Hands-On With iOS 11's iPad Features: Dock, Drag and Drop, App Switcher and More
There's a major focus on the iPad in iOS 11, with Apple introducing a huge range of iPad-specific features that offer a much improved multitasking experience, allowing the iPad to better serve as a full PC replacement. Many of the features included in iOS 11 have topped the wish lists of iPad owners for years, including Drag and Drop, the Files app, the persistent dock, and more.
iOS 11 significantly overhauls the way the iPad can be used, as can be seen in our hands-on video covering the iPad-specific features you can expect to see in the update.
There's an expanded Dock on the iPad, which is persistent and can be pulled up with an upwards swipe from within any app. The Dock makes switching between apps much faster, and it enables multitasking features on compatible devices.
Opening the Dock while using an app and dragging a Dock icon upwards will pop up a new window, which can be pulled into a Slide Over or Split View multitasking arrangement. Using the dock, you can switch between Split View apps in seconds.
Accompanying the Dock is a new App Switcher that has a design similar to Spaces on the Mac. It shows all of your most recently used apps, it offers access to Control Center settings, and it even preserves your Split View or Slide Over window arrangements.
Drag and Drop, one of the most desired iPad features, has been implemented in iOS 11. With Drag and Drop, text, links, photos, files, and more can be transferred between apps with simple drag gestures. Drag and Drop supports multitouch, so you can do things like pull a link from Safari, bring up the Dock, open up Messages, and send the link to a friend. Combined with a new Files app, Drag and Drop makes it incredibly easy to manage files.
Apple Pencil support is also expanding in iOS 11. The Apple Pencil can be used systemwide like any other stylus (or a finger), and there are new features that have been designed with the Apple Pencil in mind, including Instant Markup, which allows essentially anything to be annotated, and inline drawing within Mail and Notes.
There's also a neat Instant Notes feature that lets you tap the Apple Pencil on the screen of an iPad Pro to automatically open a new Note for quick note taking purposes. All of the other features that are new in iOS 11 are available on the iPad, so check out our comprehensive iOS 11 roundup for a complete overview of what's coming in the update.
iOS 11 is limited to developers at the current time, but Apple plans to make a public beta available in late June so non-developers will have a chance to test the new iPad features at that time. We'll have more videos covering iOS 11 features coming next week, so make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors.com.
Top Rated Comments
It replaces the whole screen with a full-size app.
Yep, complaining when Apple doesn't add anything new. Complaining when they do. Heh. Complaining that Control center isn't customizable and can't do enough. Now it's too customizable and can do too much.
"Much ado about nothing"? Can't tell if you're serious about that- system-wide first party support for a feature, with APIs, is a huge deal and means we'll soon have it pretty much universally supported. And in terms of "catchup", yes, literally every improvement Apple or Google or Microsoft ever adds should've been there in the previous version. But at least we have it now. Ironically- you can do a few types of drag actions that aren't even available on macOS due to the single pointer limitation. :)
Hopefully Files will be the basis for adding more file storage access. At the very least, they could allow an extension point so those MFI lightning Flash/USB drives will work with it instead of launching the silly apps.