14 iPadOS 17 Features, Changes, and Tips That You Should Know (2024)

With iOS 17, Apple has also launched iPadOS 17 for iPads. Almost all iOS 17 features are available in iPadOS 17 too with some exceptions and additions. Without making you wait further, let’s check the best iPadOS 17 features, changes, and tips.

1. Add Widgets to Lock the Screen

One of the most important features introduced in iPadOS 17 is the lock screen customization. If you have an iPhone, you would probably be familiar with the lock screen customization introduced in iOS 16 and 17. All those features are now present on iPad as well, starting with lock screen widgets.

With iPadOS 17, not only can you add lock screen widgets but you can add separate widgets for landscape and portrait mode. The widgets are shown below and above the time in Portrait mode whereas they show on the left side in Landscape mode. Also, you can use third-party widgets as well.

To add widgets to your iPad lock screen, follow these steps:

1. Long press on the lock screen and tap on the Customize button at the bottom. Alternatively, swipe down to open the notification panel and then long-press it.

Tip: You can customize the lock screen by going to Settings > Wallpaper as well. Tap on the Customize button on the lock screen preview.

2. Tap on Lock Screen to enter the lock screen customization.

3. Tap on the Add widgets button. Or, tap on the date widget above the time to replace it with a new widget.

4. The widgets screen will show up where you will find widgets like clock, battery, calendar, notes widgets, etc. Find the widget that you want to add and tap on it. Similarly, you can add multiple widgets to the lock screen.

5. Press Done to save the changes.

6. Rotate your iPhone to change the orientation. Then, add the widgets in that particular orientation as well.

Tip: There are some differences between lock screen and home screen of the iPhone and iPad.

2. Change Lock Screen Time Color, Size, and Style

The iPadOS also lets you customize the lock screen clock. Go to the lock screen customization mode i.e., follow steps 1 and 2 of the above method and tap on the time. The Font & Color pop-up will show up where you can make the following customizations:

  • Tap on different fonts to change the time font.
  • Use the slider to change the digital clock size.
  • Tap on color and use the color slider to adjust the color of the time.
  • Tap on the Globe icon to change the clock style. You can choose from Arabic, Arabic Indic, Devanagari, Khmer, and Burmese.

Tip: Know how to change wallpaper automatically on iPad and iPhone.

3. Create and Switch Between Multiple Lock Screens

iPadOS 17 lets you create multiple lock screens with different widgets and wallpapers on them. You can switch between them according to your needs and preferences.

To create a new lock screen on the iPad, follow these steps:

1. Long press on the lock screen to go to the lock screen edit mode.

2. Tap on + at the bottom.

3. Select your preferred wallpaper. As a reminder, Apple has added new wallpapers like Hello, Astronomy, and Kaleidoscope.

4. Once you select a wallpaper, you can add widgets to it. Moreover, swipe left or right to switch between different wallpaper styles of the same wallpaper. On some wallpapers, you will see a button at the bottom-right corner. Tap on it to customize the appearance of the wallpaper or to make the wallpaper blurry. Finally, tap on Add to create a new lock screen.

5.. A confirmation pop-up will show up. If you want to use the same wallpaper for both the home screen and the lock screen. Tap on Set as Wallpaper Pair. Alternatively, tap on Customize Home screen to use separate wallpapers for the lock and home screen.

6 Now, whenever you want to switch between lock screens, long press on the lock screen. Then, swipe right or left to go to the preferred lock screen. Tap on it to make your default lock screen.

Tip: To delete a lock screen, swipe up on it and press the Trashcan icon.

4. Link Focus Mode

Another interesting capability that iPadOS brings is the ability to link Focus modes with the lock screen. As a reminder, Focus modes are customizable sound profiles that let you silence notifications from certain apps, people, or when performing a certain action like driving, reading, etc.

For instance, if you set Focus mode to Reading, the associated lock screen will be activated along with its widgets. Similarly, if you enable a particular lock screen, its linked Focus mode will be activated. It basically works both ways.

Long press on your lock screen. Then, go to the lock screen to which you want to link a Focus mode. Tap on Focus. Select a Focus mode to turn on with the selected lock screen.

Tip: You can link the lock screen to Focus mode from Focus settings as well. Go to iPad Settings > Focus. Tap on a Focus and press Choose under the lock screen.

5. Interactive Widgets on Lock and Home Screen

iPadOS 17 brings some life into the both home and lock screen widgets (including Today Center) as they are now interactive. That means you can take action on the widgets directly. For instance, you can message or call people, mark a reminder, play or pause media, or turn on the lights all from the widgets directly.

For most widgets, you don’t need to enable any setting. These are interactive by default. But for some widgets like Contacts, you may have to enable interactive actions. First, add the widget. Then, long press on the widget and select Edit widget. Enable the buttons.

6. Crop or Flip Photos Quickly

iPadOS 17 makes it extremely easy to crop pictures. Instead of pressing the Edit button first, you can now directly crop pictures in the Photos app. All you need to do is zoom in on the area that you want to keep by using the pinch gesture on the photo. You will see the Crop button at the top-right corner. Tap on it to crop your picture.

You can adjust the crop area or perform other editing tasks like flip, rotate, add filters, and adjust the lighting of photos all from the Crop button.

7. Stage Manager

The iPad’s Stage Manager has also received much-needed love from Apple. Now you have more flexibility in moving or resizing apps. The Stage Manager feels more natural as compared to the previous version. Use the app window corners or edges to move or change the size of the window.

Note: Stage Manager only works on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later), and iPad Air (5th generation).

8. Enhanced Spotlight Search

The Spotlight search in iPadOS 17 has some magical powers. You can now control settings right from Spotlight search. For instance, you can turn Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on and off from Spotlight search. Just enter the name of the setting and you will see the toggle. You can even create a note and perform other actions from Spotlight.

9. Create Stickers From Any Photo

iPadOS 17, just like iOS 17 introduces the ability to create stickers from any photo. You can then send these stickers in any app that supports emojis. The stickers can be accessed from the sticker drawer present in the emoji keyboard. You can even react to iMessages using stickers. Check our guide on how to create and use stickers on iPhones. It works the same way on iPad as well.

Tip: Know how to put a picture on another picture on an iPhone.

10. FaceTime Reactions

Just like MacOS Sonoma and iOS 17, you get the video reaction feature in iPadOS 17 as well. Basically, certain effects will fill your screen when you enable a reaction. The reactions can be enabled either by long pressing on your video window or by using hand gestures. These reactions work in FaceTime and other video conferencing apps as well.  

Following hand gestures are supported on iPadOS 17:

  • Heart sign: Heart effect
  • Thumbs up: Shows thumbs up emoji
  • Thumbs down: Shows thumbs down emoji
  • Double thumbs up using both hands: Fireworks
  • Double thumbs down using both hands: Rain effect
  • Peace sign with one hand: Floating balloons
  • Peace sign with two hands: Confetti explosion
  • Rock on sign with two hands: Laser beam effect

Also, please note that video reactions will work on the following iPads only.

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation+)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation+)
  • iPad (10th generation)
  • iPad mini (6th generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation and later)

Tip: Do you know what F and other icons mean on FaceTime?

11. Leave a FaceTime Video Message

If someone doesn’t answer your FaceTime audio or video call, you can leave them a voicemail or video message. For that, press the Record Video button on the screen that shows up after a FaceTime call is not answered.

12. Rearrange iMessage Apps

In the Messages app, the iMessage apps are now present under the + icon in iPadOS 17. But if your favorite iMessage apps are now hidden under the More button, you can rearrange the apps according to your preference. Long press on an app and drag it up or down to change its position.

Pro Tip: Swipe right on any message in the Messages app to quote it or reply to it directly.

13. Pause Recording in Audio Messages

In iPadOS 17, you can now pause audio messages and then continue recording again before sending the voice message. For that, tap on the Stop button first to pause the recording.

Then, tap on the + icon in the audio message to start recording again.

Pro Tip: You can change the speed of the received audio message to up to 2x speed. Long press the Play button and choose the preferred speed.

14. Use the Health App on iPad

If you like to check your Health app data regularly, you would be glad to know that iPadOS 17 brings the Health app to your iPad. You can now see the health graphs in a bigger and better way on an iPad. Furthermore, iPadOS 17 also adds the Mental Wellbeing feature.

Other Cool iPadOS Changes and Hidden Features:

  • You can now use keywords to search for any particular message in the Messages app.
  • New tools like watercolor brush, calligraphy pen, highlighter, and ruler are introduced in the Freeform app.
  • The Freeform app also converts hand-drawn shapes into actual shapes.
  • You can create profiles in Safari to keep your data from other profiles.
  • You can lock tabs in private browsing in Safari using FaceID or TouchID.
  • Ability to change search engine in private browsing.
  • You can now download maps offline.
  • You can annotate PDFs in the Notes app.
  • Ability to create your AI voice using Personal Voice feature.
  • You can interlink notes in the Apple Notes app.

Note: Sadly, some features have failed to come to iPad with iPadOS 17. Those are StandBy Mode, Contact posters, NameDrop, and Live Voicemail. And of course, there’s still no calculator app for iPad.

Have Fun with iPadOS 17 Features

Those were some of the cool iOS 17 features (i.e., iPadOS 17) for iPad. Before you go, know about the changes introduced in Apple Music with the latest update. Also, learn how to fix the ‘This update requires a Wi-Fi connection to download’ error on iPad.



is Senior Writer DZ-TECH, where he covers the world of technology, hacking, cybersecurity, surveillance and privacy.

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