iOS 8 code reveals split-screen view for running apps side by side

By , Jun 9, 2014

split-screen

Last month, the well-connected blogger Mark Gurman reported that Apple was likely to introduce a split-screen multitasking feature for iPad on iOS 8. The company did not mention the feature at its WWDC keynote, however, leaving many to wonder if the functionality is still coming. According to a pair of tweets from iOS developer Steven Troughton-Smith, it definitely appears possible…

Troughton-Smith has uncovered code in the iOS 8 SpringBoard, otherwise known as the Home screen, for running two apps side-by-side. He does not specifically mention the iPad, but that is the device this feature would make the most sense on. The developer adds that apps can run in 1/2 size, 1/4 size or 3/4 size. The apps are grouped into one screen on the multitasking menu.

A few weeks after Gurman reported on split-screen multitasking, Brian Chen of The New York Times reported that the feature remains a work in progress, noting that it would not be ready in time for WWDC. That proved to be true, as Apple made no reference to side-by-side app usage on the iPad during its keynote. Whether the feature makes an appearance in a future iOS 8 beta or iOS 8.1 remains to be seen.

Graphic designer Sam Beckett provided us with a first look at what split-screen multitasking could look like in this beautiful concept video. Beckett’s approach involves pairing apps together through the multitasking menu, with a draggable divider for adjusting the split-screen view. The functionality is very smooth, and is definitely something I could envision Apple implementing.

Of course, split-screen multitasking is something that jailbroken iPad users already have the luxury of using thanks to a jailbreak tweak called OS Experience. Our own Jeff Benjamin provided a hands-on look at the extension a few months ago, referring to it as Mission Control for iPad. He said that, despite a strong learning curve, the tweak has lots of functionality and is quite useful.

As it stands, Apple only allows for stock and third-party apps to be viewed in traditional full-screen mode. Microsoft has taken advantage of this shortcoming by mocking the iPad’s inability to use apps side-by-side in recent TV advertisements. The company’s own Surface tablet has featured split-screen multitasking since it was released.

Would you use split-screen multitasking on iPad?

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  • justme

    awesome!

  • Rigs101

    There’s a tweak for that.

    That should be the jailbreak motto

    • http://www.liam-merlyn.co.uk/ ConduciveMammal

      Actually, I believe it has been used many a time in the past as the JB motto

  • jack

    the other split screen concept is much better than this one

  • Brian 

    Like this? :)

    • Merman123

      Hope not. That’s ugly haha.

  • Montgomery Tyler

    brian….. i challenge you to a pool game….

    • Alberto Espinal

      Hey Tyler on what level are you on 8 ball pool

      • Montgomery Tyler

        Level 7 so far…. and only lost 2 games out of 9

      • Alberto Espinal

        I’m level 110, with $25,000,000 i thought i could challenge you but sometimes it doesnt matter the level you are if you know how to play pool

      • Montgomery Tyler

        I can play pool really good I won real local tournament’s. Let’s play

      • Alberto Espinal

        Ook so how do we meet in the game?

      • Montgomery Tyler

        I use facebook to login use my name to find me

  • Framboogle

    I have a feeling Apple made a lot of features for iOS 8 but is saving them for the iPhone 6/iPad Air 2 release in the fall.

    • Brian 

      Very good point, they always reserve certain features, ever since the iPhone 3GS.
      Ex: (Record video, Siri, Flyover 3D maps, turn-by-turn navigation, Slow-mo video, etc.)

  • Matt

    Should I buy an iPad or wait?

    • 空白

      It depends on how long you wait, lol. They usually do iPad launches around march don’t they? That’s awhile bro. The iPad Air is awesome. Take it from someone who bought and iPad 3 on launch day just to be obsolete in six months.

      • iThinkergoiMac

        For the past 2 years, Apple has announced the iPads in October.

      • 空白

        I’m bad with dates.

    • R4

      Waiting will be the sensible option. They’re gonna announce it on 3 months.

  • Gregory D Foster

    I’m REALLY confused. Didn’t Apple show this at WWDC? I totally remember seeing it during the presentation…

    • David Gitman

      Nope

  • 空白

    I love the tile idea. I used to love multifl0w. But if be rad to have the ability to tile and use 4 different apps together. I wonder if there would be an option to change app functionality based on size.

  • R4

    So does this mean that the resizable options in Xcode were for this and not some ridiculously large iPhone?

    • Kurt

      Both?

      • R4

        I hope not.