Apple is reportedly working on a major multitasking update for iPad

The company is seemingly still trying to make the iPad more like a laptop.

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference takes place next week and, as always in the lead up to the event, the rumor mill is churning away. A report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman suggests that Apple will reveal some big updates for iPadOS 16. Apple has long been trying to position the iPad as a viable alternative to a laptop, and the software changes will seemingly nudge the device further in that direction.

Gurman's sources say iPadOS 16 will have a revamped multitasking interface, including more resizing options. Currently, users can run apps in full screen or side by side in Split View. The Slide Over function allows you to bring in a narrower version of a third app as well. The next version of iPadOS will seemingly make it easier to move between apps and see which ones you have open too.

To add fuel to the fire, developer Steve Troughton-Smith last week spotted code in WebKit which indicates that Apple may allow for freely resizable windows in iPadOS.

Improved multitasking options and resizable apps will be very welcome for many users. Folks have long been able to use keyboards with the iPad and Apple added full mouse and trackpad support two years ago. Whether the mooted iPadOS updates will actually help the device become a laptop killer remains to be seen, but it's clear Apple hasn't given up on the idea.

Also during Monday's keynote, we'll surely get a look at what's next for the iPhone, Mac and Apple Watch operating systems. Gurman previously reported that iOS 16 will introduce more health-tracking features, upgraded notifications and support for always-on displays (which is expected to only be available on iPhone 14 Pro models at first). A refreshed lock screen may include widgets, which Messages is believed to be getting more features as well.