How to Use the Multitasking Features on iPad

If you want to multitask, the iPad just might be your tablet of choice. Beginning in iPadOS 15, scheduled for release in fall 2021, Apple takes its multitasking features up a level with a Multitasking Menu, a Shelf for open windows, a center app view, and more.

If you weren’t fond of the way that you entered split view or slide over before iPadOS 15, you’ll be happy with the improved method.

Related: What’s the Difference Between Split View and Slide Over on an iPad?

At the top of your app window, you’ll see three dots. Simply tap to display the Multitasking Menu.

Open the Multitasking Menu

From left to right, tap to put the app in Full-Screen View, Split View, or Slide Over.

Multitasking Menu on iPad

If you do enter Split View or Slide Over using the menu, each app within those views has the three dots as well. So, you can easily switch from Split View to Slide Over to Full-Screen with a tap of the menu.

Multitasking Menu in split view

The Multitasking Menu lets you enter a multitasking view with little effort.

Access Apps in Split View

When you use the Multitasking Menu to invoke Split View, you also have a convenient way to open that second app.

After you tap the Split View icon, that app will move to the side of the screen, only slightly in view. You’ll then see your Home screen in the larger area, and you can swipe to a different screen if you wish.

Select an app for split view

Tap the app that you want to open along with the other in split view.

Split view on iPad

This allows you to locate the app that you need on another screen, in a folder, or even in your Dock.

Create a Split View in the App Switcher

Another terrific method for entering Split View, in addition to the Multitasking Menu, is in the App Switcher.

Open the App Switcher, select and hold the app that you want to create a Split View with, and then drag it to the second app that you want to use. Release when the first app is on the left or right side of the second app, per your preference. Then, tap that combo to open it in Split View.

Select an app for split view

You can also replace an app with another, remove an app from Split View, or switch the apps from the left side to the right, all in the App Switcher. In the screenshot below, we have Notes and Mail in Split View and we’re dragging Google up to replace Notes.

Change split view in the App Switcher

When you know ahead of time that you want to use Split View with two open apps, the App Switcher makes it easy!

View the Shelf of Open App Windows

As you probably already know, you can have multiple windows of a single app open at once on iPad. Great examples include Mail and Notes. Since the iPadOS 15 upgrade, you can switch between open windows of the same app using the Shelf.

The Shelf displays at the bottom of the app and holds the additional windows you have open for it. In this example, we have several notes open in addition to the main notes window. Simply tap to switch to the window that you want to use.

App Shelf in Notes

If you want to close one of the windows on the Shelf, select it and slide it upward off the screen.

App Shelf in Notes

For quickly switching between open windows of the same app, the Shelf is awesome!

Center an App Window

One more multitasking feature that arrived with iPadOS 15 is the ability to open an app window front and center. You can quickly see or do what you need to in that center view without navigating away from what you were doing initially.

Press and hold something like a note in Notes or an email in Mail. Select “Open in New Window” in the shortcut menu.

Select Open in New Window

You’ll have your new window open in the center, with the original app directly behind (as shown in the screenshot below).

Center app window

If you use the Shelf with this center app window feature, it’s an excellent way to grab a link, text, or image from one spot that you need in another fast. And it’s a nice alternative to Split View and Slide Over.

Related: How to Use Floating Apps (Slide Over) on an iPad

Be sure to check out each of these multitasking features for simpler ways to get things done on your iPad!

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