If like me you were confused by the lack of iPad-specific announcements at WWDC 2016 last week, you may be interested in this theory from the always insightful Federico Viticci of MacStories:
After WWDC, I strongly believe that Apple has notable iPad-only features in the pipeline, but they won’t be available until later in the iOS 10 cycle, possibly in early 2017…
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple move from a monolithic iOS release cycle to two major iOS releases in the span of six months—one focused on foundational changes, interface refinements, performance, and iPhone; the other primarily aimed at iPad users in the Spring.
I think it’d make sense for Apple to dedicate more time and engineering resources to a separate, more focused iPad release. If history is of any indication, it’d be reasonable to expect more iPad changes coming with a big mid-cycle software update and an iPad media event in the Spring to refresh the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models.
I hope something like this is the case. Last year Apple got off to a great start in rebooting the iPad franchise with its software announcements at WWDC 2015 and its introduction of the iPad Pro line. What worries me is the idea that there may not be new iPad software announcements until next year, and that that momentum will be lost, or muted. Maybe Apple will surprise us this fall with new software features; that could help jump start the holiday season.
To be fair, Apple did announce some iPad-specific improvements last week, though they weren’t prominently featured in the keynote. Viticci details them in this article, too; read it in its entirety at macstories.net.