This Small Change Would Revolutionize iPad Multitasking in iPadOS 14

iPadOS 14 Multiasking Concept Credit: Rutherling
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Apple has been steadily improving the multitasking abilities of its iPad lineup, but it isn’t perfect. One concept designer thinks the answer may be a small change that’s simple, but powerful.

Multitasking features like Split View and Slide Over first appeared on the iPad back in iOS 9, but new functionality in iOS 11 pretty much made Split View compatible only with apps that are in the Dock.

That may be fine for some users, but it’s somewhat annoying for most.

The problem, of course, is that not all of your apps actually show up in the Dock. If you need access to an app that’s on the home screen, you’ll need to stop whatever you’re doing to head back home. That isn’t exactly intuitive or seamless in many scenarios.

But a design student has come up with a simple solution: the ability to easily access the home screen from multitasking.

You can see the results of that simple feature in a video tommy @Rutherling posted to Twitter yesterday. There’s nothing fancy going on, but it’s a clever UX design nonetheless.

Basically, Tommy envisions that iPadOS will let users access the app grid and Home screen from within Split View by just swiping one of the two open apps away.

The other app will remain open in Split View, letting users easily pick and choose apps to display side-by-side.

Of course, the concept feature in its current form interferes with some system functions, like Slide Over. But it is just a concept, and Apple could undoubtedly implement the feature in a way that doesn’t conflict with anything else.

Apple has a vested interest in improving the multitasking on its iPads, too. The iPadOS and iOS split proves that Apple wants the iPad to sport deeper computer-like features than its mobile devices. Improved multitasking is an integral part of that.

And while we don’t know what iPadOS 14 will bring, some type of gesture-based feature that makes multitasking smoother and more intuitive would go a long way toward making the iPad a serious computer replacement.

In any case, we’ll just have to wait until WWDC ’20 in June to see what Apple has in store for iPadOS 14.

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