Apple iPad owners who have upgraded to iOS 11 will notice a change on the home screen. Instead of the old Dock built into the bottom of the screen, there's a new Dock that resembles the one on the Mac.
It looks cool, but how do you work with it? Well, you can open an app just by tapping on its icon just like you've always done. You can also add and remove icons like before (drag an icon down to it). But this new Dock has a few other tricks up its sleeve, like storing recently used apps for quick access and easier multi-tasking.
Let's check out the new Dock to see what you can do with it.
1Get iOS 11 First
Before you do anything, confirm that you've installed iOS 11. Open Settings > General > About. Scroll down the About screen to the entry for Version. If you see 11.x listed, great. If not, tap on the Back arrow to return to the General screen and tap on the entry for Software Update to download and install the latest version of iOS.
2Access the Dock on Home Screen
You can access the Dock a couple of ways depending on your current screen. At the home screen, the Dock is always visible. If you're in an app and want to return to the home screen, tap the home button, and the Dock is back.
3Access the Dock in an App
If you're in an app and want to stay put but still access the Dock, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, but not too much; just enough to trigger the Dock. Tapping anywhere in the open app causes the Dock to vanish. Tap home to return to the home screen.
4Add an App to the Dock
To open an app from the Dock, tap on its icon as you normally would. You can add an app icon from the home screen to the Dock. Hold down the icon and drag it to the left side of the Dock, meaning to the left of the vertical border separating that section from the three icons on the right.
As you add more icons, the existing Dock icons shrink, even more so if you hold your iPad in portrait mode. How many icons can you add? That depends on the size of your iPad. The Dock on the iPad mini can hold up to 11 icons. The one on the 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch iPads can accommodate up to 13. And the Dock on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can house as many as 15.
5Flick Apps Out of a Cramped Dock
Too many icons crammed into the Dock? You can kick some out. Just hold down an icon on the Dock and drag and drop it to the home screen.
6Delete Apps on the Dock
To delete an app nestled on the Dock, just hold your finger down on it until the icons start jiggling and you see the X in a circle on the upper-left corner of the icons on the Dock. (This also works for the icons on the home screen, of course.) If the app has no X, that means it's a certain type of built-in app and can't be removed.
7Confirm Deletion of App and Data
Tap the X for the app you want to delete; iOS asks for confirmation, telling you that deleting the app will also delete its data. Tap on Delete to put the kibosh on it.
8The Recently Used Apps Section
Okay, so what's the deal with those icons to the right of the vertical border? That's a new twist in iOS 11. The Dock now holds that spot for recently accessed or suggested apps. As you open new apps, you'll notice that their icons appear in that section of the Dock, each new icon kicking out one of the existing ones.
9Ditch a Recently Used Icon
Don't need one of those icons? You can wait until it gets replaced by a new one. Or you can delete it from the Dock. Hold down one of the icons in the Dock until the icons start to jiggle. Then tap on the Minus button (not Xs) for the app you wish to remove. Deleting the icon from the recent apps section this way doesn't remove the delete app from your iPad, only from the Dock.
10Disable Recently Used Icons for Good
Don't want to see recently accessed apps in the Dock at all? Disable that feature. Open Settings > Multitasking & Dock. At the bottom of the screen, turn off the setting under Dock for "Show Suggested and Recent Apps."
11The Dock Without Recently Used Icons
Return to the Home screen and you'll see that your recent apps no longer appear in the Dock. Now you have even more room to add icons.
12Multitask Using the Dock
Finally, the Dock comes in handy if you want to display two or more apps on the same screen, and at least one of those apps is on the Dock. Open one app. Swipe from the bottom of the screen to display the Dock. Hold down the icon for the second app and move it to the left or right side of the screen until it becomes a small vertical window.
13New App in Slide Over Mode
Release your hold, and your new app appears in Slide Over mode alongside the first app.
14iOS 11 Tips
For more, check out the iOS 11 episode of One Cool Thing, our daily Facebook Live show. And read 28 Hidden iOS 11 Tips You Need to Know.