Apple iPads support new external hardware thanks to iPadOS 16 DriverKit update

This week Apple held its WWDC event, ushering in a new era of software for its iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9 and macOS 13 devices. While there have been many highlights, iPadOS 16 is perhaps the most curious, as the new update further blurs the lines between Apple’s tablet and computing products. In addition, iPadOS will allow manufacturers to create 16 drivers for iPad, ushering in a new wave of devices that can be connected to Apple’s tablet.

Previously, DriverKit was used exclusively on Apple’s Mac computer products and was introduced in 2019. It was developed to provide a more reliable and secure method of delivering drivers to Mac users. With iPadOS 16, Apple delivers the same reliability and security, just on a different platform. If there’s one caveat to the system, it’s that it currently only applies to iPads powered by Apple’s own silicon. For now, that means iPads with an M1 chip.

New hardware support for M1-powered iPads thanks to DriverKit

As for other benefits, developers who have created drivers for Mac in the past with DriverKit can use the same drivers on iPadOS without the need for conversion. In addition, by using the multiplatform apps feature in Xcode 14, developers can create a single app that can deliver on both the Mac and iPad. Out of the port, DriverKit for iPadOS will provide support for USB, audio and PCI devices – that means support for Thunderbolt devices.

If this sounds tempting, you can experiment with the developer version of iPadOS 16. But it’s probably not recommended for a device that’s used every day. A more stable build of the operating system will arrive in public beta next month. Apple will officially release iPadOS 16, with other improvements such as a new multitasking experience and support for external displays in the fall of 2022.

Source: Apple
Via: 9to5Mac