iOS 11 has been unleashed, and while most users will experience it primarily on iPhone, the iPad gets it too, and arguably gets more out of the software update than an iPhone will.
To go through the more generalised and in-depth tips and tricks for iOS 11, check out our extensive guide. For this guide however, we're zoning in on the elements that give your iPad new super-powers.
iOS 11 on iPad: General tips
Bring up the Dock: On iPads running iOS 11, this will soon become one of your most-used features. Bring up the Dock from the bottom of the screen with just a quick swipe upwards from the bottom edge. (Don't swipe up too far).
Add apps to Dock: Add apps to the Dock simply by long-pressing an app icon, then dragging it into position. The Dock can hold up to 13 apps or folders.
Remove recent apps from Dock: By default, there's a small section of the Dock reserved for recently used apps. It's on the right of the Dock, and separated from other docked apps by a fine vertical dividing line. If you don't want them, go to Settings > General > Multitasking & Dock, then toggle the "Recent Apps" switch off.
Access Control Centre: Remember when we said "don't swipe up too far" when trying to access the Dock? That's because if you swipe, and keep swiping upwards, you get to the new App Switcher and Control Centre screen.
QuickType keyboard: The new iPad keyboard now makes it much easier to get to the symbols and numbers you use frequently. Now, just swipe down quickly on the corresponding key to get to your primary punctuation symbols and numbers. Secondary options are still accessible by tapping the symbols key.
Scan documents: iPads now act as document scanners with iOS 11. Open up the Notes app, tap on the "+" icon, then choose "Scan Documents" and snap a picture of a document. You can choose to have it detect the document automatically, or do it manually. Once the picture is taken, the iPad can then automatically realign it to make it a flat, editable document.
iPad Multitasking in iOS 11
If there's one area that's had a complete re-think in the iPad's user interface, it's in multitasking. Here are some essential tips to ensure you can actually use it and don't get stumped by the new gesture based system.
Use Slide Over (floating window) on iPad: In iOS 11, on iPad, you can now have one floating app window running on top of your main app. To bring up a secondary app this way, bring up the dock from the bottom of the screen with a quick swipe, then drag and drop any app in the dock onto the screen.
Move the Slide Over Window: To move the Slide Over app to the other side of the screen, simply drag it from the top of the window (you'll see a long line there). You can move it to the left or right side of the screen.
Use split-screen multitasking in iOS 11: With your Slide Over app floating on the screen, just drag the top of that pop up window upwards or downwards, and the app will fill part of the screen, alongside your primary app.
Adjust the split point: By default, the secondary app takes up around 1/3 of the screen. If you want to make it the primary/larger app or make it 50/50 on screen, just move the dark split line left or right.
Drag and drop files/photos: One of the best new features in iOS 11 on iPad is the ability to drag and drop files and images into emails or messages. Make sure you have the new Files app or Photos app as one of the apps on screen while multitasking and that you're composing a new email in Mail, or new message in Messages. Find the image/file you want, and simply drag it across to the Message or email you're composing.
Drag and drop works in the following locations/apps: Home screen, the Dock, Reminders, Calendar, Messages, Search, Files app, Safari, Contacts, iBooks, News, Notes, Photos, Maps, Keynote, Pages and Numbers. However, third party developers are able to build it into their apps to, so expect to see it spread across many of your favourite apps in the near future.
Copy text/URLs to Notes: Like copying and pasting files or images, you can drag chunks of text or a URL from Safari into Notes. Tap on the text you want to copy, then long press it, and drag it across to Notes.
Enable four/five finger gestures: As in previous versions of iOS you can use four or five-finger gestures to go to the home screen, or switch between apps quickly. Go to Settings > General > Multitasking & Dock, then toggle the "Gestures" switch on.
Grab to go Home: With the four/five finger gestures switched on, wherever you are in the iPad or whatever app you're using, start with all five fingers spread across the screen, then grab inwards. It's basically a five/four finger pinch-to-zoom, but it takes you back to your home screen.
Swipe for the App Switcher: To get to your app switcher/multitasking screen, with the four/five finger gestures enabled, simply swipe upwards with four fingers from the bottom of the screen.
Switch between apps: After enabling the four/five finger gestures, you can switch between apps quickly. Using four fingers, swipe left or right to swiftly switch between apps.
iOS 11 on iPad: Files
At long last, iOS has a decent file manager, and there's lots you can do with. You can view documents and files stored on your iPad, in iCloud, and in any popular cloud service provider like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and more.
Add third party services: This one's pretty simple. First, download any third party cloud storage app onto your iPad and sign in. (We've tested Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive, all three work (among others).
Next, head to your Files app, make sure you're in the "Browse" page, then tap "locations" in the top left corner. Now you should have third party options available. Toggle the "on" switch for whichever services you want to use.
Arrange files by kind: In the main Files window, drag down until you see a row of four tabs. These tabs include Name, Date, Size and Tags. Tap whichever one you'd like to organise your files by.
Switch to list view: By default your files are organised in a thumbnail grid view. To switch to a list, tap the list icon in the top right corner.
Add a new folder: Another simple one. Just tape the little icon in the top left corner that looks like a little folder with the "+" icon next to it.
Get file info: To get file information, long press on any file to reveal the pop-up options menu. Tap "info" and you'll get a snapshot window showing you the file type and any information pertinent to that type of document.
Markup images: If you want to mark up an image right within the Files app, you can. Just tap on an image to open it, then tap the little icon in the top right corner that looks like a pen nib. Now you can draw, write, circle or highlight it.
Move files to a new location: Open the folder with files in that you want to move, then tap "Select" before choosing the files you want to move. Now tap "Move", and choose the folder you want to move them to.
iPad Pro iOS 11 tips
If you're an iPad Pro user, you'll be pleased to know that Apple has paid special attention to you in this software launch. Especially if you have an Apple Pencil or one of the Smart Keyboards.
Take a quick note: If you have an Apple Pencil and iPad Pro, grab the Pencil, tap on the Lock Screen and you'll be able to open Notes and start creating a new note. This works even if the screen is locked.
Handwritten notes: In the Notes app, use your Apple Pencil to start writing a handwritten note. You can easily switch between handwritten and typed notes within the same note.
Search handwritten notes: You'll find the "Search" field in the side menu as normal, but now you can use it to search handwritten notes as well as the old-style typed ones. If your handwriting is clear enough, Notes understands what you're writing.
Quickly markup images/PDFs: With your Apple Pencil, you can quickly sign documents, annotate PDFs or web pages just by placing the Apple Pencil tip on the screen.
See your keyboard shortcuts: On iPad Pro, with a Smart Keyboard, you can press and hold the "CMD" key to reveal all of your available keyboard shortcuts. In most instances, these match the ones you're used to using on a Mac. CMD+N opens a new window, which is handy for split-view in Safari. CMD+H takes you to the home screen and CMD+Spacebar takes you straight to the search.