Multitasking in iOS 10 on big iPad Pro

By | 26/09/2016

iOS 10 MultitaskingSince iOS 9 iPads got new feature – multitasking. Some multitasking features were included in older iOS versions, like switching between opened apps and notification services, but since iOS 9, you can display two apps on single screen and theoretically with Picture In Picture could be opened three apps on single screen. Multitasking in iOS 10 is same as in iOS 9. As owner of 12.9-inch iPad Pro, I decided to write article about multitasking on this big iPad.

Here are three types of multitasking for iPad: Split View, Slide Over and Picture In Picture. Not all multitasking features are available for all iPads. Let’s look which iPads support multitasking:

Slide Over and Picture In Picture:

  • iPad Air and higher
  • iPad mini 2 and higher
  • iPad Pro (both sizes)

Split View:

  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Pro (both sizes)

As you can see, only iPads with 64-bit chip (A7 and later) are supported for Slide Over and Picture In Picture, and Split View is even more limited.

What’s differences are between Slide Over and Split View?

With Slide Over, you can use gesture by sliding with finger from right border of iPad’s display to left. After choosing supported app from list, you will see column which fills 1/3 of screen. You can simply respond for messages or change playing music or virtually anything without needing of closing current app. But only app in Slide Over column is active, so you for example can’t scroll or write text in inactive app. By swiping from left to right you can hide column.

With Split View you can view two apps on single screen. Both apps are active and can be used at the same time. Split View can be activated by same gesture as Slide Over, you just need extra tap on divider’s white sign:

White Sign

Click here for full-sized screenshot

You can even run apps in 1:1 ratio, not only in 1/3 as with Slide Over, by dragging white sign. This is very useful especially on big 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Thanks to bigger screen, you can run two full apps in 1:1 ratio without needing to “shrink” them as we can see on Split View for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4. “Shrinking” works like responsive design of modern webpages and as I said, big iPad Pro does not need it, big screen is a big screen.

Now screenshots. This is how looks Slide Over:

Slide Over

Click here for full-sized screenshot

And here is Split View:

Split View

Click here for full-sized screenshot

The worst aspect of multitasking is choosing from apps list. Just see:

Multitasking Picker

Click here for full-sized screenshot

And while using 1:1 ratio, it’s even worse:

Multitasking Picker 2

Click here for full-sized screenshot

You can’t search by typing name of app and that’s not the worst. Apps are sorted by strange algorithm and positions of apps in picker are changing. Some users report that it’s based by app usage, but I personally can’t confirm it.

With this iPads’ multitasking, even in Split View, you can’t directly share content between apps. Forget about dragging files from one app to other. And if you want to change app while multitasking, just swipe from top of display, as is shown here:

App Switching

Click here for full-sized screenshot

If you want to change app on left side of iPad’s display, press Home Button and choose another app. It works for apps without multitasking support too, but right-side app won’t be shown after launching multitasking-unsupported app. These unoptimized apps can be slided over, but can’t be placed in Slide Over column (and of course not in Split View too). Multitasking can be closed by dragging divider to left or right border of iPad’s display.

And the last feature – Picture In Picture. You can watch video in pop-up window which overlays through whole iOS. Can be activated by dedicated button which varies by app and it sometimes works by pressing Home Button, for example while watching full-screen video on some websites. It’s customizable, you can move it to any corner or zoom in/out by gesture. By dragging pop-up window on border of iPad’s display you can temporarily hide most of window if needed. Just look on Picture In Picture:

Picture In Picture Home Screen

Click here for full-sized screenshot

And it works great with Split View:

Picture In Picture Multitasking

Click here for full-sized screenshot

When software keyboard appears, video pop-up will be pushed up, so keyboard is fully accesible.

There can be many improvements to multitasking features introduced in iOS 9, but in iOS 10 iPads were ignored and multitasking is same. Hope Apple will improve it, especially for big iPad Pro.

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