One of the best features of iOS is something you’ll probably never notice: the way it dynamically manages memory and background task, closing them if necessary to make more memory available to new applications.
What you will notice is how easy it is to switch from one app to another: there’s no need to quit one app before you launch another. Instead, you simply move from one to the next and, if the first needs to carry on working in the background – playing music, for example – then it just gets on with it; otherwise, it’s seamlessly put on hold until you want to return to it.
When you don’t want to resume using the app, the fastest option is to use the multitasking bar: instead of tapping the Home button to return to your Home screen and hunt about among all your installed apps, double-tap the Home screen button to see just your recently used apps, then tap the one you want. It will resume from the same place you left off using it – the same note in Notes, the same mailbox in Mail, whatever it may be.
That’s not all, though. There are even more handy controls in the multitasking bar. Here’s a quick guide to the main features of the area that you’ll probably use more than any other on your iPad.
How to use the multitasking bar features
- Switching apps > Double-tap the home button, and a bar appears at the foot of the screen displaying all your recently-used apps. To go to one, tap on its icon in the normal way. To see more, swipe your finger from the right to left. Note that the apps shown are not necessarily running.
- Quitting apps > If an apps hasn’t paused cleanly or you suspect it has crashed (if, for example, your iPad has become unresponsive), then forcing it to quit might hep. In the multitasking bar, tap-and-hold an icon until they all start “jiggling”. Now tap the minus sign on the app.
- Music controls > Got some music playing? If your iPad is not locked, double tap the Home button and then swipe from the left to the right to see the play/pause, next track and previous track buttons. To the right of these, you can open the app you’re using – usually music.
- Orientation lock > To the left of the music controls is the orientation lock. Engage this to stop the screen display changing from portrait to landscape orientation lock icon appears in the status bar.
- AirPlay output > If there’s an AirPlay device within range on the same Wi-Fi network to which your iPad is connected, then an AirPlay symbol appears at the far left of the multitasking bar. Tap it, then select the device you want to send the sound or video output to.
- AirPrint Print center > If there’s a print job being sent to an AirPrint-enabled printer, then an extra icon appears: Print Center. This appears only when you’re printing something, and always at the left end of the multitasking bar. Tap this to view the progress of the print job or cancel it.