Early Reviews of iOS 9 Split Screen on iPad

I am so tempted to put the iOS 9 beta on my iPad Air in order try out the new multitasking features. But they say you shouldn't put the beta on your primary device, and my iPad Air is my baby. So short of doing my own hands-on review, I'll share with you the hands-on posts I've been perusing in order to get a better idea of what these features will offer. Macworld has posted an excellent hands-on review with animated gifs that helps visualize Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture. Note that Split View, in which you have two apps running side by side, is only available on the iPad Air 2. The other multitasking features are available on  iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3. Older iPads, such as the original mini and the second- and third-generation iPads will run iOS 9, but aren't able to use the multitasking features.

As the Macworld post demonstrates, Slide Over puts a sidebar on the right side of your iPad screen that takes up about a third of the display. You invoke it by simply swiping from left to right on the right side of your iPad screen. When you first open it, Slide Over shows icons for your running apps. Select one, and it appears in the sidebar. However, unlike Split View, the app being viewed in the sidebar when using Slide Over is static. In this case you're multitasking is limited to viewing whatever was being shown in that app when you invoked it. Macworld says that only Apple's apps work in Slide Over in the iOS 9 beta, but that other apps are expected to work with it by the official launch of iOS 9 this fall.



To invoke Split View, you first open an app in Slide Over. Then you drag the divider between the sidebar and main screen to the left until it's in the center of the screen. The app in the sidebar will then become "live," and you'll be able to run two apps side by side.



To invoke Picture In Picture, you first begin playing a video full screen. Then you minimize it by pressing the Home button or by tapping a new button that appears in the lower right hand corner of videos in iOS 9. The video seamlessly scales down and continues to play. You can move it around on the screen and it appears as an overlay of whatever app you're using. You can even move it slightly off screen. Macworld says that this feature is currently limited to videos that are in the Videos app, videos that you've downloaded from the iTunes Store, and FaceTime conversations.



Mac Rumors has posted a video demo of the multitasking features in iOS 9.



Of course, these multitasking features will be especially useful in the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro that's rumored to be coming in November. I think the multitasking and other new features of the iPad Pro will make it a very appealing device and could reverse the decline in sales the iPad has been experiencing. In addition to the larger screen, the iPad Pro is expected to have a USB-C port, which Apple recently introduced in their new MacBook. USB-C can be used, via adaptors, to connect to almost any external device: monitor, hard drive, printer, etc. Plus, it can connect to ethernet, as well as being used with the power adaptor. One port does everything. It's the new industry standard cable for connectivity and power, and is set to replace USB.

The iPad Pro is also expected to come with a Bluetooth stylus that will be pressure-sensitive. The display is expected to be 2,732 x 2,048 pixels. Other features include Force Touch, first introduced in the Apple Watch, and an NFC chip for Apple Pay.

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Author Details

Jim Karpen's picture

Author Details

Jim Karpen

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.