iOS 9 brings some multitasking love to the iPad


— 5:35 PM on June 8, 2015

A major selling point of the iPad over smartphones is its more expansive screen, but iOS has only allowed one app to run at a time on the bigger display—at least, until now. With iOS 9, iPad owners will be able to run multiple apps at once using several new multitasking views unveiled by Apple today at WWDC.

The first view, called Slide Over, is launched with a swipe in from the left or right edges of the screen. Invoking Slide Over sends the current app to the background, so this view seems best-suited to lightweight stuff like composing a quick tweet or replying to a text in Messages.

For more heavy-duty multitasking, iPad Air 2 owners—and Air 2 owners only—can run two apps side-by-side in split-screen mode. A flexible divider between the apps allows users to partition the screen as desired. There aren't really any surprises here: it looks just like any other split-screen multitasking implementation out there. Still, this view could be nice for anybody who needs to keep more information on the screen at once.

Finally, there's a picture-in-picture view for video apps like YouTube and FaceTime. Pressing the Home button with these apps in action shrinks them into a video player that can be dragged around the screen and resized. The player also stays where you leave it as you switch between apps. This view seems like the least useful one to me, but if you watch a lot of sports or cat videos while doing other things, it could be handy.

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