Did you buy a new iPad Pro over the holidays or get one as a gift from a friend? Well, congratulations, and we hope you like it and are excited to try out all the fun new features. If you’re new to the world of iPadOS, then you may find all the new settings and features a bit overwhelming. Apple does a pretty good job of walking you through all the basic steps during the setup, so we doubt you’ll have any issues setting things up and getting to the homescreen. But once you’re done with the setup, there are several iPad Pro tips, tricks and hacks that can help you make the most out of your device. That’s exactly what we’re going to help you with. So, grab your tablet, sit back, and check out the best tips and tricks for iPad Pro!
1. Use a Mouse and Keyboard With Your iPad Pro
If you want to turn your iPad Pro into a replacement for a Mac when you’re working at a desk, you can do so with a mouse and a keyboard.
As with a Mac, you can connect any Bluetooth mouse, keyboard, or trackpad to your iPad Pro to use those inputs as an alternative to the touch screen. It’s really as simple as opening up Bluetooth and initiating the pairing process.
With Universal Control, a feature that Apple introduced in iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, you can use a single mouse or trackpad across all of your iPad Pros and Macs, making it even simpler to control your iPad Pro if you’re using it alongside a Mac.
2. Use App Library to Keep Your Home Screen Clean
Have an a Home Screen that’s cluttered up with all manner of apps? Well, this iPad Pro trick can get rid of that problem. The App Library offers you instant access to a well-organized list of all the apps on your iPad Pro.
To access it, just swipe all the way over to the end of your Home Screen pages. App Library will automatically organize your apps into various categories such as Games, Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Social, and more.
You can scroll through the categories and tap into each one to see all the apps listed there, or you can simply use the search feature.
Tip: You can delete your Home Screen pages in bulk or rearrange them by long pressing on an empty area of the Home Screen and then tapping on the row of dots at the bottom of the display. You can drag Home Screen pages to rearrange, or tap on the checkmark and then the “-“ to delete them.
3. Drag and Drop Text Between Apps
If you want to move text from one app to another on the iPad Pro, such as pasting some text from Safari into Notes, you can easily do so with a drag-and-drop gesture.
- Select the text that you want to move from one app to another by long pressing. Drag the two little bars to get exactly the text you want.
- On the highlighted text, press and hold to pull it up from the page.
- Keep your finger on the text while you use another finger or your other hand to open up the app you want to move the text to.
- When the text is situated in the app where you want it to go, lift your finger and it will be pasted over.
Tip: This drag-and-drop text gesture is easiest to use in multitasking mode, where you have two app windows open side by side.
4. Use an Apple Pencil
Without a doubt, an Apple Pencil is one of the best tool that you can get to use with an iPad Pro. If you didn’t purchase an Apple Pencil alongside the iPad Pro, consider doing so.
An Apple Pencil lets you sketch and draw within drawing apps, note-taking apps, and more, but you can also use it for navigation and you can write in any text field on the iPad Pro, with the iPad Pro translating it into typed text.
In the built-in Notes app, for example, you can open it up and just start writing with the Pencil. The same goes for Safari searches, Calendar events, Messages, and so much more.
The Apple Pencil comes in two different versions, so the model you need will depend on which iPad Pro you have. To see your iPad Pro model, launch the Settings app, tap on “General” and then tap on “About.” Your model is listed under “Model name.”
Apple Pencil 1 Devices
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st and 2nd Gen)
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
Apple Pencil 2 Devices
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd Gen and Newer)
- 11-inch iPad Pro (All models)
5. Take Advantage of Widgets
Many of Apple’s apps and third-party apps come with widgets, which you can place on your Home Screen or view in the Today Center to get information at a glance. Adding a widgets on the homescreen is a cool iPad Pro trick you shouldn’t fail to try.
Follow the steps below to add a widget to your Home Screen:
- Long press on an empty space on the Home Screen until the app icons start wiggling.
- Tap on the “ ” button located at the upper left hand corner of the screen.
- Scroll through the widget suggestions, or simply search for a specific widget.
- Tap on the widget you want, and then swipe through the the different options. For many widgets, you can choose a size, and for others, you can customize the function.
- After customizing your widget the way you want, tap “Add Widget.”
- It will be placed on the Home Screen, and from here you can drag it into the position that you desire.
- Hit “Done” when you’re through.
Tip: On the iPad Pro, you have access to XL widgets, a larger-sized widget that’s not available on the iPhone. You can also add widgets to the Today View by going to your first Home Screen page and then swiping again from left or right to open the Today View interface.
Add a widget by long pressing on the display and then tapping the “ ” button as outlined above. You can drag and drop widgets to rearrange them, or pull one out from Today View to your Home Screen.
6. Use Quick Notes
This iPad Pro trick lets you jot down notes without having to open up the Notes app. Quick Notes can be used with or without an Apple Pencil, and you can access the interface at any time with a simple gesture.
- In any app, or on the Home Screen, swipe up diagonally from the right hand corner of the screen.
- You can perform the diagonal swipe in either portrait or landscape mode – it works the same.
- Type down your notes or write using an Apple Pencil.
- Swipe to collapse the Quick Note to the side if you want to hide it temporarily and bring it back to look something up.
- Hit “Done” when you’re finished.
Tip: You can also access Quick Notes from the Control Center by tapping on the Notes icon, or by using the Globe key Q keyboard shortcut. If you have an Apple Pencil, you can also tap it on the iPad Pro’s locked screen to bring up a note.
7. Use Your iPad Pro as a Second Screen
If you own a Mac and it’s not too old, you can use your iPad Pro as a second screen with Apple’s Sidecar feature. A cool iPad Pro trick, isn’t it?
To use Sidecar, you just need to access the display section of the Control Center on your Mac and beaming your screen to your iPad Pro.
Sidecar requires a Mac compatible with macOS Catalina or later, and it works with the following MacBooks:
- MacBook Pro launched in 2016 or later
- MacBook launched in 2016 or later
- iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac Pro
- Mac mini launched in 2018 or later
- Mac Pro launched in 2019
8. Enhance Safari With Extensions
Safari on the iPad Pro works with all of the same extensions that you might get on your Mac, so you can download extensions for turning all webpages to dark mode, using password managers, avoiding AMP pages, and more.
To get Safari Extensions, simply open the Settings app, go to Safari, select Extensions, and then tap on More Extensions to get to the Extensions section in the App Store.
9. Multitask with Stage Manager
iPadOS 16 brought a multitasking interface which Apple called Stage Manager, which is meant to be more like Mac multitasking. Some people like Stage Manager, while others hate it, but you should definitely try it out to see how it works for you.
Here’s how to turn Stage Manager on and off on iPad Pro:
- Swipe down from the right corner of the screen to bring up the Control Center.
- Tap on the Stage Manager button that resembles a rectangle with three squares on the left of it. You can tap it to toggle Stage Manager on or off.
- Alternatively, launch the Settings app, select Home Screen and Multitasking, and then Choose Stage Manager to turn it on or off.
10. Find Anything With Spotlight
If you don’t already use Spotlight on your tablet, it’s actually the best iPad Pro trick to find just about anything. To open it, just navigate to the Home Screen and swipe down.
In addition to Siri Suggestions, which offers up apps you might want to access based on your usage history, Apple provides a search bar. If you tap into it, you can search for anything you want. Here are just a few things you can use Spotlight for:
- Finding and opening apps you have installed on your iPad
- Finding new apps in the App Store
- Rearranging apps (search for an app and then drag it out of Spotlight to the Home Screen)
- Installing apps on your iPad (after a search, tap on “Get”)
- Deleting apps on your iPad (long press and choose delete)
- Looking for photos (search by date, person, or object in the photo)
- Facts about actors, actresses, and other well-known people
- Information on contacts
- Web images (search for [subject] images)
- Converting measurements right from your iPad
- Converting currency
- Performing simple calculations
- Finding content in Notes, Messages, and other apps
Tip: If you swipe down from the Lock Screen on your iPad Pro, you can get to a Spotlight Search interface without having to unlock your device.
11. Use the Freeform App
After upgrading to the latest iPadOS 16.2 update, you can access Freeform, a blank canvas whiteboard style app where you can create anything. Freeform is installed automatically with iPadOS 16.2, and there’s nothing else that you need to do besides open it up and experiment.
The app has various drawing tools that are similar to those available in the photo editing interface, along with options to add hundreds of shapes, stickies, photos, scans, documents, and more. You can have multiple boards and even collaborate on projects with other people, and all edits and changes are shown in real time.
12. Try Some Karaoke With Apple Music Sing
This iPad Pro trick turns your tablet into a little karaoke machine if you’re an Apple Music subscriber. Using the built-in lyrics feature, the Apple Music Sing option lets you sing along with a song, with your voice replacing the song’s vocals.
Vocal volume can be adjusted, and there are settings for duets, plus a ton of playlist options highlighting the best Apple Music Sing songs in the Apple Music app. Apple Music Sing is available on these iPad Pros:
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (Fifth-generation and newer)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (Third-generation and newer)
Follow the steps below to use Apple Music Sing on iPad Pro:
- Launch the Music app on your iPad Pro and start playing a track.
- With the fullscreen playback controls open, tap the Lyrics button (the quotation mark speech bubble) in the bottom left corner (if it’s available for the song).
- Tap the Sing button (the mic and stars) on the right, just above the track progress bar. If you don’t see it, the Sing feature isn’t available for this song.
- With the track playing, press and hold the Sing button, then drag the slider up or down to adjust the volume of the vocals.
13. Check the Weather
There’s a dedicated Weather app on the iPad Pro as of iPadOS 16, so you can get all the weather info you’re used to seeing on your iPhone on your iPad Pro.
Just launch the Weather app to see the weather in your location or a location of your choice, with 10-day forecasts, precipitation charts, and other modules that show you in-depth information on metrics like humidity, air quality, wind speed, sunset/sunrise times, pressure, visibility, and more.