Google today updated its YouTube iOS app to support Slide Over and Split View, two integral multitasking features that let iPad owners use mobile apps more like desktop software. Slide Over, which lets you check an app briefly by sliding it onto the screen, and Split View, which lets you run software side-by-side, were introduced as part of last year's iOS 9 update. Both are critical to helping position the iPad — specifically the larger and more powerful iPad Pro — as a viable laptop replacement. The update comes on the heels of Apple's unveiling of the new, 9.7-inch iPad Pro yesterday.
The usual caveats apply. Slide Over and Split View only function if the app you'd like to look at or have run side-by-side with YouTube has also been updated to support those features. And while Slide Over works on Apple tablets as far back as the original iPad Air and iPad mini 2, Split View only works on the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, and both iPad Pro models. In a strange move, Google did not implement iOS 9's new Picture in Picture mode in the update, so you can't yet watch YouTube videos while on the iPad's home screen or while using another app.
Split View only works on newer iPads
New multitasking features are the more important part of the update, but Google also made few smaller tweaks. It's now positioned home tabs in the YouTube app's navigation bar when using an iPad in landscape mode, which makes it easer to access when watching videos horizontally. The company also squashed a bug that prevented the opening of URLs in video descriptions. The update should be live now in the App Store.