Before WWDC 2014 kicked off there was a report that suggested Apple was developing a new feature for iOS 8 that will allow for split-screen multitasking on the iPad. The report said it might be too soon for Apple to detail the feature during WWDC 2014, and of course the company didn’t discuss it at all. Still, it may be in development, and some code in iOS 8 was actually found to reference the feature recently.
MacRumors caught a tweet from a developer named Steven Troughton-Smith who recently noticed that Springboard inside iOS 8 has an option for applications to run side by side. Just two apps are supported at a time according to, Troughton-Smith, who noticed that there are options for 1/4 size apps, 1/2 size apps and 3/4 size apps. That means one app could run while consuming 1/4 of the screen while another takes up the other 3/4, or two apps can take up the same amount of the display at once.
So… just in case there was any doubt left… iOS 8’s SpringBoard has code to run two apps side-by-side. 1/4 size, 1/2 size, or 3/4 size
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 9, 2014
“Apps that are running side-by-side are displayed as a single app in the App Switcher,” MacRumors said, noting that the option may only be available on the iPad Air at first. That would be a shame, since the iPad mini with Retina has a sharp enough display where running two apps at the same time shouldn’t be an issue at all.
We don’t know when this feature will roll out, if ever, but it seems like Apple could use its next iPad or iPhone event to talk about all of the features in iOS 8. Usually a bunch are left out when a new mobile OS is unveiled at WWDC, and we learn about everything later when it finally ships on new hardware. If that’s the case, we might hear more about this in September.