Apple's iOS 11 software was a major update when it arrived last Autumn. It was more geared towards the iPad than any previous release of iOS.  If you're a student, this feature outlines why it can transform your iPad experience at home and in class.

As a student, there are iOS 11-specific features just for the iPad you'll want to check out. For instance, the new app dock has space for more apps - and you can open them by pulling them up from the dock. Also, a new App Switcher will support drag and drop for text, images, multi-select, etc, and a new Files app will house all files and folders to help you find everything on your iPad.

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iOS 11 comes with an all-new dock on the iPad, which make it easier to find your favourite apps, recently used apps, and homework files. The Dock is also now important when it comes to multitasking on the tablet; for instance, it's the only way to activate the split-view mode in iOS 11, as the right-edge swipe no longer works on the iPad. Here's how it works:

  1. Press down on an app until the jiggle effect.
  2. Drag icons to the dock until you've filled your dock (it can hold up to 13 apps or folders).
  3. Open an app by tapping on its icon in the dock.
  4. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring back the dock.
  5. Drag an icon from the dock to the right or left side of the tablet's screen.
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Apple adedd a new Files app into iOS 11 on the iPad, which puts all your homework files in one place - not just the ones on your iPad, but also those in apps, in iCloud, and across third-party services. The Browse tab at the bottom of the app lets you easily navigate between files stored on iCloud or on your device, while the Recents tab at the bottom makes it seamless to continue on with your work.

Note: Files replaces the iCloud Drive app in iOS 11.

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Accompanying the Dock is a new App Switcher that shows all of your most recently used apps. It also offers access to Control Center settings and preserves your Split View or Slide Over window arrangements. Apple said the App Switcher makes changing apps "as quick as a swipe", because, using your finger, you can easily move text, photos, and files from one app to another.

It even remembers the combinations of apps you’ve multitasked with previously, and apps now stay active in Slide Over and Split View.

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Apple Pencil is now more useful, thanks to these new iOS 11 features: 

  • Instant Notes - Tap Apple Pencil on your iPad’s Lock screen and a note will open, allowing you to easily jot down thoughts while in class.
  • Instant Markup - Now you can easily sign class documents, annotate PDFs that your teacher sent, or draw on a screenshot for a project.
  • Inline Drawing - You can also sketch, draw, or write directly alongside text in Notes and Mail - just in case you don't feel like fully paying attention while you listen to your teacher go on an don.
  • Searchable Handwriting - Write what you want now, and then search your handwritten text and characters later. This feature makes it easy to keep track of all your jots and scribbles from class.

iOS 11 is available now to anyone using an iPhone (from 5S onwards), iPad (from Air and mini 2 onwards) or iPod touch (sixth gen only). Check Settings > General > Software Update to see if you can download it. 

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