WWDC came and went without a single breath mentioning the split-screen multitasking mode in iOS 8 that was rumored to be on the way, but iPad users hoping for more productivity features might be in luck after all.
Developer Steve Stroughton Smith says he’s been digging around in the iOS 8 beta files and noticed a new “main-screen-canvas-sizes” option that wasn’t in iOS 7, but will add multi-tasking to the iOS 8 SpringBoard, and it’s more advanced that we hoped for.
Not only is Apple planning to let iOS 8 users run two apps side-by-side, but you’ll even be able to change the size between three options:
So… just in case there was any doubt left… iOS 8’s SpringBoard has code to run two apps side-by-side. 1/4 size, 1/2 size, or 3/4 size
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 9, 2014
Apple reportedly pulled the split-screen multitasking feature from the iOS 8 beta after it was deemed too buggy, but perhaps we’ll see it added in future betas. The new feature would be perfect to pair with new iPad Airs and minis that are expected to launch this fall.
Microsoft and Samsung have enjoyed boasting about their split-screen tablet features at the iPad’s expense for the last two years. The iPad is desperate for the feature, but after doing our own testing it’s going to take some signature Apple cleverness to get it right.