Looking to iOS 11
iOS 11 brings iPad multitasking improvements along with a few quirks, writes Jason Snell
This summer, iPad users who are testing out the iOS 11 Public Beta are getting their first taste of the future of iPad multitasking. From a redesigned app switcher to an entirely transformed Dock, iOS 11 will make things quite different.
While so many of these changes are welcome – I’ve been running iOS 11 on my iPad Pro since
the very first beta release because I’ve been so desperate for some of these improvements – there are still some interesting wrinkles. It remains to be seen just what will change before iOS 11 goes final this fall, but here’s a look at where we are today, and where things might go in the future.
The Dock is... different
Since the early days of iOS, the Dock has been nothing more than a tray on which you could place frequently-used apps so that they’d be within reach no matter what page of your home screen you were currently viewing. With iOS 11 on iPad, the Dock is entirely different, and this means your approach to what apps you put in the Dock should be different too.
In iOS 11, the Dock pops up with a quick swipe from the bottom of the screen while you’re in any app. You can switch to another app by tapping on one of the apps, or tap and drag out an app to add it to Split View or Slide Over multitasking.
In the current iOS beta, you can stick 15 apps into the Dock, so you can get a whole lot of icons down there if you want. But what I’ve realized after using iOS 11 for a few weeks is that what I really want the Dock to be is a place to prioritize two kinds of apps. The first group is the apps I use all the time, which is basically what I used the Dock for before. But the second group is the apps I use in multitasking mode. Those need to be in the Dock, because it’s much less efficient to add an app to a multitasking mode if they’re not in the Dock. As a result, the
text editors I use to write articles now live in my Dock, as does the new Files app.
(Also, you’d better be quite familiar with the icons of the apps you put in the Dock: they no longer display names below them.)
One feature I’ve come to appreciate in the Dock is the app suggestions section, which takes up the three rightmost icons on the Dock. These are generally the three apps you’ve used the most recently, which makes it awfully convenient to switch between apps using the Dock rather than bringing up the much more complicated view that encompasses both Control Centre and the multitasking view.
Multitasking in iOS 11