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Three iOS 11 iPad features business users are overlooking

iOS 11 introduced many new features for iPad users--some of which you might not have noticed. Here are three hidden iOS 11 features that could simplify your daily professional life.

When Apple releases new versions of its tablet operating system, you might not have time to read about the latest improvements, or to learn how features could make fulfilling work tasks and business obligations easier. We've got you covered—here are three new iOS 11 iPad features that you don't want to overlook.

SEE: Software usage policy (Tech Pro Research)

Slide Over

You're probably already familiar with double tapping an iPad's home button to display and access open applications. The app switcher that appears simplifies rapidly moving between multiple applications.

In iOS 11, you can quickly switch between open apps by swiping all five fingers sideways across the display. But iOS 11 goes one step further and enables true multitasking, or the ability to use multiple apps at once. With Slide Over, business users can now monitor and respond to email or messages while viewing an instructional video or reading a business article.

Here's how to truly multitask on an iPad.

  1. Open the first application you wish to use.
  2. Swipe a finger from the bottom of the screen to display the Dock.
  3. Press and drag the second application you wish to use from the Dock up into the main screen. Apple calls this feature Slide Over. Both apps will display simultaneously.

Note: If you haven't customized the Dock by placing the second app within it, you must have used that app recently in order for it to appear within the Dock.

iOS will place a subtle bar at one edge of each app. Pressing and sliding that bar will adjust the screen real estate dedicated to that app. Just swipe the bar all the way off the screen to remove that specific app.

SEE: Boost your Mac productivity with these 10 techniques (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Scan and Sign

Scanning and signing documents in the iOS 11 Notes app is another significant time-saving feature business users are sure to appreciate. Invoices, purchase orders, contracts, agreements, and other documents requiring a signature no longer need to be processed using a scanner or all-in-one device. Instead, simply take a picture of the document's page or pages using Notes, and then sign it.

Here's how to scan documents using iOS 11 Notes.

  1. Open a new Note.
  2. Click the + icon.
  3. Tap Scan Documents.
  4. Align the document with the iPad's camera and tap the round shutter button.
  5. Adjust the corners (if necessary), tap Keep Scan or Retake if you need to try again, and then tap Save.
  6. Continue the process if there are multiple pages within the document you're scanning.

Here's how to sign a scanned document in iOS 11 Notes.

  1. Open the note.
  2. Tap the scanned document.
  3. Tap the share icon (the rectangle with an arrow pointing up).
  4. Tap Markup (the icon appears as a pencil tip within a circle on my iPad mini).
  5. Select the pen type and ink color.
  6. Sign the document using your finger or Apple Pencil on compatible iPad Pro models.
  7. Tap Done.

The signed document can now be forwarded to others via Mail, Message, or a cloud account, such as Dropbox or OneDrive, among other choices.

Drag and Drop

iOS 11 streamlines the process of adding attachments to email messages, inserting photos in documents, and moving other elements between apps. While most users are familiar with dragging-and-dropping items using a mouse or a trackpad, in iOS 11, Apple also enables moving items between apps using your finger. Apple refers to the capability as Drag and Drop.

Numerous objects, from images to entire files, can be moved on an iPad. If you're multitasking, for example, and have Photos and Mail open, with iOS 11 you can drag and drop a photo from Photos to Mail by tapping the photo and moving it to an open email message; Mail automatically attaches the image because of the gesture.

The next time you notice an object moving slightly when you press and hold it, such as when you're reading a News item, try dragging the item into a Message or email—you'll see just how easy iOS 11 makes it to perform such actions using only a finger and simple gestures.

Thanks to iOS 11, whether you're waiting for a flight or for a meeting to start, or you're just on the go, these quick actions make it easier to draft and edit documents, reports, memos, and email messages when using an iPad.

Also see

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About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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