Hand pointing to an iPad which is displaying the Split View.

iPad Split View and VoiceOver: Research and Homework Tool

iOS 11 introduces a great new feature to assist students with research and homework.

In the 21st Century classroom, students are frequently required to do research via Internet searches. Students often research and then they copy/paste their research or take notes about their research into a Pages, Google Docs or Word document. Previously, students would open two apps such as Safari and Pages and either use a four finger swipe left/right to switch between the apps; or, they would use the app switcher. While doable, only one app was displayed on the screen at a time and moving between the two apps was cumbersome. iOS 11 introduced a new way of multitasking – now, the screen can be split to show two apps simultaneously, 

Allow Multiple Apps must be turned on in Settings before trying to use the Split View feature. Go to Settings > General > Multitasking & Dock > Allow Multiple Apps (turn On). 

Teachers of the Visually Impaired Hint: You may want to turn Multiple Apps Off before using the iPad with students who have multiple disabilities or with young students.

Students who use VoiceOver typically prefer using Split View instead of the floating Slide Over feature.

Teacher Hint:  Most VoiceOver users prefer to turn Off Show Suggested and Recent Apps in Settings, as it is easier to locate apps when they are consistently in the same location. If Recent Apps is on, then these app icons are located on the right side of the Dock, organized by the last app that was opened.

Settings > General > Multitasking & Dock > Show Suggested and Recent Apps (off)

Steps for Split View (VoiceOver commands)

Note: the second app added to the Split View should be located in the dock.

Teacher Hint: When you are learning to use the Split View feature, be sure to listen to all of the VoiceOver hints!

Now, two apps are displayed side-by-side, each taking up half of the iPad’s screen. Touch the left side to move VoiceOver’s focus to the left app (Pages) or touch the right side of the screen to move VoiceOver’s focus to the right app (Safari).

Teacher Hint: Use a Bluetooth keyboard to input text. The on-screen keyboard will cover the bottom section of the screen, hiding a good portion of Safari and Pages.

NOTE: If Zoom is enabled, then use a three-fingers to tap five times quickly. Be careful – you can turn the screen curtain on or VoiceOver Speech off if you do not tap 5 times correctly. All of these three finger commands are to toggle on/off, so if you accidently made the wrong command, repeating the same command will toggle that feature.

In the user-friendly video below, Daniel demonstrates how to use the Multitasking feature, Split View, while running VoiceOver.

Currently, Split View is available on the iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air2, and iPad mini 4. Split View is not available on iPad Air.

View more information on Apple’s website about Multitasking and Split View here.

Learn more about Split Screen on other devices here.

By Diane Brauner

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