If you own an iPad and an iPhone, this has happened to you at some point, maybe even all the time: you find yourself using functions and features specific to the iPad, and then you switch to the iPhone and find that you can’t do those things anymore. If you could, everyday tasks would be easier and more efficient.
Apple released iPadOS 16 a few weeks ago and it brought even more new tools that would be great to have in your pocket. Here’s our wish list of iPad features we’d like to see on the iPhone one day (soon).
It’s been seven years since iPad users got the gift of the nifty invention known as the Apple Pencil, and you still can’t use it on an iPhone. Though Steve Jobs famously loathed the idea, we think it’s past time to make the Apple Pencil work with iPhones. After all, our iPhones are always within reach for things like notes and doodling, and features such as handwriting-to-text conversion would be fantastic. And now that the screen is bigger than 3.5 inches, we think Steve would like it too.
Maybe it’s just us, but ever since Apple finally came out with the floating Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro, we’ve wanted a miniature model for the iPhone. It might seem like a silly idea but think about it—popping your iPhone 14 Pro Max into a MagSafe stand that has a MagSafe Duo-style fold-out keyboard for typing out long emails and projects. The potential for improving work possibilities during travel alone would make it worth the likely $149 price tag.
Fast data transfers
The iPhone 15 is rumored to be making the switch to USB-C, which will mean the iPhone and iPad will finally have the same connection. But we don’t know what that means for speeds. On the iPad, Apple limits the iPad Air’s port to 10 Gbps, which is still way faster than the 480 Mbps we get now. But we’re really hoping the Pro models get the Thunderbolt treatment like the M2 iPad Pro and support 40Gbps transfers.
With iPadOS 16, Apple finally offers proper external display support for M1 and M2 iPad Pros via Stage Manager, but we’re thinking it could be practical for iPhones to have it, too. iPhone users can already use AirPlay to mirror content, but that’s mainly for video playback. The iPhone is a powerful computer that’s somewhat limited by its small display. Still, lots of people use iMovie, GarageBand, and other apps to make content that would be much easier to use with a larger screen.
For years, iPad users have been able to employ Split View as an excellent way to work between two different apps at the same time. Even though iPhones have smaller screens, they’re still big enough (especially in landscape view) to benefit from being able to see apps side-by-side. Android phones have had split-screen multitasking for years, and we think Apple could do it even better.
A helpful tool for iPad and Mac users, Universal Control allows you to use an iPad as a wireless screen controlled by your Mac’s keyboard and mouse and work seamlessly between them. Surely, it wouldn’t be that large of a leap to extend that feature to iPhones too so we wouldn’t have to reach for our iPads all the time.
OK, we know, Stage Manager isn’t exactly one of the iPad’s best features. It’s still a work in progress, but while using it over the past few months, we can see how it can become a real asset on the iPad for working in several apps at once. We’re not sure if it would work on the iPhone—the Stage Manager interface would definitely need to be retooled for the smaller screen—but we’d certainly like to see Apple try.