12 Comments

Summary:

Apple will include a split-screen multitasking feature in the upcoming version of iOS, according to a new report.

Switching from Computer to iPad

Since the first iteration of the iPad, users have requested a better way to multitask that includes two apps running on the same screen simultaneously. Samsung’s Touchwiz Android skin and Microsoft Windows 8 both have versions of the feature, and according to a report from 9to5Mac, the iPad will soon be getting it as well.

Mark Gurman’s report, which cites unidentified sources, said the feature will allow iPad users to run two apps at the same time on either half of the screen. This is a major change for Apple. Currently, all officially available apps can only run individually, in full-screen mode. In addition to running two apps at the same time, the update will reportedly allow separate apps to interact with each other, such as dragging text or images from one app to the other. This implies that Apple will finally let developers design App Store apps that can share content with each other.

The ability to run applications simultaneously has been a major differentiating point for both Samsung’s Galaxy Note line of phone-tablet hybrids and Microsoft’s Surface tablets. Samsung’s Multi Window feature was the focal point of a short spot back in 2012, and earlier this year Microsoft Canada released a Youtube video titled “Multi-tasking: Surface 2 vs. iPad Air.

If Apple were to launch a larger-screened iPad, as it is rumored to be working on, the ability to run two apps simultanously would become significantly more important. However, Apple does make great use of screen real estate on smaller devices. I believe the split-screen functionality would be a novelty on the iPhone if it is even implemented, somewhat unnecessary on the iPad mini, and a great addition to the iPad Air.

OS Experience, an app for jailbroken iPads, allows for same-screen multitasking and was released earlier this month. While Apple’s eventual implementation will most likely different from anything designed for jailbroken devices, the OS Experience demo video is a good example of the advantages split-screen multitasking could offer.

Apple will likely reveal more about iOS 8 at the World Wide Developers Conference from June 2 through June 6.

  1. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    This would be a big and welcome change that’d shut up many of the critics. Let’s hope it pans out.

    Reply Share
  2. BIG WHOOP! GALAXY NOTE TABLET ALREADY HAS DONE THAT. SO?

    Reply Share
  3. Samsung Sense? I think you mean touchwiz

    Reply Share
    1. You’re right. Brain fart. It’s been fixed.

      Reply Share
  4. Apple, are you copying or stealing Samsung’s feature? great artist steals FTW!

    Reply Share
  5. Eyemahsource Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    This is something I want as I prefer OS X, but settings should disable it for users who need the simplicity of the current IOS. Likewise OS X should enable an iOS mode to replace widgets with iOS. This would be done by five finger cursors via the trackpad whereby gestures only show the cursors until you press down to activate the switch and make the gesture active.

    Reply Share
  6. Fandroids will jump on this: our android devices had this 3 years ago…blah, blah…

    BTW, if Apple want to shut up those fandroids, do it in a better way: open the same app on 2 splitted screens, not only multitasking of different apps, but the same app. Now that rocks. Why? imagine that you face time with two different people on the same screen.

    Reply Share
    1. That’s a very dumb idea. Also, ever heard of hangouts? Do you know what group chat means?

      Reply Share
  7. Now if they would only incorporate this into the iphone! That would be my heaven. I hate carrying around bulky crap, but an iphone that can splitscreen would be AWESOME!

    Reply Share
  8. Swell. What I want is multiple user accounts.
    But Apple don’t like the word “share” …so bottom line, that´s never gonna happen :-(

    Reply Share
  9. Dial Prasad Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    Did Apple just invented something new – of they are following the flock of no-brainers

    Reply Share
  10. This showed up in the jailbroken app store. Now all of a sudden its planned for iOS8??? But hey, unnamed sources say its true.

    Reply Share