Apple is reportedly looking to increase the functionality in iOS 8 for iPad users, allowing split-screen multitasking. Sources speaking to Mark Gurman say that iOS 8 will let you run two apps at once, interacting with both. This would be a major departure from the current operating system across all devices, which limits users to a single, full-view.
The move would bring a new feature to iPads, but one that we’ve seen before on Microsoft’s Surface. They have positioned the Surface as a productivity tool, aiming to garner attention for enterprise-level functionality, making tablet computing more competitive either a laptop or desktop. If you need to manage simultaenous tasks, being able to work in both without using Apple’s current method of multitasking, would certainly be a win for some folks.
Going further, the two apps which will share the iPads screen, will work in unison. For example, iOS 8 could allow you to drag content from one to another. For example, you could drag a photo from the Photos app into a new email.
Details on which iPads will be supported remains fuzzy. It is designed with the 9.7-inch iPad Air in mind and is specific to landscape mode. A split screen on the smaller iPad mini might not be practical. Additionally, this won’t be made available to iPhone users, despite expectations of a jump to 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays on the iPhone 6.
iOS 8 Split Screen Multitasking Concept
This is certainly a feature that would have a great deal of appeal to productivity users. It may also allow Apple to uniquely position the larger iPad Air as a business-class tablet.
Would you be interested in running two apps at once on your iPad?