iOS 9: iPad can do Split View + Picture in Picture, plus a bonus tip

Some of my favorite new features in iOS 9—Split View, Slide Over, and Picture in Picture—are exclusive to iPad.

In short, when iPad is in landscape, swipe in from the right to create a Slide Over, a new column in which to fit a second app. Now tap the bar next to it to switch from Slide Over to Split View, so both apps now get their own space.

From there you can expand that column into a Split View so both apps get equal screen space. Picture in Picture is just what it sounds like: video apps can now pop out their viewer ‘on top’ of other apps, so you can browse, work on email, or do just about anything you want while watching or listening to something. You can even move the window to any corner of your screen, and it has basic controls like pause and close.

But today I discovered you can do Split View and Picture in Picture at the same time. Once you enter Split View, make one of the apps a video app that has updated to support PiP, such as Apple’s Videos app or ProTube (as of this writing, YouTube does not yet support PiP). Tap the PiP option on the video (usually next to the AirPlay button), then switch out your video app for something else.

Now you have two apps—say, Safari and Tweetbotand  a video playing in a thumbnail view thanks to PiP. This is one of the many ways that, for me, the iPad has become better than working on a Mac.

Bonus Split View tip

When you enable Split View, the app on the right becomes sort of what I would call an ‘anchor app’. If you enter the app switcher and pick a new app, it will swap into the left app slot, regardless of whether Split View is a right column or you split your screen down the middle.

In other words: plan on sticking with one app on the right side, and switching out apps on the left. PiP can float wherever you want.