I use my iPad Pro a lot for writing. I put the device into a holder so it’s in portrait orientation, then use an external keyboard to type. It’s an unusual setup, but one gives me much more text to view than the typical landscape.
Apple broke it.
A change in iOS appears to have disabled the ubiquitous ALT+TAB keyboard shortcut that lets you toggle quickly between apps. Sure, it still displays the familiar list of apps I have open, but when I release the keys to open the app I’ve selected nothing happens.
Instead I have to touch the screen.
Given my iPad is a comfortable half metre away from me that means I have to break my flow and physically reach across the desk to touch it.
So what? you might ask. As a writer I rely on notes and images and web pages being opened that I can refer to as words hit screen. I could move quickly between them before, barely breaking my flow or train of thought. Now there’s an interruption, a clear action I have to take that removes my fingers from the keyboard and turns a quick flick for a reference completed in a second to something that takes at least twice as long.
Why Apple chose to do this is beyond me. Maybe they’re getting ready for the move to iPadOS. Maybe someone thought no one uses an external keyboard. Perhaps it’s harking back to the days when driving a Mac without a mouse was nigh-on impossible.
All I care about is my writing workflow was broken by a company I once held in high regard.
Update (11th September 2019)
It looks like it could be a bluetooth issue, possibly something conflicting somewhere. When it happens I’ve found disconnecting the iPad from all surrounding bluetooth devices, waiting and reconnecting sorts the problem out.
Even if it’s the iPad’s own-brand external keyboard.
Live and learn!