iOS 8 beta code hints at split-screen multitasking

iOS 8 beta code hints at split-screen multitasking
There were a lot of rumors surrounding what might be in iOS 8 during the lead-up to Apple's WWDC keynote last week, and not all of them ended up being present in the software that Apple showed off on stage. One of the more sought-after features that was rumored, but not announced was split-screen multitasking. While it wasn't announced, the feature may still exist in iOS 8. Apparently, the iOS 8 code does hint that split-screen multitasking is in the works, although it is unclear if Apple will have it finalized in time for the official software release which is expected in just about 3 months. 

The news comes from Steve Troughton-Smith who has been combing through the code in iOS 8 beta, and he has apparently found references that point to split-screen multitasking functionality. He says that the Springboard (aka the iOS homescreen launcher) has code that refers to new "main-screen-canvas-sizes", which would allow two apps to run side-by-side on screen. The code already allows for each app to take up half the screen, or one to use 1/4 of the display while the other uses 3/4. Additionally, when using the multitasking switcher, a screen that had two side-by-side apps would appear as one item in the switcher. 

Troughton-Smith goes on into more detail about the specific sizes for each option: 1/4 screen being about 341pt, 1/2 screen as 512pt, 3/4 screen as about 682pt in width, and obviously 1024pt as fullscreen. He even posits that the apps would be resizable, but it seems like they would only be resizable to those preset dimensions. 

We'll just have to wait and see if Apple gets this going in time for the full iOS 8 release, but it's hard to imagine that it wouldn't be announced at the developers conference, given that developers would likely have to update apps to fit the new sizes. 

source: @Steve Troughton-Smith 1, 2, 3, 4 via The Verge

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25 Comments

1. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

iOS adding features like this along with others that have been available on Windows for so long should make people realize that Apple is no longer an innovator just selling off past fame.

4. gehrig

Posts: 423; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Would you rather IOS8 have no features? Apple may not have invented these features, but they executed them better than the competition and they're still good features. If no one copied anyone else, all phones would be featureless!

6. willard12 unregistered

"I just want people to invent their own stuff." - Tim Cook

9. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

No I wouldn't want iOS8 not to have features but when Apple copies from others they get praised while those they copy from gets bashed just pointing out the blatant hypocrisy. I wouldn't say Apple execution of copied features are better. If no one copied anyone else that doesn't mean phones will become featureless, that is throwing creativity out the Window.

13. gehrig

Posts: 423; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

And also adding great features to ALL platforms. Also, Apple gets applauded for unoriginal features BECAUSE THEIR EXECUTION IS BETTER THAN THE COMPETITION.

20. willard12 unregistered

Apple Maps....great execution.

21. gehrig

Posts: 423; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

That was an ORIGINAL FEATURE. It was bad because Apple took the chance to do it. Plus, Apple Maps is getting better.

5. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

Hi, I've had enough of your whining about apple not innovating anymore.. As you can see, all of these tech companies have their own ups and downs.. If you don't like apple then don't buy one.. Not a fan here. All OS's have their own strengths. For me they are: Android - Open Apple - Apps Windows - Class

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

IMO Android apps are at least on level with iOS now I'd even say Android is a head now, but that depends on what apps you want iOS still has the lead in tablet apps and games though

22. Droidrapist

Posts: 186; Member since: May 28, 2014

They're not in the same level. There's still apps I use on my iPhone I can't get on S5... they just DON'T exist, and their vital apps for my workflow. My brother is making an app, and he's making it for iOS first then later hiring someone to write the Droid code for him.

25. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

That's why I said it depends on what apps you want There's plenty of apps on my Nexus that had never seen on my iPhone I now use them every day and cannot imagine going back without them as well

12. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Nothing new here still copying and apple will call it a different name then they'll say it's innovation. Wow so revolutionary . Wow so apple.

19. engineer-1701d unregistered

That's not news they said multitasking split screens on the keynote why do you think we was so mad

2. uchihakurtz

Posts: 427; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Cool, and once again, even stock Android doesn't have that..

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

iOS still needs to allow apps to 'draw on top', so devs can make floating apps (e.g. facebook chat heads) Floating apps are for watching youtube/videos, browsing web, calculator and messaging

14. gehrig

Posts: 423; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

They would have to increase processing power and graphics, compromising battery life. That seems like a feature better left for IOS 9.

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Android phones have had it for a while The iPhone 5 & 5S should be able to handle it just fine

17. Canaan

Posts: 351; Member since: May 25, 2014

If the IP5 and IP5S can barely handle the current multitasking do you think they could handle split screens with only 1GB of RAM?

7. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

If they add this functionality in iOS 8, I'm getting an iPad to complement my WP. :D

10. superfans

Posts: 155; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

Is this feature useful ? Never really use it on my s4 due to only limit apps can be multitasked. I really hope this features don't lag on any iDevices.

11. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

So they doubled up on the crashing? This ought to go smoothly.

15. xfire99

Posts: 1205; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Wont happen. Multiscreen multitasking need CPU power + RAM. Apple will loose profits, if they release quad + 2GB RAM and sell at same current price. Apples stocks holders wont be happy if Apple dont make enough of profits for each iDevice sold.

18. Canaan

Posts: 351; Member since: May 25, 2014

I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility for the IPhone 6 to come with more RAM or more cores. Looking back at their older models when they moved from the 3G to the 4 they doubled the RAM from 256MB to 512MB. When the IPhone 5 was released its RAM doubled again this time to 1GB of RAM. If the same pattern continues then the IPhone 6 should come with 2GB of RAM.

24. Droidrapist

Posts: 186; Member since: May 28, 2014

Apple just divided their stock holders 7:1 so now they can offend them more often and still have a solid stock. ;)

23. Droidrapist

Posts: 186; Member since: May 28, 2014

Honestly, split screen is a dumb useless feature for me. Even if my phone can 'multitask' Im a man, I can't do that s**t. I can only read one f**king thing at a time!!!!

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