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5 ways your iPad could replace your laptop and how you can use it



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iPadOS adds mouse support and more.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Over the years, Apple has attempted to position its iPad setup as a laptop replacement . And for some that has certainly been the case. But for others, the lack of more intense computer-like functions such as mouse support, external storage and better multitasking prevented this from happening.

With the release of iPadOS things are changing. Apple now has a special operating system for its tablet setup, and with it new functions and possibilities that promote the transition from the iPad from a tablet to a complete computer. Don't get confused, Apple has also released iOS 1

3 for the iPhone and iPod touch, but there is a lot of overlap of functions between iOS and iPadOS.

After updating your iPad to iPadOS, you will be confronted with a whole series of new tools that will bring you much closer to leaving the laptop behind. Below are five features that will help you get the most out of iPadOS.

Fast switching between Slide Over apps is easily peasy.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Gestures!

Bypassing the iPad is not as easy as pressing the start button or swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

In iPadOS, Apple has added several new multitasking movements to do things such as using multiple apps at the same time, quickly switching between apps, and resizing apps. According to our count, there are 16 different gestures that you should know.

For example, you can now quickly switch between apps that you have opened in Slide Over with a simple swipe over the app's button. And you are not locked in using Split View apps in a 50/50 arrangement – you can adjust their window size.

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Multi-window apps

After mastering gestures, learn the following: which apps can be used in multiple windows.

Similar to two or three different Chrome windows open on your PC or Mac, you can now do that on the iPad with apps that support iPadOS. Safari is an app that I often use with multiple windows on my iPad Pro.

What it means is that you can use Mail and Safari side by side in split view and then open another copy of Safari, with different tabs, at the same time that you have Apple Notes and Safari side by side in another window. Safari is not the only app that allows multiple windows – most Apple & # 39; s own apps such as Notes, Mail and Messages support it.

There are several ways to open an app in multiple windows, but the easiest way is to drag the icon from one app to another app.

The easiest way to get out of an app that supports multiple windows is by long pressing the app icon and looking at the pop-up menu for an "Show all windows" option.

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Browsing in Safari in iPadOS finally ensures that Google Docs works correctly.


Scott Stein / CNET

Speaking of Safari …

iPadOS brings a desktop version of Safari with it. This is a pretty big problem and opens the possibility to use websites such as Google Docs or WordPress on the iPad. It also means that you should have fewer problems with websites that load correctly, and instead of seeing mobile websites designed for use on a phone, you will see the desktop version of the sites load by default.

The new Safari also has a special download manager, location-specific settings and more tools for managing open tabs. In other words, Safari for iPad (and iPhone) has grown up. Follow along as we help you use all the new features of Safari.

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Access to thumb drives or full hard drives in the Files app.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

You can now use external storage

The Files app in iPadOS 13 (and iOS 13 by the way) allows you to view files and documents stored on an external storage device. So you can connect devices such as a USB stick, SSD or external hard drive to your iPad, open the Files app and move documents like on a computer.

But to do that, you probably need an adapter. The most recent iPad Pro & # 39; s have a USB-C connector for charging and accessories, while the rest of the iPad setup still uses Lightning ports.

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Use something like the USB-C to USB adapter to connect thumb drives, but you need something like the USB-C Digital AV Multiport adapter to connect storage devices that need power, such as some SSD drives or external hard drives. If you only want to connect an SD card from your camera, the USB-C to SD card reader is sufficient.

Apple also offers the same adapters, but for Lightning devices. There is a Lightning to USB adapter, Lighting to USB 3 camera adapter and a Lighting to SD card reader.

Connect a storage device to your iPad with the appropriate adapter, open the Files app, and search for the device name to appear in the Locations section. Select the device to access the files and folders.

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I never thought this day would come.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use a mouse

Apple has added mouse support in iPadOS, and it works reasonably well. You can connect a wired or Bluetooth mouse to your iPad and use it to select, highlight, and navigate your iPad – just like on a laptop.

You must enable AssistiveTouch to have your iPad and mouse work together. To do this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch and switch it on.

Connect your wired mouse with the iPad to the same adapters that we just discussed for using external storage devices, or link a Bluetooth mouse with the iPad Pro to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch > Devices > Bluetooth devices and follow the instructions.

In the Devices section, you can also customize how the mouse works with iPadOS, including setting custom button actions.

With the option Pointer style in the Devices you can adjust the appearance of the mouse pointer on your iPad, adjust the size, color and how long before that it hides itself.

Apple has added many more features to the iPad than we have discussed here. iOS 13 and iPadOS have many overlapping new tools, settings and more, including a new dark mode a updated app Reminders and new Editing tools from photos & # 39; s . All who have improved the overall tablet-replace-my-laptop experience.


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