Are you using your iPad on a daily basis? If so, there are some essential iPad apps and features you really need to know about!
For example, did you know that you can use the iPad keyboard as a trackpad? Any time the keyboard is visible, put two fingers on it and move them around. The keys will vanish, revealing a cursor that doubles as a trackpad.
The iPad is full of little tricks and tools like that one. Once you’ve mastered them, you may gain a new appreciation for your device. In fact, this is a big reason why Apple still has such a huge lead in the tablet market.
Want to turn your iPad into a productivity machine? Start by getting acquainted with these 8 apps and features.
1. Docked Apps
As you may know, the iPhone only lets you add four apps or folders on the dock. The iPad is a lot more forgiving in this regard.
To add an app to the dock, hold down its icon on the home screen. Once it starts wobbling, drag it to the dock and leave it there. If you’re running iOS 11 or a later version, you’ll be able to fit up to 15 apps or folders in there.
If you have apps you’re using more than others, consider docking them. This increases your productivity, as the dock is always visible when you’re swiping up.
2. From iPhone to iPad
Speaking of the iPhone, did you know that you can use it to copy items from it to your iPad?
First things first: why would you care about this? Simple: the iPhone doesn’t have access to the iPad app library. If you find an image or text that you want to use with an iPad app, the only solution is to paste it there from your iPhone.
As long as you’re on the same network and iCloud account, this is quite easy. On your iPhone, copy the image or text as usual. On your iPad, open a document, hold your finger on the screen until the menu appears, and click Paste.
3. The Notes App
The iPad has plenty of third-party scanner apps, but all you need is Apple’s very own Notes app.
That’s right, this app allows you to scan documents and make PDFs from them. First, put down the document you want to scan in front of you. Then, open a new document in Notes, press the plus sign, and select Scan Documents.
Once the scan is complete, you can sign the document by using the Markup tool. From there, it only takes a click of the finger to save it as a PDF file.
Ever wondered how to do split-screen on an iPad? Good news: it’s easier than it may seem at first glance!
To see two apps side-by-side, open one of them the normal way. Then, hold down the second app in your dock and drag it to an edge of your display. If you do it right, you’ll be able to see both apps in split-screen with a divider in the middle.
You can also drop the second app around the middle of your screen. That way, you’ll see it as a white bar on top of your primary app. To get rid of it, swipe it to the left or right.
5. Spotlight Search
Thanks to the Spotlight search tool, losing something on your iPad is almost a non-issue.
What’s the secret? Well, Apple indexes all stored files and documents on your iPad. Any time you use Spotlight to search for something, you’ll get results covering everything from body text to file names.
Getting to Spotlight is easy. Once you’ve unlocked your iPad, swipe down on your home screen. Then, use the search bar at the top to enter your query.
6. The Files App
Of course, the best way to not lose your files is to keep them organized. This is where the Files app comes in.
At its core, this app is about two tabs: Recent and Browse. The former allows you to see and open all the documents you’ve used or modified recently. The latter lets you access individual app folders, as well as make new folders.
It’s not the prettiest setup, but it’s very efficient. Up until a few years ago, having to open the relevant app to get to your files was one of the most oft-cited iPad problems. These days, you can access them in no time by using Files!
7. Keyboard Splitter
When it comes to lesser-known iPad tips, splitting the keyboard is up there in usefulness.
To do this, press and hold the keyboard button while the digital keyboard is visible. From the pop-up menu, click on Split. This will split the keyboard in two, with both of its halves moving to each side of your display.
Needless to say, this makes typing a lot easier for most iPad users. However, it’s worth noting that this method doesn’t work on the 11/12-inch iPad Pro.
8. App Icons
Want to get to your files even faster? Well, many iPad apps let you access their files without opening the app itself.
For this method to work, you need to have the app icon on your dock or home screen. If you do, press and hold the icon for about a second. This will open a small window with clickable thumbnails of the last four files you’ve used.
Keep in mind that this trick may require some trial and error. If you hold down the icon for too long (about 3 seconds), the iPad will think you’re trying to move or delete it. Plus, as we’ve mentioned, this doesn’t work with all apps.
More on Essential iPad Apps and Features
With these tricks, Apple has made multitasking on the iPad a lot easier. When you combine that with its out-of-the-box versatility, it’s clear that the iPad is here to stay. In the coming years, it may even become a genuine laptop replacement.
Interested in learning more about your iPad? Want to make use of some of the other essential iPad apps and features? Check out our Technology section!