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iOS 8 to mimic Microsoft with split-screen functionality

iPad Air

By Jane McCallion

Posted on 14 May 2014 at 11:24

iOS 8 could have split-screen capabilities to let users work on two apps at the same time - similar to how Windows 8 works.

The multitasking tool would see the iPad gain the similar screen-splitting functionality as the Microsoft Surface, which has had a similar feature for years, according to Mark Gurman at 9to5mac, who cites "sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development".

According to Gurman’s sources, the split-screen capabilities in iOS 8 won’t only let users have two apps open at the same time, but will also allow apps to interact more easily.

This could include dragging and dropping text or video content from one into the other, for example.

For some third-party iOS app developers, this could be the answer to their prayers, as it likely means Apple is ready to enable XPC support – the Mac-specific API that enables information sharing between applications – on the mobile platform. If true, they should be able to design apps that share content.

It's unclear whether the new feature will work on iPad minis as well as iPads. According to Gurman, iOS 8’s split-screen capability is being developed with the 9.7in screen iPad in mind and may not work with the iPad mini.

iOS 8 is expected to debut at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June.

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User comments

It's definitely the way to go in my book. After using a Surface (which I had to give back, sadly), returning to iOS felt like a step back.

I guess it will require newer hardware though; my first generation iPad Mini already crashes an awful lot under fairly light use.

But if it does come to my device, it might be enough to stop me from jumping ship.

By 0thello on 14 May 2014

Is this similar to the multi-window feature that's been available on higher tier Samsung Galaxy phone and tablet devices for a few years?

By TheHonestTruth on 14 May 2014

@thehonesttruth

Yes, surprised they didn't throw that into the article too... might have wound the fanboys up even more :-)

By Mark_Thompson on 14 May 2014

The problem with doing this on an iPad, of course, is that it has a 4:3 screen. Not that this makes it useless, just less useful than the wide-screen format of a Surface.

By jgwilliams on 14 May 2014

We're not wound up

We know who the trolls are.

By BliksemPiet on 14 May 2014

Hell has frozen over

Apple copying Microsoft. Either there is no heaven or Steve is frozen solid and can't organise a thunderbolt.

By milliganp on 14 May 2014

Error - mimicing Android

As I remember the Galaxy note has a split screen facility. Maybe Apple have come to a settlement with Samsung???? or they want to start a new war on money.

By fionapro on 14 May 2014

@milliganp

No, no. Remember this is Apple, they don't copy, they 'innovate'. ;)

By Grunthos on 14 May 2014

What goes around...

Apple 2014 is Microsoft 2010. ;)

By vjosullivan on 15 May 2014

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