iOS 10 has a lot of small features dotted around, beyond the headline changes announced on stage yesterday. One of these changes is exclusive to the big 12.9-inch iPad Pro and will no doubt please its user base: Apple has added three-pane views to Notes and Mail to better take advantage of the larger canvas.

This triple split view feature is only available on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and is not offered on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, because it requires a larger display to be useful …

It’s as simple as it sounds. In Notes and Mail, there are now three separate scrolling sections visible when in landscape. This means Mailboxes are now always visible on the iPad Pro in Mail, making it easier to manage large inboxes.

Similarly, in Notes now, the three person view keeps Folder filters always available at one tap. This reduces the navigation hierarchies and makes the detail view a more appropriate size for the content — everything is better proportioned.

A new view button in the top-left corner toggles between two-pane and three-pane appearances. Tapping the button adds and removes the additional column. In portrait, both secondary columns collapse leaving only the main canvas visible.  Look at the side-by-side screenshots below to see how the new UI works in practice in comparison to the existing two-pane layout.

Right now, the new three-pane split view is only present in the Notes and Mail apps. Hopefully, Apple brings three-pane UI to more of its apps soon (iCloud Drive desperately needs attention) and encourages developers to produce three-pane interfaces for their applications too.

iOS 10 ships in the fall for iPhone and iPad.


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Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.