iPadOS 13 is where the iPad finally grows up and becomes a proper desktop replacement for a lot of people. You can now open multiple instances of the same app, you can download files using Safari and even use external storage devices. Learn all about how to use the new features using our best iPadOS 13 tips and tricks guide.
Best iPadOS Tips and Tricks
1. Add Widgets to Home Screen
You can now view widgets directly on the Home screen and pin them to the Home screen as well. When you’re in the Home screen, swipe right to reveal the widgets. To pin then, swipe to the bottom of the Today View panel and tap on Edit. Then turn on the toggle next to Keep on Home Screen.
2. Open Multiple Apps in Slide Over
To open multiple apps in Slide Over, first, bring forth a floating Slide Over panel, enable the Dock and then drag an app icon over the Slide Over window that’s currently open. You can cycle between open windows by swiping left/right on the little Home bar below the Slide Over panel.
3. Open Multiple Instance of The Same App
You can now open multiple windows or instances of the same app. It can be on a new screen or in split view. If an app support it, just tap on a section of an app (like a note or a mail), drag it out of the app and to the right edge of the screen.
Then release your finger to create another window of the same app. If you want to open the window full screen, take the finger to the top of the page and then release it.
4. See All Instances of A Single App Together
Apple has brought the App Expose feature to the iPad so you can see app open windows from the current app in one screen and you can quit any windows if needed. When the app is open, bring up the Dock and tap on the app icon to see app open windows together. Swipe up to close a particular app instance.
5. Use your iPad As Second Mac Display
Apple’s new Sidecar feature will let you use the iPad as a secondary display for a Mac that’s running macOS Catalina. It will work both wirelessly and using a wired connection. It’s quite fast and there’s no latency.
If you have an Apple Pencil, you can use the attached iPad as a drawing tablet for your Mac.
6. Start Marking Up Any Page Using Apple Pencil
You can swipe in from the bottom corner of the screen using the Apple Pencil to take a screenshot and to start annotating it. You’ll also see an option to take full page screenshot in the right side.
7. Enable Dark Mode
One of the coolest new features in iPadOS 13 is the new dark mode. Open the Control Center, press and hold on the Brightness slider and then tap on the Appearance toggle to turn on the Dark mode. You can also add a Dark Appearance toggle directly to Control Center for quick access.
Go to Settings -> Control Center -> Customize Controls and tap on the + button next to Dark Appearance to add it to Control Center.
8. Use Dark Mode on Schedule
Go to Settings -> Display & Brightness and turn on the Automatic feature. From the new options below, you can set a custom schedule for dark mode based on the sunrise/sunset or a specific time.
9. Reduce Home Screen Icons Grid
iPadOS 13 has a 5 by 6 grid. But you can go back to the old 5 by 5 grid by going to Settings -> Display and then switching to the Bigger option in the App Icon Size menu.
10. Use a Mouse With Your iPad
iPadOS 13’s new accessibility feature will let you use a mouse with your iPad. Open the Settings app, go to Accessibility section and turn on AssistiveTouch.
Then go to the Devices section and put your iPad in pairing mode. Connect your mouse to your iPad and then you’ll see a cursor appear on the screen. You can move it around. The left-click will emulate a finger tap while the right-click will open the AssistiveTouch menu. You can change the tracking speed, cursor size, cursor color and more from the AssistiveTouch menu.
11. Share Audio with Two AirPods
iPadOS 13 has a new feature that lets you share the audio from a single iPad between two pairs of AirPods or PowerBeats Pro. With one AirPods already connected to your iPad, bring the other AirPods case close to the iPad, open it and press the Round button at the back.
Then tap on Connect. Once the other pair is paired with your iPad, you’ll be able to see it as an option in the AirPlay screen. Tap on the second pair to select it. Instantly, the audio will go through both AirPods in sync.
12. Use The New Photo Editor
The new and improved photo editor in the Photos app is a good replacement for Snapseed or Darkroom for basic image editing. It has a simpler, Instagram editing style interface. It has more editing features like vibrance, brillance and more. We’ve covered the feature in detail here.
13. Use The New Video Editor
When you edit a video on the iPad, you’ll now see the new editor. You can quickly crop the video, change the aspect ratio, orientation and apply basic image editing features to the video. All the changes are non-destructive so you can go back to the original video at any time.
14. Long Press App Icons For Menus
Apple has enabled the Haptic Touch and Peek feature across all iPads. So you can tap and hold on an iPad to get a contextual menu. Tap and hold on a link in Safari to see a preview and options for opening it in a new tab or window and more.
15. Use The Compact Keyboard with Gesture Typing
iPadOS 13 has a new compact floating keyboard that you can shrink and move around anywhere. Just pinch in on the keyboard to get into this mode. Once you’re in this mode, you can also use the gesture typing feature.
16. Download Files Using Safari
Safari gets a download manager on both the iPhone and iPad. When you visit a link that can be downloaded, you’ll see a popup asking if you want to download the file. Then, a new Download icon will appear in the toolbar. Tap on it to monitor all your downloads.
Once the download is finished, you’ll find it in the Downloads folder in the Files app, It will be stored locally.
17. Change Default File Download Location
But you can, and should change the default download location in iPadOS 13. You can even change it to the local storage. Go to Settings -> Safari -> Downloads and switch to On my iPad. You can also go in and select another folder of your choice.
18. Use The New Text Editing Gestures
Apple is also taking text selection seriously. You can now just tap and hold on the cursor to pick it up and instantly move it around.
Text selection is way easier now. Just tap on a word and instantly swipe to where you want to select, like the end of the paragraph. iPadOS will select all the text in between the two points.
Once the text is selected, you can use gestures to copy it. Just pinch in with three fingers to copy, pinch out with three fingers to paste and swipe back with three fingers to undo typing or action.
We’ve written more about the text editing gestures in detail in our previous guide.
19. Try The Natural Language Input in New Reminders App
There’s a lot to talk about the new Reminders app in iPadOS 13 but the best new feature is text input suggestions. You can type a reminder and then type time and day in the end. You’ll see a suggestion in the keyboard field to attach it to the reminders. This is not as great as third party apps but it’s better than nothing.
20. Toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth From Control Center
The little feature makes the experience of using an iPad as a work device much easier. Open the Control Center, and expand the toggles panel. Now, just tap and hold on the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggle. You’ll now see a list from which you can pick Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth connections to switch to.
As someone who as three different networks in my house, this little feature is a god sent.
21. Use External Storage With Files App
Files app now supports external storage devices natively on your iPad. This is great news for users of iPad Pro with USB-C who have been wanted to use USB-C flash drives with their iPads. In fact, the Files app even works with a Kindle if you have the proper cable. Rest assured, if you can get the storage drive connected to the Files app, it will read it.
Once it’s connected, it will show up in the Sidebar in the Files app. Just tap on the drive to open the directory. You can simply tap and hold on files and folders to drag them to another location like iCloud Drive or your local storage.
22. Find The New Updates Section in App Store
When you open the App Store, you’ll notice that the Updates section is gone, instead, it’s deserved for Apple’s Arcade gaming service. To find the Updates section, tap on your Profile icon at the top from the Today section.
In your profile page, you’ll find the app updates in the bottom part of the screen. You can update all apps if you want. Swipe left on an app to reveal a Delete button. Using this you can delete the app from your iPad.
23. Use The Better Formatting Features in Mail App
Mail app on the iPad is growing up in a big way. It now offers Mac-class formatting options. When you’re in the Compose box, tap on the Aa icon from the toolbar to reveal all the formatting options. Here, you can change the font, font size, color, indentation, formatting and lot more.
iPadOS 13 also has a new feature that lets you download Fonts from the App Store as apps. Once downloaded, they’ll directly appear in this formatting menu in supported apps like Mail, Notes and more.
24. Zip and unzip Files in Files App
Files app now lets you zip and unzip files. Tap and hold on a Zip file and you’ll see an Uncompress option. Tap and hold on a single file or select multiple files, then from the menu, select Compress to instantly create a zip from all selected files. You can then tap on the Share button to send the Zip file in an email.
25. Organize Files an Folders in Local Storage
If you use your iPad for work that involved juggling a lot of documents and files, this new feature will make your life much easier. You can now organize files in folders directly on Local Store. Previously you could only do this for iCloud Drive or Dropbox. Now, you can create a new folder on your local storage and move files around.
If you have the 256GB iPad, you’ll love this feature. Just open the Files app, go to the On my iPad section and tap and hold anywhere to get the popup to create a new folder.
Your Favorite iPadOS 13 Tips and Tricks
What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for iPadOS 13? Share with us in the comments below.