May 14th 2014
By Mike Flaminio
iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple's iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development. These people say that the feature will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once. Up until now, each iPad application either developed by Apple or available on the App Store is only usable individually in a full-screen view.
This is interesting because this would seem a departure from Apple's push on full screen UI. iOS obviously has been a single app/window interface from the start and Apple has been pushing that to OS X. While not mandatory, Apple's design sense has been its applications function better in full screen mode rather than windowed. This makes some sense on the 11-inch MacBook Air, but in my opinion less so on conventional screens. Maybe I'm old, but I'm just more productive working with windowed applications side by side.
I'm curious to see how they pull this off with a touch interface. Mark speculates some on this and points to Microsoft's Surface. Whatever the interface, a method to quickly work between apps would get me to rethink how I use iOS.