New browser brings picture-in-picture to Mac [Reviews]

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Fluid Browser comes in handy for graphic design. And workplace distraction.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

With iOS 9, Apple introduced a whole slew of multitasking features including picture-in-picture, so I can watch a video while using another app. Even though this was technically already possible on the Mac, there hasn’t been an easy way to get a video to overlay another window so I can focus on both at the same time. Well the new Fluid Browser solves that problem, quite magnificently I might add.

Fluid is its own web browser, but it’s not meant to replace Safari or Chrome for my main usage. Instead, I open up Fluid and go to a website where I want to play video, like YouTube or Netflix. The video itself will enlarge to fit the width of the browser window. Then magically, if I click somewhere else on my desktop, Fluid will float above the other windows and even has adjustable opacity so I can make the video as prominent on screen as I want.

Multitask like a boss on your iPad with iOS 9’s Slide Over

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Checking out Maps while browsing the web.
Checking out Maps while browsing the web.
Screen: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Our digital lives are busy. We send iMessages while we’re browsing the web, type in phone numbers and addresses while FaceTiming, and bounce between apps on our Macs constantly.

Now, with iOS 9 and a modern iPad, you can quickly browse the web, respond to a text message, or jot something down in a note, then slide that app away so you can focus on your original app.

This feature, called Slide Over, is going to make using your iPad a lot more fun and useful.

Here’s how to make it happen, assuming you have an iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, or iPad mini 3.

Alympus is the newest best reason to jailbreak your iPhone right now

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Alympus is the new jailbreak tweak to beat.
Alympus is the new jailbreak tweak to beat.
Photo: Alympus

iOS engineers must keep their eyes on the jailbreak scene. In the past, popular jailbreak tweak Auxo showed what iOS’s approach to multitasking should be like years before Apple made its best ideas part of the core operating system.

Let’s hope this pattern holds with Alympus. It’s a new tweak that radically improves, for the better, iOS 8 multitasking.

iOS 9’s Split View for iPad is everything you hoped it would be

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Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

 

When iOS 9 rolls out to the public this fall, it’ll be iPad users that appreciate it most, thanks to the many improvements Apple has made to multitasking. One of the biggest is Split View, a feature that’s exclusive to the iPad Air 2, which lets you run two apps side-by-side — just like you would on your Mac.

Split View lets you read articles in Safari while composing an email in Mail, enjoy a novel in iBooks while taking notes in the Notes app, and talk to friends via iMessage while organizing your schedule in Calendar.

But is Split View as game-changing as it looks at first glance? You bet it is.

I tried split-screen multitasking on the iPad, and here’s what I discovered

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OS X brought to iOS
OS X brought to iOS

Almost from the start, iPad users have begged and pleaded with Apple to add a missing feature: split-screen multitasking.

Split-screen multitasking is the ability to run two or more apps simultaneously, side by side, just like you can on a desktop computer. But iOS, of course, is the antithesis of traditional multitasking. You can have only one app on the screen at a time.

That may be about to change. Apple is rumored to be adding multitasking to the iPad in iOS 8, which is expected to be shown to developers at next month’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference.

With split screen multitasking, you could write a paper in Pages on the left while researching in Safari on the right. You may even be able to drag and drop items between the two apps, like photos or chunks of text.

For some, this would be nirvana. Better multitasking would turbocharge the iPad, especially for work, right?.

Microsoft loves to crow about the Surface 2 tablet’s ability to multitask, which in Redmond’s eyes makes the tablet appear more suited for work than watching cat videos. Some iPad users have been lobbying for it for years. The feature has been the subject of plenty UI mockups, design videos, and jailbreak tweaks.

My iPad Air is jailbroken, and for the last week I’ve been using a new jailbreak tweak called OS Experience, which allows me to have split-screen multitasking.

I’ve tried using it as part of my daily workflow. And what I found was surprising.

OS Experience brings desktop multitasking to iPad for jailbreakers

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OS X brought to iOS
OS X brought to iOS

What would it look like if Apple let you work in multiple apps side by side on the iPad? Apple’s competitors like to poke fun at the iPad’s lack of desktop-class multitasking. But plenty of people are using the iPad to get work done, which begs the age-old question: is less really more?

Imagine OS X’s Mission Control ported to the iPad, and you’ve got the jailbreak tweak OS Experience. It’s an ambitious idea that is executed with surprising finesse.

Auxo 2 Takes Multitasking In iOS 7 To The Next Level For Jailbreakers

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The jailbreak tweak called Auxo did card-based app switching in iOS 6, and then Apple came along and fully implemented the idea in iOS 7. Auxo, which started as a concept that went viral online, was suddenly obsolete.

A successor to Auxo has been in the works for quite some time, and now it’s available for jailbreakers to install in Cydia. Auxo 2 doesn’t reinvent iOS 7 multitasking, but the tweak builds upon it by adding more controls and customization.

ProWidgets Is An Impressive Widget Platform For Jailbreakers, But Does It Solve A Problem?

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Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 3.37.52 PM

There have been several jailbreak tweaks over the years that have attempted to revolutionize the concept of multitasking in iOS. Few, if any, have come as close as ProWidgets, a new widget framework that’s available in Cydia now.

I say close because I don’t think ProWidgets solves a better way to multitask on the iPhone and iPad. However, it is a valiant effort that allows other developers to create third-party widgets that live outside of the traditional app experience.