Apple Adds a Split-Screen Multitasking Feature in iPad iOS 9
Apple recently introduced a split-screen app mode that lets iPad users manage two apps simultaneously on the screen. With the split-screen mode, you can fully and independently run one app on the left and another app on the right. This productivity feature has long been present in Microsoft’s Surface tablet, which combines the functions of a laptop and a tablet. Samsung Galaxy Tab users were also able to use the multi-window mode previously.
Split View and Slide Over
Apple uses two distinct terms to describe the new multitasking capability. The Split View mode enables two apps to run simultaneously beside each other on a single screen, whereas the Slide Over option allows you to open another app while staying with your first app. Split View works on iPad Air 2 only owing to its extra RAM and core processor, while Slide Over works on iPad Air and iPad Air 2 as well as iPad Mini 2 and 3.
How to Use Slide Over
To start using Slide Over on your iOS tablet, simply swipe from the right side of the display to reveal the Slide Over menu. Then, choose an app from the sidebar to open a new app while keeping access to your current app. You can switch to the second app any time you want. It’s that simple, really.
How to Use Split View
To start multitasking on your Apple device using the Split View mode, just pull down on the Slide Over menu, and you can now access two apps side-by-side.
For now, only Apple’s built-in apps support the split-screen capability, although the company will release an API that allows developers to add support for other apps in the future. Apple plans to offer a public beta test of the iOS 9 in July and intends to launch it as a free upgrade in fall, possibly together with the new iPhones.
Nonetheless, old iPad users won’t be able to enjoy the new feature, as only newer iPads are supported. If you’re using an older iPad model and multitasking is a big deal for you, then you may want to consider upgrading to an iPad Air 2 or other newer models.
Split-Screen Coming to iPhone
It is also likely possible that the multitasking feature would be included in future iOS updates. Apple demonstrated a similar function in the recently unveiled OS X El Capitan, in which split-screen browsing windows can be dragged and snapped to the side.
The new split-screen feature is certainly a game-changing feature that iPad users will appreciate a lot, especially those who value productivity and like to use time-saving tools. With the addition of the Split View and Slide Over options, you can write an email while reading articles in Safari, create notes while enjoying a novel in Books, or manage your schedule in Calendar while chatting with friends on iMessage. You can also continue to browse other apps while having a FaceTime session in a smaller window.
Do you think that switching between apps is a breeze with split-screen multitasking? Is this a useful feature that matters for day-to-day use?