3 Ways to Multitask on Your iPad

Remember the original days of the iPad and how difficult it made getting “real work” done? We’ve all been there. You want to do what seems to be the simplest task, yet the limitations of iOS just make the experience downright frustrating. This is especially true since tablets are often marketed as notebook replacements. But the thing is, we’re not quite there yet.

However, that’s not to say the iPad has not come a long way since its debut in 2010. iOS has received some significant updates in recent years, making the iPad a viable device for productivity. In other words, it’s quite capable in allowing users to multitask in a more realistic sense.

Multitasking on the iPad can be executed in a variety of ways, but not all iPad models support these features. Before moving forward, check the compatibility list below to see if your iPad is supported:

Slide Over: iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and later
Split View: iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad Pro, and later
Picture-in-Picture: iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and later

Slide Over

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Slide Over is a simple form of multitasking, as it does exactly what it sounds like. Swiping your finger to the left from the right side of your iPad displays the Slide Over view. This enables you to quickly glance at information from any particular app that is supported, such as Safari and Notes.

Swipe your finger down from the top and you’ll be presented with a list of all the apps that can be used with Slide Over. To exit the Slide Over view, simply tap on any part of your iPad’s screen that is darkened.

Split View

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If you’re looking to truly multitask on your iPad, then you will love Split View. This mode allows you to display two apps side by side. To enable Split View, do exactly as you would with Slide Over — but this time, tap the grabber (white vertical line) on the left edge of the right-aligned app. This will lock both apps in place, thus enabling Split View.

You will most likely want to resize your apps in Split View. To do this, simply tap and hold the grabber that is splitting both apps and slide it to either the left or right. Each app will automatically adjust its content depending on the size of your iPad’s screen.

Opening a new app on the right side is as easy as swiping your finger down from the top of the screen. Select any app that is supported and iOS will take care of the rest. Unfortunately, not all apps are supported at this time, but compatibility is improving as more developers take advantage.


Click to view the full screenshot

As someone who is obsessed with watching videos, Picture-in-Picture is one of my favorite multitasking features in iOS. Activating it allows you to watch any supported video in the corner of your iPad, while at the same time not interrupting your primary task.

Entering Picture-in-Picture mode, while limited to only a handful of apps, is quick and easy. If the app you’re using supports PiP playback (such as Apple’s Podcasts app), you will notice an icon in the video player that resembles two rectangles and an arrow. Tap that icon and the video will instantly pop out of the app and be placed on the Home screen of your iPad.

Customizing playback of the PiP video is actually quite flexible. You can flick the video to any corner of your iPad, as well as adjust its size by pinching and zooming. Tapping the close button within the PiP view returns the video to its respective app.

Unfortunately, the official YouTube app does not support this feature just yet. However, I can see that changing at some point in the future. Until then, give it a try in Netflix. Once a video is playing, simply press the Home button on your iPad and Netflix will automatically enter PiP mode. Neat, huh?

If you're in the market for an iPad, check out the two models that I currently own. They can be found on David's Things.