Side by Side iPad App Splits Screen for Online Research, Note-Taking and More

For many reasons, it can be helpful to view multiple “windows” simultaneously on a single screen. A learner may wish to see more than one source of information while taking notes. Or, someone might want to have a Twitter client or Facebook account open to share what’s being learned and written about. All of this is possible, and more, on the 10 inch iPad screen.

Side by Side is a remarkable free app. With Side by Side, you can split the iPad screen into as many as four windows that can be positioned and sized as needed. These windows can be used to view multiple websites, PDF’s or MS Word files. Or, any of the windows may be used for note-taking text editors. Text can be copied into a text editor from other open windows. Text-to-speech is available in any of the windows via Speak Selection.

Side by Side has its own browser for opening websites. PDF’s and text files can be opened into Side by Side from DropBox or from email attachments. Notes written in Side by Side can be emailed, saved into DropBox or opened into other apps on the iPad.

The image below gives an idea of what is possible with Side by Side. I suspect that there are countless learners who would benefit greatly by using this app in a great many learning activities.

There is a Side by Side Pro version of this app available for $1.99. I have purchased and installed the Pro version, but I have found the free version to be more than adequate.

Split Browser (Downloadable Firefox Add-on)

It is encouraging to see an increasing number of schools making Firefox available as a web browser for learners.  Here’s another add-on to make it even more worthwhile.  This one takes tabbed browsing to the logical next step.

Split Browser is a Firefox add-on that enables you to view multiple open tabs (websites) on the same screen.  In practical terms, this works just the same as tiling multiple open programs into “windows” so that they can be seen at the same time.

There are many ways that splitting the browser can be helpful.  It makes most sense if a learner needs to make comparisons when doing research.  To illustrate, let’s say that I want to compare the specs on two cameras that I’m considering.  It helps me greatly to see the specs for both side by side, as shown below.  The image is too small to see the actual specs, but I’m sure you get the idea.

Once Split Browser is installed, you can split the browser with context menu options that appear with a right mouse click.  These options are shown below.  A ‘Split’ menu is also installed on the menu bar, and that can be activated with a keyboard command.  It seems that you have to use the Split menu to close split browsers.  Finally, it seems that you can split the screen into as many “windows” as you wish, and these can be sized and shaped in almost any way imaginable.