iPad Multitasking: The ultimate guide

Ipados 15 Multitasking Menu
Ipados 15 Multitasking Menu (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

Ipad Mini Multitasking App Switcher

Ipad Mini Multitasking App Switcher (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

If you like using multiple apps on your iPad, Apple has a bunch of multitasking options for you in iOS and iPadOS. You can keep two windows side-by-side with Split View, or temporarily bring in a new app window to fire off a quick message or some simple research with Slide Over.

You can also keep watching video from the web or an app while carrying on with other tasks thanks to picture-in-picture support, jot something down with Quick Note, and switch between multiple windows of the same app with the Shelf.

Here's your guide to how to use all of the best iPad multitasking features.

How to use Slide Over and Split View on iPad

iPads offer lots of multitasking tools that are worth using to save time, perform tasks in new ways, and yes, have more fun.

You can use iPadOS's built-in Slide Over and Split View modes in a few different ways in order to have two (or more) different apps open at the same time. You can even have two instances of the same app open meaning you can do things like set up a two-window Safari split view. This works in various Apple apps as well as those from third parties.

How to enable Picture-in-Picture mode on iPad

iPad Multitasking: The Ultimate Guide

How to enable Picture-in-Picture mode on your iPad (Image credit: iMore)

With iPadOS Picture-in-Picture (PiP), you can view video from the web or an app that supports the feature on your iPad while still using and working with other apps. It even works in conjunction with Split View.

You can re-size and move the PiP window around your iPad's screen so it doesn't block any important content in your other open apps or even swipe it off the screen temporarily without interrupting playback.

How to use Quick Note on iPad

Ipados 15 Preview Hero

Ipados 15 Preview Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Quick Note is a brand new multitasking feature that arrived with iPadOS 15. It gives you an easy-access notepad for jotting down any information you need without disturbing your current multitasking setup.

You can access your Quick Notes with a swipe from the bottom right corner of your iPad's screen with your finger or Apple Pencil. The feature supports text, Apple Pencil handwriting, links, images, and more.

How to use the Shelf on iPad

Ipados 15 Multitasking Shelf

Ipados 15 Multitasking Shelf (Image credit: Apple)

A further improvement to multitasking in iPadOS 15 came in the form of the Shelf. When using an app that has multiple windows open, you can invoke the Shelf to easily switch between them.

How to use keyboard shortcuts on iPad

Ipad Mini 6 Review Size Vs Ipad Pro

Ipad Mini 6 Review Size Vs Ipad Pro (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

Though not a multitasking feature per se, there is now a fully-featured set of keyboard shortcuts in iPadOS that make it super easy to switch between apps, set up multitasking Split Views, interact with Siri, and more.

If you have a wireless keyboard or a keyboard case like Apple's Magic Keyboard for your iPad, you may find keyboard shortcuts to be a real boon to your productivity.

Updated October 2021: Updated for iPadOS 15.

Adam Oram

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.