Brian Heater, TechCrunch:
Apple this morning is rolling out iPadOS 16.1 beta to enrolled developer devices. It’s a break from the standard release cadence, which has tied together the tablet operating system with its smartphone counterpart, iOS, since its first release in 2019.
In a comment to TechCrunch, the company notes, “This is an especially big year for iPadOS. As its own platform with features specifically designed for iPad, we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on its own schedule. This Fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS, as version 16.1 in a free software update.”
This confirms an earlier report from Mark Gurman.
Contrary to Heater’s comment, iPadOS has not always been released in sync with iOS. Apple’s very first “iPadOS” release, iPadOS 13.1, did not ship until five days after iOS 13; iPadOS 13.0 was never made publicly available. Before then, the first version of iOS 4 available for iPads was iOS 4.2.