How to make your tablet a better tool for work

If you own a Microsoft Surface or another tablet like a Lenovo Yoga or an XPS 13 2-in-1, or even an Android tablet or an iPad then congratulations! These devices are excellent for use with work.

You can detach or connect a keyboard, fold over and switch your device in various modes, and leverage built-in features like inking support to your advantage so you can make your tablet a better tool for work. Here are a few tips on how you can do just that.

Change your display scaling

Tablets are not like laptops since, usually, their screen sizes range from 10-13 inches. This means your screen real estate might be limited, and you find yourself with the need to connect to an external display for some multitasking when you work.

But did you know if your tablet has a high-resolution screen (higher than 1920 x 1080) you can change your display scaling so more items can fit on your screen?

On Windows 10 tablets, you can change your display scaling by heading into the Settings app, clicking System, choosing Display, and then choosing the Scale and layout button. If you change this percentage to a smaller number, then more items will fit on your screen.

On Android tablets, you can change your display scaling by opening your device’s settings app and tapping Accessibility then look for the Display size option. You can then use the slider to choose your display size, or even change the font size so more can fit on your screen. This might not be available for all tablets, though, so best to check with your tablet maker’s website for more information.

On iPads, you can’t really change display scaling. What you can attempt to do is change the text size so more can fit on your screen at once. Visit the Settings app, and then tap on Display and Brightness. From there, tap Text Size and drag the slider all the way down. Things will become smaller, and in apps that support Dynamic Type, more items should fit on your screen.

Try out tablet multitasking experiences

Part of using a tablet for work involves multitasking. However, many tablets have built-in multitasking experiences that can make working a lot easier. This lands as our second tip on our list of how to make your tablet a better tool for work.

On Windows 10, tablets, there are many ways you can multitask. When in desktop mode, you can tile your windows by pressing the Windows Key and left and right on your keyboard, or Windows Key and up and down on your keyboard. When using Windows 10 in tablet mode, you can swipe down from the title bar and drag an app to either side of the screen to multitask.

On iPads, multitasking works a bit differently. You’ll have to pull up on the dock to reveal it, and then drag the icon for the app you want to multitask with out of the dock and to the side of the screen you want to use it on. You can then resize apps as you see fit with a bar in the middle of the screen. A third app can even be opened up in a floating window, too!

Android multitasking is a bit of a hit-and-miss experience. It depends on your tablet maker. To multitask with an app side by side, you’ll have to reveal all your open apps, then tap and hold the icon for that app in the list of apps to open a menu. You can then click Open in split-screen view to split-screen the app.

Samsung has a special tablet mode for select tablets known as DeX. In DeX mode, you can enjoy a desktop-like experience where you can window and tile your Android apps just as if you were using a Windows PC. You can learn more about DeX mode here to see if your tablet is compatible.

Try out inking experiences

Modern tablets come with support for a digital stylus. On iPads, you get the Apple Pencil, Surface devices use the Surface Pen, and Android tablets work with Samsung’s S-Pen or another third-party stylus. That said, you can try out these pens with inking experiences so you can improve your flow at work.

On Windows 10 tablets, Microsoft has a feature known as the Windows Ink Workspace. If you right-click on your taskbar and choose Show the Windows Ink Workspace button, you’ll see an icon of a pen. Tap this icon with your stylus, and then choose Whiteboard.

With Whiteboard, you can sign in with a Microsoft or work account, and take notes solo using your pen to brainstorm ideas. You also can share your board so you and your coworkers can meet up in a virtual space, and ink together. It’s a great tool for critical thinking, and this is even available for use during Microsoft Teams meetings.

Android and iPad tablets don’t have a built-in tool like this, but you can download Microsoft Whiteboard or third-party apps like Microsoft OneNote, or Evernote where you can ink in notebooks and then share ideas. Samsung’s Notes app also lets you scribble notes with the pen, as does Apple’s notes app, too.

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