Report: Apple building split-screen multitasking into iOS 8

iOS 7 (multiple iPhones, flat)

Soon there may be no need to gnash your teeth at Microsoft whose anti-iPad television commercials always highlight the Surface’s split-screen multitasking, a feature iOS currently does not support. But Microsoft will want to rethink those ads as an exclusive report by a reliable blogger claimed Tuesday that Apple is building split-screen multitasking functionality into iOS 8.

If the report is anything to go by, it should be akin to the iPad jailbreak tweak called OS Experience that our own Jeff Benjamin highlighted recently. Details are right after the break so read on for the full reveal…

Mark Gurman writes:

iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development.

These people say that the feature will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once. Up until now, each iPad application either developed by Apple or available on the App Store is only usable individually in a full-screen view.

The author cautions that split-screen functionality will require an iPad with a display measuring 9.7 inches diagonally so the iPad mini may not be supported even though it has exactly the same pixel count as its bigger brother.

Check out a mockup of the feature in the below video.

Moreover, the feature is said to allow apps to interact more easily and support drag-and-dropping of content such as text, video or images from one app to another.

Also, split-sreen multitasking in iOS 8 is landscape only. While a split-screen view may not make sense on a 4.7-inch iPhone 6, it’s a viable possibility for the 5.5 incher. Here’s a split-screen iPhone Air multitasking concept by CreativeConcept on YouTube.

Gurman on its part cautions that Apple could push back this feature to an iOS 8.1 update.

And here’s one of Microsoft’s typical anti-iPad ads.

Split-screen multitasking is one of the several new features believed to make their way into iOS 8 come this Fall. Other rumored new capabilities include a standalone Healthbook app to aggregate your health and fitness data, an improved Maps app with public transit information and a car finding feature, better in-app sharing, all-new Preview and TextEdit stock apps and much more.

What do you make of this rumor?

How would you improve multitasking in iOS 8?