Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
Almost from the start, iPad users have begged and pleaded with Apple to add a missing feature: split-screen multitasking.
Split-screen multitasking is the ability to run two or more apps simultaneously, side by side, just like you can on a desktop computer. But iOS, of course, is the antithesis of traditional multitasking. You can have only one app on the screen at a time.
That may be about to change. Apple is rumored to be adding multitasking to the iPad in iOS 8, which is expected to be shown to developers at next month’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference.
With split screen multitasking, you could write a paper in Pages on the left while researching in Safari on the right. You may even be able to drag and drop items between the two apps, like photos or chunks of text.
For some, this would be nirvana. Better multitasking would turbocharge the iPad, especially for work, right?.
Microsoft loves to crow about the Surface 2 tablet’s ability to multitask, which in Redmond’s eyes makes the tablet appear more suited for work than watching cat videos. Some iPad users have been lobbying for it for years. The feature has been the subject of plenty UI mockups, design videos, and jailbreak tweaks.
The jailbreak tweak called Auxo did card-based app switching in iOS 6, and then Apple came along and fully implemented the idea in iOS 7. Auxo, which started as a concept that went viral online, was suddenly obsolete.
A successor to Auxo has been in the works for quite some time, and now it’s available for jailbreakers to install in Cydia. Auxo 2 doesn’t reinvent iOS 7 multitasking, but the tweak builds upon it by adding more controls and customization.
There have been several jailbreak tweaks over the years that have attempted to revolutionize the concept of multitasking in iOS. Few, if any, have come as close as ProWidgets, a new widget framework that’s available in Cydia now.
I say close because I don’t think ProWidgets solves a better way to multitask on the iPhone and iPad. However, it is a valiant effort that allows other developers to create third-party widgets that live outside of the traditional app experience.
Here’s a pretty nifty feature you probably didn’t know it about in iOS 7: it’s possible to take a picture using your iPhone’s camera while looking at the multitasking screen. Here’s how to try it out for yourself.
Microsoft is continuing it’s anti-iPad ad campaign with a new TV ad that attacks the iPad’s multitasking capabilities. The ad pits two baseball scouts against each other as they’re armed with an iPad and Windows 8 tablet to see if a certain prospect is worth signing.
The tag line for the ad is “do two things at once without dropping the ball,” so naturally it ends with the Windows 8 bearing scout signing the prospect to a major league deal while the hombre rocking the iPad just couldn’t switch his apps fast enough because Windows 8 allows you view two apps at the same time.
You have to give it to Microsoft for not pulling any punches. It will be interesting to see if Apple responds. Remember the good ol’ days of Mac vs. PC?
iOS 7 beta brings with it a host of surprising features, one of which is the new way in which the mobile operating system handles multitasking. In iOS 6, a double click on the Home button on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch brings up a multitasking bar along the bottom of the screen. On iPhone and iPod touch, it only works in Portrait mode. On the iPad, it works in both Portrait and Landscape screen orientations.
That’s the same in iOS 7, but the visual look of the multitasking system is quite different. Instead of a small bar sliding up from the bottom, you get full previews of each app in the multitasking list. You can swipe left and right to move between apps at will. Also different in iOS 7 beta is the way you force quit apps, to start them anew or prevent certain ones from running in the background.
Killing iOS apps — not just closing them, but killing them completely — is nowhere near as simple as it should be.
First you have to double-tap the home button to open the multitasking tray, then you have to tap and hold the app’s icon, and then you have to close it by tapping the tiny circle. That’s a pain if you have several apps you wish to kill at once.
But with a new tweak for jailbroken iOS devices called Slide2Kill, you can completely kill iOS apps with just a swipe.
The HBO Go app for iOS has today been updated to add some great new features, including support for AirPlay multitasking. Game of Thrones fans will also be able to enjoy enhancements to the interactive experience on iPad.