Apple developer shows off split-screen multitasking in video
We covered the recent announcement of Apple iOS 8 and detailed its major features recently here on Tech Assimilate. Now, however, an interesting extra for the mobile OS seems to have been confirmed by Apple developer Steve Troughton Smith – it has multiple split-screen multitasking modes.
The feature, which looks destined at least initially, only to the tablet form factor iPad devices, allows users to split the screen to run two apps side-by-side, 1/4 size, 1/2 size, or 3/4 size. This could be an important feature to many users who are used to multitasking on their PCs/Macs but miss the feature on their tablets. The Apple implementation sounds very very similar to how the Windows 8 Modern UI does split screen ‘snap’ multitasking.
How many Apple fans have been jealous (or even aware?) of the Windows UI feature? Well now they too will be able to make more of their tablet screen real-estate and cordon off a portion for Tweeting, Skyping or whatever they like. I also want to point out for fairness that Samsung introduced a multi-pane split view on its Android-based Note devices a couple of years ago.
Previous rumours about Apple’s multitasking split screen functionality, as noted by The Inquirer, suggest that as well as the view benefits users will enjoy smoother inter-app interaction. For instance, reading a web article you could drag and drop a text clip or a image to an email to share with someone. Hopefully Apple could work on interactivity to make apps like maps and office applications work well with the facility.
It would be interesting to find out why Apple didn’t show this feature at the recent WWDC. With new iPads expected in autumn perhaps this feature will be demonstrated at that time. Now if Apple could be a bit more generous with the built-in storage on entry priced iPads – as SD cards aren’t permitted – I might be interested again.