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Rumor: Apple to bring split-screen multitasking to iPad with iOS 8

post #1 of 133
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Apple's next-generation mobile operating system may give iPad users the ability to run -- and view -- two applications at the same time, thanks to new multi-app split screen support, according to a new rumor.




The new feature is said to be in the works for "iOS 8," Apple's anticipated next major release of its mobile platform, according to 9to5Mac. The feature has reportedly been designed with Apple's full-size 9.7-inch iPad models in mind, including the iPad Air, but said it's "unclear" whether multi-application support will be available on the 7.9-inch iPad mini.

Details on how such a feature might work remain unknown, though it was said that users might be able to more easily drag text, video or images from one application to another.

In the early days of iOS, multitasking support was limited to basic background functions for Apple-built applications. True multitasking support didn't arrive until iOS 4, then known as iPhone OS 4.0, which allowed developers to run specific processes in the background.

But to date, iOS has only been capable of showing one application at a time, leaving the iPad as essentially a "unitasking" device for viewing content.



The ability to view multiple applications at once and "snap" them into place on a limited screen size is currently offered by Microsoft's Surface tablet platform. AppleInsider had the opportunity to test out a Surface 2 last fall, and found that the ability to run two applications on the screen at once was a key advantage over Apple's iPad in terms of productivity.

Dual-window multitasking on Microsoft's Surface 2 is limited to only two apps at a time, and is a landscape-only affair. Windows are forced to the left and right of the display, as the 16:9 screen is too narrow to allow multitasking in portrait mode.

Surface


Apple is expected to officially unveil iOS 8 at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, which will kick off on June 2 with a keynote presentation. While enhanced multitasking support may be a key feature of iOS 8 on iPad, it's rumored that new health-related functions may be the defining aspect of the next-generation operating system on iPhone.

Apple is also reportedly planning to partner with Shazam to build in song recognition to Siri in iOS 8. And the company is also expected to introduce major improvements to the iOS Maps application, leveraging transit data it acquired in purchasing HopStop and Embark.

AppleInsider has seen steady traffic from both iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 in recent months, suggesting testing has been underway on both platforms for some time. In its WWDC 2014 announcement, Apple simply said it plans to show off its "latest advances in iOS and OS X" at this year's conference.
post #2 of 133

This is surely a sign that the large screen iPad is on its way. Also I wonder if this means Apple is going to increase RAM to 2 GB for the iPad AIr 2. Multitasking will be more memory intensive and Apple wants to make the experience as smooth as possible.


Edited by RalphMouth - 5/13/14 at 6:56am
post #3 of 133
Looks neat. I hope multi-user log in will be an iOS 8 feature.
post #4 of 133

Makes me wonder if they will bring this to the iPhone, but the larger rumored 5.5" version only.  I doubt it would make it to the current size models.

post #5 of 133
Better late than never.
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post #6 of 133
May coincide with a larger iPad, too. 1smile.gif
post #7 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Better late than never.

The later it is, the better it will work.

Same with larger screens, cut and paste, etc.
post #8 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

This is surely a sign that the large screen iPad is on its way. Also I wonder if this means Apple is going to increase RAM to 2 GB for the iPad AIr 2. Multitasking will be more memory intensive and Apple wants to make the experience as smooth as possible.
If the next iPad doesn't have 2GB ram (or iOS 8 doesn't fix Safari) I don't know if I'll be buying another iPad for a while. The tab refreshes in Safari drive me nuts. And they happen ALL THE TIME.
post #9 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post
Makes me wonder if they will bring this to the iPhone, but the larger rumored 5.5" version only.  I doubt it would make it to the current size models.

 

This drives the question of how screen splitting will work for the UI... will you only see a scrollable portion, or will it be scaled... even on a 5.5, reducing the real estate by 50% (what's that, something like two 3.25 " diagonal displays?)  in landscape mode will require some pretty finely sandpapered fingers. ;-)

 

I would think the more likely model is 2(more?) active apps that you can, hypothetically, swipe between screens ala triple finger swiping in spaces on Mavericks.

 

Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post
May coincide with a larger iPad, too. 1smile.gif
 
This makes more sense.
 
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post
This is surely a sign that the large screen iPad is on its way. Also I wonder if this means Apple is going to increase RAM to 2 GB for the iPad AIr 2. Multitasking will be more memory intensive and Apple wants to make the experience as smooth as possible.

True multi-active Apps displaying in parallel, will be more intensive yes... but thinking you need 1GB of active pages per active app may be a bit overkill at this moment.

post #10 of 133

Safari tab refreshes drive me nuts too but certainly not enough to leave the iPad. Hopefully, this next batch of iPads will not only feature more ram, but will have an entry level set at 32 gb of storage.

post #11 of 133
More promises from the rumor mill for Apple to live up to.

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post #12 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevt View Post

Looks neat. I hope multi-user log in will be an iOS 8 feature.

I don't know how that would work. The entire ecosystem doesn't appear to be designed to make that work.

For example, imagine you have an iPad for family where 4 of the people play Infinity Blade. The game was bought and they all want to play it when it's their time. The game is 1.80 GiB. But right now, your game details are stored with the app which means that you would need that game installed 4x for this to work. Does that make sense? I don't think so.

But lets say space is infinite or they resolve the problem by storing apps clean in a general repository in iOS 8 but with every developer updating the million apps instantly so that apps are stored clean, like with Mac OS X. How do you switch users? On a Mac it can take many seconds to change the UI and load the app and that's with a faster system. If RAM is until 8 GiB I'm not sure you can store all these family accounts in memory so it's there at the push of a button. Even if you could there are power usage concerns by using RAM. So you are either dealing with speed or battery life.

It all just seems highly unlikely. If we still don't even have a Guest Account option that would only load Safari and a couple other apps without saving any data I can't see how we're going to get user accounts.

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post #13 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

If the next iPad doesn't have 2GB ram (or iOS 8 doesn't fix Safari) I don't know if I'll be buying another iPad for a while. The tab refreshes in Safari drive me nuts. And they happen ALL THE TIME.

But then everything seems to drive you nuts.
post #14 of 133
1. Two instances of Safari running side-by-side would be nice too

2. I would like to see split screen on the iPhone as well. At the minimum FaceTime and another app or Notes or Calendar and another app. In landscape mode it could be done, especially with the larger screens.
post #15 of 133
My guess is this feature will require apps be built with ios 8 sdk or we will have black bars top and bottom due to different aspect ratios. This makes me dismiss the idea that the divider can be moved. Maybe this will work for built in apps only.
post #16 of 133
Better multitasking is welcome of course, but this is only a small improvement and the demo is unimpressive, I hope (and expect) that Apple makes it a lot easier to work with.
The biggest problem of the iPad, that it can't be used as a replacement of a laptop, isn't addressed by this.
post #17 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

This is surely a sign that the large screen iPad is on its way. Also I wonder if this means Apple is going to increase RAM to 2 GB for the iPad AIr 2. Multitasking will be more memory intensive and Apple wants to make the experience as smooth as possible.

I suspect that the new iPads will have at least 4GB RAM

Here's the Surface 2 Pro Specs:

Storage* and Memory
64/128GB 256/512GB
4GB RAM 8GB RAM

It will be hilarious that the best versions of Office Apps for a tablet will be running 2-up side-by-side on an iPad 1biggrin.gif
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post #18 of 133
One of the very few android features I really really want. It would help with productivity substantially for my uses.

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post #19 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't know how that would work. The entire ecosystem doesn't appear to be designed to make that work.

For example, imagine you have an iPad for family where 4 of the people play Infinity Blade. The game was bought and they all want to play it when it's their time. The game is 1.80 GiB. But right now, your game details are stored with the app which means that you would need that game installed 4x for this to work. Does that make sense? I don't think so.

But lets say space is infinite or they resolve the problem by storing apps clean in a general repository in iOS 8 but with every developer updating the million apps instantly so that apps are stored clean, like with Mac OS X. How do you switch users? On a Mac it can take many seconds to change the UI and load the app and that's with a faster system. If RAM is until 8 GiB I'm not sure you can store all these family accounts in memory so it's there at the push of a button. Even if you could there are power usage concerns by using RAM. So you are either dealing with speed or battery life.
 

One should also take into account that the OS X desktop environment is quite a bit more complex than Springboard, with all sorts of background services running and what not. As logging in for a single user already takes much longer on OS X than it takes for iOS to set up the home screen, it doesn't make much sense to extrapolate the multiuser experience on OS X to that on iOS.

post #20 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

Better multitasking is welcome of course, but this is only a small improvement and the demo is unimpressive, I hope (and expect) that Apple makes it a lot easier to work with.
The biggest problem of the iPad, that it can't be used as a replacement of a laptop for me, isn't addressed by this.
Fixed that for you

It replaced my laptop. So I think it's relative to what your use is. For me- it's a much better replacement.

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post #21 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

One should also take into account that the OS X desktop environment is quite a bit more complex than Springboard, with all sorts of background services running and what not. As logging in for a single user already takes much longer on OS X than it takes for iOS to set up the home screen, it doesn't make much sense to extrapolate the multiuser experience on OS X to that on iOS.

Aren't those all already running with the first user?

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post #22 of 133
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post
Also I wonder if this means Apple is going to increase RAM to 2 GB for the iPad AIr 2.

 

Sounds a lot like this feature will ONLY be available on the 6th iPad.

 

Originally Posted by kevt View Post
I hope multi-user log in will be an iOS 8 feature.

 

Not gonna happen.

 

Originally Posted by saarek View Post
Better late than never.

 

Not late at all.

 

Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post
My guess is this feature will require apps be built with ios 8 sdk or we will have black bars top and bottom due to different aspect ratios.

 

I’d think more that the app just won’t work in this way without explicitly being built for it.

post #23 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Sounds a lot like this feature will ONLY be available on the 6th iPad.
and then we'll get the cries of fragmentation from all the Fandroids.
post #24 of 133
Safari refreshes don't bother me because, you know, web pages were always backed up in this new cloud thing called the World Wide Web. But hey, if you like stale web pages, complain away!

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post #25 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

If the next iPad doesn't have 2GB ram (or iOS 8 doesn't fix Safari) I don't know if I'll be buying another iPad for a while. The tab refreshes in Safari drive me nuts. And they happen ALL THE TIME.

 

yeah, thats my biggest complained about the air. constantly reloading safari tabs, which means im constantly losing state on various sites.

post #26 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


and then we'll get the cries of fragmentation from all the Fandroids.

It doesn't matter what Apple releases you will hear cries from Fandroids and Apple Zealots as well that don't like anything to change at all. Apple will never win with those two extremes. It is like a discussion between tea party extremists and ultra-left socialists. Luckily 95% of the actual buying public do not fall into either of those camps so there impassioned debates held ad nauseam won't amount to a hill of beans. 

post #27 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-Daddy View Post
 

Ha cool, another one of Samsung's features that Apple will be using/stealing. 

 

apple had implemented multitasking decades before samsung ever made a computing device. durr. 

post #28 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


I suspect that the new iPads will have at least 4GB RAM

Here's the Surface 2 Pro Specs:

Storage* and Memory
64/128GB 256/512GB
4GB RAM 8GB RAM

It will be hilarious that the best versions of Office Apps for a tablet will be running 2-up side-by-side on an iPad 1biggrin.gif

 

I doubt that the next iPad will have 4GB. It might still have just 1GB (saves battery). 2GB would be the most. After all, the Surface Pro 2 you are referring to is an Intel x64-based design (the same as the MacBook Air). The Surface 2 has 2GB RAM.

post #29 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Sounds a lot like this feature will ONLY be available on the 6th iPad.

 

 

 

Not if they announce it at WWDC. If they do, the feature will be supported at least on the A7-based iPad Air and maybe the A7-based Retina iPad mini and A6X-based 4th iPad. Otherwise, they'll wait until they have a hardware launch in order to announce the new features.

post #30 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Safari refreshes don't bother me because, you know, web pages were always backed up in this new cloud thing called the World Wide Web. But hey, if you like stale web pages, complain away!

 

are you serious? web pages are used for more than reading an article on your daily news site. web apps often make heavy use of javascript to mimic stateful computing. every time the tab refreshes all that state is lost in whatever web app you may be using. not good, and nobody in their right mind would defend it.

post #31 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

The tab refreshes in Safari drive me nuts. And they happen ALL THE TIME.

 

I still get entire CRASHES of Safari, even in 7.1.1. There's a particular website, Weather Underground, that allows me to reproduce the crash 100% reliably. Hey Apple; stop adding features and fix the existing software!

post #32 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

I doubt that the next iPad will have 4GB. It might still have just 1GB (saves battery). 2GB would be the most. After all, the Surface Pro 2 you are referring to is an Intel x64-based design (the same as the MacBook Air). The Surface 2 has 2GB RAM.

I'd bet on 2 GiB.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #33 of 133
Will this update be compatible with the iPad 3? I'm worried that Apple will start moving support away from its non-Air models soon like it did with the first generation iPad, after the iPad 2-4 were so far superior to its first model, it couldn't keep up. As the owner of a iPad 3, I hope it doesn't go the way of the first generation iPad too soon.
post #34 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post
 

 

Not if they announce it at WWDC. If they do, the feature will be supported at least on the A7-based iPad Air and maybe the A7-based Retina iPad mini and A6X-based 4th iPad. Otherwise, they'll wait until they have a hardware launch in order to announce the new features.

I fully expect with the A8 and iOS 8 that Apple will up ram to 2GB of the iPhone and iPad. They got a lot of mileage out of 1GB but you can only do so much with that before you notice a speed hit. 

post #35 of 133

Not sure if this is just a bad example or the entire concept is flawed but I'm struggling to see the benefits here. It takes so many taps and planning to run two apps concurrently that I don't see how it's better then jumping in and out of both apps independently. I suppose an open spreadsheet combined with an email might justify this multitasking but then again, I would simply jump to a laptop or desktop if I knew it would really require multitasking.

post #36 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post
 

 

I still get entire CRASHES of Safari, even in 7.1.1. There's a particular website, Weather Underground, that allows me to reproduce the crash 100% reliably. Hey Apple; stop adding features and fix the existing software!


if thats the case something is wrong with that website.  Harmful scripts, bad programing, who knows.

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post #37 of 133

This rumour seems likely when you look at their "App Nap" feature they added in the latest OSX Mavericks.

 

"App Nap

App Nap regulates applications you’re not using so they consume less energy. When an app is open but not visible — say it’s hidden behind another window, or you’re using a different app in full screen — App Nap conserves battery life by slowing the app down."

I'm sure they've utilised this technology for iOS Multitasking, in fact I bet App Nap for OSX was based on research for multitasking in iOS, just like the iPad was developed before Apple came up with the iPhone.

post #38 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't know how that would work. The entire ecosystem doesn't appear to be designed to make that work.

For example, imagine you have an iPad for family where 4 of the people play Infinity Blade. The game was bought and they all want to play it when it's their time. The game is 1.80 GiB. But right now, your game details are stored with the app which means that you would need that game installed 4x for this to work. Does that make sense? I don't think so.

But lets say space is infinite or they resolve the problem by storing apps clean in a general repository in iOS 8 but with every developer updating the million apps instantly so that apps are stored clean, like with Mac OS X. How do you switch users? On a Mac it can take many seconds to change the UI and load the app and that's with a faster system. If RAM is until 8 GiB I'm not sure you can store all these family accounts in memory so it's there at the push of a button. Even if you could there are power usage concerns by using RAM. So you are either dealing with speed or battery life.

It all just seems highly unlikely. If we still don't even have a Guest Account option that would only load Safari and a couple other apps without saving any data I can't see how we're going to get user accounts.

 

Currently user-specific data/saved games/settings are not stored "with the app" implying that to support multiple users you'd have to install multiple copies of the binaries.  All that stuff is stored in the iOS file system in app-specific locations, but not in the same folder as the app itself.  I don't think it's all that different from the way user settings are stored separately from the applications in OS X.  If Apple wanted to support this, they could give developers to tools to update their apps.  If past experience is any guild, it could be a very simple update for well-designed apps that have been updated for iOS 7.

 

Frankly, I think the harder part would be adjusting the iOS eco system for this.  Today, my family of 4 has something like 4 iPads, 6 iPod touches/iPhones that aren't phones any more, and 2 iPhone, plus who knows how many old iPods all tied to my account.  It's great that I all the apps, music, movies that I bought can be used by everyone, but it's increasingly complicated.  My kids are reaching an age where they should have their own accounts, but there is no clean transition path.  Ideally (from my perspective, if not the content providers') I would be able to share my apps, music, etc. with everyone in my household, but they would have their own distinct iOS accounts.  So my devices wouldn't automatically download their dumb new apps, and vice versa.  I'm sure I'm not unique in this challenge.  I hope Apple comes up with an elegant solution soon.

post #39 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
It all just seems highly unlikely. If we still don't even have a Guest Account option that would only load Safari and a couple other apps without saving any data I can't see how we're going to get user accounts.

Those issues don't seem so impossible to overcome. I just don't think it is something that Apple wants to do because they would prefer that every member of the family to have their own device anyway.

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post #40 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post
 

This is surely a sign that the large screen iPad is on its way. Also I wonder if this means Apple is going to increase RAM to 2 GB for the iPad AIr 2. Multitasking will be more memory intensive and Apple wants to make the experience as smooth as possible.

This means... I have to change all my apps design and learn new APIs. :|

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