iPadOS 16 Now Lets Device Makers Create Drivers For iPad With DriverKit API

Apple has made it easier for device makers to develop drivers for the iPad with new DriverKit API. This new system extension runs in userspace and is intended for professionals. DriverKit is compatible with USB, PCI, and audio devices. Developers can port their code from the Mac to the iPad and use it to build drivers for their applications. Read on to find out how to get started.


In a recent announcement, Apple announced that it has brought the DriverKit API to the iPad. Previously, this API was used only on Apple’s Mac computing products. Developed to provide a more secure and reliable way to deliver drivers, DriverKit is available on the iPad as well. With this new development, MacOS drivers prepared for Apple Silicon can be ported to the iPad and distributed as an everyday app to the App Retailer. Once the iPad runs on the new version of iPadOS, drivers created using DriverKit will be able to extend to other apps as well.

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Device makers will need an iPad with the M1 chip in order to use DriverKit. Older iPad fashions, like the iPad mini with the A15 chip, will not be compatible with this new driver creation framework. Also, the M1 iPad Professional only supports the Thunderbolt connection. Meanwhile, all other USB-C fashions depend on the USB 3.1 Gen 1 standard.

Supports USB, PCI, and audio devices

Driver support is available for USB, PCI, and audio devices on the new iPadOS 16. It also offers new opportunities to expand the iPad’s functionality with third-party devices. DriverKit is an API that allows developers to develop drivers for third-party devices to make them fully compatible with the operating system. The new driverkit API also makes it possible to connect Thunderbolt audio interfaces to iPads.

Developers can begin testing the new version of iOS by downloading the developer preview of the operating system. The public beta for iPadOS 16 is expected next month. The new operating system will include support for audio and video devices, as well as USB, PCI, and audio devices. DriverKit requires an M1-chip-equipped iPad. The M1 chip can support Thunderbolt audio interfaces.

Requires an M1 chip

Apple is promoting the M1 chip for its new Macs and iPhones. This chip is capable of running eight apps at a time, and it also relies on the fast memory swap feature. In order to run these apps, you will need up to 16GB of RAM. Intel has been building the Mac’s chips since 2005, but now TSMC is building the new M1 chip. This new chip will take two years to roll out across all models.

The M1 chip includes a built-in Neural Engine, which Apple first added to its A-series chips a few years ago. This chip has sixteen cores and can process 11 trillion operations per second. It can also perform 15x faster machine learning than its predecessors. In addition to the Neural Engine, the M1 chip also brings 3.5x faster CPU performance and six times faster GPU performance, making it an excellent choice for advanced users.