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iPadOS: no, I don’t want a new window

December 1, 2019

I’ve been less than impressed with Apple’s fall software updates. iOS 13 has been buggy, and Mail just seems to get worse year over year rather than better. I haven’t tried Catalina yet, but I generally wait for the .2 or .3 version of any new MacOS version. iPadOS is the one I have the most issues with, though. I realize Apple is trying to make the iPad more of a productivity device with increased support for window management. That’d be fine if the new capabilities didn’t interfere with my existing habits; I have zero interest in using my iPad that way, but I don’t care if they’re pushing in that direction either. But with iPadOS Apple has made it way too easy to accidentally open content in a new popover window, which is then a pain to dismiss.

One of the main things I use my iPad for is to read content (via the excellent Reeder). All I really need to be able to do it tap on articles to open them, scroll through them as I read them, and then swipe to back to the article list. Straightforward. And yet with iPadOS, I keep accidentally opening content in new windows. Typically it happens when I’m trying to scroll an article. I’ll put my finger down and drag the content, but it’ll often be over an image with an associated link. iPadOS ends up interpreting it as drag-to-open-window, rather than drag-to-scroll. And then I’m stuck with a window that I have to remember how to dismiss (swiping the window up or down, which feels natural because I dragged up to accidentally open the window, of course doesn’t work). It got annoying enough that I went looking for a way to disable drag-to-open, but I couldn’t find a way to do it.

Given that’s there’s already a way to open content in a new window (long-press and then select open in new window), I dearly hope that Apple removes drag-to-open-in-window in a future update.

From → Software

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