Help Accessing new iPad Multi-tasking Features

iOS and iPadOS

Hi. I was very excited about the new multi-tasking features of the iPad, and even more excited that I upgraded to an iPad that would support them. However, I am having a hard time getting the iPad to go into split screen mode and can't figure it out. I know this was discussed heavily when iOS 9 first came out, but a brief explanation or podcast now on how to do this with VoiceOver would be greatly appreciated. I really want to enjoy this feature.




Submitted by dvdmth on Sunday, January 10, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

First, tap anywhere on the status line to move VoiceOver focus there, then swipe left with three fingers. This will bring up the Slide Over panel, which covers the right side of the screen. Alternatively, if you are using a Bluetooth keyboard, you can open the panel by pressing Control + Option + End, or Control + Option + Fn + Right Arrow.

The first time you do this, you will get an app switcher where you can choose the app you with to view in the Slide Over panel. After selecting the app you want, it will launch in this area and can be used as you normally would. To go back to the app switcher for Slide Over, go back to the status line and repeat the three-finger swipe to the left.

To dismiss the Slide Over panel, tap anywhere on the left side of the screen to move the VoiceOver focus there, then do a double-tap. The next time you open Slide Over, it will come up on the last app you used there, making it easy to jump back to a particular app as you need to.

Not all apps support Slide Over. If an app does not support the feature, it will not be listed in the Slide Over app switcher.

Once you understand Slide Over, you can move on to the more advanced Split View, which lets you have two running apps side by side. Note that both apps must support Split View to do this.

To access Split View, first open the app you want to be on the left side of the screen. Open up the Slide Over panel as above, then go to the app you want to be on the right side. Next, look for a divider running vertically on the screen, to the left of the app in the Slide Over panel and to the right of the area where a double-tap dismisses the panel. If you cannot find a divider here, then one of the two apps you are using does not support Split View.

Assuming the divider is there, a double-tap on the divider will activate Split View. The app in the Slide Over panel will remain where it is, while the app you were using before opening the panel will appear on the left side of the screen. You can now switch between the two apps simply by doing a tap on either side of the screen.

Double-tapping the divider again will return you to Slide Over mode, after which you can do a double-tap on the left side of the screen to get rid of Slide Over and return to single-app mode.

There are other actions available on the divider while in Split View, accessed via the actions rotor. One action is to maximize the app on the right side of the screen, causing it to take over the whole screen. Another action brings up the app switcher, just like the three-finger swipe on the status line. You can also change how much of the screen each of the apps takes up, but that option only appears if you are in landscape mode.

If you are using a Bluetooth keyboard, pressing Control + Option + Left Bracket or Right Bracket will move the focus to the different areas of the screen, including the central divider.

One thing I haven't been able to figure out is, after choosing to maximize an app, how to go back to having two apps on the screen. The divider is gone, and a three-finger swipe on the status line merely brings up the app switcher. The only way I know of to get out of this mode is to hit the Home button to go back to the Home screen, thus exiting out of everything. If there is a way to get from maximized mode back to having two apps, I'd like to know what it is.

I think that about covers it. I personally like the Slide Over feature, but I rarely use Split View. For me, the four-finger swipes for switching apps are more convenient than having both on screen at the same time. Slide Over is nice because you can choose a specific app you access regularly and put it in the Slide Over panel, thus making it a three-finger swipe away no matter what other app you are in.