A new video shows how Apple is testing an iOS 8 feature that allows iPad split screen controls to run two apps at the same time on the iPad, side-by-side.
Apple announced iOS 8 in early June and now a developer figured out how to show off the iPad split screen code that he discovered earlier this week to show off an interesting iOS 8 feature on video.
Read: 51 cool iOS 8 Features
iPad multitasking, or split screen use, is a much requested feature for many power users or those that want to use the iPad to replace a laptop. Running two apps side-by-side on allows users to compare documents, work on a report and read email or watch a movie while browsing Facebook.
Apple’s major competitor in tablets and smartphones already offers this type of multitasking on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note tablet line.
The iOS 8 feature shown above is how iPad multitasking works in iOS 8 at this time. This feature is hidden away in code, so you can’t try it in the iOS 8 beta.
Steven Troughton-Smith discovered the code that shows how this could work, and enabled it in an iOS 8 simulator to show it on video.
This is further proof that Apple is working on a iPad split screen option for the iOS 8 release this fall, although it is only testing this feature internally for now. In the video we see an unfinished product, which is very likely why Apple did not talk about this iOS 8 feature on stage at WWDC 2014.
In the video we see the app resized from full screen to 3/4 of the screen, 1/2 the screen and a 1/4 of the screen. This simulates how Apple is working on an iPad split screen solution to allow users to run two apps on the display at once. The video is shot on a Mac with a simulator which is why there are cursor points instead of fingers touching the display. The code is obviously not final, which accounts for some of the laggy behavior and rough edges.
This is direct from apple’s iOS 8 code, so this is an early look at how the company plans to deliver an iPad split screen feature, if it makes it to the general public. Unfortunately there is no second app running on screen in this iPad split screen video, so we can’t see exactly how the user will interact with apps and how the iPad will handle gestures.
So far we are only hearing about this feature for the iPad, and it is not clear which iPad models will get the feature. Apple often makes new features exclusive to one or two models. It is possible the iPad split screen feature in iOS 8 will only arrive on the iPad mini with Retina, iPad Air, iPad mini Retina 2 and iPad Air 2, due to the need for more processing power.
Apple is reportedly working on a larger iPhone 6 release for the fall with a 5.5-inch model rumored. Samsung kicked off multitasking like this on the Galaxy Note series several years ago and it wouldn’t be a shock to see something like this come to a big iPhone 6. There is no code or rumor of this feature for the iPhone, but if Apple positions the new iPhone as a device you use with two-hands it is a possible feature.
The iOS 8 release date is set for the fall, with an iOS 8 beta going on right now. The new iPhone and iPad software also interacts with OS X Yosemite for phone calls, texts, and easy app handoffs. Apple will likely announce a collection of new features at the iPhone 6 launch event, which may include split screen support. We could also see it pushed to an iOS 8.1 release if Apple is not ready.
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