Apple reportedly planning iPad split-screen multitasking to rival Surface

Despite lagging significantly behind the tablet competition in terms of sales, one of Microsoft's most-touted advantages with its Surface line has been its split-screen multitasking capability. That may not be an advantage against the industry-leading tablet much longer, as Apple reportedly plans to offer split-screen multitasking in the next version of iOS for the iPad.

According to a report by 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, Apple will add split-screen multitasking to iOS 8 for iPad, which "will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once." When it's released, the feature will only work in landscape mode, Gurman claims. The feature is reminiscent of snap mode in Windows 8 and Windows RT, which Microsoft has heavily promoted in Surface ads combating the iPad.

Gurman also states his sources say the new iOS will allow apps to "more easily interact," such as dragging content from one app to another. It's not yet known if the feature will make its way to the iPad mini's 7.9-inch display, as Gurman says it's being designed with the larger iPad's 9.7-inch display in mind.

The iPad's split-screen multitasking will be released either later this year or early next year, though it will be formally unveiled at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2, according to the report.

Microsoft has boasted about the Surface line's work-related capabilities compared to the iPad since its tablets were first released. In an October blog post, Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft's head of communications, slammed the iPad by saying "it’s much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking." The comments notably came after Apple CEO Tim Cook said Microsoft was trying to make a tablet that was essentially a PC.

Source: 9to5Mac

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The problem with the "multitasking" on a tablet is that it does nothing except drain the battery faster and bog down the tablet.

Kind of curious how they'll implement this. iOS apps have traditionally enjoyed being locked to a small number of resolutions - now it's 960x640, 1136x640, 1024x768, and 2048x1536.

Let's assume it's just for the Retina iPads (3rd gen+, 2nd gen mini). Easiest fix would be to define a new size of 1024x1536 for a vertical split. If they want a fluid split, then I'll imagine it'll be a mess given the state of iOS apps today. It already takes app devs a while to adapt to a new fixed resolution - what about variable sizes like WP and Android?

Though it's probably about high time Apple moves away from having fixed container sizes for apps and shifts towards fluid containers. Upside of having fixed sizes are better looking apps as you are guaranteed the positioning of controls. Obvious downside is making new device adopters wait up to a month for their favourite apps to support the new larger resolution on their device.

JHBrown said,
Yawns! Microsoft dreams about having Apples user base and consumer following.

Lets play Spot-the-Apple-Fanboi, shall we?

_dandy_ said,

Lets play Spot-the-Apple-Fanboi, shall we?

Strange that my house has more Microsoft products being used. Try again!

JHBrown said,
Strange that my house has more Microsoft products being used. Try again!

Oh, oh! I know!

Someone who can't spot a tongue-in-cheek comment then?

JHBrown said,
Strange that my house has more Microsoft products being used. Try again!

Hilarious. This is like the "I have black friends" comment

ZipZapRap said,

Hilarious. This is like the "I have black friends" comment

What? I have friends from all over the world. In military you work and team-up with anyone when the mission needs to get done. I don't get your childish comment.

JHBrown said,
What? I have friends from all over the world. In military you work and team-up with anyone when the mission needs to get done. I don't get your childish comment.
Edit:
ZipZapRap was kind enough to explain his comment privately.

deadonthefloor said,

As soon as Microsoft shows them how to do it wrong on WP8.x.

They can't, Microsoft have implemented it the correct way!!!

ah, split screen multitasking, have been using this feature over a year now on my Android Tablet. Apple is again trying to innovate...

vacs said,
ah, split screen multitasking, have been using this feature over a year now on my Android Tablet. Apple is again trying to innovate...

Innovate? No. Improve? Yes.

Nimdock said,
Can't wait to hear all about how Apple invented split-screen multitasking!

Sorry to disappoint but you won't. You may, however, see it properly implemented.

stevan said,

Sorry to disappoint but you won't. You may, however, see it properly implemented.

I keep seeing this mentioned from you and others. I think things like dragging and dropping things between apps would be a nice improvement. Being able to split apps horizontally in portrait mode would be nice too.

But isn't snapping itself about as straight forward as it could be right now? Drag the app to the side and it's snapped.

Lots of things can always improve, but I just can't agree with your implication that Win8's split-screen multitasking is somehow "improper" as it is. :/ .

Nimdock said,
Can't wait to hear all about how Apple invented split-screen multitasking!
That joke was told years ago. How about something more original?

stevan said,
Sorry to disappoint but you won't. You may, however, see it properly implemented.

Maybe you should elaborate on why the Microsoft implementation is not properly implemented then you might just have a little more credibility.

As it is you spouted the same BS multiple times, without explaining why you think the Apple implementation will be better or the correct way to implement split screen apps!!!

Edited by neo158, May 13 2014, 8:12pm :

JHBrown said,
That joke was told years ago. How about something more original?

OK, how about Tim Cook explaining how magical or revolutionary it is!!!!

JHBrown said,
That joke was told years ago. How about something more original?

I like that joke.

It's funny because it's true. :D

neo158 said,

Maybe you should elaborate on why the Microsoft implementation is not properly implemented then you might just have a little more credibility.

As it is you spouted the same BS multiple times, without explaining why you think the Apple implementation will be better or the correct way to implement split screen apps!!!

It's just their very long history of being late with something but doing it right the majority of time. That's where the credibility lies. They did it with most of their product so I don't see why it couldn't be done again. I also said "May", meaning we don't know how it's going to work or whether they are doing it at all.

stevan said,

It's just their very long history of being late with something but doing it right the majority of time. That's where the credibility lies. They did it with most of their product so I don't see why it couldn't be done again. I also said "May", meaning we don't know how it's going to work or whether they are doing it at all.

Yet, you didn't respond to the first part of his post.

stevan said,
It's just their very long history of being late with something but doing it right the majority of time. That's where the credibility lies. They did it with most of their product so I don't see why it couldn't be done again. I also said "May", meaning we don't know how it's going to work or whether they are doing it at all.

As ZipZapRap said you still haven't told me how the way Microsoft implement split screen apps is wrong!!!

Hmm, so IOS finally joins the current century ? Nice.

Now what about allowing storage expansion, access to file system and printing without requiring airprint ?

sjaak327 said,
Hmm, so IOS finally joins the current century ? Nice.

Now what about allowing storage expansion, access to file system and printing without requiring airprint ?

Storage expansion....No because people will buy slow ass memory cards and then blame iOS for being slow

Access to the file system.....why? serious question. You can save docs locally or to the cloud, and since the OS knows where those files are, they can be automatically backed up behind the scenes. If you want to mess about changing stuff, buy an android.

Printing through various third party vendor drivers....No thanks. Give me ONE printing solution which works thanks. Canon, HP, Lexmark might think they can code an iOS driver better than apple but I don't think so. I'm sure there are other wifi printing standards, some printers will support it, others might not, but when I buy an AirPrint printer, I know for a fact it's gonna work when I get home.

I view consumption devices like ice creams. If I walk into an ice cream parlour I wanna get in, grab the best damn ice cream in the shop and get out. There are those who wants a billion different flavours, cones, waffles, sprinkles, sauces and then spend the next five years working through each combination to see which ones best for them. Maybe I'm getting old, or grumpy, but I ain't got time for that ....

glen8 said,

Storage expansion....No because people will buy slow ass memory cards and then blame iOS for being slow

Then limit what can be stored on the expandable media to small files, then you shouldn't really need to worry about performance.

Access to the file system.....why? serious question. You can save docs locally or to the cloud, and since the OS knows where those files are, they can be automatically backed up behind the scenes. If you want to mess about changing stuff, buy an android.

It's not just about changing stuff, it would make things dramatically easier to swap files between devices. If you want keep the OS/Apps stuff locked down, but no reason to not make it easier to swap documents and media.

Printing through various third party vendor drivers....No thanks. Give me ONE printing solution which works thanks. Canon, HP, Lexmark might think they can code an iOS driver better than apple but I don't think so. I'm sure there are other wifi printing standards, some printers will support it, others might not, but when I buy an AirPrint printer, I know for a fact it's gonna work when I get home.

Funny most OS's seem to do it pretty easily, and you could still buy your airprint printer, why not have options, oh wait apple doesn't want you too.

It's going to be intresting to see how well iOS will handle this, prety sure that current apps can't handle this new view, with other words: iOS 8 is going to be a mess in the first couple of months, as Windows apps where prepared for this from the start.

Studio384 said,
It's going to be intresting to see how well iOS will handle this, prety sure that current apps can't handle this new view, with other words: iOS 8 is going to be a mess in the first couple of months, as Windows apps where prepared for this from the start.

It will certainly be interesting to see how they pull it off. It sounds like this feature will (or at least should) be on the bigger iPad only, so at least they can contain the mess if it's buggy.

I definitely agree that it's probably going to have a rough start.

stevan said,
I'll just sit back and wait for Apple to implement it better.

I'm sure Apple will get it right the first time.

Everyone knows that.

But some people need to give Apple cover for stealing another company's idea, so they just blindly say "Apple will do it better" with ZERO clue what that even means.

Ozood said,
Everyone knows that.

But some people need to give Apple cover for stealing another company's idea, so they just blindly say "Apple will do it better" with ZERO clue what that even means.

Everyone knows Apple and MS have a licensing agreement. There, fixed it for you.

paulheu said,
This has worked perfect from day one in WIN8.

So if MS decides to change it, it will no longer be perfect, right?

Shadrack said,

Three apps at once! Tri-screen ftw!

You can already do that NOW. I believe on 1080P you could have three or four simultaneously.

sjaak327 said,

You can already do that NOW. I believe on 1080P you could have three or four simultaneously.

Pshhhh! I'm talking about fo-yo-phone, bro!

I think this would work better if the iPad screen moved to 16:9 like the other iOS devices. Otherwise two apps side-by-side would look a little cramped.

I've tried split screen on Windows tablets. Overall, I still feel that (for me) a tablet is a media consumption device and not really a productivity "create things" device. If I'm wanting to work on a document, spreadsheet, presentation or any other kind of work, I'm going to go to my laptop.

I'd welcome multiple user accounts for iPad more. I'd probably spring for a larger storage capacity model if it supported multiple users. Even on iPhone, I think a "multi user" mode would be nice. I could have a separate log in to my phone if I'm at work or at home. That way I'm not annoyed by work notifications while I'm at home but still get them if I want to by switching to my "work" login. Blah, probably won't ever happen...

Shadrack said,
I've tried split screen on Windows tablets. Overall, I still feel that (for me) a tablet is a media consumption device and not really a productivity "create things" device. If I'm wanting to work on a document, spreadsheet, presentation or any other kind of work, I'm going to go to my laptop.

I'd welcome multiple user accounts for iPad more. I'd probably spring for a larger storage capacity model if it supported multiple users. Even on iPhone, I think a "multi user" mode would be nice. I could have a separate log in to my phone if I'm at work or at home. That way I'm not annoyed by work notifications while I'm at home but still get them if I want to by switching to my "work" login. Blah, probably won't ever happen...

My guess is that it depends by your definition of a Tablet: I replaced my laptop with a Tablet, a Toshiba 3505 Convertible, in 2002 and I never bought another Laptop since.
Currently I have a Lenovo X230T with a 12.5" screen which, for me, is the perfect balance among screen size, power and weight.

Cosmocronos said,

My guess is that it depends by your definition of a Tablet: I replaced my laptop with a Tablet, a Toshiba 3505 Convertible, in 2002 and I never bought another Laptop since.
Currently I have a Lenovo X230T with a 12.5" screen which, for me, is the perfect balance among screen size, power and weight.

I'm talking about iPads and devices with that form factor where touch is the primary input and other input devices are addon peripherals. It isn't just the touch UI that I find un-productive, it is also the screen size. I'm use to working on at 27" monitor at home, and two side-by-side 23" monitors at work. About the only thing I'm OK with doing on my laptop w/o connecting it to an external monitor is report writing....so long as the report doesn't require too much figure work.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Why does it matter who does something first?

You say this but watch how many oblivious Apple fans will think that Apple have been innovative and the only company to include such an advanced feature. Does OSX even have a similar thing!?

This matters as with other features that have been incorporated into the iOS, Apple will probably say that it is new and innovative, but it really wasn't new and only copied. Now, not saying that MS didn't do it with their WP 8.1 notification screen (which I love), but they didn't tote it as being new and innovative, just that they now have one.

denzone said,
This matters as with other features that have been incorporated into the iOS, Apple will probably say that it is new and innovative, but it really wasn't new and only copied. Now, not saying that MS didn't do it with their WP 8.1 notification screen (which I love), but they didn't tote it as being new and innovative, just that they now have one.

Assumptions? When do they ever do that? Seriously, provide some proof of your claims. People make these same BS claims in every discussion involving Apple, and they're all nothing but empty imaginary thoughts.

Obry said,

More like 20+ years

Yes, because tablets in their form today existed in 1994.... MacOS has had multitasking for like... ever. Try again.

drazgoosh said,

You say this but watch how many oblivious Apple fans will think that Apple have been innovative and the only company to include such an advanced feature. Does OSX even have a similar thing!?

I've never had an issue opening multiple windows in OS X. The way the OS functions and the way windows are easily maneuverable doesn't have me wishing for a split-screen feature. But aren't we speaking of iOS? There are apps already on the App Store that features different panels for separate information you may need access to and if Apple can build from that, I'd say they can do a much better job than Redmond (like always it seems).

Astra.Xtreme said,

Assumptions? When do they ever do that? Seriously, provide some proof of your claims. People make these same BS claims in every discussion involving Apple, and they're all nothing but empty imaginary thoughts.

You want proof? Go to a Starbucks the day this thing is released as a feature and sit next to the people with MBAs =).

Enron said,
Nice to see Apple is only a couple of years behind this time.
Apple has been a follower for years now, at least since iPhone 4

Scabrat said,

You want proof? Go to a Starbucks the day this thing is released as a feature and sit next to the people with MBAs =).

Haha, well the same kind of sheep exist for Android or another product out there.

My point is that in every single discussion here involving Apple, there are a handful of trolls that make these moronic claims about how Apple and their users all claim they invented the universe. It's so stale and cliche now and these people don't understand how dumb they look when they copy+paste their delusions into every discussion.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Haha, well the same kind of sheep exist for Android or another product out there.

My point is that in every single discussion here involving Apple, there are a handful of trolls that make these moronic claims about how Apple and their users all claim they invented the universe. It's so stale and cliche now and these people don't understand how dumb they look when they copy+paste their delusions into every discussion.

I think more than claiming all their users think they invented the universe its the pattern that enough users think they made the universe that it gets used as a stereotype. To a non-Apple user, hearing about how Apple is so innovative with x, y, z when Android or another platform had it a year or two before gets annoying. I think thats where it comes from. The majority of Apple users are not like that. But its a perceived minority that sets that up. And there are enough of them that it sticks.

At least its better than the "android stereotype" that the users are poor and uneducated... Which also may re-play into the sheep stereotype.

Scabrat said,

I think more than claiming all their users think they invented the universe its the pattern that enough users think they made the universe that it gets used as a stereotype. To a non-Apple user, hearing about how Apple is so innovative with x, y, z when Android or another platform had it a year or two before gets annoying. I think thats where it comes from. The majority of Apple users are not like that. But its a perceived minority that sets that up. And there are enough of them that it sticks.

At least its better than the "android stereotype" that the users are poor and uneducated... Which also may re-play into the sheep stereotype.

That's exactly where it's overblown though. People constantly make those claims, and I constantly ask them to shell over proof of who's saying these things. It almost always stops right there and no proof is ever presented. The reviewers online don't say those things, the Apple users on Neowin (mostly) don't say those things, the presenters of the keynotes don't say those things, so I'm truly puzzled as to where all of it is originating from. I think we know though...

Astra.Xtreme said,

That's exactly where it's overblown though. People constantly make those claims, and I constantly ask them to shell over proof of who's saying these things. It almost always stops right there and no proof is ever presented. The reviewers online don't say those things, the Apple users on Neowin (mostly) don't say those things, the presenters of the keynotes don't say those things, so I'm truly puzzled as to where all of it is originating from. I think we know though...

I can find people online who say that or reviewers who say that. I can record Apple users who think that. Its just its not valuable enough to warrant doing it. Just because there seems like a lack of evidence doesnt make it so.

I have even read reviews about people saying x feature on android is garbage and doesnt matter then in less than 6 months when Apple implemented it it was a different tone. I dont have links but if you want to find it look up iPhone 5C and their plastic backs. Reviewers commenting on how bad it was on android phones all of a sudden said it fit fine and had surprising quality.

Scabrat said,

I can find people online who say that or reviewers who say that. I can record Apple users who think that. Its just its not valuable enough to warrant doing it. Just because there seems like a lack of evidence doesnt make it so.

I have even read reviews about people saying x feature on android is garbage and doesnt matter then in less than 6 months when Apple implemented it it was a different tone. I dont have links but if you want to find it look up iPhone 5C and their plastic backs. Reviewers commenting on how bad it was on android phones all of a sudden said it fit fine and had surprising quality.

I'm not denying that there are a few people out there that worship the ground Apple stands on, but like I said, the same thing applies to any company that has loyal "fans". It's just not widespread like the trolls around here try to convince everything of with their imaginary ideas.

Regarding your example, the people that like the plastic on the Galaxy phones probably don't mind the plastic on the 5C. It has it's pros and cons, but the people that don't like the plastic, don't like it on iPhones either. Myself included. I don't care what the company is; I just don't like the material.

Every single Apple thread has multiple people making the same stupid claims, and until they can back it up, it will continue to make them look stupid. I'd like to see some of these reviewers who make those claims. I haven't seen a single one.

btw, thanks for keeping the discussion civil. :) You're honesty the first person I've had this similar discussion with that's been courteous the entire way.

Astra.Xtreme said,

I'm not denying that there are a few people out there that worship the ground Apple stands on, but like I said, the same thing applies to any company that has loyal "fans". It's just not widespread like the trolls around here try to convince everything of with their imaginary ideas.

Regarding your example, the people that like the plastic on the Galaxy phones probably don't mind the plastic on the 5C. It has it's pros and cons, but the people that don't like the plastic, don't like it on iPhones either. Myself included. I don't care what the company is; I just don't like the material.

Every single Apple thread has multiple people making the same stupid claims, and until they can back it up, it will continue to make them look stupid. I'd like to see some of these reviewers who make those claims. I haven't seen a single one.

btw, thanks for keeping the discussion civil. :) You're honesty the first person I've had this similar discussion with that's been courteous the entire way.

You have been as well =). Its refreshing to have a civil discussion on a topic on the internet to be honest =).

My plastic back reference was to (I think) an engadget review that said they didnt like plastic phones but thought the iPhone 5C was quality and high end or something like that.

I will give you that most of the Apple users arent Apple worshipers. This is true. But stereotypes generally are false for the majority but rest upon a perceived minority user base =).

But I think another aspect of it is the hype that comes out over Apple products when they get announced. Like when Apple came out with fusion drives which is just a hype name for hybrid drives. And (now everyone does it and it makes me sick because the real people making it happen dont get acknowledged... /endRant) throwing out magic and revolutionary on everything.

That buzz, when other platforms that had the features before hear it, causes them to go, "wait a minute. We had this like a year ago and now you are all jazzed, raving about x-feature when y-reporter and y-group said that it wasnt a good idea and just a fad." I think the next thing we will hear about is how good the big screen is on the iPhone 6 when small screen size by many reviewers and users have been explained away as better.

I am not saying its fair to call all the users sheep cause its not. I just can see why people would say it =).

srprimeaux said,
And watch Apple implement this feature better than Microsoft.

If the rumored drag and drop between apps is true, then that would already be a step up.

Aside from that, not sure if there's really a "better" way to split a screen, though it would be neat to see.

srprimeaux said,
And watch Apple implement this feature better than Microsoft.

Never going to happen. Windows has had multi tasking for 20+ years and it goes way beyond simple split screen. Furthermore, Windows 8 apps are designed to be responsive while iOS apps are not and it will take quite some time for apps to be updated to work well in split screen mode. Playing catch up with such fundamental feature is not so simple and although Apple's stuff looks good, Microsoft does operating systems way better than Apple and dare I say anyone really...

Obry said,

Never going to happen. Windows has had multi tasking for 20+ years and it goes way beyond simple split screen. Furthermore, Windows 8 apps are designed to be responsive while iOS apps are not and it will take quite some time for apps to be updated to work well in split screen mode. Playing catch up with such fundamental feature is not so simple and although Apple's stuff looks good, Microsoft does operating systems way better than Apple and dare I say anyone really...

Of course they do. Just look at all the positive things about Vista and Windows 8. True winners!

Kyang said,

If the rumored drag and drop between apps is true, then that would already be a step up.

Aside from that, not sure if there's really a "better" way to split a screen, though it would be neat to see.

Can you really say that the split screen feature available in Windows 8 on the Surface devices is the best it can be? I think it can be improved.

Obry said,

Never going to happen. Windows has had multi tasking for 20+ years and it goes way beyond simple split screen. Furthermore, Windows 8 apps are designed to be responsive while iOS apps are not and it will take quite some time for apps to be updated to work well in split screen mode. Playing catch up with such fundamental feature is not so simple and although Apple's stuff looks good, Microsoft does operating systems way better than Apple and dare I say anyone really...

One word: Expose. I'm sorry, but Apple knows how to build an intuitive UI that just flows with the entire OS. Everything MS has brought to the market thus far just feels as if something is lacking and that not much thought went into it. Everything MS does seems rushed and half-assed.

stevan said,
Of course they do. Just look at all the positive things about Vista and Windows 8. True winners!

Well Windows 8 alone has larger market share than OS X. And what am I supposed to look at? People who have no clue what they're talking about or have never used the product but just whine and complain about things they've read in a blog post but never experienced themselves?

Edit: Also can you please explain to me what was so wrong with Windows Vista?

srprimeaux said,

Can you really say that the split screen feature available in Windows 8 on the Surface devices is the best it can be? I think it can be improved.

I mentioned earlier that things could be improved, like drag and drop between apps. I think a horizontal snap in portrait mode would be nice too.

But just splitting the screen, or handling overflow when there's too many apps to fit on the screen is about as straight forward as it could possibly be already. The user just drags an app to where they want to snap it. It just "flows" as you say.

Again, improvements are always possible. What I'm not understanding is the implication that Apple will do it better, just because Apple. They've been able to watch how Win8 handles it for a couple years now, shouldn't some improvement be a given?

What I'd really like for Apple to improve on is managing a bunch of icons at once. The user can move and group a bunch of tiles at once, and even scroll along the start page as quickly as they wish while moving groups of tiles. On iOS, it's still a tremendously tedious, press-and-hold, drag to screen-edge and wait for the next screen to pan in, repeat for every, single, icon, kind of affair.

Edited by Kyang, May 13 2014, 5:50pm :

Kyang said,

If the rumored drag and drop between apps is true, then that would already be a step up.

Aside from that, not sure if there's really a "better" way to split a screen, though it would be neat to see.

Drag and drop between apps has been available on Surface from day one, so it's another copied feature.

Kyang said,
I mentioned earlier that things could be improved, like drag and drop between apps. I think a horizontal snap in portrait mode would be nice too.

But just splitting the screen, or handling overflow when there's too many apps to fit on the screen is about as straight forward as it could possibly be already. The user just drags an app to where they want to snap it. It just "flows" as you say.

Again, improvements are always possible. What I'm not understanding is the implication that Apple will do it better, just because Apple. They've been able to watch how Win8 handles it for a couple years now, shouldn't some improvement be a given?

Having used apps on iOS for studies, I've come to appreciate the ability to interact with sub-panels of information that tie into the information I'm currently consuming. If I'm looking at a primary source that has linked information (e.g., footnotes, alternative renderings, commentary, etc.), such information appears in sub-panels next to the primary panel. If I scroll up or down, the information changes as I do so. This is efficient. This is pleasant. This is the way information should be displayed on such devices as tablets.

Having had a Surface, I simply did not enjoy 1.) the absence of apps such as those I enjoy on iOS and 2.) the way Microsoft has implemented their UI. I don't see how I am benefited by snapping two apps side by side, especially when neither one can interact with the other. What? It's nice solely because it's able to snap two programs side by side? Not a selling point for me. I need features that benefit my consumption of information. Nothing Microsoft has brought to the table, thus far, satisfies that. And if Apple takes a look at how developers implemented such features in their respective apps and using those designs as springboards for their implementation, I see a winner on their hands.

Obry said,

Never going to happen. Windows has had multi tasking for 20+ years and it goes way beyond simple split screen. Furthermore, Windows 8 apps are designed to be responsive while iOS apps are not and it will take quite some time for apps to be updated to work well in split screen mode.

Not entirely true. iOS app now uses 'constraints' (Auto Layout Guide) which tell's an app how it should display elements based on constraints between each element. This became an issue with the iPhone 5 size screen, as you wouldn't want certain things cut off when displayed on the 4 but would want to take advantage of the extra space on the 5.

srprimeaux said,

Having used apps on iOS for studies, I've come to appreciate the ability to interact with sub-panels of information that tie into the information I'm currently consuming. If I'm looking at a primary source that has linked information (e.g., footnotes, alternative renderings, commentary, etc.), such information appears in sub-panels next to the primary panel. If I scroll up or down, the information changes as I do so. This is efficient. This is pleasant. This is the way information should be displayed on such devices as tablets.

Having had a Surface, I simply did not enjoy 1.) the absence of apps such as those I enjoy on iOS and 2.) the way Microsoft has implemented their UI. I don't see how I am benefited by snapping two apps side by side, especially when neither one can interact with the other. What? It's nice solely because it's able to snap two programs side by side? Not a selling point for me. I need features that benefit my consumption of information. Nothing Microsoft has brought to the table, thus far, satisfies that. And if Apple takes a look at how developers implemented such features in their respective apps and using those designs as springboards for their implementation, I see a winner on their hands.

That's what snapping lets you do; see two things of your choice, at once.

Kyang said,

That's what snapping lets you do; see two things of your choice, at once.

No, if snapping allowed me to have the same intuitiveness that exists within apps on iOS - I would have a Surface.

Obry said,

Never going to happen. Windows has had multi tasking for 20+ years and it goes way beyond simple split screen. Furthermore, Windows 8 apps are designed to be responsive while iOS apps are not and it will take quite some time for apps to be updated to work well in split screen mode. Playing catch up with such fundamental feature is not so simple and although Apple's stuff looks good, Microsoft does operating systems way better than Apple and dare I say anyone really...

hahahaha, when was the last time you used an apple OS? I mean, more than for five minutes. I was a die hard MS fan till I actually sat down and used OS X for a few weeks. Let me say this......MS have a LONG way to go before they match apple. I'm obviously talking consumer desktop OS here.

There are things MS do well within the Enterprise sure, but for home use Apple rule by a huge margin.

The way Microsoft have been behaving these last two years, I think it's them who need to be pulling their socks up.

Although Surface was late in the game and has not even made a dent in the iPad supremacy, it did damages deep in its pride : a better cover, a stand and multitasking. Ouch.

Next for Apple, multiple users accounts.

TheCyberKnight said,
That was predictable.
As if Apple would remain idle looking at the competition having a more productive device.

That is typically called "stealing" and "ripping off" if it is the other way around.

But Apple does it?

"As if Apple would remain idle looking at the competition having a more productive device."

Whatever...

So the "success story of Surface" is that it made the iPad better. Gee, thanks, Microsoft.

I mean, seriously... they give the iPad a touch-centric version of Office before the Surface... so why exactly should any of us Windows fanboys buy a Surface anymore? It's a real slap in the face.

The iPad Office version is so far removed from what you get on a WIN8 device it should not even be called Office really.

paulheu said,
The iPad Office version is so far removed from what you get on a WIN8 device it should not even be called Office really.

Bet ya more people downloaded it on the iPad than any windows tablet :p

Ozood said,

That is typically called "stealing" and "ripping off" if it is the other way around.

But Apple does it?

"As if Apple would remain idle looking at the competition having a more productive device."

Whatever...

Microsoft and Apple have a cross licensing agreement which is why you don't see them suing each other. Also I'm not even sure if Microsoft have patented this implementation or not

I have always missed drag and drop/ interactivity between apps. For example apps can't record the screen of the OS and other apps on my Surface.

ians18 said,
I have always missed drag and drop/ interactivity between apps. For example apps can't record the screen of the OS and other apps on my Surface.

We all know that split screen won't work well on portrait mode but I assume Apple will take this into consideration.

nickcruz said,

We all know that split screen won't work well on portrait mode but I assume Apple will take this into consideration.

The article says it will only work in landscape mode =). Still, the 4:3 screen size doesnt make splitting it very nice imo...