This essential iPad shortcut lets you instantly preview any file

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Add Quick Look to the Files app. Sometimes I think it was easier the old way.
Sometimes I think it was easier the old way.
Photo: Maksym Kaharlytskyi/Unsplash

The iPadOS Files app isn’t bad, but it has one super-frustrating flaw. While you can now enjoy multiple windows, hook up any and all USB drives, and even connect to network servers, you can’t do one simple thing: Preview a file. Or rather, you can preview any file, just by clicking on it, but you never know whether Files will actually show you a Quick Look preview, or just open that file in an arbitrary app.

Today, we will add a dedicated Quick Look entry to the Files app share menu. Never again will you tap to preview a file and have it launch an app instead.

How to make the most of the Files app’s column view in iPadOS

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Column view
Check out the columns on that!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 13 brought all kinds of neat new features to the Files app, aka the iOS Finder. But maybe the best of all these is the new column view, a very Mac-like view of all the files and folders stored on your iPad. It’s not just an easy-to-browse view, either. The Files app column view also introduces a preview panel with plenty of tricks of its own.

iPadOS Files’ search is now almost as good as the Mac’s

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Files app iPadOS
Files can be stored in drawers.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Files app is waaaaay better in iOS 13 and iPadOS. It adds external USB storage support, so you can plug in anything from a hard drive or USB-C stick to a synthesizer that can mount as a USB drive to load samples and presets.

Apple’s built-in file-management app adds column view (with a handy preview) and all the metadata you want to know about a given file. And it also benefits from a massively upgraded search feature.

How to use iPadOS’ new full-page PDF capture tool

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Now you can capture an entire web page as a single, long, PDF.
Now you can capture an entire web page as a single, long, PDF.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iPadOS 13 soups up its screenshot tool with the ability to capture an entire webpage as a PDF. That means it doesn’t just grab what you can see on the screen right now. If you’re viewing a webpage that’s really, really long, it will capture the whole thing, and turn it into a very tall PDF.

You can also mark up the resulting PDF before you save it to the Files app. This is a fantastic way to save a webpage, especially when you combine it with Reader View to remove the ads, sidebars and other junk first.

Let’s see how to use it.

Files app makes iPad more Mac-like in iOS 13 [Video]

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Files app on iPad in iOS 13
File sharing was pulled from iCloud Drive during beta testing.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple has slowly been turning up the dial on what iOS can do, trying to make it more and more “computer” like. With iOS 13, one of the points of frustration with computing on iOS – and especially on iPad – is finally being addressed thanks to changes in the Files app.

With iOS 13, the Files app is taking a huge leap toward the Mac model of file management. There’s a whole bunch of smaller changes, as well as some big upgrades that make it really compelling.

This is what happens if you try to put a folder named ‘Dropbox’ in iCloud Drive

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A dropped box
A dropped box.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Dropbox is getting increasingly bloated and annoying — on the Mac, at least. When iOS 13 ships later this year, you’ll be able to share whole iCloud folders with other people, so you can ditch DropBox altogether. But how will you switch?

One thing you can’t do is just drag your Dropbox folder into iCloud Drive. iCloud just won’t let you. In fact, you can’t even create a new folder and name it “Dropbox.” WTF?

External drive support is iPadOS’ best new feature [Opinion]

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iPad Pro with thumb drive
With the right adapter, an a tablet running iPadOS 13 can access USB-A drives and SD cards.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Mouse support has drawn more attention, but giving iPad Pro full access to external drives is the biggest improvement in iPadOS 13. It will make using a tablet easier and cheaper for professionals and average users alike.

With adapters, it’s now possible to access everything from hard drives to microSD cards. This feature is a real gamechanger.

Everything you need to know about iOS 13 and iPadOS

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The new iPadOS.
The new iPadOS.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

WWDC 2019 bugWow, iOS 13 is quite something. We got most of what we wanted, and a lot more. Proper USB support, an improved Files app, plus a radical new UI paradigm for the iPad. And what about that mouse support!

Let’s take a look at the main points. And over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be going extremely deep on everything that’s new in iOS 13.

How to make music with an iPad and a ‘classic’ Swedish synth

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These two will make beautiful music together.
A perfect music-making combo.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

At first glance, the decade-old OP-1 synthesizer from Swedish musical instrument makers Teenage Engineering looks about as standalone as it gets.

The tiny device couples a short, piano-style keyboard with a screen. And it contains a drum machine, several synthesizers, a sampler, a handful of sequencers, a virtual four-track tape recorder and even an FM radio. You can create entire tracks on it with no other gear, or you can hook it up to electric guitars and microphones and bring the outside world in.

But it also pairs surprisingly well with an iPad. You can record audio back and forth, but things go much deeper than that. You also can use the OP-1’s hardware keyboard to play instruments on the iPad, and use iPad MIDI apps to control the synthesizers on the OP-1.

Making music with an iPad and a synth

If you own both pieces of gear already, hopefully this how-to will give you some new ideas about making music with an iPad. But if you only own an iPad, this in-depth article will provide tips for using your tablet with other music gear.

And if you know nothing about the OP-1, or about Teenage Engineering’s work in general, you’ll learn why the company is kind of the Apple of the synth world. Teenage Engineering is known for its incredible interface design — and for having a quirky personality similar to 1984-era Apple, when the brand-new Mac was making waves.

How to add a local folder to your iPad

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It’s not so easy to fill up that storage space on your iPad local files
It’s not so easy to fill up that storage space on your iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of iOS’s most ridiculous omissions is the lack of any way to create a local folder in the Files app. You can add as many folders as you like to your iCloud Drive, but if you just want to create a folder that lives on your iPad, tough.

Luckily, there are workarounds. Here are a couple.