iPad Pro tips and tricks for power users

If you want to turn your iPad Pro into the ultimate computing device, follow these steps, and your Apple tablet should perform better and faster.

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Image: CNET

The iPad Pro has been around since 2015, and it has a base of pro users that cannot live without their favorite computing device. There are accessories and software tricks that can make the experience of using an iPad Pro even better and turn you into the ultimate iPad Pro user. Whether you're new to the iPad Pro, or you're a seasoned user, these tips should be helpful to you.

SEE: Mobile device security: Tips for IT pros (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to upgrade the iPad Pro's charger

The charger that comes with the iPad Pro gets the job done, but it's not a particularly fast charging experience. If you're using a power-hungry app, you might run out of power even while the device is plugged in.

When Apple unveiled the original iPad Pro, this was a huge issue, and the company quickly solved it by releasing a USB-C 30w adapter (Figure A). This adapter, coupled with either a USB-C to USB-C adapter for newer iPad Pros or a USB-C to Lightning for 2015 - 2017 iPad Pros, will charge your iPad while still allowing you to use it without any issues.

Figure A

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The 30w USB-C adapter from Apple lets your iPad Pro charge quicker and allows you to use it while charging.

Image: Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

This adapter is a must if you use your iPad Pro while it is charging, or use power-hungry applications like video editing apps.

As of this writing, the 30w USB-C adapter is $49 from Apple.

In place of the 30w adapter, you can also use your MacBook Pro's USB-C adapter with a USB-C to Lightning or USB-C to USB-C cable.

How to customize the Apple Pencil's tap feature

The Apple Pencil is a must-have accessory for the iPad Pro—it acts as a mouse for the iPad for some and as a drawing device for others.

Apple has packed many new features into the Pencil (the latest release was in late 2018), including a multi-function tap area that can be customized. To customize the behavior of this tap feature, perform these steps.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Apple Pencil from the available options (Figure B).

Figure B

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Apple Pencil can be customized via options in iOS; some apps will let you customize these options further.

In this view, you will see the battery life of your connected Apple Pencil, and you will have the option to set the double tap action to one of the following settings:

  • Switch Between Current Tool And Eraser
  • Switch Between Current Tool And Last Used
  • Show Color Palette
  • Turn The Double Tap Option Off Completely

Some third-party drawing apps may offer additional settings for the double tap feature, though this setting will work across Apple's built-in Notes apps and other Apple apps and third-party apps that follow the default settings.

How to see keyboard shortcuts for the onscreen app

Apple introduced keyboard shortcuts in iOS many years ago, but now that the iPad Pro with Smart Cover has been out for a few years, third-party apps have been adding more keyboard shortcuts.

Many users don't know there's a keyboard shortcut to show a listing of keyboard shortcuts for the app that's currently onscreen. When you want to see which shortcuts are available, press and hold the Command (⌘) key—you'll see a list of available shortcuts appear on the screen (Figure C).

Figure C

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Viewing available shortcuts within an iPad app is as easy as holding down the Command button.

Image: Apple, Inc.


Invest in a USB-C adapter

With the introduction of USB-C on the newest iPad Pros, Apple has allowed for the ability to connect USB-C docks that permit connection to all types of accessories, including: Ethernet, SD cards, microphones, other audio equipment, and more.

I like the Anker 7-in-1 USB-C adapter (Figure D), which provides a variety of connectivity options, including: USB-C passthrough for charging while using the adapter, HDMI, MicroSD, SD, and 3 USB 3.0 ports with USB A connector types.

Figure D

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The Anker 7-in-1 USB-C hub works with the late 2018 iPad Pro and USB-C compatible Macs.

Image: Anker Innovations Limited

The beauty of this adapter is that it will work with all compatible computers and not just the iPad Pro. You can use this with your late 2018 iPad Pro, or a compatible Mac or even a Windows computer.

Also see

By Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...