In a latest episode of Related, we rounded up a few of our favourite “iOS little wonders” and Myke was stunned by considered one of my picks: the flexibility to launch particular person notes on iOS via shared hyperlinks. The following dialogue impressed me to assemble a listing of suggestions and tips to enhance how one can work on an iPad with iOS 11.
Regardless that I coated or talked about a few of these solutions in my iOS 11 evaluate or podcast segments earlier than, I noticed that it will helpful to clarify them intimately once more for many who missed them. From keyboard suggestions and shortcuts to gestures and Siri, I’ve tried to recollect all of the little tips I exploit to get work finished on my iPad Professional every day.
After a number of years of being iPad-only for almost all of my work, I usually take a few of these options with no consideration. And admittedly, Apple doesn’t at all times do a terrific job at instructing customers about these lesser identified particulars, which have turn into particularly vital after the productivity-focused iPad replace in iOS 11. I hope this assortment may be helpful for many who haven’t but explored the fascinating world of iPad productiveness.
#1: Create Launchers for Notes
As I discussed above, you may benefit from Notes’ built-in collaboration capabilities (launched in iOS 10) to create customized launchers that open particular person notes immediately.
Apple’s Notes app doesn’t provide a strategy to copy native URLs that reference a particular word. Thanks to notice sharing although, you may create your personal “URL scheme launcher” for Notes just by sharing a word with your self and utilizing its iCloud.com URL as a private word launcher.
Let’s say you’ve a word that you simply open a number of instances a day. You’d like a neater strategy to open this word, similar to a widget constructed utilizing Launcher or a workflow. Open the word, faucet the Add Folks button, then scroll the extension record till you see Copy Hyperlink. Faucet it, then within the contacts dialog that seems enter both your iCloud e mail handle or telephone quantity.
Faucet Copy Hyperlink within the high proper, and also you’ll have a hyperlink that may reopen the word immediately. The word has been uploaded to iCloud.com to generate this hyperlink, but it surely’s solely shared with your self, so solely you may see it. At this level, you may paste the word’s hyperlink in Launcher, Launch Middle Professional, Workflow, or another iOS automation app to show it right into a shortcut to reopen the word.
I exploit this technique for dozens of notes that I continuously open within the Notes app. The one draw back is that each time you faucet on a word launcher, you’ll see a message that claims ‘Retrieving’ – meaning your gadget is checking with iCloud’s servers to see if the word in your gadget can really be opened as a result of it’s a shared one. In my expertise, this dialog disappears in lower than a second, and self-shared word hyperlinks at all times work reliably. In the event you’re a heavy person of the Notes app and end up always opening the identical notes, I like to recommend establishing a few of these launchers.
#2: Trim Highlight App Outcomes
Whether or not you entry it by hitting ⌘House on a keyboard, swiping down on the Residence display, or through a devoted bodily key, iOS’ Highlight search generally is a highly effective device…when you’ve taken the time to trim down its record of included outcomes.
I like Highlight and use it rather a lot, but it surely requires time to be optimally configured to make sure its outcomes aren’t polluted by pointless app knowledge.
With iOS 9, Highlight gained the flexibility to show outcomes for paperwork and knowledge contained in third-party apps. You possibly can faucet these outcomes (or navigate them with the ↑/↓ arrow keys on a keyboard) to open them immediately in the principle app. The issue with Apple’s strategy is that after an app is put in, its Highlight integration is enabled by default.
If you end up looking for info with Highlight and pondering that a number of the outcomes you see might be omitted, you may disable them and retain the flexibility to launch the app through Highlight. To do that, go to Settings ⇾ Siri & Search, scroll to the app you need to disable for Highlight outcomes, and deactivate the ‘Siri & Search Suggestions’ toggle. As soon as turned off, a second toggle known as ‘Show App’ will seem; depart this one enabled to maintain the flexibility to launch the app by typing its identify in Highlight.
I’ve repeated this course of for all of the apps I simply need to launch through Highlight and my expertise has dramatically improved. Now after I kind one thing in Highlight as a result of I’m on the lookout for a doc or message, solely vital apps I care about are allowed to show their contents in search outcomes. It takes some time to disable search and Siri solutions for each unimportant app, but it surely’s definitely worth the time.
Lastly, listed below are another helpful Highlight suggestions:
In the event you’re utilizing an exterior keyboard, you may press Return to instantly open the primary (and most related) end result introduced up by Highlight. That is excellent for turning Highlight into a quick app launcher.
You should utilize ↑-Return and ↓-Return to navigate between the primary gadgets of every Highlight part (similar to outcomes from completely different apps).
You possibly can spotlight completely different app icons on the identical row by navigating them with the ← and → arrow keys.
If the modifications you make haven’t any impact on the Highlight outcomes displayed by third-party apps, restart your iPad. Generally a tough reboot is important for Highlight’s cache to clear.
#3: Take, Edit, and Share Screenshots Sooner
Amongst numerous iPad-focused productiveness enhancements, iOS 11 introduced unbelievable new screenshot options to rapidly edit, share, and discard screenshots. What chances are you’ll not know, nonetheless, is that you may make this workflow even sooner on the iPad because of multitasking-aware cropping and keyboard shortcuts.
In contrast to its iPhone counterpart, the iPad’s screenshot modifying UI can acknowledge the perimeters of a number of app home windows in a screenshot that was taken whereas in Cut up View or Slide Over mode. Which means that for those who take a screenshot whereas multitasking, then faucet on the preview to edit it straight away, the crop device will robotically snap to the perimeters of a floating app in Slide Over or a number of apps in Cut up View, letting you simply crop only one app to share as a standalone picture.
This particular multitasking crop mode solely works from the brand new screenshot editor of iOS 11; for those who save a screenshot to the Photographs app then edit it there, the crop device will now not acknowledge a number of apps captured on display.
Moreover, whereas iPad customers have lengthy been in a position to seize a screenshot by urgent the ⇧⌘Three hotkey, iOS 11 introduces ⇧⌘4. This new shortcut takes a screenshot and instantly jumps into the modifying UI, eradicating the necessity to faucet on the floating thumbnail preview to open a screenshot.
Lastly, the screenshot’s thumbnail preview is absolutely compliant with drag and drop and app extensions. After taking a screenshot (or a number of ones in a row), you may faucet & maintain the screenshot preview and drag it round to drop it into different apps similar to Mail or Gladys. In the event you don’t need to use drag and drop, you may long-press the screenshot preview till the system share sheet seems. I do that on a regular basis to immediately course of screenshots with the Workflow extension.
#4: Take into account a Sensible Keyboard Various
For most individuals, Apple’s Sensible Keyboard is an efficient (albeit barely costly) choice to enhance typing on the iPad with a bodily keyboard. Its large benefit, in fact, is that it makes use of the Sensible Connector in lieu of Bluetooth, so that you by no means have to fret about pairing and battery life. It’s additionally skinny and lightweight, making it an excellent selection for those who plan on typing on an iPad that you simply’re continuously carrying round.
For all its good perks, nonetheless, the Sensible Keyboard additionally has some severe drawbacks – significantly for customers who must kind on a big iPad Professional that often sits on a desk.
Most notably, the Sensible Keyboard isn’t backlit: except you’re an especially proficient contact typist, typing in darkish environments will probably be a problem as you gained’t see the keycaps’ labels. The Sensible Keyboard’s different large drawback is its lack of extra perform keys to activate system options or simulate bodily buttons. If you use a Sensible Keyboard, you’re extra more likely to be pressured to achieve out to the display along with your hand as a result of iOS’ native keyboard shortcuts solely assist a subset of system functionalities.
Which brings me to my keyboard advice: if you wish to use an iPad as a laptop computer alternative with plenty of typing concerned, you must think about a Sensible Keyboard various. Whether or not it’s a Sensible Connector-enabled keyboard (similar to Logitech’s Slim Combo line), a keyboard case setup, or an exterior Bluetooth keyboard paired with an iPad stand, my suggestion is to get your hands1 on a backlit keyboard that gives good battery life, a number of ranges of backlight illumination, and an additional row of bodily perform keys mapped to iOS system options and media controls.
For the previous few months, I’ve been utilizing a Brydge keyboard with my 12.9″ iPad Professional. This keyboard, apart from being backlit and just like a 2015 MacBook Professional keyboard in fashion and really feel, comes with bodily Siri and Residence button keys that may be pressed to open the assistant and exit apps, respectively. The Siri secret is efficient when mixed with Kind to Siri (extra on this under) and the Residence key may even be double-tapped and long-pressed to enter the multitasking switcher or summon Siri.
Moreover, the keyboard’s perform row comprises keys to manage media playback and brightness (for each the system and the keyboard itself), present the software program keyboard (helpful to manually swap to the emoji picker), and lock the iPad. I’ve actually loved engaged on longform items with this keyboard – it’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to the dream of an actual iPad laptop computer.
Brydge keyboards, sadly, are notoriously affected by high quality issues that end in faulty items that “drop” keystrokes. I do know as a result of I’ve been in that state of affairs twice: I needed to ship my first two Brydge keyboards again to Amazon as a result of it was not possible to kind on them. I received fortunate the third time. In the event you get a Brydge keyboard but it surely’s not working correctly, and for those who like the shape issue, return it and repeat the cycle till you get a totally functioning one. Belief me – it’s value it.
Along with the Brydge keyboard, there are two different iPad keyboard setups I’ve examined through the years that I can safely advocate:
Logitech Slim Combo keyboard case. It’s cumbersome and fabricated from plastic, however the case options an adjustable kickstand and has a Pencil holder on the high. The massive benefit of the Slim Combo is that it makes use of the Sensible Connector, similar to Apple’s Sensible Keyboard. The keyboard, which is backlit, replaces the Siri key with a devoted Highlight key. I used this keyboard for months earlier than I moved to the Brydge.
Apple Magic Keyboard + Cover + Sensible Cowl. Regardless that it’s not backlit, I like the texture and reliability of Apple’s Magic Keyboard. I additionally recognize that I can cost it with a Lightning connector as a substitute of micro-USB like different Bluetooth keyboards. Studio Neat’s Cover is my favourite answer to hold the Magic Keyboard round and prop the iPad up at an excellent viewing angle. If you don’t want to make use of the Magic Keyboard anymore, you may shut the Cover and return to utilizing the iPad with a Sensible Cowl hooked up. This setup is how I wrote my iOS 11 evaluate final yr, and I like to recommend it for those who already personal a Magic Keyboard.
Whereas Apple ought to do a greater job at integrating exterior keyboard controls with iOS’ system navigation (as an illustration, you continue to can’t management Cut up View and Management Middle with the keyboard), utilizing an excellent keyboard with iOS 11 can significantly enhance your iPad workflow. No matter you find yourself selecting, I counsel getting a keyboard that options extra perform keys and is backlit. And for those who resolve to strive the Brydge lottery: good luck.
#5: Use Favorites within the Recordsdata App
As I argued in my evaluate of iOS 11, the brand new Recordsdata app is the pure fruits of a brand new idea of file administration that mixes the normal Finder mannequin with an app-centric strategy. Whereas Recordsdata has a protracted strategy to go – by way of stability, customization, and superior integrations – I imagine Apple has accurately recognized the very best path ahead with this new app.
The ‘Favorites’ characteristic of Recordsdata’ sidebar is a superb instance of the way it goals to mix basic folder-based navigation with apps. The Favorites part of the sidebar permits you to pin continuously used folders for fast entry. Nevertheless, reasonably than being restricted to iCloud Drive, you may combine and match favourite areas from iCloud and third-party file suppliers that present up underneath the ‘Locations’ space of the Recordsdata app.
I benefit from Favorites in a few methods. Within the Recordsdata app, I’ve enabled Dropbox, DEVONthink, iCab, and Working Copy as file suppliers. This permits me to browse the contents of the apps from Recordsdata and due to this fact handle their paperwork with the system’s drag and drop framework (which is offered for each location in Recordsdata). Extra importantly, as a result of third-party file suppliers are handled as native areas similar to iCloud Drive, my Favorites part now comprises folders from a number of sources. Along with a handful of iCloud Drive folders, I’ve fast entry to a shared folder in Dropbox, a repository in Working Copy, and a bunch from DEVONthink. This helps me use Recordsdata as a centralized location for all my paperwork, which I can retrieve with a few faucets.
For the previous few weeks, I’ve additionally began saving paperwork that I must act upon after which delete in a brief “inbox” in Recordsdata that’s pinned on the high of my Favorites. If there are any PDF receipts of screenshots I must course of and discard, I can open the primary folder in my Favorites to get on the spot entry to these gadgets.
I named this folder ‘* Temp Files’ in order that it’s robotically sorted on the high of my iCloud Drive’s important view. This manner, the folder can be displayed on the very high of Recordsdata’ extension when saving paperwork from different apps. If I would like to avoid wasting a PDF displayed in Safari, I can invoke the ‘Save to Files’ extension, save the doc within the ‘* Temp Files’ folder, and act on it later as soon as I’m again within the Recordsdata app.
#6: Get URLs of Mail Messages
Do you know that iOS, similar to macOS, helps referencing particular person messages in Mail with a message:// protocol? And that this characteristic, which first appeared in Mac OS X Leopard’s Mail in 2007, can solely be managed by iPad customers on iOS thanks to tug and drop and third-party apps?
In the event you’re on an iPad and use Apple Mail, do this: choose up a message from Mail’s inbox and drop it right into a word in Apple Notes. You’ll discover that the message will get saved as a hyperlink, which you’ll faucet to immediately reopen the message in Mail.
The gorgeous facet of those Mail hyperlinks is that they hold working even when the message they reference is archived or moved to a different folder. Mail’s message hyperlinks are perfect for activity managers and note-taking apps the place chances are you’ll need to save e mail messages as todos for later.
Sadly, not like macOS and its AppleScript assist in Mail, there’s no simple strategy to copy these Mail message hyperlinks on the iPad. In the event you use drag and drop with Notes, you may long-press the hyperlink to open a menu that permits you to copy the URL you may paste elsewhere.
Alternatively, you should utilize the shelf app Gladys to avoid wasting a whole e mail message and solely export its URL element to different apps in your gadget.
By now, though Apple by no means formally documented assist for message:// URLs on iOS, a couple of third-party builders have found out the way to benefit from these hyperlinks to combine their apps with Mail. For my part, Issues affords the very best implementation of the characteristic: once you drop a Mail message within the app, it’s saved with its topic line and a tappable hyperlink that reopens the message in Mail.
I want Apple offered an official API for apps to combine with Mail; till that occurs, particular person message hyperlinks are an excellent workaround to show emails into duties and notes in different apps.
#7: Set up Customized Fonts
Each time I share screenshots of my Numbers spreadsheets or Pages paperwork, readers ask how I used to be in a position to set up San Francisco Mono on iOS. The easy fact is: iOS, not like macOS, doesn’t provide a built-in answer for guide font set up, however it may be finished via third-party apps and customized profiles. Even higher: customized fonts you put in in your iPad will probably be out there in any app that makes use of iOS’ native font choice controls.
The app I’ve been utilizing to put in customized fonts on iOS for years now’s AnyFont. After copying a number of font recordsdata into AnyFont with the ‘Copy To…’ menu within the share sheet, you may choose them, verify that you simply need to set up them, then comply with the onscreen directions to put in a customized profile within the Settings app that comprises the fonts you need to use. It’s a guided course of that requires completely no coding or different superior expertise. As soon as the fonts are put in, you’ll be capable of choose them in any commonplace font picker on iOS. You possibly can do this in apps similar to Numbers, Pages, Pixelmator, OmniGraffle, or Drafts. So long as the app includes a native font picker, you’ll see your customized fonts.
I hold dozens of customized typefaces on my iPad and I’ve put in all of them utilizing AnyFont. It couldn’t be simpler, and I like how this technique lets me personalize my typing expertise relying on the app I’m utilizing. If in case you have a library of fonts that you simply need to transfer to AnyFont (or an alternate similar to FondFont), I like to recommend holding them in a folder synced with Recordsdata via iCloud Drive for handy entry on iOS.
#8: Use Textual content Replacements
Upon getting your iPad arrange with an exterior keyboard you’re snug with, it’s time to begin utilizing textual content replacements. This characteristic is supported by the default software program keyboard too and is usually used for easy abbreviations, however I’ve grown to make use of it rather a lot with my Brydge keyboard as a light-weight TextExpander alternative that works in any app.
Moreover apparent shortcuts for my identify and handle, I’ve arrange textual content replacements for quite a lot of textual content strings I often kind or seek for on my iPad:
File names for paperwork or folders (within the Recordsdata app) I continuously discover through Highlight;
Templates for e mail messages or tweets I ship regularly;
Emoji I continuously kind;
Unicode characters that may in any other case require a devoted app on iOS (such because the keyboard command characters on this story);
Tag and challenge shortcodes for my activity supervisor;
Whole sentences which can be expanded in Kind to Siri to manage HomeKit gadgets or save knowledge into SiriKit-compatible apps.
I’ve turn into so accustomed to writing and dealing with apps on my iPad utilizing textual content replacements, iOS feels damaged after I use a tool that isn’t logged into my iCloud account and doesn’t have my shortcuts. The performance of Apple’s textual content replacements pales compared to what you may obtain with TextExpander, however their system-wide integration permits you to save time in locations the place TextExpander won’t ever be out there.
#9: Faucet and Maintain in Safari
There are a number of fascinating and helpful shortcuts hidden behind faucet & maintain gestures in Safari for iOS. It may be difficult to commit all of them to muscle reminiscence, so right here’s a listing of my favourite long-press shortcuts in Safari.
Bookmarks. Faucet & maintain to rapidly add a brand new bookmark or add the present webpage to Studying Checklist.
Plus button. Reopen just lately closed tabs.
Tabs icon. Brings up a menu to shut all tabs or the present tab solely, plus choices to create a brand new tab or a brand new personal tab.
Tackle bar. By default, a long-press right here brings up a Copy button to repeat the present URL. With a URL or textual content within the clipboard, you’ll additionally see choices for ‘Paste and Go’ or ‘Paste and Search’, respectively.
←/→ arrows. Preview browser historical past in a contextual menu.
Safari Reader (textual content icon on the left facet of the handle bar). Show settings to at all times use Safari Reader on the chosen web site or for all web sites.
Refresh icon. Open menu to request a desktop model of the web site or reload the webpage with out content material blockers.
Hyperlinks inside webpages. Faucet & maintain and look ahead to the hyperlink to raise as much as begin drag and drop; alternatively, let go of the hyperlink after it’s lifted up and also you’ll open a regular contextual menu.
#10: Kind to Siri
I’ve written about Kind to Siri at size in an iPad Diaries column, however I need to repeat my advice right here as I imagine the characteristic dramatically alters Siri’s function on the iPad. With iOS 11, Siri gained assist for an Accessibility choice known as Kind to Siri that permits you to textual content, reasonably than speak with, the system’s built-in assistant. The characteristic may be enabled in Settings ⇾ Normal ⇾ Accessibility ⇾ Siri, and it retains all of the performance you’re used to having in Siri, solely in textual content kind.
In the event you work from an iPad related to an exterior keyboard, I believe you must give Kind to Siri a strive – particularly in case your keyboard has a devoted Siri key that immediately opens the assistant’s UI. Moreover apparent instructions similar to easy calculations or foreign money conversions, you may leverage Kind to Siri and mix it with textual content replacements to carry out superior actions similar to saving knowledge into SiriKit apps or controlling HomeKit gadgets. For instance, I arrange textual content replacements as “sentence templates” for Siri to create a activity in a particular record in Issues; I’ve a shortcut to set my air air purifier to 20% velocity; I even created an abbreviation to avoid wasting a word in Drafts’ inbox with out opening the app – excellent for random ideas that I don’t need to neglect.
Usually, interacting with Siri or asking it to avoid wasting info in third-party apps is a laborious and time-consuming course of that appears like an interruption. With Kind to Siri and textual content replacements on the iPad, nonetheless, Siri feels extra built-in with the system and lends itself to being invoked extra usually and performing extra superior actions. Kind to Siri made me rethink Siri’s function as a productivity-focused enhancement that enhances my iPad workflow.
#11: Open Paperwork from the Residence Display screen
Regardless of being one of many highlights of Craig Federighi’s iOS 11 demo from WWDC 2017, I usually obtain emails and tweets from readers who both simply found this characteristic or aren’t positive about the way it works.
In iOS 11, document-based apps can present you lately opened paperwork on the Residence display once you long-press their icons. The identical gesture that may provoke drag and drop for different icons on the Residence display shows a “widget” for apps that work with paperwork. Which means that apps similar to Bear or Trello is not going to present you up-to-date recordsdata; document-based apps like Numbers, MindNode, or PDF Viewer, nonetheless, as a result of they implement the native file browser in iOS 11, will convey up a menu of just lately opened recordsdata on the Residence display.
The menu is helpful in a few methods. Identical to a widget, it may be expanded to indicate you extra paperwork in extra rows. Then, you may both faucet a doc to reopen it within the app, or you may choose it up and use drag and drop to export it to a different app.
Drag and drop is especially helpful on this occasion if you end up sharing the identical doc time and again with the identical app or the identical folks and need to save a bit of little bit of time when doing so. As an alternative of navigating into the app that comprises the doc to seek out it, you may simply press the icon, choose up the doc from the Residence display (and even the dock) and drag away. If the file is saved in a cloud service, it’ll be robotically downloaded and despatched as an offline copy once you drop it.