Apple recently announced iOS 11 for the iPhone and the iPad and at least as of now, iOS 11 sounds like a bigger deal mainly for the iPad than the iPhone. I installed iOS 11 public beta on my iPad Pro (2016) 9.7” model and have been impressed much by it, so far. Apple now definitely realizes the importance of how powerful an iPad iOS needs to be and seems to be headed in the right direction. One of the significant changes that was announced in iOS 11 was the multitasking feature on the iPad and specifically on how to use split screen on iPad. This is a look ahead of these two tasks on iOS 11 (not a review as iOS 11 is just a beta as of now).
Multitasking on iOS
Multitasking or using more than one App and managing multiple open Apps is a significant need for many computer users and iOS on the iPad has been lacking this feature for a while. But when Apple introduced multitasking (first) and then also split view (more recently) it comes as a welcome feature add to many iPad users, mainly the Pro ones. Initially, to get to a screen where you can see all the Apps that are open currently on your iOS device, you had to double click on the home button and a slide of cards stacked sideways used to open up. You can then swipe left and right to go to the one you want and also swipe up to kill the App from running in the background.
On iOS 11 for the iPad, to get to the multitasking pane, you can either double click the home button or swipe up from the bottom of the bezel and continue even after the new dock shows (without lifting your finger off the screen) up to get to the new multitasking pane that also contains the new Control Center, as shown in the gif below. Once there, as before you can swipe left or right to see the open Apps and also swipe up on the Apps to kill them from running, even in the background.
The multitasking pane scales well in both the portrait and the landscape modes as shown below, though it doesn't make much sense in using the split screen feature (that I am going to talk about later in this post) in portrait mode in most cases.
How to use split screen on iPad with iOS 11
To get to the split view or split screen view on the iPad with iOS 11, first swipe up from the bottom of the screen with the currently active App on screen. You will get to the dock and the dock shows the Apps that you have chosen to dock on its left and the currently running (in the background) Apps (that are not docked on the left) to its right side. Though currently not all the open Apps show up on the right side of the dock all the time. I think this is just a bug in the beta release. Now click on the App icon of the new App and drag it up towards the main screen and you should see the icon elongate into a taller rectangle. Now you can drag it to either side of the screen and dock it there. Then you can use the slider in the middle to adjust the widths of both the Apps. You can also manipulate either one of the Apps to make them floating instead of being permanently docked by using the horizontal bar on top of each of the open App, as shown below.
Note that not all the Apps work in Split View as the developers need to enable it in the back end. Like seen below the App, Pocket, doesn't work in split view and clicking and dragging it up only makes the App icon a bigger square that you cannot drop anywhere on the screen.
Another current limitation of this feature on iOS 11 is that you can only use two Apps side by side at the same time, not more than two. With two Apps on the screen in split view mode if you try to bring in a third App the OS will only allow you to drop the new App in place of either of the two current Apps as shown below.
Finally Split View technically works in portrait mode as well as shown below, though I found it useful only in very rare cases in my daily workflow.
Like many other additions to iOS 11, split screen or split view and the multitasking feature on the iPad is getting its share of improvements. While it is far from being perfect or even adequate, the incremental additions seem to be making meaningful strides in making iOS on the iPad more powerful and productive to use.