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Apple’s iPads will support external accessories thanks to DriverKit support on iPadOS 16

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Apple has disclosed a new extension that it hopes will make iPad devices open to more additions than ever. DriverKit, one of the many updates coming to iPadOS 16, will let producers and developers create drivers specifically for iPads for the first time, and even construct multi-platform drivers.

The tool has been available since 2019 on macOS Catalina, letting third-party USB and Thunderbolt additions be connected to macOS devices, but it is now coming to the iPad as well.

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Apple: Driverkit for iPads

Producers and developers will be able to design drivers especially for iPads for the first time, as well as multi-platform drivers, thanks to DriverKit, one of the several advancements coming to iPadOS 16.

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In a video announcing the launch, Apple said that DriverKit would bring a lot more affability and options for developers and end-users alike, keeping the same macOS experience for iPad users.

Adding driver support on iPad through iPadOS will make it easier for creators to make consistent accessories and devices. They can now design definite drivers for their devices especially to make them consistent with iPads.
The iPadOS 16 is the first step in that direction and till now, it only supports PCI, USB, and audio devices.

But the whole idea is much larger than just making devices consistent with iPads. As indicated, DriverKit API is also available on macOS and developers have been creating drivers for macOS for a while now. That means, that if a driver and the device are consistent with Apple’s silicon, it is also ready for iPads and developers can easily port them for iPad.

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This will also grant Apple to give a desktop-level experience right on the iPad.
According to reports, the iPad drivers can be allocated through App Store. However, users will need to facilitate them manually from Settings. Also, downloaded drivers will only work when a consistent external device is connected to the iPad.

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