iOS 10 fea­tures com­ing to the iPad Pro

Mi­nor but nec­es­sary tweaks are com­ing to the iPad Pro this Septem­ber. Caitlin McGarry gives us a sneak pre­view

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

The iPad Pro is a pro­duc­tiv­ity pow­er­house – or at least, that’s what Ap­ple wants it to be. The 12.9in Pro was re­leased last Novem­ber, and the 9.7in model de­buted in March, so we weren’t ex­pect­ing to see any new hard­ware at Ap­ple’s World­wide Devel­op­ers Con­fer­ence in June. But we were hop­ing Ap­ple would add some iPad-only fea­tures in iOS 10 that would fix a few prob­lems and make the Pros even more awe­some, or at least show off some new part­ner apps that take ad­van­tage of all that screen real estate.

Alas, the iPad was a foot­note in iOS 10’s pa­rade of fea­tures. The de­vice gets most of the good stuff, like the re­vamped Mes­sages app, a new lock screen with rich no­ti­fi­ca­tions, and smarter Pho­tos, but the iPad-only tweaks are just that: mi­nor changes.

Of course, it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble that Ap­ple will add more func­tion­al­ity for the iPad in fu­ture beta re­leases, be­cause beta soft­ware is a work in progress. Ap­ple has un­til Septem­ber to lis­ten to feed­back from devel­op­ers and the pub­lic. I put the iOS 10 de­vel­oper beta on a 12.9in iPad Pro to see the tablet-spe­cific fea­tures in ac­tion.

1. Mail and Notes get three-pane interface

I re­ally dig the gi­ant iPad Pro, but not a lot of apps make good use of that mas­sive dis­play. iOS 10 brings a three-pane interface to Mail and Notes on the 12.9in model, and it’s so use­ful that I hope Ap­ple will open up that func­tion­al­ity to devel­op­ers so I can have the same mul­ti­task­ing abil­i­ties in Out­look.

To view all three panes, turn your big Pro from por­trait to land­scape mode and tap a new multi-pane icon on the top left of your screen and watch the app ex­pand. You’ll only see this icon in Notes and Mail, and only on the 12.9in Pro. If you have a lot of email to wran­gle or a slew of notes in var­i­ous fold­ers (as you can see be­low, I clearly don’t), the new view will go a long way to­ward help­ing you stay or­gan­ised.

2. Split View fi­nally comes to Sa­fari tabs

Mul­ti­task­ing on the iPad Pro is sup­posed to be easy. But one way I mul­ti­task on my Mac is by hav­ing a few web browser win­dows open at once so I can com­pare notes with­out tog­gling be­tween tabs. Now I can eas­ily do that on the iPad with Split View for Sa­fari tabs, new in iOS 10.

Press and hold the tab you want to put in its own win­dow, then drag it to the left or right side of the screen. The orig­i­nal win­dow will shrink and a grey

space will ap­pear next to it. Drop the tab into the grey space and it’ll ex­pand to fill half the screen. When you’re done with Split View, grab the bar and move it back to a tab in the main win­dow.

3. Split View

When I first dis­cov­ered the new Split View sup­port in the iPad ver­sion of the Mu­sic app, I thought: Who needs this? Well, if you love mu­sic and are con­stantly re­search­ing new artists, al­bums, and songs, be­ing able to search for tunes in the Mu­sic app while read­ing re­views or mu­sic re­views on Sa­fari is in­cred­i­bly use­ful. For ex­am­ple, I was brows­ing through NPR’s list of best al­bums of 2016 (so far, at least) with Ap­ple Mu­sic open in Split View. Tap­ping on each al­bum’s Ap­ple Mu­sic link would pull up the al­bum right next to the Sa­fari ar­ti­cle, so I could eas­ily save records I hadn’t lis­tened to yet to my li­brary or play them on the spot.

4. Ev­ery­thing is big in Mu­sic and News

Ap­ple redesigned the Mu­sic and News apps for iOS 10 with an em­pha­sis on interface sim­plic­ity and big­ger, bolder images and fonts. As you can see, big­ger is def­i­nitely bet­ter.

The iPad Mu­sic app puts the nav­i­ga­tion bar on the bot­tom left and your Now Play­ing bar on the bot­tom left, so you can eas­ily tog­gle be­tween your li­brary, rec­om­mended playlists, and new

mu­sic while still see­ing the song that’s cur­rently on. Tap­ping on the Now Play­ing bar will bring up the Now Play­ing win­dow as a trans­par­ent over­lay on the right third of the app, so you don’t have to nav­i­gate away from the main win­dow to view more in­for­ma­tion about the song, save it to a playlist, or see what’s com­ing up next.

News looks dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent in iOS 10, too. I pre­fer to browse through publi­ca­tions like the New York Times on my iPad in­stead of my iPhone, and the new nav­i­ga­tion tabs and su­per-sized images look amaz­ing on the 12.9in Pro.

5. Land­scape lock screen changes

When you wake your iPad in land­scape mode, you’ll no­tice it looks a lit­tle funny. All the text has been forced to the left, as you see.

Why is that? Well with iOS 10, your iPad lock screen will dis­play rich no­ti­fi­ca­tions to the left and any me­dia you’re play­ing on the right. It’s an easy

way to see all the in­for­ma­tion you need with­out even touch­ing your iPad.

6. Swift Play­grounds is iPad-only

We’re do­ing a deep dive with Swift Play­grounds soon, but this iPad-spe­cific app com­ing in iOS 10 is de­signed to teach kids or be­gin­ners how to code

in Ap­ple’s Swift pro­gram­ming lan­guage. The app even has a spe­cific cod­ing key­board for short­cuts and Swift char­ac­ters. The code you write in Swift Play­grounds can be ex­ported as Xcode and turn into a real iOS app. Stay tuned as we put this app through its paces in an up­com­ing piece.

7. iPad be­comes HomeKit hub

iOS 10 fi­nally makes your iPhones and iPad in­te­gral to con­trol­ling your HomeKit ac­ces­sories with the launch of a new Home app. It works across iOS, tvOS, and watchOS, so you can con­trol your con­nected home from any­where. If you have an iPad that never leaves your house, it can serve as the cen­tral HomeKit hub for your fam­ily with iOS 10. Open your iPad Set­tings and make sure iCloud key­chain is turned on, then stay in Set­tings and tap on Home. There you’ll see the op­tion to use the iPad as a Home hub. Tog­gle it on.

Then you can add HomeKit ac­ces­sories and ar­range them by room. We’ll do a deep dive into how this works in a fu­ture piece. Now you don’t have to buy an Ap­ple TV or a third-party hub with iOS 10 on the iPad.

8. New Smart Key­board tricks

There are two new mi­nor short­cuts for iPad Pro users with Smart Keyboards that will make life a tiny bit eas­ier. Now when you tap Cmd+Tab on the key­board to pull up the app switcher over­lay, there’s a new home screen op­tion on the far right to nav­i­gate back to the main screen.

The sec­ond is a fea­ture that lets the Pro mimic the Mac: Press Cmd-Shift-3 on the key­board to take a screen­shot on your iPad.

It’s likely the iPad, par­tic­u­larly the Pro mod­els, will see im­prove­ments in dot re­leases of iOS 10, if not the first ver­sion that rolls out in Septem­ber.

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