The iPadOS 13 update brings new window management features that almost turn the iPad into a laptop replacement. With it, you can open multiple windows of the same app. Here’s how this works on the iPad.
Create a New Window Using Drag and Drop
iPadOS 13 picks up where iOS 11’s drag-and-drop feature left off. In iOS 11, you could select elements, text, and links and then drop them into another app.
Now, you can do the same with parts of an app. This can be a note in the Notes app, an email in the Mail app, or a link in Safari. The simplest way to learn this new mechanism is by using Safari as an example.
Open a website in Safari, tap and hold on a link, and move your finger. You have just picked up a link.
Now, move your finger to the right edge of the screen untill you see a black bar and a Safari icon.
When you lift your finger, iPadOS will create a new Safari window with the link open.
If you want to open the window in a floating Slide Over panel, drag the link (or any element you’ve picked up) right to the edge of the screen, but stop before the black bar appears.
The page will open in a Slide Over panel when you lift your finger.
Similarly, you can open a link from Safari in a new full-screen window by dragging the link to the top of the screen. When you let go, it will open the Safari window in a new space.
Some apps (like Safari) will include an “Open in New Window” option in a contextual menu. If you can press and hold to expand or open a page in an app, you’ll see this option.
Manage and Close Windows Using App Expose
macOS users will be familiar with App Expose. Just like on the Mac, App Expose on iPadOS 13 is used to list and manage all open windows for a given app.
To get to the App Expose mode, swipe up a bit from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Dock while the app is open on the screen. You’ll see the current app’s icon in the Dock. Tap on it.
When you tap on an app icon from the Dock—while the app is already open—you’ll be taken to the App Expose view.
Here, you’ll see all the open windows (full screen, Split View, and Slide Over) for the app across all of the Spaces. Tap on any of the windows to switch to it. If you want to quit a particular window or Space, just swipe up to dismiss it.
It’s important to note that the App Switcher will also list all of the open windows for all apps. You can swipe up on a single window or a multi-window Space to dismiss it.
What if you want to open App Expose for an app that’s not on the Dock? You can do this by using the new contextual app menus.
Go to the home screen and tap and hold on the app icon. From here, if multiple windows are open for the app, you’ll see a new option called “Show All Windows.” Tap on it to open App Expose.
Create a New Window Using App Expose
What if you want to start with a new blank window for a given app? For example, what if you want to create another window in Safari?
You can do this by using the new App Expose feature. As described above, start by tapping on the current app’s icon from the Dock (after slightly swiping up from the bottom).
Here, you’ll see a “Plus” icon in the top-right corner. Tap on it to create a new blank window.
Practice Makes Perfect
At first glance, this might seem a bit complicated because Apple has not done a great job highlighting these features. Many are hidden behind drag-and-drop options that don’t work on all elements.
As you use iPadOS 13 and as more apps start getting updates that support these features, just try to tap and hold on elements of an app to see if you can drag them out to create a window. Keep experimenting, and you’ll start to figure out when multitasking features work and when they don’t.
This is just one of the many new features in iPadOS 13 that brings the iPad closer to a real computer.
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