Code discovered within the depths of the iOS 8 beta all but confirms a rumored iOS 8 feature, a rumored feature that will catch the iPad up with the Microsoft Surface Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
Prior to the iOS 8 announcement at WWDC, we heard about a killer iOS 8 feature that would supposedly be coming to the iPad with the company’s new update. 9to5Mac reported that “sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development” said that iOS 8 will come with a split-screen multitasking feature for iPads that will allow users to take advantage of two apps at once.
In addition, sources said that the feature is also designed to allow for apps to more easily interact with each other. Users would be able to able to drag-and-drop text, video or images from one app to another when in split-screen mode. The feature supposedly won’t be limited to just stock iOS apps either. Apple will apparently allow developers to give their apps this ability.
Shortly before the iOS 8 announcement we learned that the feature wasn’t ready for prime time and that it would not be shown off on stage. As expected, split-screen multitasking did not appear on stage last week and it did not surface as a functional feature inside of Apple’s brand new iOS 8 beta which is now available to developers ahead of the public release.
However, it appears that code buried inside iOS 8 has now all but confirmed the feature for arrival. According to developer Stephen Stroughton-Smith, hidden iOS 8 code all but confirms split-screen multitasking for the iPad. According to Stroughton-Smith, SpringBoard has code that lets iPad users run two apps side-by-side at two different sizes.
So… just in case there was any doubt left… iOS 8’s SpringBoard has code to run two apps side-by-side. 1/4 size, 1/2 size, or 3/4 size
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 9, 2014
When and if this feature arrives for Apple’s iPad, it will catch the tablets up with Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs and Microsoft’s Surface, both of which have had access to split-screen multitasking. Samsung’s solution, known as Multi-Window View, has been polished over the course of several years and now lets users split up a number of popular applications including Facebook and YouTube.
It’s not yet clear this feature will look on the iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display and it’s possible that we won’t catch a glimpse until Apple is ready to show off the iPhone 6 and the rest of its iOS 8 features.
Apple typically shows off its iOS updates on stage next to its new iPhone. Last year, after a lengthy beta, Apple showed off the iOS 7 update alongside the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c before detailing its final release date. With an iPhone 6 launch expected to touch down in September, it could be several months before Apple confirms the feature hidden inside iOS 8’s code.
The iOS 8 update won’t be the massive overhaul that iOS 7 brought to the iPhone and iPad owners last year but it will bring a number of new enhancements to Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Apple’s new update will deliver an improved Notification Center, changes to the iMessage application including a way to get out of a message thread, enhancements to the Camera and Photo apps, and a whole lot more. In all, we counted over 50 iOS 8 features that iPhone and iPad owners will want to keep an eye on as the iOS 8 beta progresses towards a final public release.
iOS 8 will be coming to the iPhone 4s and up, the iPad 2 and up, and also to the iPod touch fifth-generation. It’s not clear if every iPad will have access to split-screen multitasking.