iOS 11: the iPad gets serious
Last year, the iPhone got the lion’s share of new iOS features, with the iPad looking a little unloved, considering it now had a Pro version. In iOS 11, it’s the iPad on the receiving end of all the juiciest new features in September.
First up are shiny new multitasking features, including the ability to create a movable floating window of an app, which sits above any other apps you have open – and can even be combined with Split View and Picture-inPicture to show four apps on-screen at once. You also get a new way to pick apps to view, with a Dock akin to macOS’, and a much easier way to switch between your recent apps.
That works beautifully in combination with the new cross-app drag and drop feature, where you can just grab pictures, highlighted text or even files, and pull them from one app to another – in fact, you can move up to 10 things across at once, since you have up to 10 fingers.
The final piece is a new Files app, which finally gives a true central place to browse the files on your iPad, as well as in whatever cloud services you use. You can organise them from there, and even tag them for easy reference. Files is also coming to iPhone, but it’s with these features on the iPad that it looks really exciting. On the iPad Pros especially, the flexibility for working with multiple apps really moves these into laptop replacement territory for many people – as long as the apps you need are there.