iPadOS 15 drops support for newer iPads in 15.7.3 security update
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If you use an iPad that can run iPadOS 16 and you've been sticking with iPadOS 15 for one reason or another, you should get ready to upgrade soon. The apple.com/en-us/HT213598">iPadOS 15.7.3 update, which provides security-only fixes to the older OS, is only compatible with iPads that can't run iPadOS 16, namely 2014's iPad Air 2 and 2015's 4th-generation iPad mini.
But that grace period usually only lasts for a couple of months. Newer iPhones were pushed to update to iOS 16 in December when the 15.7.2 update dropped support for them. The release of iPadOS 16 came a month after the release of iOS 16 this year, which is why the 15.7.2 update still supported newer iPads.
The iPadOS 15.7.3 release is part of a barrage of software updates Apple issued for most of its products today, including feature updates for its newest OSes (iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, macOS 13.2) and security-only updates for iOS and iPadOS 15, macOS Big Sur, and macOS Ventura.