How to Multitask On iPad
The iPad brings a big jump in productivity with the ability to open two apps on the screen at the same time. The iPad supports multiple forms of multitasking, including fast app switching, so you can quickly switch between recently used apps.
However, if you want to set your productivity to “11,” as Nigel Tufnel would say, you should use slide-over or split-view options where both apps appear on the screen at the same time.
To quickly switch between apps
The fastest way to switch between two apps is the iPad dock. You can drag the dock up even if you’re in an app by sliding up from the bottom of the screen. Be careful not to slide too far, otherwise, you will see the Task Manager screen. The three app icons on the far right of the dock are usually the last three active apps, so you can quickly switch between them.
You can also switch to a recently opened app from the Task Manager screen. As mentioned above, move your finger from the bottom to the center of the screen to display this screen.
You can swipe from left to right and right to left to scroll through the most recently used apps, and tap any application window to display it in full-screen mode. From this screen, you also have access to the iPad’s control panel.
View two apps on the screen at the same time
Quick switching between apps is supported by all iPad models. However, you’ll need at least one iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, or iPad Pro to multitask for Slide-Over, Split-View, or Picture-In-A-Picture. The easiest way to start multitasking is through the dock, but you can also use the Task Manager screen.
- When the first app is open, you can view the iPad dock by sliding up from the bottom of the screen. You just need to move your finger around an inch to expose the dock.
- The dock contains all the apps you’ve docked, as well as the three most recently used apps. You can drag any of these apps onto the screen by holding your finger on the app icon on the dock and dragging your finger from the screen to the center of the screen without lifting your finger from the screen.
- If you swipe too far when you open the dock, the Task Manager opens. You can still multitask on this screen. Don’t drag the app icon to the center of the screen, but drag it into the app window and hold your finger on the screen until that app window enters full-screen mode.
- Apps that support multitasking appear with a horizontal rectangle. If the app icon has a square window, iPad multitasking is not supported and starts in full-screen mode.
- Is the app you want to use not on the dock? You can close your current app by clicking the Start button and launching the app you want. You can then repeat these instructions, and the app that was originally opened appears on the right side of the dock as one of the recently opened apps. If this app is in the dock, it will appear in its normal location.
- When you drop the new app on the screen, it appears as a floating window on one side of the iPad. You can drag this window left or right with your finger. This makes it easy to position it so that you can use the full-screen app.
- Would you rather share the screen? If an app is in a floating window above a full-screen app, it can play a big role in certain tasks, but it can also (literally) be in the way at other times. You can solve this problem by appending the floating app on both sides of the full-screen app or by even splitting the screen into two apps.
- You can attach an app to the side of the iPad by “grab” in the app window. This is done by pressing your finger on the small horizontal line at the top of the app window and dragging it towards the top edge of the iPad. This works in both landscape and portrait mode for the iPad, but best in landscape mode, as the original app provides more freedom of movement.
- You can also split the iPad screen in half. You must have two apps on the screen at the same time, with the second app “attached” to one side of the screen, as in the previous step. In the space between the two apps is a small vertical line about the size of a fingertip. If you tap and hold this line, you can drag this separator to the center of the screen to enable split-screen mode. Note that this mode is only supported by the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, and iPad Pro.
- You can end multitasking by dragging the app from one side of the iPad screen. If the app is not attached, which means it is still in window mode, you can touch and hold the small horizontal line at the top of the window and drag it either left or right until it disappears from the screen. When the app is attached to the screen, you can use the middle divider to do the same: Drag the app toward the next page of the ad until it disappears.
To use Picture-in-a-Picture mode on iPad
The iPad can also perform picture-in-picture multitasking. The app from which you stream a video must support Picture-in-a-Picture. If so, Picture-in-a-Picture is activated whenever you watch a video in this app and close the application with the Home button.
The video continues to play in a small window on the screen, and you can use your iPad normally during playback. You can even expand the video by using the pinch-to-zoom gesture. This is done by placing your thumb and index finger together on the video and then moving your thumb and finger apart while remaining on the iPad display. The video window can be about twice its original size.
You can also drag the video with your finger to any corner of the screen. Make sure you don’t drag it off the screen. The video continues to play but is hidden with a small window on the screen. In this small area of the window, you can drag it back to the screen with your finger.
When you tap the video, three buttons appear a button to return to full-screen mode, a play/pause button, and a button to stop the video, which closes the window.