A new report from 9to5Mac claims that Apple will be building split-screen multitasking into iOS 8, the next major update for its mobile devices. The split-screen functionality will resemble similar features seen in recent Samsung tablets and the Microsoft Surface, the report says.
This report comes from Mark Gurman, who has a strong track record in terms of Apple predictions.
Split-screen functionality is something Microsoft has used to attack the iPad in advertisements for its own tablet efforts, and something that is often requested by users online.
If true, the feature in iOS 8 would allow two apps to be used side-by-side, but also make it possible for people to drag things like images, video, and text from one app to another. Apple is working on a way to let apps running next to each other interact directly while running as well.
It only works in landscape mode, according to the report, and it is said to be designed for the larger 9.7-inch iPad specifically, so it’s unclear whether it’ll also work with the iPad Mini.
This feature would add a lot of value to the iPad, making it more viable as a notebook replacement for many users.
iOS 8 looks to be bringing a lot of improvements—including a Healthbook app, which would work with fitness and medical devices, and improvements to Maps with the addition of transit directions. Some of this could be put off to an iOS 8.1 update, but it looks like the next update will still bring a good number of changes to the operating system.