12/19/11

MacMost Now 646: The iOS 5 Multitasking Bar

All iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users should know how to use the multitasking bar. It allows you to view your recently used apps, quit apps, control audio playback and AirPlay streaming. Learn how to access and use it. Also learn how to quit an app without using the multitasking bar at all.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On todays episode let's take a look at the iOS Multitasking Bar. So I get the feeling a lot of iPhone and iPad users don't really know or use the Multitasking Bar. But it's a very important tool. You can use it to switch between apps, quit apps, control playback, use cool new features like AirPlay mirroring and also do some other things. So let's go take a closer look at what the Multitask Bar looks like in iOS 5. So to get to the Multitasking Bar you want to double-tap the "Home" button, that's the physical button at the bottom of your iPhone, double-tap that and it pops-up at the bottom there pushing the rest of your screen upwards. Now, you've got here a list of your most recently run apps. I can scroll right-to-left, like that, to continue down the list and left-to-right to go back. Now, keep in mind these are not apps that are necessarily running, as a matter of fact it's possible to have quit an app and it would still be listed here. These are just your most recently accessed apps. So you can use it to easily switch form one app to another. Now, you can use this to quit an app. The way you do that is you would tap-and-hold over an app. So let's do that here for Safari, I just tap-and-hold, you can see they al start to jiggle, I can still go back-and-forth, and if I tap on the red button on top it will quit the app and then remove it from the recents list. Now I can tap on the rest of the screen to exit this, I'll go back into it and I can continue to basically quit apps if I want. Clicking the "Home" button just once will go back to normal mode. Now, if I scroll left-to-right one more time I go to playback controls, and here I'll see the icon for the most recently used or the currently used audio app. So you can see there it's my music app. It could be something else, it could be audible, it could be videos. It could be all sorts of different things. And I've got some playback controls. I've got the name of the currently playing song or item at the bottom and on the left I have something different not related to audio playback, I've got "Orientation Lock" and I can lock to my current orientation, which can come in handy. If I go left-to-right again, I get to a volume control on the iPhone and the AirPlay control. The AirPlay control, this is the mirroring AirPlay control, so you'll find an AirPlay control, say in the music app that will send audio to an AirPlay device like an Airport Express or an Apple TV. But here in the Multitasking Bar, it's for mirroring the entire screen, this only works in the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2. So here I've got several devices two are only audio, iPhone and Airport Express, but I have my Apple TV and if I turn that on, it would mirror the screen of this iPhone to the Apple TV. Now, on the iPad it works pretty much in the same way, double-tap the "Home" button and it brings up the Multitasking Bar. You can fit six icons here, and you can still scroll left and right, like that. Now, on the iPad you can also do this in a horizontal orientation, so you can see there again fit even more, still scroll left and right, go back to vertical. You still can tap-and-hold and quit. You can go to the left and instead of two different screens for controls you've got everything on one. So you can see the app currently running, volume control, you've got your AirPlay control here. As before you've got playback controls, you have a brightness control in the iPad and you also have the "Orientation Lock" but the difference is that on the iPad if you go to "Settings" under "General" you've got "Use Side Switch to" "Lock Rotation" and "Mute" well, whatever one you choose here, the opposites would then be controlled here. So you can see I switched to "Lock Rotation" and now I've got the "Mute" button here in the controls. Now, in addition to quitting applications in the Multitasking Bar, you can do it directly from the application. The way you do that is you hold-down the "Sleep" button which is at the top of your iPad and iPhone, do that for a few seconds and you'll get the "Slide to power off" screen, but instead of sliding to power off or canceling, hold down the home button, and you have to do that for about seven seconds, at the end of that it will just quit the currently running app and return you to the screen. So now if I double-tap, you can see, you notice that it's still there, because it was a recently used app. Even though it's not running it's still listed in the recents list, because it's a list of recents, not a list of currently running apps. So there's a look at the iOS Multitasking Bar, play around with it and get used to using it because it's a very useful tool that allow you to get more out of your iOS device. 'Til next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

7 Responses to “MacMost Now 646: The iOS 5 Multitasking Bar”

  1. Dhruv says:

    So is this is advisable for battery saving? If I quit 8-10 apps that I won’t be reopening in the immediate feature, does the RAM and the battery get saved by the quitting of those apps?

  2. Ilan Aisic says:

    Another useful feature of this bar, is that it allows you to select your audio source. This is useful when using a Bluetooth device. When receiving a phone call, or even while simply listening to music, you can select whether you want the audio to go to the external device, your iPhone or your iPhone speaker. I think it also supports selecting regular earphones.

  3. Rich says:

    Is it possible to use google voice on iPhone to call numbers that have an extension number in addition to the telephone number. Is there a good Internet tele service that uses data for such calls that is free? Thanks.

    • Should be. What is stopping you? Just place the call via Google Voice, and then use the keypad to enter in the extension code when it is time. Not sure if there is any service that is really completely free, but did you try Skype?

  4. Brian says:

    The multitasking bar on my iPad 2 stopped working last night. If I double click the home button the screen turns black and the little white wheel shows up in the middle of the screen. After about 8 seconds my password screen shows up. Any suggestions?

Comments Closed.