iPad MultiTasking Tips to Boost Productivity

With newer iPads and significantly starting with iOS 11, Apple has dramatically improved the devices used as a productivity tool. If you used the dock in Mac OS and Launchpad to launch apps, check out the iPad dock now in iOS 11 and 12.

Can you believe this is a photo of an iPad and not a Mac with Launchpad open?

Some fans say that with iOS 11 – and iOS 12 certainly raises this score with other performance improvements – that Apple’s iPad feels like a whole new device. Enjoy this article and let us know what you think.

Using the iOS Dock

We know how to drag iOS apps to the menu bar at the bottom of the screen, but usually by holding down an app for a few seconds until the icons start bouncing around.

iOS dock

Now, on iPad, one can drag and drop items to a dock much more easily – just like in Mac OS. This makes iOS’ dock the easiest way to launch your most used apps. This iOS dock also makes the split multitasking view much easier to use.

Add apps to documents just by dragging them down. So in these three photos, I move the App Store app to the dock. Press and hold the app for about a second and then start dragging. You no longer have to wait for the shake effect to start.

Drag an application icon to the dock

Now in this iPad dock image, notice that recently used apps are on the right and other dock apps appear on the left for easy opening.

Mount recently used apps on the right

To access the iOS dock while in another app, simply tap and swipe up from the bottom of the screen a short distance. If you swipe up from the bottom and go to the center of the screen, it will take you back to the home screen. Here’s how swiping works on the iPhone X and XS.

MultiTasking on iPad

iOS maintains the traditional double-click menu button option to view open apps. In iOS 11 for iPad, you’ll also see the Control Center here. In iOS 12, the Control Panel only shows up when you swipe down from the top right, just like the iPhone X.

To see the Control Center, swipe down from the top right

Note that swiping up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the toolbar also shows the same view.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the base with the same view

For more on how to get the most out of Control Center in iOS, check out our recent installments on Customizing Control Center and Using 3D Touch Control Center.

For Split View multitasking:

First, check it out Allows multiple applications enabled in Setting.

Make sure Allow multiple apps in Multitasking & Dock is enabled

Next, open an app you want to use, such as Mail, Word, Pages, or Twitter. Swipe up to see the Dock.

Start dragging the second app from the dock onto the screen, and when you see it start to show up, keep dragging upwards.

Dragging the mail app up and right with Word open opens multitasking

If you drag it up but not on the far right side of the screen, you’ll see a second app overlap the first, something Apple calls a slide-over. In this interface, you can drag and drop between the two apps.

Slider window example

Drag from the solid bar at the top of the second app, to the right, at the top of the screen, to bring the iPad and app into Split View.

Mail & Photos app in Split View

This allows the user, with a single touch, to resize the two windows to their preferred size. So, to drop a picture from Photos into a working email, first expand the Photos window.

Adjust the window size by dragging left or right

Then select the thumbnail and drag it to the email.

Drag the photo to your email and release it

It’s very easy to switch the positions of two apps: just drag from the top handle of an app. Plus, in split view, it’s easy to include a third app in a slide when more information is needed. Things can get a bit wild at this point, though.

Once you have the third app slide over, if you tap on any of the other apps, the third app will be hidden on the right. To review, simply slide from the right edge of the screen to the left. Here I have News and Safari in split view and the App Store in slide over.

News and Safari in split view and the App Store in slide-through

Review your most used productivity apps. Here are some more useful split-screen examples:

  • When opening a message
    • Add photos to your email
    • Check your calendar while emailing
  • MS Word (or Pages) on your iPad
    • Open Photos to add graphics to your document
    • Open the Safari or Chrome browser on your iPad to drag URLs and images into your documents and easily copy and paste text.
    • Open the News app to drop stories into your document – this works better in Pages than in Word.
  • Multitasking also allows video clips, from YouTube or Photos, to run alongside your other apps
  • Also, but only if you use the Password Manager, it will be much easier to enter credentials into the application. The example below uses 1Password.
    • Put 1Password for iPad in your iPad dock
    • Open the app that asks for your credentials
    • Drag 1Password to Slide Over and use 3D Touch to open it.
    • Search for app logins and drag username and password into the app fields for easy login.
Drag logins from 1Password into the iPad app

Finally, note some helpful gestures that aid here. Simply swipe right on a split view or slide across an app to move it off the screen, then swipe left to bring it back. Another good point: in any split view, to instantly access the home screen, pinch four or five fingers together on the screen!

We hope these tips help you to get more out of your iPad with iOS. Interesting!

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