iPad Multitasking Confusion

Can someone please explain to me how multitasking on iPadOS works? I find it very confusing. I normally have about 10 tabs open in Safari. But yesterday I tapped on the Safari icon in my dock and a window opened with a single tab. I then remembered that if you hold down the Safari icon, you get a menu that has “Show All Windows” at the top. I opened that and saw 8 different safari windows including my normal 10 tab window all the way to the left. I tapped on that and I was back in business. First of all, how did I open 8 different safari windows? I occasionally will open a safari window side by side with another app, usually Drafts. But I almost always close that Safari window when I’m done with it. My other question, how do you know which one of the 8 windows will open when you tap the icon in the dock?

I’ve been using this multitasking for years now and it still doesn’t make sense to me. Does it make sense to anyone else in this group? The mental model on the Mac is so much easier to understand. I know they want the iPad to be easier to use, but I feel with multitasking it is actually more difficult than the “pro” Mac.

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I totally agree. And we are power users! What do normal people do?

If anyone has a link to a really good guide, I’d also appreciate seeing it.

A good safety valve is Merge all Windows, which is accessible by holding the tab switcher button in the upper right of Safari.

Usually opening Safari should be opening the same window as last time, so I’m not sure what happened to you there. I will agree that there isn’t a lot of innate visibility into what windows you have open if you don’t seek that information out, which is quite different from macOS.

Apple’s guide to Split View and multiple windows isn’t bad:

Cool, that merge all windows feature is also on the Mac, I never knew that!

I looked through a few of those Apple Support documents and it still doesn’t give me a good idea of how these multiple windows are created and managed.

Mostly what I do is either drag a window into Slide Over and sometimes Split Screen. I understand the idea of an app like Safari, being side by side with other apps, which I can see in the task switcher. But it still doesn’t make sense of how I created 8 different safari windows with different tabs in each window. How can you even do that intentionally?