Apple has offered multitasking for iPhone and iPad apps since iOS 4, but many iPad users have been itching to be able to run multiple iPad apps in split-screen.
The feature was rumoured to be announced at Apple’s WWDC presentation last week, but it looks like it was one of the features that weren’t quite ready yet.
BGR reveals, however, that a hidden bit of code in the iOS 8 beta hints that split-screen multitasking is on its way to iPads. The code mentions the ability to run two apps side-by-side, either splitting screen real estate 50/50 or even 75/25. This could be used to allocate more screen space to apps demanding more attention, such as Netflix or HBO GO, while also keeping iMessage or Facebook along the side of the screen.
Samsung has included a similar feature in its Galaxy Tab Pro tablets, even highlighting the split-screen functionality as something an iPad can’t do. In the past, Apple has always been wary to implement unbridled multitasking to its devices, and it will be interesting to see how split-screen multitasking could affect battery life, a field where Apple usually dominates.
For people wanting to Skype and browse the internet at the same time, it will be at least a few months. The new feature could be officially introduced when iOS 8 is released to the public this fall, or Apple could choose to include it in a later update.
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