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iPadOS takes multitasking to new heights

Your first order of business is to sift through the branding confusion.  Effective this month, it’s now macOS® 10.15 Catalina for your Mac®, iOS 13 for your iPhone® and iPadOS™13 for your iPad®.  Got it?

For Apple®, it’s all about creating a dynamic and seamless user experience across all devices in its ecosystem.  And to that end, this year’s OS updates align with different products with different uses and different needs … that all play nicely together.  Got it?

iPadOS 13 debuts with this new generation of iPad Pro®, iPad, iPad mini and iPad Air® devices.  iPadOS serves to recognize that iPad continues to grow into its own computing platform.  So while iPadOS was built on the same foundation as iOS, it delivers a truly unique and distinct experience for iPad users.

The redesigns are visually dramatic.  The Home screen takes advantage of the large iPad display and sports more icons and pin-ready widgets.  A desktop-class version of Safari® works better with complex web apps.  Sidecar lets you use the iPad as a Mac’s second screen or graphic tablet.  And there’s a new floating keyboard you can use for thumb-typing or with one hand.

Now multitasking on an iPad has never been easier.  Slide Over and Spilt View have made working with multiple apps effortless, allowing you to take workflows to a higher level in more intuitive ways.  And when you pair an iPad with a Smart Keyboard™, you can switch between apps, display a second app in a Slide Over panel that floats atop another app or make two apps share the screen in Split View.  

Yes, there is a learning curve.  But once committed to muscle memory, you’ll master multiple tasks you only thought possible using a Mac.  Here are some examples:

Switch Between Apps

It’s now a key aspect when working with iPad.  Apple has designed multiple ways to switch between apps so you can choose the path(s) that best fit your style.  Practice them all!

– Press the Home button and, on the Home screen, tap another app’s icon.

– Swipe down on the Home screen to display Siri® app suggestions and then search for any app.

– Within an app, swipe left or right with four fingers to switch to the previous or next app.

– Within an app, swipe up from below the bottom of the screen to reveal the Dock; and then tap an icon.

– After revealing the Dock, keep swiping up to display the app-switching screen; and then tap an app thumbnail to switch to it.  Swipe right to see less recently used apps.

– On a physical keyboard, press Command-Tab to bring up a Mac-like app switcher.  Then release both keys quickly to switch to the previous app instantly, or keep Command down while you press Tab repeatedly to move sequentially among the shown apps, letting up on Command to switch.  While the app switcher is shown, you can also tap an icon in it.

Display an App in Slide Over

Slide Over keeps all your favorite apps at the ready when you need them.  If you are working in Safari, for example, and need to bounce back to a stock market or sports update, there’s no need keep those apps visible or even toggle between them.  With Slide Over, you can put your eTrade or Pittsburgh Penguins app in a panel that floats over Safari and then display it whenever you want.  Cool!

The easiest way to put an app in a Slide Over panel is to use the Dock, so this technique works best if the app’s icon is already on the Dock.  For instance, while you’re in Safari, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to display the Dock. Then touch and hold the app’s icon until it dims slightly.  Keeping your finger down, drag the icon over Safari until it becomes a vertical lozenge.  Lift your finger, and your app of choice will appear in Slide Over.  This note — If you get a horizontal rectangle instead of a vertical lozenge, the app won’t work in Slide Over because it needs a larger window.

Open Multiple Apps in Split View

Imagine you want to email someone a photo you took, so you want Mail and Photos showing at the same time.  Displaying two apps side-by-side in Split View is nearly the same action as Slide Over.  The difference is, instead of dropping the app lozenge on top of the current app, you drag it to the far left or right of the screen, and drop it once the screen shows a 90/10 split.  Then after you drop, the split changes to 50/50.

Drag the handle between the apps to switch to a 70/30 or 30/70 split; if you drag the handle all the way to one side of the screen, the app that’s shrinking in size disappears entirely.  Both apps in Split View have a handle at the top as well, and dragging one of those down slightly converts that app into a Slide Over panel.

If you’ve become comfortable with Split View, note that you can also grab an app by that handle and drop it to the left or right of another app — switch apps with your other hand — to move it to another Split View space.

New in iPadOS is the capability to open multiple windows from the same app.  Not all apps support this (or Split View at all), but Safari and Notes are good examples of apps that do.  To do this, while in the app, bring up the Dock, tap the app’s icon, and then tap the + button in the upper-right corner of the screen.

There are more direct ways of opening multiple windows from the same app, too. In Safari, tap and hold the Tabs icon (two stacked squares) and then tap Open New Window to get a second Safari window. You can also drag a tab from Safari’s Tab bar to the side of the screen to open it in Split View.

Similarly, you can drag notes from the sidebar in Notes to open them in Split View, either as a second Notes window within the same space, or as an addition to a new Split View space.

With all these possibilities, it’s easy to get confused about what’s open where. The iPadOS app switcher now displays thumbnails of the Split View spaces so you can easily switch among them.  And, with the new App Expose, you can see all the spaces you have open just by tapping the icon in the Dock.

Safari bulks up on iPad

While multitasking, browsing the Internet on iPad has never been more immersive.  With iPadOS, Safari now displays a desktop version that’s scaled for the large iPad display and automatically optimized for touch input.  Faster and more fluid scrolling makes web browsing more engaging than ever.

Download Manager enables you to see your active and recent downloads in Safari, and then access them easily from the new Downloads folder in Files.

Apple contends your next PC should be an iPad.  And while iPadOS takes great strides toward making that a reality, working with new technologies such as Slide Over and Split View will certainly take practice.

We can help.  As this has been a somewhat buggy year for upgrades, let CranstonIT put iPadOS 13 through its paces before you do.  Let us shake out the bugs and test-drive the new features first.  Call us with any of your Apple questions at 888-813-5558 or email us at support@cranstonit.com