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Developer uses hidden iOS 8 code to show off rumored split-screen iPad UI

post #1 of 28
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After discovering code in Apple's iOS 8 beta pointing to a split-screen iPad user interface, developer Steven Troughton-Smith on Wednesday hit on a way to make the feature work and published his findings to YouTube in a type of proof-of-concept video.


Simulated iPad split-screen view. | Source: Steven Troughton-Smith via YouTube


Troughton-Smith, who has been digging through Apple's iOS 8 code since the software was released to developers earlier in June, uncovered the split-screen option on Monday. As seen in the video below, he's managed to patch together a method of invoking the multitasking view in an iOS device simulator.

The short video shows the split-screen capability in action as viewed on a simulated iPad in landscape orientation. It looks as though the function could be enabled with a two-finger gesture, but Troughton-Smith is unsure how the view is invoked as he had to work around SpringBoard and tweak UIKit to turn it on. As he previously noted on Twitter, the two-up windows can be resized into "1/4 size, 1/2 size, or 3/4 size" panes.

It is unclear if Apple plans to enable the split-screen multitasking feature when iOS 8 makes its public debut this fall, though current developer builds do not grant easy access to the functionality. The feature is supposedly targeted at 9.7-inch iPads like the latest iPad Air and it is unknown if smaller devices will be able to access the view.



A rumor in May was the first hint that an iPad-only split-screen view was coming to iOS 8, allowing users to interact with two apps simultaneously side-by-side.

Other tablets on the market, notably Microsoft's Surface lineup, already have the ability to display multiple apps at once and "snap" them into place. The method works well for devices with limited screen real estate.
post #2 of 28
So much for the NDA
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

So much for the NDA

I thought I had read Apple lifted the NDA.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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post #4 of 28
He patched together code? So this isn't from code that is inside the beta in todo as implied by other articles. What exactly is the legit code is what I want to know. I want to see how much he created because for all we know, the code he found could be for anything, even something merely inside an app. Wasn't there someone about how on the iPad you can use the same swipe to see the bookmarks as the Mac version of Safari. Maybe that's what this code he found is about, or something similar. Not about more than one app at a time. Which is he can't produce that in his demo

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #5 of 28

Presumably, "legit code" (sic) is what Apple publishes for external use.

 

From this article and others, what this developer used to gain access to split-screen mode does not qualify. Note that Apple has given the axe to apps which have used unapproved APIs.

post #6 of 28
Wondering now if apple really does a 5ish inch iPhone if they could enable this feature on all 2014 devices including possibly a 12 inch future IPad.
post #7 of 28

There was lots of emphasis on optimizing UI for different screen sizes during WWDC. Apple changed how they classify iPhones and iPad screens sizes and Xcode can even adjust UI for different sized automatically. This makes me more confident in larger iPhone display this year. I will not be surprised if Apple is holding back split screen feature until they release a new iPad early next year.

post #8 of 28

Is this really 'multitasking' or is it a way to split the screen to allow room for extensions into the frontmost app?

post #9 of 28
I don't like this guy, bit of a hacker but.

1) the NDA has been lifted partially ( although it still applies here I think since this wasn't announced )
2) he is exposing existing code by hacking a way to get at it, his simulated gestures. The resizing of the safari screen has to be Apples internal code.
3) in the simulator in Xcode 6 they have a re sizeable iphone. People think this indicates a larger iPhone but that doesn't explain the resizing.
4) Apple have a new API for an adaptive app, each app now should handle different size states on the fly ( replacing orientation callbacks).

It's not extensions as they have their own view controller within your app.
So all this looks legit.
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #10 of 28
This years announcements are important but people need to realize that Apple has been warning developers for years now, not to assume screen size nor resolution in their apps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

There was lots of emphasis on optimizing UI for different screen sizes during WWDC. Apple changed how they classify iPhones and iPad screens sizes and Xcode can even adjust UI for different sized automatically. This makes me more confident in larger iPhone display this year. I will not be surprised if Apple is holding back split screen feature until they release a new iPad early next year.

Resizable apps could come at anytime to support split screens. However I'm not sure this is the only reason for "resizable iPhones and iPads", I see huge potential for running iOS apps on Mac OS or possibly a new OS version for ARM based devices. Effectively this means taking the meaning of resize able literally and giving apps a simulator window with in Mac OS to run. Hell it is obvious most of the infra structure is already there, so why not let iOS developers expand their markets
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

I don't like this guy, bit of a hacker but.

1) the NDA has been lifted partially ( although it still applies here I think since this wasn't announced )
The concepts of ethics is still real to many of us. This clearly steps over the line and demonstrates a lack of maturity in this individual
Quote:
2) he is exposing existing code by hacking a way to get at it, his simulated gestures. The resizing of the safari screen has to be Apples internal code.
If he is enough of a hacker he could simulate Safari resizing. I doubt this is the case as he appears to be more of a hack than a hacker.
Quote:
3) in the simulator in Xcode 6 they have a re sizeable iphone. People think this indicates a larger iPhone but that doesn't explain the resizing.
Nope doesn't explain resizing at all. It could just be a feature to test resize able apps on all machines. Apples goals over the lasts few years have been to morph the UI into a variant that isn't so screen size dependent.
Quote:
4) Apple have a new API for an adaptive app, each app now should handle different size states on the fly ( replacing orientation callbacks).

It's not extensions as they have their own view controller within your app.
So all this looks legit.

Legit or not the guy really has no respect for his legal obligations.
post #12 of 28
It seems that smallest pane has the width of the iPhone in vertical orientation (320pt).
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ppietra View Post

It seems that smallest pane has the width of the iPhone in vertical orientation (320pt).

Yeah, the new API allows devs to describe how the same UI can be displayed on an iPhone or an iPad. For instance a splitviewcontroller will show as a master-details on an iPhone, and the left-right split view on an iPad. If devs follow that logic they get resizing for free.

I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #14 of 28

@wizard69 by legit I mean the underlying API is legit.

I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #15 of 28

I noticed a while back that I could sometimes get the keyboard to go half width in iOS 7, I bet it would line up with this controller (https://twitter.com/ubersnack/status/471049511834779648)

post #16 of 28
I like what I'm seeing.
The most interesting part though - how the second app selection is going to work - is not shown unfortunately.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

There was lots of emphasis on optimizing UI for different screen sizes during WWDC. Apple changed how they classify iPhones and iPad screens sizes and Xcode can even adjust UI for different sized automatically. This makes me more confident in larger iPhone display this year. I will not be surprised if Apple is holding back split screen feature until they release a new iPad early next year.

I disagree that that is THE implication here. I see another one as equally possible.

And that is iPad compatibility. There are many apps, biggies like Instagram included, that still don't have an iPad native face. And the 2x version can end up looking like poop. Ideally Apple would just the bam on folks not making such an interface but that would be a bit of a dick move. So making it easier could be their solution to killing that issue

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

I don't like this guy, 

 

oh, so you know him? 

post #19 of 28

Quote:

Originally posted by wizard69

The concepts of ethics is still real to many of us. This clearly steps over the line and demonstrates a lack of maturity in this individual
 

 

The concepts of ethics of "many of you" are BS. Other people have more respect for intellectual curiosity, openess and freedom of information than for BS corporate NDAs. 

 

Also nice lesson on "lack of maturity" by a guy with the nickname "Wizard69".

 

Quote:

If he is enough of a hacker he could simulate Safari resizing. I doubt this is the case as he appears to be more of a hack than a hacker.

 

 

You seem to know a lot about hackers. Tell us more about the wonderful projects you've built.

 

Quote:
Legit or not the guy really has no respect for his legal obligations.
 
 
Here, I'll play you a sad song on the world's smallest violin:
 
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post
 

There was lots of emphasis on optimizing UI for different screen sizes during WWDC. Apple changed how they classify iPhones and iPad screens sizes and Xcode can even adjust UI for different sized automatically. This makes me more confident in larger iPhone display this year. I will not be surprised if Apple is holding back split screen feature until they release a new iPad early next year.

Also the demos repeatedly showed Apps adapting to screen size changes on the fly.  The clear implication of that is that iOS will (eventually) support some sort of split screen mode (or Apple will introduce physical devices that grow and shrink).  The other clear message to developers is don't assume you know the screen sizes of future devices.

post #21 of 28

This is a wonderful feature, I use it all the time with my ThinkPad 8 and can't wait for it to appear on my iPad. Having the ability to have Cubasis and say iPolysix up at the same time would be a very welcomed addition. This of course finally means that Apple will increase the memory size of the iPad, hopefully to 3GB. Surprised no one is calling foul though, looking back at all those negative comments about this feature in some of the older Windows 8 threads, I always assumed that this wasn't a welcomed feature to iOS.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #22 of 28

I have a Surface, and I must admit, the ability to use split-screen on a tablet is pretty useful; especially for business use.

For me though, the question is always about how well this functionality is implemented. If Apple does it elegantly, then I think it could be truly great.

post #23 of 28

The rumored split screen feature is cool, but I want a new iPad Air with Touch ID.

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianJNYC View Post
 

........ but I want a new iPad Air with Touch ID.

 

Naaah, not really a feature that I would use unless Apple releases multi-user support. What I want more then anything else is a built in micro HDMI port.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #25 of 28
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

What I want more then anything else is a built in micro HDMI port.

 

Lightning. Problem solved.

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“The only thing more insecure than Android is its userbase.” – Can’t Remember

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post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Lightning. Problem solved.

Yeah I have one, not really impressed, nor have I ever been a fan of dongles especially for something that really should be built in from the let go.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #27 of 28
Originally Posted by Relic View Post
nor have I ever been a fan of dongles

 

For a woman so acquainted with naked weirdos and “bummy fun”, I find that surprising. ;)

“The only thing more insecure than Android is its userbase.” – Can’t Remember

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“The only thing more insecure than Android is its userbase.” – Can’t Remember

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post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

For a woman so acquainted with naked weirdos and “bummy fun”, I find that surprising. ;)

Hahahaha!!! Are you stocking me sir?

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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