iPad Multi-tasking

iOS and iPadOS

Hi all,
I’ve just unboxed and set up my new iPad (woohoo!), and am curious to know about the multitasking features unique to the iPad; I’ve been an iPhone user now for 6+ years, and an iPad user for around 4 or 5 years, but I’ve never owned an iPad capable of the multitasking features. I’m aware of slideover, picture-in-picture and split view, but have no idea how they work, or how to activate them using Voiceover. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Submitted by Yvonnezed on Sunday, March 11, 2018


Basically, the key to multitasking on the iPad is the dock. To start experimenting, open an app. Go to the bottom of the screen and flick up with two fingers to bring up the dock. Find the app there that you want and flick down on it to explore the actions.

The ones you want to play with at first are pin app to the left and pin app to the right. You now have the first app you opened on one side, and an iPhone sized version of the second app with a devider in the middle of the screen. Flick up and down to control the sizes of the two apps and so on.

The other thing to remember is that the two apps are now linked together. If you, say, multitask mail and safari, opening mail will also bring up safari and vice versa. The way to disconnect them is either using the devider or close the combined app in the app switcher.

I'd suggest playing with that for a bit. Slide over with voiceover tends to be a little trickier to deal with.

Submitted by Aleco on Sunday, March 11, 2018

To use two apps at once, do the following:

  1. Open the two apps you want to use, one after the other.
  2. In one of the apps, swipe up from the bottom of the screen with two fingers to access the dock, which is basically a strip of commonly used apps. You should hear a big woosh; the same one mac users hear when opening mission control and such.
  3. As stated above, a strip of apps will appear on the bottom. The left side is the same as your dock on the home screen. I'm not sure exactly what makes up the right side, but running apps seems to be a big part of it, so somewhere on the right you should find the app you want. Select that app, and a series of actions should be available on the actions setting of your roader.
  4. Select an option by swiping up or down until you find the one you want and double tapping, just like with any roader item. I'll explain what each one does.
  • Pin to left or pin to right will cause the app to fly over to that side of the screen. It will take up about a third of that side unless you change that (more on that in a second.)
  • Open as side app will kind of do the same thing, but it will open the app always on the right, and it will be in a floating window, meaning the window has no boundary. The bigger app will also be faded, meaning you can't use it right now. This is kind of a strange concept for VO users, and i wouldn't recommend using it as it doesn't serve a useful purpose for us.
Once the app is pinned, a big black boundary separates the two apps. Select this boundary. Just tap it if you can see it, or if you can't, put a finger on the right or left side and slide slowly toward the center until you hear VO say "side app divider". Again, some options will be available in your roader.
  • Expand app: There should be two of these, one for each app, and this basically just reverts you to standard one app mode.
  • Shrink app: this causes the two apps to swap places. So if, for example, pages was the bigger app and mail was pinned on the right, the option "shrink pages" would make pages the smaller app on the right and mail the bigger one on the left.
  • Resize to half the screen: this makes the two apps take up equal space.
Note that different options will be available depending on which apps are placed where. If you're in half mode, for example, you will have two shrink options and two expand options, because both apps are the same size. Just try to use logic and get used to the feel.

One final note

these two apps are essentially treated as one in every way, including in the switcher. So if you were to navigate away from both of these apps and go into the switcher, you'd see the two apps as one, making it really easy to return to what you were doing.

A note on picture in picture

This one is probably the easiest to activate out of any of them, but it's also the one with which I have the least experience. As far as I've seen, a "play in picture in picture" button will appear on any regular video control bar on a website. Just press that, and now you can leave safari and be happy when your audio doesn't stop. HTH

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Monday, March 12, 2018

I am actually using a bluetooth keyboard with a case to my iPad. I got my iPad last summer. I can use the iPad nearlly like a computer. It is cool. To access dock just press vo+d. Or cmd+d.