iOS 11 was a major release for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It was Apple’s biggest release ever, even more so for iPad owners. In fact, we’ve previously covered 230+ new things in iOS 11!

Multitasking took a huge leap forward with a multitude of changes that are on their way to making your iPad a full featured device. Many features came to the iPhone as well.

The new Files app is a fantastic addition and the new, much redesigned and customizable Control Center is definitely one of my favorite new features.

iPad-only features in iOS 11

With all that, lets take a look at some of the iPad specific features many have missed.

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Read on for the details description of these features.

The Dock everywhere!

The new upgraded Dock can now be viewed from anywhere. Obviously on the Home screen, but also within apps by a flick up from the bottom, or within the new app switcher.

Add up to 15 apps to your Dock

The new Dock is capable of holding 15 apps of your choice, plus one app chosen by iOS 11.

Predicted, Handoff or recent apps in your Dock

On the right side of the Dock, there are 1-3 predicted apps. If you have many chosen apps in your dock, then the predicted apps drops to one. If you have less, it can be as many as three.

Those apps are based off things like the time of day (say, you open your mail every morning), location (maybe you open Slack when you get to work), recently used or Handoff from another device.

Recent files, right from the Dock

In iOS 11, you can access recent files by long holding on certain apps. Try it by holding your finger on the Files app icon in the Dock (you can tap Show More in the upper-right corner to display additional recently access files).

Apple has built this in to many of their stock apps such as Pages, Keynote, Numbers and the aforementioned Files app. Developers now have access to this feature through a new API so we should start seeing apps adopt it now that iOS 11 has been released.

Swipe up for app switcher

You can access the new app switcher by double clicking the Home button, as before.

But now. you can now also drag your finger from the bottom of the display to the center of the screen to get to the redesigned and much improved app switcher.

Add Slide Over app from the Dock

You can utilize the new Drag and Drop feature from the new Dock. Swipe up to access the Dock, tap and hold on an app icon for just a moment, before dragging the icon onto your open app. It will jump into Slide Over mode on the right side of the screen.

Add Slide Over apps from the Home screen

You can also add an app to Slide Over from your Home screen as well. Simply tap and hold from the Home screen on an app icon, while still holding, launch another app. Now you can drop the app into Slide Over.

Move Slide Over apps side to side

Now that you have an app in Slide Over, you can move it from the left, to the right by swiping.

Hide Slide Over apps with a swipe

When an app is in Slide Over, you can quickly and easily hide it, and bring it back. If the app is on the right side, swipe from the left, to the right like you are throwing it off the screen. It hides, then you can swipe back from right to left off the edge to bring the app back. This is really useful if you are reading and want to check Twitter, or reply to a message.

Go from Slide Over to Split View

Yes, you can do that, too!

To go from a simple Slide Over app to full Split View, you flick down from the top of the Slide Over app. You will see a small bar there, and you pull down just a bit, and it will jump into Split View. Reverse this action, to go back to Slide Over.

Force-quit apps in the new app switcher

You can force-quit an app by swiping it up in the app switcher. You can even do multiple apps at the same time thanks to iOS 11’s much-enhanced support for multi-touch gestures.

Drag and Drop in Split View

This is a major productivity boost. You can tap and hold on things like links, images, files in one app, and while in Split View mode, drag it between.

For instance, I’m working on a document in Pages, and open Safari in Split View to look up an image. Then I Drag and Drop from Safari, into my document.

Drag and Drop between fullscreen apps

You can also Drag and Drop from anywhere in the system, not just in Split View. If I am in Files, I can grab an image from my Affinity Photos folder, hold it while I go back to any home screen, launch Bear, and drop it into my notes.

Instant Markup

Any time you take a screenshot, you can instantly markup that image. Take a screenshot, tap on the new thumbnail in the bottom left corner, and now you can use your Apple Pencil or your finger to annotate that image.

Instant Notes from Lock screen

Using your Apple Pencil, you can tap on the lock screen, and it will automatically launch and create a new note in the Notes app for you to start writing in. You have other options as well. In Settings, you can instead choose to disable this feature, jump to the most recently viewed note, or to the last created note.

Inline Drawing

There is a new inline drawing feature for Notes as well. You can alternate between drawing and typing. You aren’t confined to having drawings at the top, or in separate notes.

Key Flicks for QuickType keyboard

The QuickType keyboard got great features for all iOS devices, but on the iPads, there is a new feature where you can flick down on certain keys to access the secondary characters. So if you have a % on the 5 key, you can flick down on the 5 and access the % instead.

Wrapping it all up

I think I’m not exaggerating when I say that with iOS 11 iPad is now in a league of its own. No longer will we chuckle when Apple puts out one of those ads calling iPad a real computer.

So what do you guys think of all these new productivity enhancing multitasking features for iPad afforded by iOS 11? What’s your favorite iPad-specific feature in iOS 11, and why?

And while we’re at it, have you discovered any new iOS 11 features exclusive to the iPad that may have escaped our radar?

Let us know by dropping a comment below.

  • iOS 11 on iPad is really amazing. Best for multitasking and customization.
    The new OS has increase the productivity a lot.

    • efrds

      So true, I almost never used my iPad Mini 4, but this update has really increased my productivity a lot. I don’t even use the home button anymore besides to unlock my iPad.

  • Ayan Mukherjee

    I have the iPad Pro 12.9″ from 2015, and the Apple Pencil is terrible on iOS 11 (since the betas and now on the final). It’s like it draws every other pixel when you draw a straight line. I went back to iOS 10 and no problems there. Anyone else having this issue?

  • Kevin

    So true, I almost never used my iPad Mini 4, but this update has really increased my productivity a lot. I don’t even use the home button anymore besides to unlock my iPad.

  • Jose Diaz

    Whats the name of that photo app in the video?

    • Andrew O’Hara

      I use Affinity Photo

  • Do they work on a mini 2 as well?

  • czbird

    Add Slide Over apps from the Home screen not working.
    But I like opening links in side window in Safari.