Best Ways to Replace Your Laptop with Your iPad

Posted on the 23 December 2019 by Anees @ZulfiqarAAnees

Over the years, Apple has tried to position its iPad line as a replacement for a laptop. And in the case of some users, this has happened. But for others, the lack of more functions similar to those of a computer, such as mouse compatibility, external storage, and better multitasking capabilities, have prevented that from happening.

With the launch of iPadOS, things are changing. Apple now has a dedicated operating system for its line of tablets, which includes new features and capabilities that allow you to move forward in the process of transitioning the iPad from a tablet to a complete computer. Do not be confused: Apple has also launched the iOS 13 operating system for iPhone and iPod touch, which has many functions similar to those of the iPadOS.

After upgrading your iPad to iPadOS, you will find a wide variety of new tools that will make it easier for you to leave your laptop behind. Here are five features that will help you get the most out of iPadOS.

Read more: Top 5 iOS 13 Privacy and Security Features


Getting around the iPad is no longer as simple as pressing the home button or swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

In iPadOS, Apple has added several new multitasking gestures that allow you things like using several applications at the same time, switching between them and resizing them. According to our count, there are 16 different gestures that you should know.

For example, you can now quickly switch between the applications you have opened in Slide Over by simply swiping your finger over the application button. And you are not required to use the Split View applications in a 50/50 ratio: now you can adjust the size of your windows.

Read more: 3 Ways to Restore Deleted Contacts on iPhone and iPad

Applications with multiple windows

Once you master the gestures, the next thing you should learn is in which applications you can use several windows.

Similar to when you have two or three Chrome windows open on your PC or Mac, you can now do it on your iPad with iPadOS-compatible applications. Safari is an application that I use a lot with several windows on my iPad Pro.

This means that you can use Mail and Safari side by side in split view, and then have another instance of Safari open on its own, with several tabs, while using Notes and Safari one next to the other in a third window. Safari is not the only application that allows you to use several windows: most of Apple’s own applications, such as Notes, Mail and Messages, are compatible with this function.

There are several different ways to open an application in several windows, but the easiest is to drag and drop an application’s icon over another application.

The easiest way to find out if an application supports multiple windows is to press and hold the app icon and look for the option “Show all windows” in the pop-up menu.

Read more: Cheapest Microsoft Surface Go Unveiled: Is this an iPad Killer?

And speaking of Safari …

iPadOS includes a version of Safari with features similar to those of the desktop version. This is a major change, and it will open the potential to use websites such as Google Docs or WordPress on the iPad. It also means that you should have fewer problems for websites to load correctly, and instead of viewing mobile websites designed for use on a phone, the desktop version of websites is loaded by default.

The new Safari also has a dedicated download manager, website-specific settings and more tools to manage open tabs. In other words, Safari for iPad (and iPhone) has grown. In this article, we show you all the new features of Safari (link in English).

External storage

The Files application on iPadOS 13 (also available on iOS 13) can show you files and documents saved on an external storage device. You can connect devices such as a USB memory drive, a solid-state drive (SSD) or external hard drive to your iPad, open the Files application and move documents as you would on a computer.

But to do that, you most likely need an adapter. The latest iPad Pro comes with a USB-C connector for charging and accessories, while the rest of the iPad line still uses Lightning ports.

For USB memory drives you can use something like the USB-C to USB adapter, but to connect storage devices that require power, such as some SSD drives or external hard drives, you will need something like the multi-port USB-C to digital AV adapter. If you only want to connect an SD card of your camera, it will be enough with the SD card reader for USB-C.

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

Once you have the appropriate adapter, connect a storage device to your iPad, open the Files application and look for the device name in the Locations section. Then select the desired device to access its files and folders.

Use a mouse

Apple added mouse support on iPadOS, and it works pretty well. You can connect a wired mouse or Bluetooth to your iPad and use it to select, highlight and navigate it, just as you would on a laptop.

For your iPad and mouse to work together you must enable AssistiveTouch. To do this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch and activate it.

Connect your mouse cable to the iPad using the same adapters just discussed for devices using external storage, or matches a mouse Bluetooth with the iPad Pro entering Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch > Devices > Bluetooth Devices and following the prompts.

In the Devices section, you can also customize how your mouse works with iPadOS, including custom action settings for the buttons.

In addition, the Pointer Style option in the Devices section allows you to customize the appearance of the mouse pointer you use on your iPad. You can adjust its size, its color and how long it should take before it automatically hides.

Apple has added many more features to the iPad than we’ve covered here. iOS 13 and iPadOS have many new tools, features, and settings common to both operating systems, including a new dark mode, a renewed Reminders application, and new photo editing tools. All of which have improved the overall experience of those who have decided to replace their laptop with a tablet.

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