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The Best iOS 11 Features That Transform Your iPad

iOS 11 flips the script on the years-old pattern of major updates to Apple's mobile operating system by focusing on the iPad, as opposed to the iPhone. So while both platforms get some new features, such as customizable Command Center buttons, you'll need to be on an iPad to see the best new features in iOS 11, such as the App Dock, dragging and dropping and the new work spaces multitasking layout.

Here's our guide to the best new features coming to the iPad in iOS 11. 

Drag and Drop

Drag and Drop

iOS 11 is, simply put, far better for multitasking than its predecessors. Nowhere is that more apparent than when you drag and drop an item for the first time between apps. You can even supercharge this new feature: start to drag an item, and before you release it, use your other hand to tap other items, creating a drag group.

Three apps at once

Three apps at once

iOS 9 introduced the split-view multitasking mode, but this year's update makes it even more powerful. After splitting your screen between two apps, you can check out another one by pulling another onto your screen with the Slide Over app view, which gives you a thin sliver of an app that you can move to the left and right by draggingit by thebar at its top.

Work spaces

Work spaces

Before iOS 11, users who took advantage of split-view multi-tasking had to spend time re-splitting their screens if they decided to switch between apps. That's no more, as the newly added work spaces concept keepsyour apps paired until you split them up.So I can keep Slack and Tweetbot together when I'm being social,as well as Bear and Safari for when I'm writing and researching.

The Dock comes to the iPad

The Dock comes to the iPad

The Dock, a drawer for apps you want to easily access, first came to us back when macOS was called OS X. Now on the iPad, The Dock is still aconvenient way to open an app, but now it's also used to adda second or third app for multitasking views. The dock also stores a lot more apps at once, up to 13 of them.

Command Center, customized

Command Center, customized

iOS no longer limits your Command Center widgets to just calculator, camera, clock and flashlight. Now, you can add buttons for the Apple TV remote, the Notes app and -- a new one -- screen recording.

Live Photos, your way

Live Photos, your way

iOS's Live Photos (GIFs that youtap to animate) are no longer constrained. Now, you can pick the Key Photo (the image you see before you tap), trim and loop the animation.

We've never been so excited to file

We've never been so excited to file

Yes, Android has offered users a nested filing system for years (and its is still more fully featured, with a root directory), but the Files app is big for iOS. Also, you can add outside services, such as Google Drive or Dropbox to it,and they appear as a USB drive plugged into your Mac would.

A better dark mode

A better dark mode

The Invert Colors option has long offered iOS users a makeshiftDark Mode by switching outwhites for black, blues for oranges and more. The new Smart Invert modeis supposed to make it work better by not flipping the colors ofimages and icons, which polarizes them and makes them harder to read. Don't upgrade to the first public beta for this feature, though, asSmart Invertstill tweaks some images (not all, though) in this release. Also, note that screenshots from an iPad using Smart Invert will lookas if you don't have the feature enabled and everything is normal.

Screenshot power tools

Screenshot power tools

If you're anything like us, you take a lot of screenshots, and you'll love the changes to this image capture system found in iOS 11. For starters, you see a thumbnail of your screenshot in the bottom corner after taking it, and you can then tap to annotate, edit and share. After you're done doodling andexporting, you get the option to save or delete, so you don't wind up withthousands of screens filling up your iPad.

Autofill for Passwords

Autofill for Passwords

The iCloud Keychain used to be limited to just Safari, and now Apple's letting other apps in on the fun. That means you can use login credentials stored in iCloud Keychain tosign into appseven faster, as it presents a tap-to-fill button in the shape of a keywhen you're using an app.

A splashier App Store

A splashier App Store

Of all of Apple's apps, few had needed a makeover more than theApp Store, which went mostly-unchanged since its 2008 release. Now, in addition to a whole section for games (Apple knowswhat sells), the App storelooks a whole lot better and will feature editorial content about new apps, such as alook at the art of Monument Valley 2.

Music is getting social

Music is getting social

One of Spotify's biggest features is the ability to use social media connections totell your friends what you'velistening to. That changes with iOS 11, with a new option toshare your music habits and playlists.

Messages, synced

Messages, synced

iCloud sync for Messages meanstwo great things for users. First, all ofyour messages on all of your devices, so no longer will you have all on your phone and only some on your iPad.Secondly, if you deletea message on one device, it clears it from them all,which helps make sure the stuff you want to dispose of is actually gone.

After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.