Ever since Apple made the move to a more ‘flat’ design with iOS 7, the multitasking interface has changed in either a minor or major way with each iteration. With iOS 9, the interface has changed yet again. While the change is not hugely radical, it does take some adjusting to…

When you double tap the Home button (or 3D Touch with pressure on iPhone 6s/Plus), it takes you out of the app that you were using and shows you a fullscreen thumbnail preview of the app and the most recent apps you have accessed. The apps are presented in a fanned-out card-like interface. If you want to see the rest of your recently used apps, you just swipe left to right or right to left to browse through them all.

iOS 9 Multi-tasking

If you want to immediately force close an app for any reason, just swipe up on any application preview. If you swipe up with a finger on each preview, it will close out each app simultaneously. There’s usually no reason to do this, but it can be fun.

To get into any of your recently opened apps, simply tap on the app in the switcher to jump into it. New in iOS 9 is the ability to go back to the previous app you were in, denoted by the words Back to Messages for instance, in the upper left hand corner in black. This happens when an app requests permission to open another app, or when you get a notification and you tap on it switching focus on that notification instead of the previous app you were in. For example, if you’re reading this article in Safari then receive an iMessage in Messages, you may want to tap the banner alert to read it in full and reply, then jump back to Safari. Several examples are shown down below with Messages giving the option to go back to the App Store, 1Password giving the option back to Dropbox, and Messages giving the option to go back to Tweetbot.

The Home screen even appears as a full screen thumbnail view. If you are using Handoff, it may appear as an available option down at the bottom of the app switcher.

iOS 9 Handoff from Multitasking

You can also watch this area for app suggestions based on location. For example, you may see the Starbucks app appear as a banner below here if you’re near a location. Tapping that banner allows you to easily launch the app.

Until Apple decides to change how multitasking works on iPhones and iPads again, that is how you use the redesigned multitasking in iOS 9.

About the Author

Sarah Guarino's favorite gear