Apple is finally making the iPad grow up with side-by-side apps in iOS 9, and is building an iPad Pro while at it

Apple is finally making the iPad grow up with side-by-side apps in iOS 9, and is building an iPad Pro while at it
Apple's current iPad line-up is the best it's ever been, but impeccable design and great all-around performance haven't been enough to turn the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 into the best sellers in Cupertino's tablet-making career. Yes, the tablet market is generally slow, due to saturation and the specifics of tablets. They aren't quite the portable communicators smartphones are, and they generally aren't the productivity powerhouses laptops are either. Yeah, Windows tablets and hybrids may be nearly as accomplished in this regard, but what about those terrific apps & games Android and iOS users enjoy in their leisure time? Sorry, you can't have any of that! Tablets also aren't subsidized as generously by carriers, so users pay more up-front and tend to hold onto their investment for a while. Hence, it's 2015, but many tablet users still find the ancient (in technological years) iPad 2 and iPad 3 largely usable - kind of like that dusty pair of frayed sneakers that still gets you going, no matter what.

Apple is well aware of all that, and also of another problem that's entirely specific to the iPad - where getting actual work done is concerned, iOS doesn't utilize a fraction of the tablet's hardware potential. iPad-optimized apps aside, iOS on a tablet is the exact same experience you're getting on the iPhone and the forsaken iPod Touch. The multitasking is basic and rigid. If you don't watch what you're doing, an app you need to stay open will be quietly shoved aside to free RAM memory. iOS also doesn't let you use two or more apps on one screen, simultaneously, which feels controversial at this point. Apple actually gave it a try last year, intending to turn side-by-side apps into a highlight of iOS 8, then gave up as the result didn't live up to its user experience standards. Since then, Apple has been neglecting tablet-centric software innovations, hence the iPad has been left in this awkward "beautiful, powerful toy" state.

Still, Apple is a company that runs on deep research and methodical, highly critical thinking. When it knows the time to do something new is finally up, it sets the necessary wheels in motion and announces an accomplished device that becomes a guaranteed market success, as well as a high-end product blueprint for the industry. Speaking of which, the Apple Watch is the first truly dubious outcome of that spectacular workflow, because for all the effort it put into its hardware, Apple couldn't figure out its functionality radically better than the competition. But the market success part seems to be playing out triumphantly nevertheless, as US shopping data revealed that day one Apple Watch sales eclipsed the yearly sales of Android Wear devices for 2014. What a timebomb!

But we're not talking the Watch. We're talking the iPad, and by now, we've gotten to know that Apple will attend to the iPad's pressing need for productivity-related innovation in a much grander way than merely baking Dual Window into iOS 9 and exclaiming "sorry we kept you guys waiting!" at WWDC. Yes, Apple will do that, but it will also build a whole new product around it - the iPad Pro. This is how the iPad will, metaphorically and quite literally speaking, grow up in Apple's eyes.

The Apple leaks season is officially open, and along with the ample supply of next-gen iPhone-related knowledge, the rain has brought us lots to know about the all-new iPad too. The leaks paint the picture of a big tablet with a casing as slim as the iPhone's, two ports (Lighting and USB-C), two pairs of stereo speakers, Force Touch haptic feedback lurking below a 12.9-inch sapphire-glass display with a silver nanowire-coated touch panel, a desktop-class (but still ARM-based) A9 processor, a rapid recharge feature, and an optional multi-sensor stylus.

Today, we have some new details to add to a picture that's becoming increasingly complete as days and weeks go by. First off, we get to learn that Apple has been working on two iPad Pro-related software features - side-by-side app support and multi-user logins. The former could be announced as early as June at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, as part of iOS 9. This means your non-pro iPad will also get it, which will add the missing part to its multi-tasking puzzle. The split screen feature will support 1/2, 1/3, and 2/3 views, depending on the apps being ran. The screen will be able to display two different apps side-by-side, or show multiple views of the same app.

The latter feature, however, will debut at a later date, possibly in time for the 12.9-inch iPad. Speaking of which, Apple is working on two 12.9-inch models, codenamed J98 and J99. The report describes them simply as super-sized versions of the Wi-Fi only, and Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air 2 models, which certainly doesn't sound as innovative as the leaked information makes us hope. However, these devices could be simply placeholder prototypes of a better tablet to come. Reportedly, the launch date is still up in the air, as the software is yet to be finished, and new hardware components have to be sourced. Speaking of software, Apple plans to overhaul iOS for the bigger iPad, redesigning core apps and features to take better advantage of the large screen, in addition to dual-window and multi-user support. Apple believes the latter is critical for the enterprise and education sectors, which it has been targeting with the iPad for a long time.

As always, we'll be keeping you posted on the latest iPad developments. Seeing Apple's fine example of a tablet grow into a true multi-purpose computing device is a wonderful sight!


source: 9to5mac

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52 Comments

1. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Apple will add usb ports and they will call it iPdad Pro...........FAIL!

11. gaming64 unregistered

Failure to spell iPad Pro right. FAIL!!! (not a grammar nazi, just an arseh0le. Forgive me.)

38. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Oh well so i made a mistake.......oohh sh!t it might collapse the world (sarcasm)

15. CAMBODIANPATRIOT

Posts: 226; Member since: May 10, 2015

You're a big fail to tech community. Apple's lightning port is just perfect already, they no need to follow Android philosophy

16. gaming64 unregistered

Uh Android phone don't have USB ports and your failure to see the diferrence between a platform and a device is an EPIC FAIL. Again just your regular arseh0le.

51. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

Most Android phones and tablets support USB on-the-go (OTG) through the micro USB charging port. This allows you to plug a USB thumb drive, keyboard, mouse, CAC reader, etc into the micro USB charging port using a $1 adapter. You can even plug a USB hub into the micro USB charging port. I don't think you can do this with a lightning port or if iOS even allows it. Most Android devices support Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) through the micro USB port also. This allows Android devices to connect directly to an HDTV with an micro USB to HDMI cable. The cool thing is that most Android devices can do USB OTG and MHL at the same time. You can buy a $25 Android smart dock that allows you to turn your Android device into a computer. The smart dock has USB ports for connecting a mouse, keyboard, and other USB devices to your Android device and a HDMI out port to display your Android device's screen to an HDTV.

28. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Just for the record, I know he is a troll, but I just want to say that Lightning has much more cons, the one advantage I can find is audio streaming. What really sucks is: it isn't USB 3.0 standard that stupid chip that recognises cables not certified by Apple (luckily jailbreak fixes it) It isn't standard anywhere which makes using iPhones pain in the arse I love Apple hardware, but their greed is so friggin annoying it makes me wanna hire some hitman on Tim Cook.

2. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Dual window and multi-user support is more than welcome for everyone

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

This. We need to stop with the pointless copying arguments Every OEM copies ideas from others, and us users benefit from better features KitKat had a hidden API for splitscreen Lollipop AOSP code has mentions of multiwindowhttp://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/05/google-tracker-io-2015-edition-android-m-chromecast-2-and-lots-more/2/#h5 Hopefully this rumor encourages Google to finally finish multiwindow and spiltscreen for stock Android And if Apple add support for multiwindow and spiltscreen, even more Android apps will also get support

26. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Problem is that Android has had several years of split screen with OEM skins and it is still difficult to do properly on mobile devices. Even AOSP hasn't allowed it completely yet because it is very difficult to implement without it being a gimmick or a hindrance or just a buggy mess. Apple has NEVER even touched it and as we saw with just the simple addition of widgets/keyboards in iOS 8, the number of bugs and problems rises exponentially. I doubt this multi-window will come to iOS this year because if widgets/keyboards still suck, how are they going to put multi-window in there. iOS doesn't even have proper backgrounding and multi-window absolutely requires it. This is just wishful thinking for iOS for now and even AOSP.

34. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

For Android, it's only a matter of time I'm actually quite confident we'll finally see it in M Recent changes to recent apps (aka Overview) and several Google apps, show Google trying to make Android multitasking more like on desktop with separate "windows" E.g. Chrome tabs are now in recent apps, meaning you can have multiple windows of Chrome, each with its own tabs. In Gmail compose an emails happens in another window. KitKat had a hidden API for splitscreenhttp://androidinternalsblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/split-screens-in-android-exist.htme Lollipop AOSP code has mentions of multiwindowhttps://android.googlesource.com/platform/frameworks/base/+/baf6bef001a582fea275bf891294cf1fe9d5472e I'm optimistic Apple will have something similar IMO a 12" iPad Pro would be somewhat pointless with it But I wouldn't be surprise if Apple doesn't implement it yet Apple have always been more conservative, only add new features when they consider the feature to be "ready for primetime " Google one the other hand, doesn't mind experimenting with new features, albeit with half finished features

52. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

Samsung has done split screen extremely well on all of its devices. I have a Samsung tablet that opens links from one app into another app and automatically splits the screen between the two. You are definitely right about AOSP split screen support. It sucks! I have another tablet running Cyanogenmod. I gave up trying to set up split screen mode on it because the implementation was extremely slow and buggy. No where near as smooth as what Samsung offers. You should check out OEM skin split screen again. You will be amazed at how far it has come.

33. thunderc8

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

I already have multi windows on my s5 i play music on youtube on the top of the screen and im browsing on the bottom of my phone and i can resize the window as i like. I did it in kit kat and i do it in lolipop.

35. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I know, I was talking about stock Android But I can kind of do that in stock Android, but though third party apps E.g. I can watch YouTube in Viral while web browsing But Viral just draws over part of the browser, its not proper splitscreen

46. AlikMalix unregistered

Thunder, I play music off youtube using an app called Musi which basically a so much better way to compile lists of music you dont own yet and play them in background. Having a split screen just for that is not a good fix and only takes up half the screen just to listen to a song. I really dont think split screen is needed on screens smaller than 7" --- it is a welcome addition to iPad users though..

49. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Eh no...If Apple can keep all their own tech to themselves and sue anyone that comes close, why should Android, or anyone for that matter, let Apple use any of theirs? Apple is like that selfish rich kid at the playground who refuses to let anyone touch his toys, but has the guts to go borrowing the other kids's toys to play to make his playtime more fun. The only ones who should have Multi-window by now are stock Android, and Microsoft (since they've already done it on Windows). Apple can just stay behind their innovationless walled garden and rot.

3. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

I dont know why it takes Google and Apple too long to implement Side-by-Side apps while Samsung has been doing this for some years now. I use this feature everyday on a smartphone and find it useful. BTW, After WWDC 2015 Apple fans will be like "Innovation" after they announce this feature!

4. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Actually one dude found a code for side by side apps on iOS 8 but dont know why they didnt make it available for everyone

12. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Stop the crap with this "innovation said by Apple fans". I haven't seen anyone on tech sites saying that Apple brought some innovation with iPhone 6 or anything in last years. Techies know it isn't innovation, casual users don't care if it had been anywhere else before. Only trolls are praising Apple for innovations and people like you are falling for it which I find even more pathetic than trolling itself.

17. gaming64 unregistered

The spoke has been truthen!

47. AlikMalix unregistered

Thank you... thank you so much... And I'll extend the cutesy and say, Android Flagships do not lag more than iPhones and are just as smooth and crisp, period!!! Lets move on, shall we...?

24. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Implementing universal side-by-side apps that work well at the OS level takes some work and it also involves prioritizing that project ahead of everything else they are working on to improve the OSes.

40. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What? iOS is a stripped down version of Mac OS X. OS X already supports windowing apps. Apple should have simply never remved it. How in the world do you have a tablet with a huge screen and not be able to use apps side by side. That is a huge misstep. But when the Galaxy Notes appeared with it, all the Apple fans blasted the idea saying we dont need that and blah blah. Now they might get it and look they all want it. I just don't understand how these iDiots operate

45. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Since stock Android doesn't support multiwindow, 99.9% of play store apps cannot be used with multiwindow. That's why it sucks

5. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Only an Apple product will get an entire article on iPhoneArena to justify why it's allowed to copy it's competitors and be 3 years late to the party.

8. gaming64 unregistered

Hmmmm. Interestting point. You got me.

6. gaming64 unregistered

Useful if you have eyes that can work independently. That said, cool feature.

7. shiftt

Posts: 333; Member since: May 03, 2015

"OMG, side-by-side windows mode!" Yeah guys so innovative. Apple did it first, but wait.. They didn't. Its funny how Apple fans will blast you on Android articles but when PA call out Apple for issues, errors, or even copying, you don't see a iOS fan in sight.

14. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

So why the f*ck are You calling them now? Are you really that retarded to bring flame war everywhere?

22. shiftt

Posts: 333; Member since: May 03, 2015

Not everywhere but it p*ss me off that they do that kind of crap. ...ha! I'm butthurt. Lol

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