What exactly is iOS multitasking? Is it possible to do this successfully with our iPad and do we really need to? One of the best things about using computers whether they are laptop computers, desktop computers, tablets or the phones in our pockets is that you can set them to do a task and let them get on with it. So while the computer is doing one thing you can be doing something else with another application. That is not necessarily what most people think of when they think of iOS multitasking. What comes to mind usually is the ability to see more than one thing on screen at the same time. This would be something like watching a movie in a small window, picture in picture, while working on something else in the rest of the screen. You do have to wonder whether not concentrating on the main item is detrimental to the job you’re doing at the time. If your mind is working fully with the job in hand in a spreadsheet or a text document, how much information is going into your head from the video playing on the side. Which ever portion of your computing experience is getting the attention of your brain then the extra visual input is just going to be distracting. We all know plenty of people, often women, who like to say they are good at multitasking. Realistically I think I would like to say it is better to concentrate on one single job and do it properly. Get that project finished and then move onto the next thing.
Split screen view on iOS
There is justifiably a good reason for having a split view on your iOS screen. That’s when one single task you are working on requires two applications at the same time. Typically this will be one side of the screen is for the input of your information, thoughts and ideas. The other side of the screen is for reference purposes and that could be various types of document including video, text documents with information such as PDFs and so on. You could be looking at some notes you’ve taken earlier using the iOS Notes application. This really is what we mean by iOS multitasking. It would work out well to use the application Ulysses on either the left or the right of screen. On the other side you can choose from a number of options. You might open an application looking into Reddit in order to get the information from the questions and from the answers found on that website. Another possibility would be to have an RSS reader open in which you could read from various news sources.
You have a couple of choices with the split screen view. Drag your finger in from the right-hand side and the split between applications will first all go to about a third of the way across. Sometimes you can leave it like this and have the larger part of the screen just for your main application. Seeing whatever is in that smaller section is enough for gathering the information or reminders. If that type of split doesn’t work for you then pull the dividing line across to the centre of the screen. When you want to do some typing on either side of the split screen view the keyboard comes up and fills the bottom part of the screen. Whatever you type in goes to the area on the screen where the cursor is situated. Just move the cursor over to the side if you want to input data into the other application. That’s about it, it’s really easy to do iOS multitasking. When you have finished with your second application just put your finger on the split and drag it over to the right side of the screen. There does need to be some improvement in the way you choose the secondary application you want to use. What you have now is the option to drag from the top of the screen downwards to show all of the applications available to use for your iOS multitasking. This isn’t a good way of doing it because you may have to scroll through a large number of applications to get to the one you want. I’m really hoping that in iOS 10 this selection of application for the iOS multitasking will improve. What it needs is to have smaller icons to choose from and a way to do a search for the one you want. I have a lot of applications that will work on this iOS split screen and it takes a long time to scroll through all of the apps available.
iOS multitasking on the iPad Pro
When using the larger version of the iPad Pro, the split screen multitasking works very well in terms of space. I haven’t tried it yet on the smaller, baby iPad Pro. Maybe I should have given it a try when I was in the Apple Store in Barcelona on Tuesday. Another improvement we may see at some point in time with a version of the iOS operating system is the ability to drag-and-drop. Wouldn’t it be nice to select an area of text on one side of the split screen and to drag it and drop it onto the application on the other side. Because of the sandboxing of the iOS applications this may not be in any way possible. Are there any improvements you’d like to see from Apple with regards iOS multitasking? Send me an email tell me what you think about this way of working on the iPad. Are you a big user of the split screen view or the picture in picture you can do with a video? What sort of improvements would you like to see to make your iOS workflow better and more efficient?
Doing work on your iPhone
You don’t get the split screen view on the iPhone and to change from one application to another you need to do a double-click on the home button. Then you can swipe through open applications. There are the limitations of the smaller screen which can’t be got around as yet. I don’t think much happens within an application when it is in the background. This is why we need a choice in the size of device and working area. Sometimes it’s better to have the ultra portability of a computer that is your iPhone. Other times the best way to do your work is to grab the iPad and take advantage of the larger screen space.