iOS 8 could bring split-screen multitasking capabilities to your iPad.
Aping the functionality offered by Microsoft tablets like the Surface Pro 2, iOS 8 could let you run two apps side by side on your iPad.
The new information comes courtesy of “sources with knowledge” of iOS 8 development, who suggest iOS 8 will allow users to run and interact with two apps within one window on devices like the iPad Air or iPad mini 2 Retina.
Currently you can only one app on your iPad or iPhone in full screen, regardless of whether it is an Apple-made app or one available to download from the App Store.
Microsoft Surface tablets have a great multitasking “snap” feature that lets you run multiple apps on one screen simultaneously.
Multitasking on the Surface is something that Microsoft is very proud of and even released an advert showing how limited the multitasking capabilities of the iPad Air compared to the Surface line.
The sources suggest iOS 8 will do more than let the two apps run side by side though. Apparently it’ll actually let the two apps interact more easily with each other.
For example, iOS 8 should let you drag content quickly from one app to another, and Apple is even encouraging developers to design their apps to better utilise this upcoming enhanced functionality.
Apparently the multitasking will only work when your iPad is in landscape mode, and isn’t confirmed for the 7.9-inch iPad mini. It has been designed with the larger 9.7-inch iPad Air format in mind.
iOS 8 should also offer some other brand new features like the fitness-focused HealthBook application that would connect to fitness devices such as the heavily rumoured Apple iWatch to track data like sleep cycles, distance walked and calories burnt.
Apple Maps should get a major public transport route update and Apple will no doubt introduce performance enhancements and a few UI tweaks as well.
iOS 8 is due to be officially unveiled at Apple’s annual WWDC conference in June, with the major keynote scheduled for June 2.
Until then, watch the iOS 8 multitasking mock-up made by Sam Beckett.
Read more: iPad Air vs iPad mini 2 Retina