iOS 9: how to use the split screen and picture in picture features on the new Apple iPads

iOS 9: how to use the split screen and picture in picture features on the new Apple iPads
If you've ever wondered how to use the Split Screen/View and the Picture in Picture features in iOS 9, then you've landed on the right page.

When Apple launched iOS 9 this past summer, one of the most fundamental changes that the company brought to its mobile operating system were the new multitasking capabilities. 

While some of the most hardcore iPhone users were saddened to learn that both Split View and Picture in Picture are currently limited to the latest iPads, there can be no denying that the new multitasking skills felt like bliss to iPad owners looking to get some productivity work done on their slabs.

How to use the iOS 9 split-screen feature on your iPad


Apple calls it the Split View, but this is just a marketing term that the company uses to define what's commonly known as a split screen feature. Tomato, tomato, it really makes no difference to us, so let's get on to it:

Step 1. Open an app that supports the iOS 9 split-screen feature. Most of the built-in iPad apps offer support for this true multitasking capability, as do Microsoft's Word and Excel, two of the most popular apps among productivity-minded iPad owners. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell which apps come with support for Split View, meaning that you'll just have to try them out individually.

Step 2. Swipe from the right side of the display. A secondary app will open in the right-hand portion of the screen. 

Step 3. To select the app that goes in this new window, swipe down from the top side of the secondary app. A list of compatible apps should now be revealed to you. Choose the one that you want to open.

Step 4. Now that both apps are on the screen, you can manually adjust the divider between them.

Note: The iOS 9 split-screen feature is currently limited to the Apple iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 4, and the iPad Pro

How to use the iOS 9 Picture in Picture feature on your iPad



As the name suggests, the iOS 9 Picture in Picture feature allows iPad owners to look at videos while working in another app. Apple tweaked with the PiP concept a bit, and also allows iPad users to replace a traditional video with a FaceTime video call, which is a rather interesting function.

Step 1. When watching a movie using the iOS 9 Movies app or when you're in a video call, press the physical home button. The video or video call will now resize to take up only a portion of the display.

Step 2. Now you can open up whichever app you like. Note that you can move the video around or re-size the video to eat up more or less of the screen real estate.

Step 3. To load the video in full screen again, tap it, then hit the "Full Screen" button in the bottom right corner.

Note: Picture in Picture is available for the iPad Air, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 2 or later.

That's it, guys! By now you should by highly competent in maneuvring the iOS 9 split-screen and Picture in Picture multitasking capabilities. 

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14 Comments

1. meanestgenius

Posts: 22043; Member since: May 28, 2014

I still don't see why Apple didn't implement these features on the 6s/6s+ since they have sufficient enough RAM, but I guess Apple needed some selling points for the iPhone 7.

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5692; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, even the recent 1GB iPhones/iPad should have these features There are Cydia/Xposed mods that bring these features to older 1GB phones/tablets

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31034; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'm still scratching my head on this one. I'd take these features over friggin 3D Touch any day.

11. AlikMalix unregistered

You really want that splitscreen? huh.. Maybe the APK for 3rd party support wasn't ready - not making excuses for apple.. but I think 3D touch is a prelude for in-screen FP development, this way they'll increase screen on a same footprint and with bigger screen - make more sense to offer splitscreen. I never understand Apple logic - right up until they release certain features... But yeah, with AnandTech giving Apple the Choice Award for their latest hardware in 6s - I dont see why the new iPhones cant handle Splitscreen for those that could benefit from it (somehow).

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31034; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Bro, I use that feature so much. It's the main reason, I use my note more than my 6S Plus.

3. twens

Posts: 1175; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

It's apple of cos. They need to save new features for future iPhones. I'm on 6 plus and don't feel a need to update to 6s plus. My phone is jailbroken on iOS 9.0.2 and I have almost all the features of the 6s plus. That alone tells me apple just rip us off in their S versions.

4. AlikMalix unregistered

Riiiight.... Seriously dude?

6. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Of course Apple omit features so they can include it in the S model just like how every manufacturer won't throw every available feature at a phone because they want people buying new phones every year.

9. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Every phone maker does this. News flash. As well apple is built on a 2yr life cycle. If you have a non s version you tend to update to non s versions, if you have the s version you tend to update to the s versions.

5. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

So Apple finally gets into this decade with multitasking.

10. AlikMalix unregistered

So android finally gets into this decade with proper app permissions. Lets see how long it will take for Android to finally "get into this decade" of no bloatware, fully move into 64bit, maybe just maybe provide face-to-face product support. See? Anyone can pick some feature and make it sound like it's a big deal. For the rest, not dissing Android, just showing Baracus his own medicine...

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 31034; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

iOS 9 for iPad, is the real iOS 9.

13. ankiro

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 25, 2015

Guys please tell me if split view feature support dropbox and excel simultaneously???

14. ankiro

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 25, 2015

Anyone there??

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