along with iOS. Therefore, there were iPads that went from iOS 12 to iPadOS 13. To this day, the iPads continue to be based on a large part of the novelties that the iPhones have in iOS, although they are increasingly having more specialized functions such as those related to the use of external accessories such as keyboards, mice or the Apple Pencil.

Interesting things you should know

There are a number of aspects that we could classify as frequently asked questions around the iPad software. In the following sections we will explain each and every one of these doubts so that you can better understand the operating system that Apple tablets use.

Does it work the same on all devices?

As strange as it may seem, the same version of iPadOS may not incorporate the same functionalities for all the devices that can update to it. Although this is not usually widespread, it usually occurs with certain functions related to compatibility with Apple Pencil or the like. For example, double-tapping the stylus in the Notes app to switch from a brush to an eraser is a feature exclusive to the 2nd generation model, which isn't supported on all iPads.

Apple Pencil 1 y 2

For the rest, it could be said that 99% of the functionalities of a software version are available on all computers that can adopt said version. Obviously, some iPads will work more smoothly and quickly than others for obvious reasons, but which are largely related to the hardware. For example, when exporting a video or rendering an image. But, as we said, iPadOS or iOS does not interfere there, but the components of the device.

How to know the software version of an iPad

Knowing what version of iOS or iPadOS you have to find out if it is the latest available, is as simple as going to Settings > General > Information and look at the section software version , which is usually the second below the name of the iPad. In this section, the number of the large version and the subversion will appear first. In other words, if you find 14.5 for example, it means that it is the fifth major iPadOS 14 update. In any case, it must be taken into account that there are intermediate versions with up to three figures (iPadOS 14.5.1, for example).

iPadOS version

You should also know that it is possible check the version without having the iPad in front . If you have another iPad or an iPhone, you can go to Settings > your name and swipe down to find the iPad in question, tap on it, and then look at the information given to you under Version. If you have a Mac you can do the same by going to System Preferences > Apple ID and sliding on the left bar of the window to click on the iPad. Even on Windows computers or Android devices you can find the information by accessing it from the Apple ID website.

How to update iPadOS

If you want to search for an update to your iPad's operating system, you should go to Settings > General > Software Update . If there is an update available, you will be able to download and install it, although you must have an internet connection to download and have at least 50% battery for installation, although if you do not have it you can connect it to the charger and install it without problems. If there is no new update, in that same section you will be informed.

Although the previous one is not the only method, since it is also possible to update through a computer connecting it via cable. If you have a Mac with macOS Catalina or later, you'll need to open Finder to access device management and find the option to update your device. You will find the same options on Macs with macOS Mojave or earlier, as well as on Windows computers, although in these last two cases it must be through the iTunes application.

How often does an update for iPad come out?

There is really no stipulated update schedule, although there are usually updates every 1-2 months, so that not only is it guaranteed that there are new features in the system, but also that security patches are implemented.

In the months of June, the big updates such as iPadOS 13 or iPadOS 14 or it will be iPadOS 15. These enter the beta phase during subsequent months and end up arriving in the month of September. After this can come those known as intermediate updates such as iPadOS 14.1, iPadOS 14.2, etc. These are usually released, as we have already said, every 1-2 months. There may also be triple digit upgrades such as iPadOS 14.1.1, iPadOS 14.1.2. The latter are not planned as such, but are released between intermediate versions when there is a major bug that needs to be fixed and the release of the next intermediate version cannot be expected.

update ipados

What happens if the tablet is not updated

Nothing should happen, but it is always advisable to have the iPad updated to the latest version available because that way you will have guarantees that it has the latest security measures from Apple that will prevent it from becoming a vulnerable device. Although this is not a trivial issue, apart from that you will only be depriving yourself of enjoying the visual and functional innovations that the latest version has brought.

Notably if the iPad has to be repaired for any problem caused by the software, Apple will ask you to update it in order to access the repair service. Therefore, it is also important in this aspect, since it is a way of demonstrating that the fault is real and that it is not solved with the latest update.

Tips for upgrading iPad

Whenever a new version of an operating system comes out, we all swim behind the update to quickly install it on the device and enjoy the progress. Before upgrading, you have to take into account a number of factors that can help you do it in the best possible and safe way for your iPad.

Aspects to consider

Updating iPad may seem like a simple thing, but you have to take into account several factors . The first one is that you have to have enough space to be able to install the update. Another one is that you have to have enough battery or connect the iPad to the power. Another tip to update the iPad is that it has to be connected to a WiFi network, otherwise you will not be able to download the update.

Regarding the subject of WiFi, you have to know that the most recommended thing is that it be a private network. That is, your home Wi-Fi network can work perfectly. You are at risk if you are connected to a public network, from a bar or hotel or similar, since the update will not be able to be downloaded. Also, you have to be aware that updating the software is not a matter of seconds. It is a somewhat slow process, so you will have to have enough time and not be in a hurry.

beware of betas

When updates are announced, before the final one there are several betas, a kind of test to see if everything works correctly. You have to know that not all users are beta testers, so if you download the update, you may suffer some other consequence.

You can lose files that you have saved on your device, so it is recommended that you make a backup copy whenever you can. Your iPad may not turn on properly after the update finishes installing. You will then have to restart your iPad. Although you want to have the new updates before anyone else, the health of your device comes first, so be careful when downloading a beta.

iOS/iPadOS versions supported by iPads

When it comes to software, there are two types of iPad: those that no longer receive updates and those that do. We explain what they are and what latest versions are available.

iPad that no longer update

It should be noted that the fact that an iPad no longer supports updates does not mean that they are obsolete, since they can continue to be fully functional. They will not have the latest visual and functional news, but in some cases they will receive complementary updates to solve some important performance or security problem, but always being a version not higher than the one that is already the latest available.

    • iPad (original): iOS 5.1.1
    • iPad 2: iOS 9.3.5
    • iPad (3rd generation): iOS 9.3.5 and iOS 9.36 for Cellular versions)
    • iPad (4th generation): iOS 10.3.4
    iPad Air
    • iPad Air (1st generation): iOS 12.5.4
    • iPad Air 2: iPadOS 13.7
    iPad mini
    • iPad mini (1st generation): iOS 9.3.6
    • iPad mini 2: iOS 12.5.4
    • iPad mini 3: iOS 12.5.4

iPad 1

iPads that keep updating

This is the list of iPads that are still updatable today. Some of them could stop being so soon and go to the other list, but the vast majority will be able to continue updating a few more versions. The latest version is iPadOS 15.3.1 released on February 10, 2022 and these are the compatible equipment:

    • iPad (5th generation)
    • iPad (6th generation)
    • iPad (7th generation)
    • iPad (8th generation)
    • iPad (9th generation)
    iPad mini
    • iPad mini 4
    • iPad mini (5th generation)
    • iPad mini (6th generation)
    iPad Air
    • iPad Air 2
    • iPad Air (3rd generation)
    • iPad Air (4th generation)
    iPad Pro
    • iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
    • iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
    • iPad Pro (11-inch, 1st generation)
    • iPad Pro (11-inch, 2nd generation)
    • iPad Pro (11-inch, 3rd generation)
    • iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 1st generation)
    • iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 2nd generation)
    • iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 3rd generation)
    • iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 4th generation)
    • iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 5th generation)

iPadOS iPad Air 2020