iPad User Using Universal Search to Quickly Add Apps to Split View
Khamosh Pathak

Split View on iPad is great when you want to run two apps side-by-side. But adding a second app can be convoluted unless you’re using the tablet with a keyboard. Here’s how to quickly open iPad apps in Split View from search using a keyboard.

You might be familiar with the traditional method of using Split View on your iPad. You swipe up to bring up the Dock and drag an app to the edge of the screen to add it to Split View. But what if the app that you want to add isn’t in the Dock?

How to Quickly Open iPad Apps in Split View Using Universal Search

The Universal Search feature introduced in iPadOS 14 simplifies the multitasking feature by letting you add any app to Split View.

After opening an app on your iPad, use the Command+Space keyboard shortcut on your keyboard to bring up the floating Universal Search feature. If you don’t have a keyboard attached, you can use the AssistiveTouch feature (more on that in the section below).

RELATED: How to Open Apps, Websites, and Shortcuts from Search on iPhone and iPad

Now, search for the second app that you want to add to Split View.

Search for Another App

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From the search results, press and hold the app icon and drag it out of the search window.

Now, drag it to the right edge of the iPad screen, and lift your finger to dock it to the right side.

Drop App To Right Edge of iPad

You can use the handle icon between the two apps to resize them.

Two Apps in Split View

If you want to exit “Split View,” drag the handle icon to the right edge of the screen.

Drag Handle to Exit Split View

You can use this trick to replace an existing app in Split View, or you can add an app as a floating Slide Over window as well.

RELATED: How to Use Floating Apps (Slide Over) on an iPad

How to Open Universal Search from Anywhere without a Keyboard

As we mentioned above, there’s a workaround to get this feature even if you don’t use your iPad with a keyboard. AssistiveTouch is an accessibility feature that brings a floating Home button with quick gesture shortcuts to your display. You can assign a double-tap gesture to the floating Home button that will quickly open “Universal Search” on top of the current app.

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To enable this feature, open the “Settings” app. From there, go to the “Accessibility” section. Here, choose the “Touch” option.

Select Touch from Accessibility

Select the “AssisitiveTouch” option.

Select AssistiveTouch

Enable the feature from the top and then select the “Double Tap” option.

Double Tap Gesture in AssistiveTouch

Tap “Spotlight” from the list.

Select Spotlight

Now, you can double-tap the “AssisitiveTouch” button to bring up Universal Search. Then, search for the app and drag it to the right edge of the screen to enter “Split View” (as detailed above).


Did you know, you can supercharge the AssistiveTouch feature by quickly enabling it using Accessibility Shortcuts?

RELATED: How to Quickly Enable or Disable AssistiveTouch on iPhone and iPad

Profile Photo for Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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