How to use the new iPadOS 15 multitasking features

How to use the new iPadOS 15 multitasking features
With iPadOS 15 now officially announced by Apple, we can finally rest assured that it won't be quite the major upgrade for the iPad that we were hoping for. We didn't get desktop-class apps nor desktop-class multitasking.

Nonetheless, the iPad multitasking experience has been improved with iPadOS 15. And if your iPad is running iPadOS 14, it will also get iPadOS 15 this fall.

Whether you already have the iPadOS 15 beta or you're eager to see what kind of multitasking features you'll be getting once the public iPadOS 15 release arrives to your iPad this fall – you've come to the right place.

Here we'll go over the new iPadOS 15 multitasking features and how to use them.

Jump right to:

How to open two apps in Split View

Split View is essentially two apps open at the same time, by default each taking half of the screen. This feature has been around on iPad for quite some time, but has been improved with iPadOS 15.

When you open any single app in iPadOS 15, you'll notice that at the top center there's a new button (three dots) we didn't have before. That's the new multitasking menu.

Once you tap the new multitasking menu button, it will reveal three other buttons. Pressing each one respectively will do the following: Full Screen, Split View, Slide Over.

Pressing the middle button will enter Split View. Your current app will move to the side and you can now pick another app to open alongside it. Simply tap on any app on your home screen or dock. You can even open Safari twice (two pages in Split View).

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In our case, we've opened the Files app, so now we have both Files and Safari open in Split View. Note that now each one has the multitasking menu (the three dots at the top center of the app).

You can choose to press it, and again you'll be able to enter Full Screen (for the respective app), Split View (does nothing when you're already in Split View) and Slide Over, which will open the respective app in a popup window, the other app will enter Full Screen).

New ways to enter Split View

If you've been an iPad user for a while, you may remember that you could only drag and drop apps from the dock over the current app, in order to enter Split View. But as explained above, that's no longer the case, as in iPadOS 15 you can also pick apps from your home screen.

However, there are other new additions to Split View. For example, when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold, you'll see all of your open apps, like that:

But now, in iPadOS 15, you can finally drag one of those app windows into another one to enter Split View!

Some of us always tried to do that in iPadOS 14 instinctively with no luck, so it's good to see that it's finally working in iPadOS 15.

How to change the size of Split View apps

If you've entered Split View by following the guide above, you may notice that there's a little line between the two apps, as shown below.

This is not a new feature, but we might as well go over it too. To resize your Split View apps, in order to see one on a larger portion of the screen and another in what is essentially mobile-phone size, simply press and hold that line and move it a few inches to the left or right, then release it.

And now you've changed the size of your Split View apps. Unfortunately, you can't resize them any more precisely even in iPadOS 15. Split View apps can only either take 50% of the screen each, or like this, where one app takes about two-thirds of it.

How to exit Split View

To exit Split View, simply press and hold that separator line again, but drag it all the way to the left or right edges of the screen. Only one of the apps will remain, and in Full Screen.

However, there's a new alternative way to exit Split View on iPadOS 15 and that is to press the multitasking menu again (three dots at the top center of each open app). Then simply press the first button (Full Screen). It will make the respective app change to Full Screen. The other app will be closed.

How to switch Split View apps' positions

When you're in Split View and you want the app to the right to be moved to the left, and vice-versa, the way to do it is pretty intuitive.

Simply press and hold the multitasking menu (three dots) and move your finger to the other half of the screen. Release, and the apps will switch sides.

You can alternatively press and hold the multitasking menu, but move your finger just an inch down and release to make the app change into a Slide Over popup instead.

How to do a Quick Note in iPadOS 15

Quick Note is a new feature that requires an Apple Pencil, and makes it easy and quick to jot down notes, no matter which apps you have open on your iPad (if any).

Simply take your Apple Pencil and "draw" a line from the bottom-right corner of the screen towards the center.

This gesture will open a Quick Note over any app (or the home screen) in a popup window.

That's not all! Your Quick Note can remain open as you switch to other apps, say Safari, as shown below.

If you have an open page and an open Quick Note, you'll get the option to "Add Link" (to the current page) inside the note. You can even select text from the open page, and you'll get the option to "Add to Quick Note".

This new iPadOS 15 feature will likely be invaluable to many students and professionals, saving them quite a bit of time during note taking and doing research.

You can swipe away the Quick Note to an edge of the screen just like you can with a popup video, so it stays open without taking screen space. Or, if you're done with the Quick Note for now, swipe it back to the bottom-right corner of the screen to close it.

By the way, if you've added a link to a page in a Quick Note and later visit that same page in Safari, the relevant note will show up the first time, in case you need it again.

All of this makes the Notes app much more intuitive, easier and faster to use in iPadOS 15.

Manage multiple open windows in iPadOS 15

In iPadOS 15, it's a bit easier to keep track of the multiple instances of an app you may have open. For example, you've opened a Safari page, but another instance of Safari also remains from when you used it in Split View. Or you had two instances of the Files app open.

In iPadOS 15, once you open an app with several instances already open, you'll see all the instances as little windows at the bottom of the screen. From there, you can also easily pick which instance you wish to go back to or even add a "New Window".

If there's more than one instance, you can swipe up the rest in order to close them.

Alternatively, to see all open instances of the current app, you can press the multitasking menu (the three dots at the top center of the app).

Access all of your apps from the Dock (App Library)

In iPadOS 15 Apple brings the App Library we've already had on iPhones. The App Library resides on your dock and when you tap it, it will show you all of your installed apps.

This could also potentially make your multitasking faster, as you can open the App Library via the dock at any time, press and hold any app from it and drag it over a current app to enter Split View or Slide Over.

And those are pretty much the new iPadOS 15 multitasking features. It's not the major iPad upgrade we may have been hoping for, but multitasking on Apple's tablet has become easier and more intuitive nonetheless.

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