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Inside iOS 9: Split-Screen Multitasking for the iPad

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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iOS 9 brings a long-awaited Split-Screen multitasking feature to the iPad for the first time, letting users operate two apps simultaneously and bolstering the productivity capabilities of Apple's tablet lineup. There are three different multitasking features that are available on various iPad models: Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture.


Slide Over can be activated within any app by swiping left from the right side of the iPad to bring up a small side pane that displays a secondary app alongside the first app. Slide Over takes up 1/3 of the space, and any app that has built-in multitasking support will appear in the side pane. Swiping downwards on the Slide Over window from the top of the iPad screen will allow you to switch between apps.


Slide Over is not a full multitasking experience because both apps are not active at once. When the side pane is open, the app that's taking up most of the screen is paused and relegated to the background. Slide Over can be used in portrait or landscape mode and is useful for answering a quick message or looking something up in Safari while using another app.


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Article Link: Inside iOS 9: Split-Screen Multitasking for the iPad
 

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,560
Kassel, Germany
Hmm, I'd love to hide certain apps from that app drawer and also manually sort them maybe.

I don't need the Find my iPhone app to sit in there. Maybe relegate these "hidden" apps to a "more" folder or something.
So I can still access them, but they don't clog up my day-to-day user experience.

Glassed Silver:mac
 
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farewelwilliams

macrumors 68040
Jun 18, 2014
3,656
14,787
I'd like to have a stern talk with whoever it is at Apple that decided that an iPhone 6 Plus wasn't big enough for this feature :mad:

won't work in portrait mode. all apps so far have been tested against a minimum of 320 points width. width of iPhone 6 plus is 414 points. doing split screen means apps would look weird at 207 points width because it's never been tested before.

even if in landscape: that means you'll have 414 points in height. Minimum tested against all apps is 480 points (some iphone apps aren't landscape friendly, so the 320 points height, the original iphone height in landscape, wasn't tested).

it doesn't work.
 
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tk1337

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2015
44
10
Florida
I've been running the beta on my iPad Air 2 for awhile now, at first sight the split screen has been a long time coming. However, one thing I noticed during the keynote of the September event, was Microsoft using the split screen with their apps. So far the split screen functionality has only been truly limited to Apple apps (Notes, Safari, Mail, News, etc).

I had high hopes with the release of iOS 9.1 beta which came out on Sept 9th, that this would be incorporated to allow other non-Apple applications to make full use of the split screen functionality, but it doesn't. I haven't had the time lately to open up XCode and start digging to see if this is functionality enabled by the app in question or a limitation to the OS version.

Judging by the demo Microsoft did, it may be a limitation on the application (ie: the application needs to be made for use of the split-screen functionality), but it also could be a limitation on the OS and just not fully fledged out, even with the latest beta iOS 9.1.

This so far has been my biggest annoyance with the mult-tasking features, though if it's just the simple fact an app needs to be made for the use of the split screen functionality, fine, so be it. I just hope this isn't going to be a "locked" feature to Apple applications, if so, it's almost pointless until it's opened up.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,160
15,122
Central U.S.
Hmm, I'd love to hide certain apps from that app drawer and also manually sort them maybe.

I don't need the Find my iPhone to sit in there. Maybe relegate these "hidden" apps to a "more" folder or something.
So I can still access them, but they don't clog up my day-to-day user experience.

Glassed Silver:mac

As someone who has been using this all summer, this definitely needs to be a thing. It's only going to get worse as more third party apps are updated. On the one hand I'm really excited to finally have some third party apps to do split view with, but on the other hand it's going to make my launcher really cumbersome. For me that's the clunky part of the whole deal. What about when nearly every app gets updated? You'll have to scroll through a huge list that has no organization. I know PCalc is in my office folder. But where will it fall in this huge list? It sorts them by last used, which helps, but still.

A more elegant solution might be to show your home screens in a way that makes it obvious you aren't actually on your home screen (so it doesn't confuse users) and have all of your app icons in their places. Apps that don't support multitasking will be very translucent and disabled, making the available apps stand out. Perhaps this sidebar thing will work for now but over time it could get clunky. Or perhaps so few apps will actually update for multitasking (because why would you need to multitask games, certain utilities, etc.) that this won't ever become a problem. After all, we MacRumors readers are in the minority when it comes to how many apps we use.

Ninja edit: Just thought of another solution that might really help: Folders for this sidebar switcher. That would bring some much-needed organization, and any apps you don't use would be put in a folder at the top that doesn't ever get used, so doesn't stay near the bottom of the recently used list. Done!
 
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Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,304
2,471
I'd like to have a stern talk with whoever it is at Apple that decided that an iPhone 6 Plus wasn't big enough for this feature :mad:
It would make too much sense and would make it feel like the Plus is "too exclusive" with some features, according to some people.
 
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currentinterest

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2007
490
282
It appears that Pages and Keynote do not support split screen. Is that correct? At least I can't make it work with those Apps on my iPad Air 2.
 
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stubbornapple

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
76
43
Washington, DCish
I've been running the beta on my iPad Air 2 for awhile now, at first sight the split screen has been a long time coming. However, one thing I noticed during the keynote of the September event, was Microsoft using the split screen with their apps. So far the split screen functionality has only been truly limited to Apple apps (Notes, Safari, Mail, News, etc).

I had high hopes with the release of iOS 9.1 beta which came out on Sept 9th, that this would be incorporated to allow other non-Apple applications to make full use of the split screen functionality, but it doesn't. I haven't had the time lately to open up XCode and start digging to see if this is functionality enabled by the app in question or a limitation to the OS version.

Judging by the demo Microsoft did, it may be a limitation on the application (ie: the application needs to be made for use of the split-screen functionality), but it also could be a limitation on the OS and just not fully fledged out, even with the latest beta iOS 9.1.

This so far has been my biggest annoyance with the mult-tasking features, though if it's just the simple fact an app needs to be made for the use of the split screen functionality, fine, so be it. I just hope this isn't going to be a "locked" feature to Apple applications, if so, it's almost pointless until it's opened up.
Apps just need to update. So far I've got outlook and word working in split screen after they updated the apps.
 
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Mike MA

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2012
2,054
1,692
Germany
Nice to see my iPad Air 2 still seems to support all the new stuff except the stylus...Apple Pencil I mean of course :p
 
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playaproved

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2005
332
134
I've been running the beta on my iPad Air 2 for awhile now, at first sight the split screen has been a long time coming. However, one thing I noticed during the keynote of the September event, was Microsoft using the split screen with their apps. So far the split screen functionality has only been truly limited to Apple apps (Notes, Safari, Mail, News, etc).

I had high hopes with the release of iOS 9.1 beta which came out on Sept 9th, that this would be incorporated to allow other non-Apple applications to make full use of the split screen functionality, but it doesn't. I haven't had the time lately to open up XCode and start digging to see if this is functionality enabled by the app in question or a limitation to the OS version.

Judging by the demo Microsoft did, it may be a limitation on the application (ie: the application needs to be made for use of the split-screen functionality), but it also could be a limitation on the OS and just not fully fledged out, even with the latest beta iOS 9.1.

This so far has been my biggest annoyance with the mult-tasking features, though if it's just the simple fact an app needs to be made for the use of the split screen functionality, fine, so be it. I just hope this isn't going to be a "locked" feature to Apple applications, if so, it's almost pointless until it's opened up.

Microsoft just updated the office apps yesterday and split screen functionality was specifically called out in the change notes.
 
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Jlac

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2015
2
0
On my iPad Air, Picture in Picture doesn't works, and it wouldn't be some reason for it. Maybe one of the first problems with IOS9
 
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aroom

macrumors member
Nov 26, 2014
89
162
the launcher need to be redesigned asap. it's already a mess
 
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Jlac

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2015
2
0
Upppsssssss It does works, but only with Video app, no with YouTube and so on........
 
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flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,234
960
We need the ability to exclude apps from the app switcher in the sidebar. My entire "Crapple" folder is in there.
 
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Nicky G

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2002
891
357
Baltimore
I wish you could flip the position of the two screens, and have the smaller app view on the left or the right side, not just the right. Unless I'm missing something?
 
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BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,052
3,461
How in heaven's name does the new iWork, updated yesterday, not support these features.

Has Apple forgotten already how Microsoft used to hold Office over their head? How an MSOffice release had to be part of the Apple bail-out deal due to its critical nature?

Do they not notice Google apps and Chrome's inroads to education?

I get iWork doesn't make money. But it's a critical strategic tool.
 
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slowcatty

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2015
1
0
Lack of ram would be the cause. 1GB RAM is just not enough.
Agree completely that not having some way to hide all the apps you don't need included is plain stupid. I have iPad Air (1) and Galaxy Note 4... It's quite amazing that Apple can't get proper split screen together for copying and pasting data at least (in the absence of proper multitasking), as has been there since the first Note back in 2011.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,580
14,366
In between a rock and a hard place
any orientation becomes too small.

736 points / 2 = 368. minimum 480 needed.
forgive the ignorance, but is that a consequence of Apple's dimensional choices? I've seen split screen work on both the S5 and the Note. I've never really had a use for it but it does work. Just tried it on my S5 and the screens are re-sizable. It just seems a vertical stack on the Plus should be possible, but what do I know.
 
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jrswizzle

macrumors 603
Aug 23, 2012
6,107
128
McKinney, TX
Hmm, I'd love to hide certain apps from that app drawer and also manually sort them maybe.

I don't need the Find my iPhone app to sit in there. Maybe relegate these "hidden" apps to a "more" folder or something.
So I can still access them, but they don't clog up my day-to-day user experience.

Glassed Silver:mac

Agreed - I certainly see some changes coming with respect to the organization of split view apps as more support multitasking.

Even as is, with a relatively small number supporting it, the scrolling can be tedious. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to how they are sorted either.
 
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