When Apple introduced iOS 9, it was more of a refinement than an overhaul. However, two of the more useful features for iPad users are Split View and Slide Over. These multitasking additions let you work on more than one thing at one time. Not everyone can take advantage of these new features, and they don’t work with all apps, so here’s what you need to know to get started.
What’s the difference between Split View and Slide Over?
Slide Over lets you momentarily switch to another app by quite literally sliding it on top of the one you are currently using. It appears when you swipe in from the right-hand side of your screen, but it will only take up about a third of your viewing area. When you slide a new app on to your screen, it becomes the active app and the one you were using previously is greyed out and cannot be used until you swipe the Slide Over app back to where it came from. It is a useful way to quickly see your Twitter feed, add a quick note, or check something on your calendar.
Split view takes things to the next level by allowing you to have two active apps open at one time. You engage Split View by swiping an app in from the right-hand side of your screen, just like you do for Slide Over. However, if you grab the bar in the middle of that app and pull it to the left, you will be able to snap that app side by side with the one you had open. Once you have the two apps side by side you can switch navigate through each one independently. This is useful for taking notes at the same time you are looking at a website.
Can I Use Split View or Slide Over on my iPad?
Maybe. Slide Over is available on the iPad Pro, the iPad Air (or later), and the iPad Mini 2 (or later). Split View is a little more demanding, so it is only available on Apple’s newest devices – the iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2, and the iPad Mini 4. The other thing to consider is that not all apps support Split View or Slide Over. Developers have to enable this functionality in their apps to allow it to work in this way. That said, many of the apps you are most likely to want to use this way have already been updated to allow the use of Split View or Slide Over.
How can teachers and students use this in the classroom?
Split View and Slide Over are essentially productivity enhancements. They speed up your workflow and let you be more efficient at completing tasks that you may otherwise have found easier to do on a Mac or PC. So, things like taking notes while browsing the web is now a lot quicker on the iPad. Teachers might have a spreadsheet of results on one side that they are ready to input into a web based gradebook on the other. The YouTube app works in Slide Over view, but you can use Split View if you visit m.youtube.com if you want to take notes side by side with a video.
Split View may also be useful for a classroom backchannel on one side of your screen and a notetaking app on the other. This could be Today’s Meet in a web browser or the new Padlet app. You can use Slide Over in the Camera app for video projects if you need to quickly check on your shot list or a script that you have been working on. You can also put things like Word and PowerPoint side by side so that you can turn your notes into a presentation. The possibilities are seemingly endless and they become even more relevant on a larger screen like the iPad Pro.
Can I disable Split View and Slide Over?
However, as useful as Split View and Slide over are, these features are not necessarily for everyone. Younger students may find it frustrating to have these apps appear when swiping around on the screens of their favorite apps. You can fix this by disabling them under Settings > General > Multitasking > Allow Multiple Apps if required.
The video below has a quick visual tutorial on how to use Split View and Slide Over, as well as a few additional tips.