YouTube adds iPad multitasking so you can get less done

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YouTube Split View Slide Over
Oh, this can't be good for our productivity.
Screenshot: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

This is either bad news for your workload or great news for your procrastination, but as of today, YouTube’s iOS app has full support for two of the iPad’s multitasking features.

Now, you can run the video app alongside other, probably more useful things. You can even control YouTube while you’re working on other stuff without having to close either program. It’s a brilliant way to not get anything done, ever.

Here’s how it works.

Apple introduced Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture in iOS 9 last September. These three features are only available on the iPad, but not all apps support them.

Slide Over lets you open a “tray” on the side of your iPad screen to do quick tasks without leaving the program. So if you’re checking your e-mail and suddenly realize you need to buy milk, you can quickly hop over to Notes to jot that down without leaving Mail.

Split View takes things one step further by letting you have two apps open and active at the same time. I use it all the time to keep up on e-mail while still contributing to important site discussions in Slack, and it’s super useful.

What does this mean for YouTube, though? Well, those Slack discussions aren’t always all that important, so I might want to see if any of the YouTube accounts I follow have posted anything new. And then I can watch that stuff while still showing as available and active in the work app. It’s the perfect crime, and I plan to continue getting away with it as long as my bosses never read this post.

YouTube still doesn’t work with Picture in Picture, which lets you watch videos in the corner of the screen while you run an app behind it. Apparently we just can’t handle that much distraction.

Slide Over runs on iPad Pro, iPad Air 1 and 2, and iPad mini 2 or later, and Split View requires an iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4.