App of the Week: Side by Side

Title: Side by Side
Platform: iPad
Cost: Ad-supported: free. No ads (pro version):$1.99

I learned about Side by Side just about a month ago and since that time it’s become one of my go-to apps. The app fills a need for those that use an iPad as a desktop, netbook, or laptop replacement. As a device for getting work done. Side by Side achieves this by making it possible to have up to four pieces of content all visible at the same time on the iPad screen.


I’ve used Side by Side in a few different ways. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Each week I favorite Tweets that I think will make good content for the YALSA Blog’s Tweets of the Week. When I’m ready to write the weekly post, using Side by Side on my iPad, I open up my Twitter favorites list at the top of the iPad screen and the YALSA Blog entry screen at the bottom. Quickly I can copy and paste from top to bottom, add content to the blog post as necessary, and write/create the post all on one iPad screen.
    side by side two side view with menu drop-down
  • Recently I needed to look at a website, read what some people had written about the site, and then respond via email to the comments on the sites. I did that all on my iPad with Side by Side. On the top of the screen I pasted in the URL of the website I needed to look at and could then view the site on the top of the screen. On the bottom left I had the comments from others on the website open, and on the bottom right I had email open so that I could respond to the comments. It worked perfectly.

Those are just two examples of how I’ve used Side by Side and I’ve come up with ways that it can be used by librarians and teens:

  • Teens who are working on a project that requires they look at content on the web while taking notes, creating a bibliography, or outlining can use Side by Side to do all of those tasks without having to move back and forth through screens on the iPad.
  • Librarians who are searching through the library catalog or the web to create curated lists of materials for teens can do that on an iPad without having to move between screens. The catalog or website can be open on one area of the iPad screen and the list can be developed on another side of the screen.

I have to admit that Side by Side isn’t perfect. Even after using it for a few weeks I still get confused by some of the menu items and I sometimes have to use trial and error to get the windows to show in the form of organization that I’m looking for. Also, while I can access files that are available via Dropbox, which is great, in order to edit those files I need to copy the content and paste it into the notes feature of Side by Side.

Even with these imperfections, Side by Side is still a very useful app for both librarians and teens. It does make it possible to get work done on an iPad and saves time in the process. Give it a try and see what you think.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.
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One Comment

  1. Thanks, Linda! Looks like a good solution for making it easier to create blogposts with web content and links.

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