Two simple tips to make iPad multitasking work better in iOS 9

Apple introduced multitasking in iOS 9 that can greatly increase productivity on supported iPads. Here's a couple of tips you might not be aware of that make it work better.

Split View in iOS 9 on iPad Air 2

If you're an owner of an iPad Air 2 or you just bought an iPad mini 4 you're probably using the multitasking features in iOS 9. Multitasking in iOS 9 consists primarily of SlideOver and Split View, two functions that allow working in one app while another is also on the screen.


SlideOver allows quickly sliding a panel from the right of the screen while another app is running full-screen. It's a quick way to check email, for example, while doing something else. Just slide out the panel and slide it back to the right when done which returns the focus back to the other app on the display.

Split View takes it further as it allows sliding out that panel on the right to put the second app on the screen with the other app. You can have both apps running at the same time and move back and forth at will.

This works well in practice but there are two ways to make it even better. The first tip deals with Split View. You have the two apps you want on the screen as you work and suddenly need another app sharing the display.

With the app you want to keep in the window on the right, hit the Home button and select the new app to replace the one currently on the left side of the display. Once the new app is selected iOS 9 pops the Split View display back onscreen and the newly selected app morphs onto the left side of the display. The app on the right is unaffected, so you can work with the two apps now displayed.

If you want to go back to the app you just replaced simply repeat the Home screen process and resume.

Dropdown indicator for app on the right in Split View

The second tip involves both SlideOver and Split View. Say you have two apps in Split View and you need to replace the one on the right with another. That's easy, look at the top of the right panel (see image above) and you see the indicator from SlideOver indicating you can slide it down to see the scrolling list of apps (see image below). Find the one you want and tap the icon and the chosen app pops onto the right panel, replacing the previously running app with the new one. It's SlideOver incorporated into Split View.

Dropdown for selecting app to go on the right panel in Split View

These two tips will make multitasking on the iPad even more productive. Working with two apps at once can increase the functionality of working on the iPad a great deal. Once these features become second nature when you work on an iPad you'll wonder how you ever got along without them.

Note that the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 are the only iPad models than can take advantage of Split View while some older iPads can perform SlideOver. Apps must offer multitasking support in iOS 9 to work with either feature.