iOS 8 Code Points to Multiple Options for Split-Screen Multitasking
Apple's split-screen multitasking feature for iOS 8 did not make it into the company's Worldwide Developers Conference or the first release of iOS 8, but it is still in the works. As noted by developer Steven Troughton-Smith, iOS 8's internal SpringBoard includes code that allows apps to run side-by-side in multiple sizes: 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4. Apps that are running side-by-side are displayed as a single app in the App Switcher.
First hinted at in May, split-screen multitasking will allow two apps to be displayed on a single screen on the iPad Air, Apple's largest tablet. The feature, which reportedly only works in landscape mode, will allow iPad owners to use two apps simultaneously and it may also allow users to share information like links, images, and text between two apps.
The iPad's inability to display two apps at once is a lack that Microsoft has used to advertise its Surface tablet, which does have the ability to display multiple apps on the screen at one time.
It appears that split-screen multitasking may initially be limited to the iPad Air, with support for the iPhone and the Retina iPad mini possibly coming at a later date. Split-screen multitasking could also be slated for Apple's rumored 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" that may or may not be in development.
Ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference, Brian Chen of The New York Times confirmed that split-screen multitasking is still a work in progress. It may see a debut during one of the many updates Apple is likely to release as it refines iOS 8 ahead of a public release, or it may be a feature the company is saving for a later iOS 8.1 update.