iPadOS 15: how to use the shelf, how to find background windows

iPadOS 15: how to use the shelf, how to find background windows

With iPadOS 15, Apple adds extra little stuff and fine – tuned features to enhance the multi – time user experience. Again, some may argue that it’s not enough because iPadOS is still far from the multi-window interface that MacOS or Windows can get you, but Apple insists on keeping the tablet’s DNA woven into the experience. Love it or hate it, it’s there.

But hey, at least now we have a shelf – a new way to open and browse the background windows of the same window. Note – this is not a tab manager, a-la Safari tabs, this is a real multiple instances of the same application.

To use the shelf, we need an app with a “open in new window” option in the long-tapping menu. When launching, Apple’s core applications, such as Mail and Notes, support this, but there’s no reason to believe that the option isn’t available to third-party developers.

In any case, we will use notes in this example. Just tap and hold the note you want to open in a separate Notes instance – then tap “Open in new window.”

The memo now pops up in a floating window on top of Notes. You can grab it from the trip point menu at the top and swipe it left or right on the screen, or swipe down to put it directly on the shelf.

Now the note stays open in the background – in a separate instance of Notes.

To access the shelf at any time, tap the three-dot button at the top of the screen. The shelf pops up from the bottom and you can see which windows are stored in the background.

From here, you can tap one of the windows to maximize it, drag it over the main application as a window, or swipe up to close them.

It is also worth noting that several windows of the application can be found in the Latest Applications menu in the old-fashioned way.

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