Apple iPad: The missing feature

“iPad sales estimates range from 16.3 million to 25 million,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Compared to last year’s sales of 26 million, the average is 21.5 million. That’s a loss of 4.5 million or 16.9%. But even the most optimistic projection indicates a slight loss.”

“The question arises as to what Apple might do to make the iPad a more compelling product. Has it reached its potential for consumers yet? What about the enterprise? With Apple working with IBM to market mobile gear to businesses, it may well be that lots of iPads will be sold anyway. If not last quarter, certainly during 2015,” Steinberg writes. “So can Apple do something that’ll make businesses lap them up?”

“I realize there have been rumors that side-by-side multitasking was supposed to be introduced in iOS 8, likely for the iPad, but it never came to be. I wouldn’t presume to guess why, other than not being able to optimize the feature for good performance, or maybe the roadmap calls for a later introduction in iOS 8 or perhaps it’s being held for iOS 9,” Steinberg writes. “I may not be an avid iPad user, but I see unfulfilled possibilities, and letting me put multiple documents and apps side-by-side would be a great deal maker. How about it Apple?”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
iOS 8 code shows iPad split-screen multitasking, Maps public transit in the works, and more – June 9, 2014
I tried split-screen multitasking on an Apple iPad, and here’s what I discovered – May 16, 2014
Apple granted patent for iOS multitasking user interface – October 16, 2012


  1. It’s certainly a feature that would make my life easier a lot of the time and would allow certain apps to be more useful, interactive and innovative if developers can be energised. It’s the sort of thing that would expand usefulness and help it break through the glass ceiling that’s holding it back from truly competing with laptops especially in business.

  2. iPad has a hard time incorporating a killer hardware feature.

    Camera? meh. TouchID? nice, but not worth dropping $500 just for it. Weight? meh, it’s already pretty light. Thinness? same. Screen? nice, but the screen on my current iPad is pretty good.

    So what will it be? Sapphire screen? nah. Inductive charging? nah. Thinner? Lighter? Better Speakers? nah.

    The only thing that’ll hit the meter will be a new form factor (large!), and maybe games or apps that demand newer processors to function.

    1. More ruggedized for field/kid/school use.

      Yes, you can spend $80 and get a pretty good and huge fricking case, but if Apple could make it water resistant and less likely to be damaged from a fall using a thinner and lighter case, then it would be easier for pro work and kids to use.

    2. Better speakers would be nice. But to replace the one I have? Nah.

      I think the split screen, especially in context of 1) businesses, and 2) the larger form factor you (and I!) want will be great.

      New processors? Nah, but why not go ahead and keep pushing the envelope!

  3. The “missing feature” is being able to use iPads (with cellular) to make standard phone calls, using a headset. Then, allow wireless carriers to sell it offering a subsidy (like iPhone) in exchange for a two-year contract.

  4. I think Apple’s concept of iPad side-by-side multitasking is you buying another iPad to run the other app simultaneously.

    And as arrogant as that might sound, that has a certain logic to it: the problem of limited screen space and processor power is solved, with each app having a whole screen and processor for itself. They can share information wirelessly, either peer-to-peer or over the cloud. And, the system can scale to run ANY number of apps simultaneously.

    But in all seriousness, it would be great to be able to do that stuff on a single iPad, especially if it has a larger screen.

  5. I’m doing my best to keep sales going . . bought the iPad Air2 to replace my original. What more can one person do?

    It would be fun to play iPad games via Apple TV, especially multi-player. Get an iPad for everyone in the house!

    If the corporate world doesn’t embrace them it’s their loss.

  6. I think I might prefer a picture in picture tight multitasking rather than side-by-side. Anyway it would be nice to be able to do one activity while viewing something else like a video or webpage.

    As far as hardware goes, it would be useful to have a high precision digitizer built into the screen. Then you could do high precision drawing or note taking.

    I would also like to see some modification of the camera to provide a standard way to attach external lenses. This could be as simple as building in an iron ring around the lens. Then an external lens could attach by magnets. They should also have a collar aligned with the optical axis of the camera.

  7. Apple consistently aims iOS to be the SIMPLICITY OS. Adding stuff like side-by-side multitasking isn’t going to happen. If that’s what you want, get a MacBook. I don’t see Apple changing that philosophy.

    Now, if you want to jailbreak your iOS device and install a tool for such a thing…

    1. I think Apple’s current multitasking model may be making it difficult to have 2 apps running side by side.. The model up to iOS 8 from what I understood was that outside of special threads (e.g. audio, downloading) an App is placed in a suspended state while not the ‘active’ App. Having 2 apps ‘active’ changes that core operation and may be a strong reason for the ‘missing’ feature.

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