Apple developing split screen dual-app display for iPads

22 May 2015

Amid faltering tablet sales worldwide, Apple is seeking to refine its iPad range with a new dual-app viewing feature in its upcoming iOS 9 release.

Originally planned for its iOS 8 update last year, the company was apparently unhappy with what it came up with so scrapped the idea.

Indeed the impending and ultimately successful iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch releases then sucked up Apple’s engineers, according to 9to5mac, which caused this delay of almost a year.

iOS 9’s beta release next month is slated to include the new feature, however if Apple is still unhappy with how refined a tool it is, it could be pulled yet again.

“The latest plans suggest that the split-screen mode will support 1/2, 1/3, and 2/3 views depending on the apps,” says 9to5mac.

“When split, the screen can either display two different apps side-by-side, or multiple views of the same app. This would enable iPad users to see two separate Safari tabs, or compare a pair of Pages documents at the same time.”

This is a concept an avid Apple fan made last year, not really based on specific rumours. Still, pretty cool.

What’s interesting is the small detail mentioned about what the tool is actually destined for, which is a far bigger 12-inch iPad.

Apparently Apple engineers are working on jumbo iPads named ‘J98’ and J99’, dubbed iPad Pro. It is reported to have additional keyboard and USB support.

Oh, and another gem of an upgrade could be support for multiple users. This will allow multiple users to have unique profiles on a single iPad, with individual access to apps and documents. Multi-user support will not be ready when iOS 9 launches in the fall, but it could be released later in 2015, alongside the iPad Pro, or in 2016.

iPad image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic