The iPad might boast over 475,000 apps, but you can only use them one at a time on Apple’s tablet– for now. An exclusive 9to5Mac report claims that Apple’s upcoming iOS 8 operating system may launch with split-screen multitasking, a key feature that Windows tablets like the Surface and Samsung slates have had for years.
According to 9to5Mac’s sources, iOS 8′s split screen mode will work exclusively in landscape mode and will run any two apps simultaneously, an improvement over Samsung’s Multi Window mode, which only works with about two dozen apps. As with Windows and Samsung devices, the new feature could allow apps to easily interact with one another, meaning you might be able to easily drag a video or picture from Safari into an e-mail. Apple may also provide app developers with a means of making their apps compatible with one another.
A split-screen feature would be the biggest step forward for iOS 8, which is expected to deliver a fitness-focused Healthbook app as well as mobile versions of Mac apps like Preview and TextEdit. A recent report from Japan’s Macotakara claims that the new operating system will support high-definition audio playback, which could have something to do with Apple’s rumored Beats Audio acquisition.
A multitasking feature for iPad lines up nicely with some other Apple tablet rumors we’ve heard, including a massive “iPad Pro” that would sport a 12.9-inch UHD display and an optional keyboard cover, a la Microsoft’s Surface. Apple’s next major event is WWDC 2014 in June, which is when we might see iOS 8 make its official debut.