iOS 8 rumored to bring split-screen multitasking to the iPad

iOS 8 rumored to bring split-screen multitasking to the iPad

Apple's iPad is reported to be getting amped-up multi-tasking through a split-screen mechanism in iOS 8. The feature would be a stark departure for iOS, which though supporting multitasking apps, has only ever allowed a device to display one running app at a time. Taking advantage of the larger screen real estate of the iPad makes sense, with a line drawn down the middle of the screen with one app on each side. The multitasking component has been a selling point pushed hard by Microsoft, though sales of Microsoft-based tablets haven't put even a slight dent in the iPad's marketshare. Samsung, however, has been beating that drum more effectively with their Multi-window feature.

As reported by 9to5Mac, there's more than just having two apps side-by-side bound to happen here:

The feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another. Apple is said to be developing capabilities for developers to be able to design their apps to interact with each other. This functionality may mean that Apple is finally ready to enable "XPC" support in iOS, which means that developers could design App Store apps that could share content.

It's an interesting feature for sure, one that many have wished for, secretly, if not publicly. Enhanced multitasking support like this would both take a an arrow out of the quivers of Samsung and Microsoft, while simultaneously making it easier to do more with the iPad.

What do you think: is multitasking support something you want on your iPad?

Source: 9to5Mac

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Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, occasional web designer, Army musician, armchair pundit, news addict, all-around nerd, professional ranter, and user of many phones.

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Reader comments

iOS 8 rumored to bring split-screen multitasking to the iPad


I'm not sure I need it, but I would love to have the option. It's hard to say until I actually have a chance to try it.

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Nice! Finally! My checklist is almost completely, give me a pressure sensitive stylus for photoshop and I'm set. Having this feature would also make a 13 inch iPad seem more relative.

Like maps, this too was pretty obvious. I've said all along this was going to be the key feature of iOS 8 optimized for new hardware this year.

Definitely! Especially if it allows drag and drop from one screen to the next like you described in your article.

I don't understand how Apple is so late to the gaming adding features that have been on Android for years... It's just odd to me.

If you look at Apple over the years, even pre-iPhone - they've *never* been first to the market with hardware and features with anything, they much prefer to do something better than to do something first.

The short version is: they'd rather be the best at something than the first at something.

If you want cutting edge features before anyone else, even of those features are still in 'beta' form and aren't exactly well implemented, then Apple has never been your first choice.

How have split screen apps been on android for years? Afaik it's only available on some Samsung devices and then only with a handful of apps. No I am not going to count rooting because you can do the same thing with a jail broken iPad with OS Experience. Which by the way does a better job of multitasking than any custom android setup I have seen.

"Taking advantage of the larger screen real estate of the iPad makes sense, with a line drawn down the middle of the screen with one app on each side."

I hope the new multitasking ability will be more than a "line drawn down the middle", i hope you will be able to resize the two apps so you can give more importance to one app over the other.

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For the iPadAir (and potentially a larger iPadPro), split screen with a RAM boost would be wonderful!

Would it be too much to ask for this on the iPhone too? I used this all the time on my GS3

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I'd love this feature and I'm sure I'd use it some. Hope the rumor comes truth.

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I could definitely use this. Idk about using it on the iPad MIni because I think screen real estate still might be an issue. The full size iPad though is a no brainer and might get me back to the full size from the mini.

I own a Dell Venue Pro 8. The split screen option is definitely useable on an 8" device. Just wish this option would come to Windows Phone.

Definitely need this on iPad. iPhone is too small. Still, not gonna hold my breathe; been wanted/rumored for years.

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