This feature in Apple’s new iPadOS is easy to miss, but it’s a killer productivity tool

Jason Aten for Inc.:

When Apple first launched iPadOS at its developer’s conference earlier this month, the overwhelming consensus seemed to be that the iPad was finally getting the operating system it deserved. The iPad Pro’s, in particular, were far more powerful than the software was capable of taking advantage of, and this update brought pretty much all of the most anticipated features.

After 10 days of using the beta version on an 11” iPad Pro, I stand firmly behind my earlier conclusion that the iPad is finally ready to replace your laptop. What I didn’t realize at the time was that there’s one feature that stands above the rest: the new Siri Shortcuts combined with the widgets on the home screen.

The newly designed home screen allows you to show widgets. Along with your calendar, weather, or any number of other widgets like your mail, you can create a widget with your top Siri Shortcuts. That means that on my home screen, I have a nice button sitting there for “New Article Setup.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s possible that, at least for iPadOS power users (don’t snicker!), Siri Shortcuts on iPad OS are poised to be much more used and more widespread than they are currently.

Automation may be about to inch that much more closer to mainstream!

(We believe that no matter how easy Apple’s Shortcuts app makes automation easy, average users will never automate their own workflows until AI does it for them, even though spending an hour or two playing with it would save them untold hours in the future).


      1. It’s not a negative jerk. It’s reality. One of the main reasons an iPad will not replace more traditional computers like a laptop or desktop is because of its small screen. It’s rooted in fact and not contestable. The smaller screen causes distruptions to productivity where a person with larger screens and multiple of them will run circles around you on your iPad, fumbling with awkward gestures; stuck with rudimentary window placement; having to scroll incessantly in applications to view content; pinching and zooming near constantly… etc.

        Data also supports how much more productive people are with larger screens and multiple of them.

        1. Agreed.

          Those of us who started out this journey with early day macs recall the limitations of those small screens, ( which were only capable of portraying a partial page of content at any one time and, at least for me, made it challenging to compose on the keyboard and maintain a smooth flow of writing, i always found it inconvenient to have to periodically stop and scroll back to keep tabs on my composition.)

          So i retain strong recollections on how much we all welcomed the later models that gave us larger screens, and full page portrayal to work with.

          Plus, an additional reason, at least for myself, for not yet regarding iPads as a truly viable replacement for traditional laptops is i prefer to have plenty of storage for my data directly onboard my device.

          While not opposed to cloud storage, i want all my data at my immediate finger tips, and without having to pay mr. Apple his nearly extortionate storage fees, compared to others who offer similar or same cloud storage capability.

          Clearly it is no coincidence that mr. Apple’s desire to move us all to cloud computing, via the iPad, is securely linked to their desire to force us into that mode that then allows them to extract regular revenue from us to access our own data.

          Me, i prefer to have it all on my ssd, machine and to back it up with conventional methods, from jump drives to the more sophisticated fire and waterproof io-safe type of installation at home.

          But as they say, YMMV, and good luck to you

        2. “laptop or desktop is because of its small screen”
          Because there aren’t any macOS laptops made with screens smaller than 15 inches. Except for the 13 inch MacBook Pro. And the 13 in MacBook Air. And the 12 inch MacBook… huh, looks like the majority of configurations are less than 15 inches. Weird. More than likely just a lot of non-productive folks, that really didn’t need a laptop… especially since you can’t be productive on a screen that small.

          iPad Pro… 12.9 inch screen? The world has gone mad.

      1. Still way too small for productive work. Okay for your social media and entertainment requirements though.

        I agree with those who say a larger screen and a Mac will not be replaced anytime soon for those who have serious work to do with an iPad. That’s not putting down the iPad as I love mine but it’s silly not to think it’s strengths are only doing specific tasks and not every task under the sun. Every computer tool has it’s proper place.

        Seems to me I’m being very Captain Obvious here so don’t know what all the hubbub is about for those not understanding the iPad has it’s usage limits. And desirability factor for certain tasks. Even writing I love my Ultrawide where I can see three screenplay pages at once! Something I dreamed about doing for years You can’t beat screen real estate and plenty of it! But you go ahead and edit your cinema masterpiece on an 11 or 12.9” screen and see how long you last before being carted off to the funny farm.

  1. The original Lisa had this feature. It was a ‘pad’ on the desktop that you could ‘rip’ a piece of paper off of to create a new document. This ‘pad’ was your template and you could create others.

    You could also create document templates with a save as template feature in previous versions of the Mac OS.

  2. It’s been 12 years (!!) since the iPhone was introduced and I STILL can’t have a “hole” on my home page- empty app icon spaces are always at the bottom of the page. Why can’t I have an empty row in the middle? It would make rearranging apps on the page SO much easier. Oh well, maybe in another 12 years…

      1. is there anybody left at MDN to enforce the forum rules? personal attacks like this need to be taken down immediately.

        maybe this is the only kind of person left in the MDN graveyard? rational people have had enough of the extreme politics and brainless support for absolutely everything Apple does.

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