Use your iPhone or iPad as a computer

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Did you know you can use your iPhone or iPad as a computer?

You can connect a screen, keyboard and even a mouse and have a functioning computer easily.

Smart TV

Provided your Smart TV is AirPlay 2 capable, you can connect your iPhone or iPad wirelessly with Screen Mirroring.

If you don’t have a Smart TV, or doesn’t support AirPlay 2, you can either get an Apple TV or HDMI adapter as mentioned next.

Apple TV

Apple sell the Apple TV HD box for £150 and 4K box for £180 that enables you to connect wirelessly from your iPhone or iPad to your TV using something called Screen Mirroring.

You simply connect the Apple TV to your wireless network and then choose Screen Mirroring.

You can do this from the Control Center:

  • If you have an iPhone 8 or older, you swipe up from the bottom of the phone.
  • If you have an iPhone X or newer or an iPad, swipe down from the right hand corner.

Click on Screen Mirroring. It is a good idea to rotate your iPhone or iPad onto landscape mode and lock Screen Rotation as Screen Mirroring will mirror in portrait in the centre of your screen.

Apple TV adds the benefit that it can be used as an Internet TV when you are not using your iPhone or iPad as a computer.

Use a HDMI adapter

Apple sell an official HDMI adapter with Lightning pass through socket for £50. and a USB-C to HDMI adapter with USB A for £75 for the newer iPad Pro.

Other manufacturers produce cheaper knock-off adapters, so shop around.

You will need a HDMI cable to connect these adapters to your TV or monitor.

Bluetooth keyboard

Apple sell a bluetooth Magic Keyboard for £100 and Magic Keyboard with number pad for £130 that charge from a Lightning cable. Other manufacturers make cheaper knock off keyboards that also work.

The iPhone and iPad have native Bluetooth support and you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard to them very easily. Go into Settings and choose Bluetooth. Put the keyboard in pairing mode and it will appear on the list of devices. You may have to enter a pairing code that will be displayed on your device’s screen with the keyboard and then you are set.

USB Keyboard

Apple do sell two different adapters, the first is a pass through USB 3 adapter for £40 and the second is a USB 2 adapter for £30.

iPhoneHacks have quite a few keyboard shortcuts that are available on a per app basis.

 

Mouse support

Although the iPhone and iPad are touch devices, they have support for mouse input within the accessibility section.  GadgetHacks shows how to connect a mouse to an iPhone or iPad, as there are many options you can choose from.

AirPrint

If you have an AirPrint capable printer, it is really easy to print anything from an iPhone or iPad, there is little setup needed and you just choose the appropriate symbol to print.

If you want to print from email, you press the reply button and scroll to Print.

If you want to print a web page, you can use the share box (sometimes called export, which is the square box with the arrow pointing up.

Office 365

Microsoft provides Office 365 for iPhone and iPad, all you need to do is download the apps to your device and you have a simpler program that desktop Office, but you can do everything you normally do because your files are stored on your OneDrive.
Look at Microsoft Lens, which turns the camera into a scanner so you can scan and go.

Other apps

Every app can be used through this setup, since you are using your iPhone or iPad as a computer, but remember that these devices are known as content consumption devices. 

The PC and Mac are content creation devices, enabling audio, photo and video creation and editing.

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