5 great iPad productivity features in iOS 9 – and how to use them

iPad really benefits with iOS 9

Apple, iPad, iOS 9, enterprise, productivity, PC replacement, tablets

Apple’s iOS 9 is still in beta, but final release date is closing in. Here  are five great features to look forward to if you happen to be an iPad user.


iOS 9 lets you look at two apps at once using Slide Over. The second app appears beside your current app within a sidebar to the right of your screen. This feaure should help you when researching or writing an email while working on something else. You activate Slide Over by placing your finger toward the center  right of your display, tap and hold and swipe to the left. Available apps will then appear in the sidebar and you can tap the one you wish to use. To change the second app just just tap the original app to end the session and then activate Slide Over again to choose a new app.


Slide Over seems useful, but Split View in iOS 9 is more powerful. It lets you run two apps in one window, though the feature only works with iPad Air 2 models and later. You access it in a very similar fashion to Slide Over:

Launch an app

Now tap on finger in the center right area of the display and swipe left to open Slide Over.

Choose the second app.

When the app opens in the sidebar, tap on the vertical line in the middle of the sidebar and drag this to the left.

The second app will now become active in the main screen.

You can define how much space each app should have available by dragging the line between the two, or swipe that line right back to the right to return to single app view.


When you’re working in another app and a Facetime video call comes in, you will be able to take that call within a smaller window while remaining in the other app. This applies to other forms of video playback and shows up as an icon (two opposite facing arrows pointing NE and SW) at the lower left of the screen when available, just pinch in or out to make the inline picture larger or smaller. This isn’t just a consumer-focused enhancement -- it promises to be an excellent research tool when taking notes during a Webinar, for example.


As I previously reported, iOS 9 introduces a 4-x-4 icon grid in folders on iPad, translating into the ability to stash up to 105 apps inside each folder.


iOS 9’s QuickType keyboard is far more versatile. Among other features it will now show lowercase letters so you know when Caps Lock is active. The new shortcut bar offers useful tools like cut, copy, and paste and clipboard functions. Brand new camera and attachments controls also feature in the release. Improved touch support means you will be able to move the text cursor quickly around the screen using two fingers. You can also use external keyboard shortcuts


iOS 9 is the most backward compatible OS release yet. For iPad users it should be compatible with iPad 2 models and younger and all iPad mini models. Not all features will work on all models.


Apple offers iOS 9 beta to the public via its public beta testing scheme, though please don’t use your main device as a beta testing unit – things go wrong during beta testing and this is why such testing exists. iOS 9 beta is currently at version 5 and introduces some new tweaks that may interest iPad users, including slightly tweaked keyboard icons for Delete, Shift and Dictation.

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