Apple said to deliver split-screen iPad multitasking in iOS 8

“iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac.

“These people say that the feature will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once,” Gurman reports. “Up until now, each iPad application either developed by Apple or available on the App Store is only usable individually in a full-screen view.”

Gurman reports, “In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another. Apple is said to be developing capabilities for developers to be able to design their apps to interact with each other.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bill” for the heads up.]


  1. My biggest gripe and embarrasses me that this facility exists elsewhere. It is an absolute must to progress the iPad beyond the basic and is made to work with a touch interface in terms of interactivity. Just to have iPhoto/Evernote available while doing research so that I can just drag things into them rather than at best through a clunky sub menu to do the same job will make life so much more enjoyable. Indeed this should have been included for at least a year and will make the device so much more flexible for far more than ‘power users’.

    1. Yes. It’s ironic that Apple delivers multi-core, 64-bit processors claimed to have “desktop performance” yet they only let you process one task.

  2. Multi User on the iPad (so my kids don’t go through my files)

    Water resistant would be nice.

    Oh, you know what I really wish we could have? Bluetooth that allows multiple connections. For example, when I go running, my partner and I can listen to the same music over our own bluetooth earbuds while listening to only one iPhone.

    1. If we’re having a wish list for IOS features, I’d vote for the IOS version of Mail using ( and optionally syncing ) the same rules that Mail uses for OS X. It seems ridiculous that mail from unwanted sources is automatically dealt with on my Mac, but it gets through to my iPhone without any problem.

  3. For this concept to work, iPad apps that support split-screen multitasking would have to be designed to work at ANY width. Making interfaces work in multiple resolutions can be quite of a nightmare from a developer and design stand point – and this video is short on details about how Apple could make it easier for developers. This would be crazy buggy in most apps on roll out, and take a ton of developer effort to just to get it mostly right at most widths.

    1. If Apple really are about to release a bigger and also a much bigger iPhone, the issue of IOS working with different screen resolutions will have to be solved anyway, so it shouldn’t cause much of a problem for split screen operation.

  4. It is quite likely that this functionality will be soon implemented. And it is virtually certain that the Fandroid crowd will scream like deluded madmen how they had this functionality for years. And this story will likely play out much like the copy-paste story did six years ago.

    Yes, even Palm OS had copy/paste functionality (eight years before the original iPhone). And there were MP3 players before the iPod. And touchscreen phones before the iPhone. And “tablet” computers before the iPad (you see where I’m going here).

    Apple doesn’t really invent a new category. It just completely re-invents it and show everyone who it SHOULD be done. And after that, everyone abandons whatever they had before Apple and copies what Apple just made.

    I’m sure this “split-screen multi-tasking” will be significantly more intuitive and usable than what Android currently has. But Fandroids will no doubt (rightfully) claim they were there first. And they will completely miss the point…

    1. While I agree with everything you’ve said, this functionality *should* have come sooner. Didn’t Apple learn that with the Finder, then Multi-Finder, then finally true multitasking integrated? That was ages ago. And it was fine to have an iPhone that did just one thing at a time at first, but they have been moving too slowly implementing multitasking. It should have been ready with the introduction of the 64 bit processor, imo. Make it dependent upon having that processing power if you want. I’m okay with that. But it should have happened then.

    1. Yes; for video the Youtube app isn’t a bad model that could be applied to both iPhone and iPad, where you can shrink the video to a corner while still browsing/searching something else in the app. Not every video needs to be watched all the time, e.g. TEDTalks and others where most visuals aren’t needed most of the time (and simply backgrounding the video so it’s audio-only isn’t enough because you don’t always know when they’re bringing up a new visual element).

      1. I don’t care about split anything for the iPhone. That would suck. For my iPad, however, letting a movie play in the corner while I’m on Safari or Facebook would be nice. I’m ok with that. I’d even be ok with the CHOICE of letting the video view hover over the main app, so it slightly covers the corner.

        1. The Youtube app’s video thumbnail *option* is not a 50/50 split, it hovers on the bottom-right corner at 1/5 the height and half the width on an iPhone 5.

          It does not suck for videos that don’t demand your eyes 100% of the time.

          Remember also that the iPhone is rumoured to get a minor screen size bump which would make hovering video thumbnails less of a problem.

          Whether Apple thinks that’s a good idea is a different matter.

  5. Split screen, schplitz screen.

    iOS is already multitasking, so what does a split screen get you? Smaller screens is all.

    Imagine you are using an iPad Mini … your split screens are now close to the screen size of an iPhone. Or if using a full size iPad, the split screens are as small or smaller than a mini.

    And for what? Even with split screen, you can only focus on one portion of the screen at a time.

    Drag and drop text on a mobile device without good cursor positioning control? – Tap to copy, tap to paste would work just as efficiently.

  6. Missing from the discussion is the need for an increase memory to support multiple apps running concurrently.

    I certainly hope Apple will increase the iphone/ipad RAM or radically increase the speed for the storage and provide developers the means to access the storage memory nearly as fast as RAM or transparently so the developers don’t even have to know. The new CPU has the power to handle the work and to even implement compression to maximize the use of existing RAM/ROM.

  7. Top and bottom DOUBLE SCREEN would still be BETTER. DOUBLE iPad, NOT split screen. Bottom part could be used in different ways, other than a keyboard !!

  8. Why complicate stuff which is simple and easy to use!!!!!. Will be surprised if they think 9.7 inch screen being used as a split screen will enhance productivity. I dont think so at least for me..

    1. PS. The video by Sam Beckett is impressive in that it mimics Apple’s look and feel, but Sam did not try to simulate ‘using’ split screen for any productive work, because that would have been a nightmare.

      Any app designers watching this are terrified by all the work this ‘feature’ is going to create for them. 😉

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.