Why Apple’s new split-view multitasking feature is exclusive to its best iPad

“Apple is bringing split-screen multitasking — which Apple dubs Split View — to the iPad Air 2,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool.

“Apple is in the business of selling iPhones, iPads, and Macs, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that the company would like to give users any and all reasons to upgrade to the latest iPads. Apple has been innovating on the hardware side of things for a while, and despite some pretty solid upgrades with the iPad Air 2, iPad sales have still been on the decline,” Eassa writes. “To persuade people to upgrade, new and improved hardware is helpful. However, to most customers, fast new processors and more memory probably aren’t convincing enough selling points in and of themselves. That hardware needs to enable fundamentally new and useful functionality.”

“I would argue that Split View (in addition to the other multitasking features that Apple is bringing to iOS 9 for iPad) is an example of a “fundamentally new and useful” capability. The question, then, is whether this feature really requires an iPad Air 2,” Eassa writes. “I wouldn’t be surprised if, for things to work smoothly and without performance issues, the hardware of the iPad Air 2 is required… The older iPads may simply not have enough memory to support two potentially large applications running at the same time without performance and/or stability issues.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The main problem with iPads, and the main reason why we reach for our 11-inch MacBook Airs while on-the-go over our iPad Air (gen. 1) units for work, is that the iPads do not have enough RAM. This limitation puts a severe damper on multitasking on iPad. iPad Air 2, has a decent amount of RAM and can therefore handle real multitasking, including the ultimate in multitasking, iOS 9’s Split View. This is a major reason why we can’t wait for “iPad Pro!”

Our tests of the next-gen iPads plus iOS 9’s Split View multitasking are likely to have a major effect on how compelled we are to replace our MacBook Airs with whatever Apple’s smallest, lightest Mac is at the time. We may actually replace, not just complement, our Macs with iPads while on the road.

UPDATE: 5:25pm EDT: Fixed spelling mistake. Thanks, KingMel.


Split-view multitasking: Hands on with Apple’s iOS 9 beta on iPad Air 2 – June 9, 2015


  1. Any rumors on the RAM of the putative iPad Pro?

    And do people in the know about such things feel 2GB will do – since we can see that iOS 9 does fine on the iPA2 demos?? Or could more advanced apps on the iOS ecosystem horizon be just around the bend and hungry for more?

    Also for the “Pro” market I can see some being interested in 256GB of storage.

  2. So, now will Apple only build iPads that can handle Split View mt, using more powerful processors and more memory? I’m certain I could still enjoy using an iPad that didn’t do Split View mt but I’m guessing all the tech pundits will never want to go back to their old ways and will be cursing Apple for offering any new iPad with lesser specs than an iPad Air 2. I’d hardly think Split View mt would be considered necessary but I’m only one person who can happily work on one application at a time.

    The one thing I do like is being able to running PIP with a video because I often do that with my Macs and OTA HD HomeRun/EyeTV combo. Computer… BOOM!… HDTV is sweet. However doing that doesn’t seem to require much processing power or memory at all on my Macs. I would definitely buy a more powerful iPad to use that feature if that’s what it requires.

    1. Microsoft does that, force you to buy new hardware in order to get new software…

      I soooo miss Steve Jobs. Apple is now like dating your exgirlfriend’s mom…she’s not as pretty and all she wants is your money.

    2. I am all for incremental disabling of features depending on the iPad model.
      Either that, or the less desirable policy of not allowing new iOS versions on older models.

  3. I am totally in for the next iPad whether it is a Pro or Air 3.

    I don’t see that businesses need 256GB storage. Most business usage doesn’t need that much storage. Plus you are on a network so you can always access what you need. Large storage is good for movies and huge music collections. We have brochures, spread sheets, presentations, one shook (which I wrote in iBooks Author),and some saved webinars. The total collection is probably less than 10GB.

    Businesses need immediacy, efficiency, and security. I need the right information to answer a question right now. If you can answer a question, make a quote, solve a problem right now while standing next to someone instead of later when you get to the office/hotel that is gold.

  4. Also, the new 12″ MacBook is about the same weight as an iPad Air 2 plus a keyboard. Both have their merits, but I have to think that the MacBook would be preferable for most business/writing/content creation tasks.

    1. I want both. Right now my iPad 3 still gets the heavier use over my MBP 15″ RD but it can change in a heartbeat. It’s nice to have both for the flexibility. I am so ready to replace my current iPad 3 though. Bigger and more RAM will be nice.

  5. I’m surprised that more people aren’t saying “meh, once again Apple is late to the party. Android and Windows tablets have had multitasking since 2013”

    1. Their being “late to the party” actually allowed a few 3rd Party developers to get their apps in to fill in the void.

      MSFT might have been first, but no one cares.
      Much of Androids modern features are due to the
      Ideas coming from developers that created Jail-broken apps for iPhones…

      1. “Ideas coming from developers that created Jail-broken apps for iPhones…”

        See “open” is good, but what about all the ideas from the PC? What’s the next innovation, overlapping windows? Wait…that exists too.

    2. MS “tables” are not the same as iPad and Android. MS made a UI for touchscreen laptops, and the user needed to use the regular UI to do most functions. Apple and Android use mobile technology. This makes them lightweight, power efficient, and affordable. They have the option of cell and GPS. I think it’s funny how MS tries to make their shortcomings sound great. Like their tables have a keyboard. They pretend you can’t connect a keyboard to an iPad. The difference is you need a keyboard with MS.

      With Android you have a point. However I believe split screen came from OEM’s like Samgsung running their own software, not Google. Android has been behind iOS on tablet tech from the beginning. It took almost two years for a real tablet OS after the iPad.

  6. ‘Split Screen’ alone IS NOT compelling enough to upgrade from an iPad Air to something else. I’ve been doing single screen a LONG time, so the likely percentage chance of split-screen being something that’s going to drive me to go spend incrementally $800 on a NEW iPad just for that is LESS THAN ZERO.

    1. Don’t underestimate Split View.

      I went out and bought an iPad Air 2 to replace my iPad Air 1 the afternoon after the Keynote just so I could try out all of the new features in iOS9.

      It’s amazing how much that feature alone opens up the platform to being much more productive and efficient,

    2. Split screen comes to all Macs with the latest OS, so Apple actually makes the function less compelling on an iPad , in my opinion. Also most iPad users buy a carrying case or smart cover… this makes the MacBook Air which comes with a real keyboard and great protective hard flip cover with screen, a far better in my opinion. So – try thinking the Macbook Air as this iPad Pro. There is no need for one.

  7. I think it’s a bunch of bs that after spending a $1,000 on an iPad Air that a year later they expect me to upgrade by dangling features in my face. Like it can’t handle. I think not. If this is there route to get me spend absorbent prices on there products I’ll be hesitant on future purchases and possibly not eve an apple product. Enough is enough.

    1. Oh my god Apple, stop with this “forever advancing technology”. First computers get outdated even before they go on sale, and now only a YEAR after the last iPad is released it is outdated too. Whats going on. Next you’ll be telling me that my Apple Watch is not capable of holographic capability of WatchOS 18.

      Stop with this Advancing technology BS.


      1. I know the iPad Air 2 was such a ground breaking advancement that no other device besides it can handle running a split screen. The magnitude of such an amazing feat is unfashionable. You just keep lining there pockets.

  8. I was recently in Korea to visit a factory regarding some QC and other technical issues. I had sent them documents with a bunch of photos imbedded to address the issues during a meeting. The CEO there had a large (12″+) Samsung tablet on his desk scrolling through the documents and making hand-written annotations with a stylus.

    I saw this and thought, “Okay, I’ll be getting the so-called ‘iPad Pro’ whenever it comes out. There’s definitely a market for something like this.” The way I look at it, it’s a desktop tablet laid flat (or slightly angled upwards) and the Split View feature would come in really handy for this type of usage. And it’d also be ideal to use with Apple’s stylus that they seem to have been working on for some time now.

    It isn’t ideal to hold in your hands for extended periods of time. I wouldn’t replace my iPad Air (1st-gen) with it. I’m confident I can keep the Air for years to come for browsing, reading emails, reading, watching videos and stuff like that but I don’t like to do “work” on it. The ‘iPad Pro’ would definitely be an iPad I can actually do a lot of work on – even do things that I really wouldn’t do on my new 13″ MBP Pro on its own or connected to a large monitor. I still use a pen and notebook quite a bit and I’m hoping that the Pro can get rid of that once and for all.

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