How to Enable iPad’s Multi-Tasking Features to Improve Productivity

With Apple’s release of iOS 9 came split screen view for iPad and video picture-in-picture. Ever since, these features have been reiterated through consecutive iOS releases. If you are trying to type an essay in Pages or Docs while researching in Safari, you can do that. Or, if you are trying to catch up on your favorite TV show while going over earnings reports, you can do that, too.

They are especially useful on the iPad Pro with its gorgeous and captivating 12.9 inch retina display. Do note that the feature is not available on older iPads.

Using Split Screen View with Apps


Make sure you are using a supported device. It needs to be iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, or iPad Pro or later. Start by turning your device to landscape mode, as split screen view only works with landscape-supported apps.

From the far right side of your screen, drag one finger to the left to bring up the app selection sidebar. Scroll and tap on any app you would like to use, and tap on the left of the app that’s slid out to bring it into split screen view. Again, do take note that not all apps support split screen view. I use this feature extensively with Safari and Notes to jot down information while using my Safari tabs as a reference for what I am writing.

From the slid out view, not split screen, there are still uses. You can respond to a quick message without having to fully leave the app you were already in, as an example. Just slide from the right side of the bezel, tap iMessage, tap the message transcript you’d like to respond to, and tap the text box to bring up the keyboard.

Using Split Screen View with Safari


Need to compare sources or product pricing on the web? Easy. As previously done, start in landscape mode. To open another tab in split screen view, make a new tab and then tap and drag it to either the left or right sides of the screen. Drop it, and you’re now in split screen view. Alternatively, tap and hold on a link in Safari, then tap “Open in split view.”

Video Picture-In-Picture


For this feature you will need an iPad air, iPad Mini 2, or later. As we did previously, bring up the app selection sidebar and select videos. Or, if viewing a video online, find the picture-in-picture icon near the progress bar.  Tap it, and then drag the video around the screen to where it fits best. Do keep in mind that not all web videos are compatible with picture-in-picture.

There will be a scrubber bar to track the video progression; however, you won’t be able to interact with it or drag the video along. You can also pinch to zoom.



Apple for years has been paving the way with innovative technologies, especially so with iOS. These features are no different. With every release of iPad, we see the ability to see more and do more with our content, and split screen view makes productivity on iPad a more viable way to get things done. Users have asked for multitasking for years, and Apple has finally delivered in a meaningful way. Who says multitasking doesn’t work?

Corbin Telligman
Corbin Telligman

I'm a junior at UT Dallas, a tech enthusiast, an adreneline junkie, and a coffee fanatic.

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