Will Apple unleash iOS multitasking at WWDC?

“A little over a year ago, rumors sprang up of a split-screen multitasking feature that was in the works for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 8. The feature would allow two apps to run side by side,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “The rumors came to naught, but could this be a part of iOS 9? I believe that forces are converging that make this likely.”

“Why is split-screen multitasking important? The ability to view and interact with multiple apps simultaneously is something we all take for granted for desktop and laptop devices running Windows or Mac OS X,” Hibben writes. “The lack of split-screen capability in iOS has led many to conclude that iOS is “not a true multitasking operating system”. Nothing could be further from the truth. iOS, like Mac OS X is a true multitasking OS based on UNIX. iOS, like its Mac OS big brother, continuously runs multiple tasks, or processes, in the background. These processes can include other apps than the one the user might currently be engaged with. What an app is allowed to do in the background is very limited however. Thus, this article’s title refers to the fact that apps are kept on a very tight leash.”

“The limitations that Apple imposes on background operation of apps have mostly to do with hardware: the limited RAM, screen size, processor capability, and battery power of the device. It’s not the OS.,” Hibben writes. “The most important enabler will be the next generation Apple A9 custom system on chip (SOC). This will be fabricated initially by Samsung on its 14 nm process. As such, it will be much more powerful while having longer battery life. If the performance of the A8 was marginal to support split screen, the A9 won’t be.”

“In order for developers to modify their apps to support the app multitasking approach that Apple implements, Apple will have to provide that capability in the iOS 9 beta that will be made available at the conference. This will afford developers this necessary time to get ready for the roll out of the new OS and related devices in the Fall,” Hibben writes. “We might also see a sneak preview of the iPad Pro. Once again, this is for the benefit of developers, so that they know what changes to make to support the Pro and iOS 9. Even if the Pro doesn’t go on sale right away, Apple would need to provide developers with a Pro simulator, at which point, the cat is out of the bag.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Even without an over-the-top Internet TV reveal, if everything rumored to be announced at this WWDC actually is, the keynote is going to be even more jam-packed than last year’s chock-full keynote!


  1. If it requires more RAM and will tax older systems, that could be part of the alignment of stars to make this happen. Apple needs something to convince iPad users to upgrade hardware. Nothing does that like performance issues on old machines.

  2. The split screen multitasking would be nice. I just hope that they do it in a way that people using older iPads can enjoy. One thing I would love to have the feature from iOS that allows us to minimize a message in Mail get moved over to Mail on the Mac. I like running my apps full screen, but I don’t often run Mail full screen because if I start writing a new message, and I need to look at something else while I’m writing, I have to close that message before I can look behind it. That’s stupid. It’s just as stupid as how Lion and Mountain Lion wasted secondary displays with that stupid linen background when someone was using a full screen app.

    1. Saying something like you do as, “That’s stupid.”, is just a matter of how you work. For me the whole concept of full screen mode does not work as I am constantly working across multiple applications across multiple monitors and often multiple computers — all concurrently.

      If full screen mode does not work for you then don’t use it. An a Mac, you’ve been able to show many windows that overlap since January 1984. And, for many years you can dock any window/app extremely easily. Multitasking on a Mac (or across multiple Macs networked together) is easier than any other platform I’ve ever used (and I’ve used/tried a lot of them).

      1. As it turns out, Apple fixed the issue I had with Mail, so I guess they agreed with me on that one. I tested out the new feature in Mail on El Capitan last night. It worked great. I don’t need for you to provide a history lesson on OS X, or the Mac in general. I’ve been using Macs for almost 29 years. I believe that my opinion is valid where the Mac is concerned. A lot of people (including a lot at Apple) agree that the way full screen was handled prior to OS X Mavericks was stupid. Watch the keynote presentation for the introduction of Mavericks, and you’ll see.

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