Sources tell 9to5Mac that iPad split-screen multitasking will be shown off with iOS 9, which could debut as soon as WWDC in June. The feature will reportedly allow users to split their screen into 1/3, 1/3, or 2/3, depending on the app. Users may be able to utilize these views to run two different apps simultaneously, or two different views of the same app. However, it’s worth noting that iPad split-screen multitasking isn’t yet a lock for WWDC, as it still needs some polish before being shown to the public.
Looking even further into the future, Apple’s reportedly got two other big plans for the iPad. The first is a model with a 12-inch display with the codenamed “J99.” The device is said to look like the iPad Air 2, but with a screen that’s considerably larger than the regular iPad’s 9.7-inch display. Hardware and software for the device is still being worked on, but it’s suggested that Apple is working on tweaking iOS to take better advantage of the big iPad’s screen, possibly with refreshed core iOS apps.
Finally, Apple is said to be prepping multi-user support for the iPad. The feature will let multiple people use the same iPad but only have access to their own apps, and while Apple reportedly considers it a major feature for business and education, it’s unlikely that it’ll be ready for iOS 9’s release in the fall. Instead, multi-user support may be released alongside an iOS 9.1 or 9.2 update later on.
Unlike phones, most folks don’t have their own tablet, with most families probably only having one or two tablets at most. As a result, multi-user support makes sense, and it’s kind of surprising that it’s taken Apple this long to get the feature implemented into iOS. Another big differentiator between phones and tablets is that tablets (typically) have much larger screens that make them better for being productive, but since iOS only lets you run one app on the screen at a time, it can be difficult for some people to get work done on an iPad. That’s why Microsoft touts the Surface’s multi-tasking so heavily. A larger iPad and support for split-screen multi-tasking could make the iPad better for productivity, especially as tablets continue to get more powerful and folks need dedicated laptops less and less.