Best M1 iPad Pro Tips and Tricks

BY Parth Shah

Published 21 May 2021

iPad Pro tips and tricks

Apple surprised everyone with an M1-packed iPad Pro at its ‘Spring loaded‘ event. Apple already leads the tablet market with its iPad lineup, and the new M1 iPad Pro is only going to widen that gap. If you plan on getting the M1 iPad Pro or have already purchased it, check out some tips and tricks for it to get the most out of it.

Best M1 iPad Pro Tips and Tricks

In the current work from home era, Apple expects people to use the iPad Pro with a wireless keyboard and mouse as the prime workstation to get things done. The company did make some significant changes to the iPadOS to make it more desktop-friendly.

1. Unlock iPad with a Space bar

This is a handy trick for those planning to use the Magic Keyboard with the iPad Pro. Simply double click on the space bar to wake up the iPad screen. If you are already looking at the display, then it will log you in using Face ID. The face authentication works in both the portrait and landscape orientation.

2. Invest In a Fast Charger

The 2021 M1 iPad Pro comes with a 20W USB-C charger out of the box. It will take you around three hours to charge the device. The iPad Pro can actually charge at speeds of up to 27W, faster than the 20W charger which Apple bundles with it.

For convenience, we would advise you to buy a 30W Apple-certified charger to juice up the iPad from 0%-100% in around two hours. There are actually plenty of them available on Amazon for a relatively low price.

3. Use iPad to Charge Your iPhone

One of the reasons to include the M1 chip inside the iPad Pro is to deliver class-leading performance without compromising on battery life. On the flip side, you will likely find yourself in a situation where your iPhone is low on charge. In such a scenario, you can use your iPad Pro to charge your iPhone.

Simply connect your iPhone to your iPad Pro using a USB Type-C to Lightning cable, and you are good to go. In fact, it can charge your Nintendo Switch and other USB-C devices using the iPad Pro as well.

4. Connect External Devices

iPadOS 14 now allows support for external storage drives or SD cards to your iPad Pro. Connect it to the iPad using the Type-C port, and you can access media files using the Files app on the device. This is a dream-come-true scenario for all the content creators out there.

The M1 iPad Pro actually supports Thunderbolt connectivity, so you can connect high-bandwidth storage devices to it without an issue.

connect external devices to iPad Pro

5. Zin/Unzip Files

Gone are the days when you needed a third-party app to zip or unzip files on the iPad. The default Files app allows you to compress or uncompress files on the device.

6. Use Center Stage During Video Calls

The 2021 iPad Pro comes with a 12MP Ultra-Wide camera lens with a 122‑degree field of view. With that, Apple has announced the Center Stage feature that uses the Ultra-Wide camera and machine learning to change the way you engage in video calls. As you move around, it automatically utilizes an ultra-wide view to keep you centered in the frame. When others join in or leave the call, the view expands or zooms in.

The good news is, Center Stage isn’t limited to FaceTime only. It works with other video conferencing apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, Google Meet, and Zoom for an even more engaging experience.

7. Connect to External Display

Many people are going to use the M1 iPad Pro with an external monitor. The USB-C/Thunderbolt port on the M1 iPad can be used to mirror your iPad Pro’s display or use as a secondary display in selected apps. The GPU inside the 2021 iPad Pro is powerful enough to support up to 6K resolution displays.

connect to 6k monitor

8. Connect PS5 or Xbox Controller

The 2021 iPad Pro M1 is capable enough to run graphic-intensive games with ease. For a better experience, you can connect your existing PS5 or Xbox controller to iPad Pro via Bluetooth and enjoy a flawless gaming experience.

9. Switch to 4G Mode to Save Battery

The latest iPad Pro comes with 5G capabilities. If you live in those areas where 5G is available, it makes sense to use 5G for faster download speeds. Others should switch from 5G to 4G connectivity from the Settings app to save battery life on the device.

10. Master the Dock Gesture

To reveal the Dock, you now swipe up just a bit from the bottom of the display and pause for a sec. This will bring up the Dock. I’ll admit, this is not an easy gesture to get used to. And it’s possible that you might never get used to it. Those using a keyboard can opt for the Command + Option + D keyboard shortcut.

11. Reveal Control Center

Control Center plays a major role in the iPadOS. Using Control Center, you can access most-used functions such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, Camera, and more. To access the Control Center, swipe down from the top-right section of the status bar.

12. Use Apps in Split Mode

The M1 iPad Pro’s display is big enough to use two apps side-by-side. When an app is open, simply swipe up to bring the Dock. Hold the app and drag the app to the left or right edge to pin it there.  Now you can use Twitter and browse Safari at the same time.

apps in split mode

13. Integrate a Floating App

The iPadOS 14 isn’t limited to viewing two apps at a time. You can bring in a third floating app in Slide Over view. Drag in an app from the Dock and drop it on top of the two active apps. The floating app will stay on top, and you can move it to the left or the right. You can dismiss it as well by swiping horizontally off the screen (and bring it back later).

14. Drag and Drop Between Apps

This is another neat trick for productivity gurus out there. When using apps in the split mode, you can drag a text, image, or weblink from one app and drop it to another. All Apple apps and most third-party apps support the drag and drop method.

drag and drop in iPadOS

The trick is useful when you are writing a research paper in Word and want to add text and images from the web. Open the Safari browser in the split mode and use the drag and drop method to quickly add media in the Word file.

15. Master Keyboard Shortcuts

If you intend to use the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard or any other dedicated keyboard, it would be good to know about the various keyboard shortcuts so that you don’t always have to use the touch screen. You can do this by holding down the Cmd key, which will highlight all the supported keyboard shortcuts of an app.

16. Connect  External Trackpad and Mouse

iPadOS has native support for an external trackpad and mouse. The cursor support makes it convenient to select and edit text. It also makes other tasks easier that require more precision than what your fingers can offer.

The mouse and trackpad support isn’t limited to Apple’s Magic Keyboard with trackpad. You can use any third-party wireless mouse and keyboard with iPad Pro.

apple magic keyboard

17. Tap Apple Pencil on Screen to Quickly Take Notes

Quickly tap on the iPad Pro screen to automatically wake up the display and open a blank note in the Notes app. This way, you can quickly start scribbling without the need to navigate the Notes UI.

18. Customize Apple Pencil Buttons

The Apple Pencil has a gesture pad on the side. And it has two actions – a single tap and a double tap. In the Notes app, you can use tap to switch to the erase tool. The best thing is that app developers will be able to customize this feature. So if you’re in a creative app, look for the option in the app’s settings.

apple pencil

19. Invest in a Wi-Fi 6 Compatible Router

The 2021 M1 iPad supports Wi-Fi 6 out of the box. Fast wireless connections are critical to getting things done. With Wi‑Fi 6, rest assured that you’ve got the fastest Wi‑Fi available.

2021 iPad Pro launching with the M1 CPU doesn’t mean that it will run macOS apps. The iPad still runs on the iPadOS 14 that Apple announced last year. If you are new to iPadOS, make sure to read our best iPadOS 14 tips and tricks to get to know everything about the OS.

Go ahead, use the mentioned tricks above, and start using your M1 iPad Pro with an external keyboard and mouse to make the most out of it. Which trick did you find most useful? Sound off in the comments section below.