The iPad is a productivity powerhouse, especially if you start taking advantage of some of its built-in features to quickly get to the apps you need. With the iPad’s ability to multitask, you can run multiple applications to work faster and more efficiently.
Split View lets you use two apps at once. You can have your research document open on one side, and take notes (in a different app) on the other side. It works better on bigger iPad Pros though, because you can use the two apps without needing to zoom in.
When working in an app, tap the three-dots icon on the middle top of your screen to split view. Select the Split View icon to pick any app you want from the homepage or App Library. You can also search for an app you need. Searching is faster than scrolling through your iPad apps. You can also do this with a quick gesture, drag the currently opened window to the side of the screen (depending on the side you want your new app).
The Doc at the bottom of your iPad screen houses your frequently used apps so you can access them from any app. It is easier to add them to split view from there. Simply drag & drop from the doc.
Split View supports drag & drop across different apps, which is faster than copying & pasting (that would require several steps in both apps). You can quickly copy the following items across different apps:
- Handwritten notes
- Documents (PDF, audio files, videos)
- Web links
You can adjust the sizes of each split. The feature supports two percentage ratios:
- 25:75 Sometimes, you want one side bigger than the other. It is great to have that flexibility.
Replacing apps in split view is also very simple. You can either close the split view to find a new app or simply drag down the app you no longer need. Any app on your Doc can replace either window with one simple gesture.
Slide Over opens apps in small floating windows, which don’t interfere with background apps. It is convenient for quick referencing information in other apps. It is the third option on the three-dots icon (top of your screen). Opening Slide Over this way has one problem; the currently opened app becomes the slide over window. It would be better if the iPad opened the new window in Slide Over while keeping the current app in the background.
A better way to open an app in Slide Over is from the Doc because you have a lot more control over which app should be in Slide Over. You also decide the side of the screen you want it on. Your windows can either be on the right or left side. You can quickly navigate through the open windows using the black bar at the bottom of the screen or see all the apps you have opened in Slide Over.
When typing in a Slide Over window, the keyboard tends to cover your screen, which can be distracting. You can resize the keyboard to make it smaller so it fits the Slide Over window, leaving your screen free to continue using the background app. Like with Split View, you can drag & drop items across the two apps.
You can quickly view all your open apps to switch between them. There are two more gestures you can use for that:
- Swiping up takes you the homepage, but if you swipe and hold for a second you can access the app switcher without going to the homepage first.
- Pinch your screen with the five-finger gesture
This window displays all the opened instances of all the apps that are opened on your iPad. That is, all Split Views and Slide Overs, which is fantastic. You can also create and change Split Views as well as Slide Overs. It lets you organise your multiple instances faster.
You can quickly switch between apps and windows by swiping the bar at the bottom of your screen. For a smaller iPad without the bar, you can still swipe the bottom of the screen, though the motion is slightly different. On both iPads, you have the option to use the four-finger gesture, which we feel is not very convenient. The single-finger gestures are easier to use and more intuitive.
If you open an app that has two or more windows open, a shelf appears at the bottom of your iPad screen with thumbnails of all the app’s open windows. In case the window you want to open is already open, it helps to check the shelf first.
The Centre Window is the worst multitasking feature in iPadOS 15. It’s not well-thought-out and just makes your workflow cumbersome. It only works if you’re already using the app and feels like you’re opening an already-open app again. It works with Apple Notes, Mail, Messages, etc. It’s an unnecessary extra step that adds little to no value to your workflow.
Picture in Picture (PiP)
Picture in Picture is a mode for playing videos in a popup window while performing other tasks, provided you are using Apple TV or Documents by Readdle. You can:
- Move the video to any corner of your iPad.
- Temporarily hide the video and continue watching at any time.
Sadly, this feature is not supported by any popular video players: YouTube, VLC and not even Photos support this feature.
What are your favourite multitasking features on the iPad? We hope that you can get more out of your iPad and multitask like a pro!