iOS 11 is an update that brings a much improved user experience to the iPad, and front and center is a new dock. The new dock not only houses far more apps, much like the dock on the Mac, but it also much improves multitasking by allowing iPad users to quickly open apps and switch between them.


The dock is persistent and can be pulled up within any app at any time with an upwards swipe, a gesture that used to be reserved for the Control Center. A swipe up now opens up the dock, but you can still get to the Control Center and the App Switcher (now one and the same) by continuing to pull in an upwards direction. Swipe downwards to hide the dock.

ios11dock

Adding and Removing Apps on the Dock

There's only one step required to add an app to the dock. Simply hold a finger over any app on your display for a second and then drag it down to the dock. This will add the app's icon to the dock.

ios11dockdragging
The dock can hold anywhere from 11 (iPad mini) to 15 (12.9-inch iPad Pro) apps in total on this side of the dock, more than double the number that fit in the dock in earlier versions of iOS.

Removing an app is done in the same way. Press and hold on the icon of the app you want to remove and then drag it up and off of the dock.

Hiding or Displaying Recently Used Apps

Along with the 11–15 apps you can add to the dock, there are three app slots reserved for your recently used apps, apps that pop up because of Handoff functionality, and apps that are suggested based on your app usage habits. Recently used apps and suggested apps can be turned off. Here's how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select "General."
  3. Choose "Multitasking & Dock." ios11docksettings
  4. Toggle off "Show Suggested and Recent Apps."

Launching Apps and Multitasking with the Dock

Launching an app is as simple as tapping it, and because the dock can be brought up within any app, it's also useful for switching between apps.

Switching between apps using the dock is done through bringing the dock up with a swipe within any app and then tapping another app.

dockinapp
Beyond simply switching between apps, the dock can be used with Split View and Slide Over multitasking. When an app is open, drag another app up from the dock to open a second app that is overlaid on the first. This isn't technically a Slide Over window -- it's just a pop up over the first app, but it can be used simultaneously with the app it overlays.

dockmultitasking
Convert the second app into a Slide Over multitasking window by swiping upwards at the top of the app on the gray line. From there, the Slide Over view can be pulled into a Split View by pulling the gray bar dividing the two apps to the left. You can switch between Slide Over and Split View by dragging the bar to the left or the right.

dockslideovertosplitview
When using a multitasking view, you can switch between the two apps that are open by swiping to bring up the dock and then pulling a new app into one of the windows.

dockswappingapps
You can close one of the apps that's open by pulling the bar all the way to the left or the right of the screen, depending on which app you want to close.

Bringing Up App Files from the Dock

The iPad doesn't support 3D Touch, but a similar gesture can be used with the Files app on the dock. To access this feature, long press on the Files app to bring up a 3D Touch-style window.

dockios11files
After you press the Files app and the window is open, it'll stay open even after you move your finger. It lists all of your most recent files, which you can drag from the app without having to open it.

Accessing the Dock from a Keyboard

To bring up the dock when you have a physical keyboard like the Smart Keyboard connected, just press Command + Option + D.

Compatibility

While all iPads capable of running iOS 11 have access to the new dock, the split-screen drag and drop functionality is limited to iPads that have support for split screen functionality.

Slide Over, which allows you to interact with an app without quitting the one you have open, is available on the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, the fifth-generation iPad, and all iPad Pro models.

Split View, which is true multitasking and allows you to use two apps side by side, is available on the iPad mini 4, the iPad Air 2, the fifth-generation iPad, and all iPad Pro models.

Related Forum: iOS 11

Top Rated Comments

jayducharme Avatar
84 months ago
There is definitely a learning curve.
I completely agree. I'm currently on information overload with iOS 11. There are so many new features and so many ways of doing things, it's going to be months before I'm familiar with all of them.

Well, time to get cracking....
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Traverse Avatar
84 months ago
I can't wait to get home and install it later today!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...