How to use your iPad Pro as a laptop replacement

“We’ve been looking at how to use an iPad Pro to replace a laptop for many tasks,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “In this chapter, we share several tips to help you be more productive with your Apple tablet.”

“iPads have a built-in mouse [slash trackpad],” Evans writes. “There are two ways to access it: Method one: Tap and hold anywhere on the keyboard with two fingers; the keyboard will grey out and become a giant touchpad you can use to place your cursor at the relevant point in the text. Method two: Tap and hold one finger on the Space bar for the same effect. You can also select text.”

“The Dock on an iPad can hold so many apps (it varies by model, but 15 is a good ballpark number). Favorites are to the left, with recently used and suggested apps to the right. If you are using the tablet’s multitasking features, you can boost productivity by placing your most-used apps in the Dock,” Evans writes. “You can also create folders. Tap and hold an icon, and place it on top of another to next both apps inside the folder, repeat until you have a logical collection in place: Image Editing, Productivity, or Team Management apps, for example. The great thing about folders is that you can also add these to the Dock.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The more places that iOS’s “trackpad” function is explained, the better! (Yes, it also works on iPhones.)

Note that you can hold your finger down anywhere on the iOS keyboard (not just the space bar) to access the trackpad feature for precise cursor control. To select text, simply place your cursor in your desired position, then use a second finger to tap the screen and the text selection tool will appear for use.

We’ve found that most people who ask for trackpads on Apple’s Smart Keyboards for iPad Pro or for iPad to offer mouse support do not know about, or how to effectively use, iOS keyboard’s trackpad feature.


    1. Excluding the handicaps of ios file management and io restrictions
      to which i believe Apple will offer a solid solution, whats wrong with having different computing form factors.

      Whats the idea of bashing the ipad.
      You dont like the form factor.. dont buy it… why bash it.
      Get a laptop..

      For some, me included.. the tablet form factor with touch and pencil is desirable and preferable…
      We dont go knocking laptops becouse we like tablets..

      I dont get this ipad bashing attitude.

      1. I’m bashing the hype. These are not comparable as it stands. A PC is running dozens of threads just by being turned on.

        Back in the stone age DOS outbenchmarked every other OS onthe same hardware mainly because the benchmark had the whole machine.

        1. There is no hype for me..
          It is an awesome device.. i use it all day long.. and prefer the form factor over laptops….

          If you dont like it.. does that mean that it is a hype…?

      2. Great Article! I specifically bought the iPad Pro for is form factor! I can’t quite picture my self picking up a MacBook Air and holding it in my hands and reading or even typing horizontally as I doing now. Think of all the ways you can hold an iPad, the things you can do this way and imagine doing it with a laptop. Using the iPad becomes a much more tactical and liberating experience.

        Thanks for the tips on the Dock and the keyboard mouse functions would love to have more! I would rather learn obscure functions and other things about using my iPad than bickering about laptops vs iPads

    1. A glorified Netbook that kicks the pants off of most highend laptops and outperforms a lot of desktops.

      Core User manageable File sys, I hope, pray and believe is on its way ..

          1. Please also see my other comment above. You dont put an iPad in a PC. Unless you do a straight up comparison you don’t declare the CPU as fast as a PC either. That’s just BS.

            1. No clue what you are talking about.
              Im using mine as we speek… its blazing fast.
              And there are benchmarks all over the place and rendering speed comparisons.. side by side..
              If thats not good enough then i dont know what is.

            2. @ Yojimbo:

              “Im using mine as we speek… its blazing fast.”

              This is the perfect example to prove how bad using an iPad is. Typing on an iPad is horrible, and the cheesy tack-on keyboards suck too.

              iOS makes editing and spelling correction a pain in the ass. Even for low performance tasks where “blazing fast” is easy to achieve, the iPad SUCKS.

              … typed on a personal computer with a real, wired keyboard.

    2. No computing device can access files without a file system. iOS HAS a file system. What you want are pretty little pictures that make you feel like you’re doing something important. OR something to satisfy your obsessive compulsive nature (all files with ‘e’ in their name needing to be on the left side of the screen and such as that there).

  1. Love my new 12.9 pro.
    With the touch pad functionality on the jeyboard and the Apple pencil.. i have no issues with input precision and convenience.
    It is the restricted usb-c i/o and lack of core user manageable file sys that are the big handicaps for me.
    Praying for a resolution on ios 13.. or an iOS-Pro

        1. If u can , upgrade to the new 12.9 pro and the pencil..

          I went from 1st gen to 3rd gen 12,9 and love it..
          Performance is amazing.. and i tell u .. the convenience of the new pencil docking and charging solutions and the ‘tap function switch’ alone are worth the upgrade.

          But then again i love tablet form factor.
          From your posts i can quite figure.. do u like tablets or are u a laptop person.. ?

          1. In order of preference, for me, desktop, laptop. Tablet for very casual consumption. But I have several scattered around the house.

            I do appreciate your input. Thanks.

  2. A laptop replaces an iMac Pro in the same way a pick up truck replaces an 18 wheeler. An iPad Pro replaces a laptop in the same way a motorcycle replaces a pickup truck.

  3. “How to use your iPad Pro as a laptop replacement”

    Step 1 – sell iPad Pro. Step 2 – buy a real laptop or Windows convertible like Surface. Your problems are over!!

    See how easy that article could’ve been?

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