Rumors about iOS 8 have been circulating just about as fast as those about the iPhone 6. One of the main sources of rumors about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s next mobile operating system has been 9to5 Mac‘s Mark Gurman. This time, he says his sources have indicated that Apple is adding a split screen feature.
iOS 8 moves beyond full-screen mode
Currently, users can only run iPad apps one at a time in full-screen mode. This has been a frequent target of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s advertising campaign for its Surface tablets, which already offer multitasking. The Surface uses the well-known “snap” feature, which many enterprise users take advantage of because they need to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
Gurman’s sources apparently said iOS 8 will make it possible for users to run two apps and interact with both at the same time. He said the operating system is expected to make it easier for two separate iPad apps to interact with each other, potentially dragging content, photos or video from one app to another. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is also said to be working to make it easier for developers to design apps that can interact with each other. According to Gurman, this could mean that Apple “is finally ready to enable ‘XPC’ support in iOS.” Support for XPC would enable developers to design apps for the App Store that can share content.
iPad users push for split-screen feature
Fans of the iPad have been asking for the split-screen feature for years. Some app designers have even created some sample interfaces and demonstration videos showing how they want the split-screen feature to function. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly designing the feature specifically for the 9.7-inch iPad. At this point it still isn’t clear if the split-screen feature will also be available on the iPad Mini.
It is expected to only work in landscape mode so that the screen is wider, making it easier to operate two apps side by side and interact with both of them. If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) really is working on an iPad that’s even larger than the current iPad Air, as rumors have suggested, then split-screen technology could be a key feature for it. Apple is expected to launch the bigger iPad either this year or next.
Other potential iOS 8 features
Of course multitasking isn’t rumored to be the only new feature on iOS 8. We’ve also heard that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to include a Healthbook app for the iPhone. The app would likely connect with fitness devices and apps to monitor health data.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to unveil iOS 8 at the keynote speech for its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference. The speech is scheduled for June 2, and Apple will probably also unveil a major update to OS X and possibly other new products too.