Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 8, the company’s upcoming major update to its mobile operating platform, is expected to include a new feature that will allow iPad users to run, and interact with, two applications simultaneously.
The new iOS 8 feature is said to support a new multi-app split-screen in landscape mode for Apple’s full-size 9.7-inch iPad models, while it is unclear whether the feature will be available on the smaller iPad mini, which comes with a 7.9-inch screen, 9to5Mac reported, adding that Apple’s rumored larger-screen iPad -- expected to launch later this year or in 2015 -- could also sport the new feature. While details of the new feature are still unavailable, the 9to5Mac report said that the functionality is expected to allow users to easily drag content such as text, video and images from one app to another.
According to the 9to5Mac report, the ability to view multiple apps at the same time on a tablet’s display is currently available on Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface tablet, which has a multitasking feature called “snap” that allows customers to use multiple apps on one screen. So far, Apple’s iOS has been capable of only showing one application at a time, making the iPad essentially a "unitasking" device for viewing content, AppleInsider reported.
Here is a video of an iOS 8 concept, highlighting the split-screen multitasking feature:
Because the new split-screen multitasking iOS 8 feature is rumored to be supported in landscape mode only, the feature may not be applicable to a 4.7-inch iPhone 6. However, the feature could be a possibility on the bigger 5.5-inch model of the iPhone 6, which is rumored to be released after the smaller model, iDownloadBlog reported.
Here’s a split-screen iPhone Air multitasking concept:
In addition to the split-screen multitasking feature, iOS 8 is also expected to feature many new features, including a standalone Healthbook app, an improved Maps app with public transit information and better in-app sharing. However, the 9to5Mac report also stated that some of these features, including the multitasking one, could be delayed until the iOS 8.1 update.
According to rumors, Apple could unveil iOS 8 at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which is scheduled to kick off on June 2 in San Francisco.