The iPad offers some multitasking features that can show two apps on screen at once, Slide Over and Split View. Not every app is compatible with multitasking, but Apple’s native apps – Mail, Photos, Notes, Calendar and so on – are a sure bet, and many other third-party apps are also compatible with these functions.

Bear in mind that some older versions of the iPad aren’t compatible with these multitasking features.

Slide Over

From any compatible app, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the dock. Find the second app you want to use and tap and hold its icon to pick it up. You can then drag the icon anywhere over the first app to drop it into place, launching an overlay called Slide Over that runs a small version of the second app on top of the first.

You can drag the Slide Over view by the gray handle on top of the window to reposition it. Sliding it all the way off-screen will remove the view completely. Then, just swipe in from the same side to make it reappear.

Open multiple apps in Slide Over, and you can switch between them by swiping along the bottom of the current one, or swipe up to show all of them at once.

Split View

This is a true multitasking feature that lets you use two apps simultaneously, side-by-side. To activate it, drag an app up from the dock and pause at the side of your iPad’s screen for a second, until the two windows position themselves alongside one another. In this mode you will see a black bar separating the two apps – you can drag this left or right to adjust the relative sizes of the apps. They can either occupy half the display each, or you can give one app twice as much room as the other.

In Split View mode, you can use both apps at once, with functions such as copy and paste working between the two. It’s even possible to launch multiple instances of a single app simultaneously. You can then use Split View to quickly shift items between different sections of the same app. For example, you could open two different documents in Notes to refer and work with both at once.

Swiping the black bar all the way to the left or right of the screen will close one app and leave you working with one full-screen app, as usual.

App exposé

As the previous two tips show, it’s quite possible to have multiple versions of a single app open in a variety of configurations.

If you want to see all of the app versions that are open at any one time, drag up to bring up the app dock and press and hold on the app in question. Now tap Show All Windows.

From this view, you can tap to enter app instances, swipe up to close them, or even tap the +button to open another new version of the app.