Apple to roll out split-screen multitasking for iPad with iOS 8

13 May 2014

Concept by designer Sam Beckett of what splitscreen functionality would look like on an iPad

The iPad is about to become even more of a workhorse with the news iOS 8 is likely to include a new split-screen multitasking feature that will allow users to run two applications side by side.

Until now apps while running on the iPad would dominate the entire screen of the device.

According to a report on 9to5Mac the move will supercharge the productivity capabilities of an iPad in terms of being able to drag images and video from on app to the next.

It is understood that Apple is rolling out capabilities in the forthcoming iOS 8 that include the ability for developers to design their aps to interact with each other.

The split-screen function will be for the 9.7-inch iPad and will work only in landscape mode.

Tablet wars

The move will also take a lot of the wind out of Microsoft’s sails as the ability to split screens via Windows 8 was seen as a key competitive differentiator for its Surface device family.

In particular the ‘snap’ multitasking feature that allows users to snap multiple apps onto the screen simultaneously is quite popular in the enterprise space.

Apple is also reportedly working on a number of new features for the iOS 8 roll-out, including medical/fitness apps that track blood data, calories, sleep and weight.

Another rumoured feature includes a public transit routing feature for Maps.

Below: a concept video by Sam Beckett indciating how split-screen functionality might work on an iPad running iOS 8


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years