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iPadOS Tidbit: Desktop Mode
2 min read

iPadOS Tidbit: Desktop Mode

iPadOS Tidbit: Desktop Mode

I have a bit of an obsession with sharing my iPadOS homescreens. When I do, I often get queries about what the enticingly titled Desktop Mode one does. As you can see below, it actually does very little:

Now the reason I’m sharing this in a quick post isn’t to show off my incredibly advanced Shortcut building skills. It’s to just draw your attention to a very small, but useful iPadOS feature.

Whilst it’s relatively rare for me to do so, I do occasionally use my iPad Pro whilst connected to an external monitor. If you’ve browsed the iPad or iPad Pro subreddits much you’ll often see pictures of people’s setups which will involve this same setup, an iPad connected to an external monitor. In these posts they generally always have the iPad screen on whilst doing this. Did you know, however, that you can in fact close the lid or Smart Folio case and continue to use the iPad with an external display, mouse and keyboard. A truly docked experience, as seen in the slightly iffy image below:

The screen stays on during this time, however, which is why my shortcut also dims the screen as much as possible. This is far from groundbreaking, and the letterboxed image obviously is its own issues, but this can be a really useful way of connecting and using an iPad whilst perhaps reading or writing for extended periods of time. This way you can avoid being distracted or frustrated by having to look at two displays mirroring each other, which usually makes using an external monitor an annoying experience.

This just highlights one of the reasons I love my iPad. There is so much flexibility afforded to you to use it however you see fit.