Scientists have found that humans may not be as good at multitasking as we once thought, but that was all before Apple gave the iPad splitscreen capabilities in iOS 9.
The iOS 9 public beta introduced a handful of special multitasking features exclusively to the latest iPad models, and we didn't even have to wait for the rumored iPad Pro. These capabilities include a Slide Over app sidebar, a side-by-side Split View, and Picture in Picture with videos floating on top of another app.
Even though iOS 9 will run on the iPad 2 and any subsequent iPad model, you'll need an iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, or iPad mini 3 for Slide Over and Picture-in-Picture, and an iPad Air 2 for Split View.
We tried all the new iOS 9 multitasking features on the iPad Air 2. Mind you, these features were all tied to iOS 9's public beta phase and subject to change before the official release of the software update later this year.
When you have an app open, either built-in or third-party, you can now "slide over" a second app into view as a sidebar that takes up about one-third of the screen. Simply swipe from right to left on the righthand side of your iPad and ta-da! You can select and switch to a different app to slide over by swiping from the top down. And Slide Over works whether your iPad is positioned horizontally or vertically. Because Slide Over freezes the app you originally had open in the background, this feature is hardly about multitasking and more about quickly replying to a message or peeking at your Facebook News Feed.
In iOS 9 public beta, you can only slide over one of Apple's built-in apps, such as Mail, Safari, Notes, Maps, and Messages (the notable exception is Apple Music). Apple expects more third-party developers to support this capability by the time the final version of iOS 9 comes out. In fact, during the Slide Over demo at WWDC last month, Twitter was featured as a Slide Over app, but it was not available to slide over in the first public beta. Hopefully by final release, we'll be able to choose which apps show up in the Slide Over sidebar and remove the one we know we're never going to Slide Over.
When you have a second app open as a Slide Over, you can press and hold on to the divider in between the two apps, and drag it all the way to the center of the screen. This will automatically activate a split-screen feature called Split View, the most significant multitasking feature coming in iOS 9, but only for the iPad Air 2, unfortunately. In Split View you can simultaneous use two apps to their full potential: browse travel guides in Safari while you make a bucket-list in Notes, for example.
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