Do you want split-screen multitasking in iOS?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: June 10, 2014

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is always a busy time, and not just for Apple. Leading up to the event and even for a few weeks after, many people will be doing everything they can to find any hidden gems, whether inside the code for iOS 8 itself or even just in the marketing materials from Apple directly, not announced by the company while on stage. It never fails, and this year's not any different. While Apple has always done a great job of announcing new things, they've always got more waiting in the wings.

Part of that is the fact that Apple's got more to announce later in the year. At WWDC, as far as the mobile industry and fans are concerned, it's all about the software. iOS is the focal point, both for the end user and the developers out there in the world. Apple uses that time to keep that focus there, and spends time on stage announcing the things *they* think are really cool. It should be expected that they're probably going to miss a few things -- and some things they're just waiting to reveal (on a stage).

Later in the year, Apple's going to take the stage again and they're going to unveil the other half of what they've been working on. The thing that's going to accompany iOS 8 to the customer's hands in all its new and shiny glory. When they do unveil the next iPhone, they're probably going to talk about even more iOS 8-only features. And tweaks that will only work with the new hardware (be it iPhone or iPad).

Nothing new, right?

This year, there was a rumor that Apple would unveil split-screen app usage for iOS at WWDC. I know quite a few people who want this functionality, and even a few others who are actually waiting for this specific feature before they switch to Apple's mobile platform. I can understand that sentiment. Multi-tasking has come a long way on Apple's platform, but there is definitely still room for improvement. Split-screen app usage, especially in varying sizes, could certainly help things along in the right direction.

Recently, a tweet by developer Steve Troughton-Smith revealed that within iOS 8's code lies the markings for split-screen multitasking. So those rumors could very well pan out, as long as you don't fault them too much for suggesting it could be a feature revealed at WWDC. In reality it makes much more sense for Apple to unveil the feature alongside the new hardware they've got coming down the pipe.

Moreover, I want to believe that this is a feature that's going to be regulated to only the iPad. That would make sense, considering the sizable size difference in screens -- even in the iPad Mini. However, with the Rumor Mill still throwing out the idea that the next iPhone could boast a display with a 4.7-inch spread or more, well, maybe split-screen multitasking could be making its way to Apple's smartphone, too.

(It could very well be an exclusive feature for the iPhone 6, if it does have a bigger screen, while the smaller iPhones are left without it.)

Multitasking hasn't just evolved, or gotten better, on iOS over the years. It's something that companies have worked hard on over the years. It isn't just about switching apps anymore. We've got applications that float over others, just like you'd find on a desktop computer. And there are other methods, too, but it would seem the split-screen idea might be the best one for many people. It makes sense that many folks would want to see it brought to Apple's mobile devices. Even if it is only the iPad.

So tell me: Do you want Apple to bring split-screen multitasking to their mobile platform? Do you want it as an iPad exclusive, or would you be okay with using the functionality on a larger iPhone, too? Let me know!