iOS 8 code includes multitasking support, but you can't use it...yet

When the rumors of iOS 8 started circulating, it was said that iOS 8 for the iPad would feature multitasking support. That is, true multitasking support not the ability to run multiple apps at one time but to run them side-by-side. But alas, WWDC came and went and the feature did not show up.

But there is more to the story than simply a rumor going afoul as those with access to iOS 8 bits have found in the source code information pertaining to this ability.

The code that was found allows two apps to run side-by-side in different layouts. The apps can take up a quarter of the screen and leave the rest of the space for other apps or two apps can be split 50/50.

When the rumor first came out, it was said that it may not make it into the first version of iOS 8 and may be pushed back to 8.1 or scrapped all together. Seeing that the code has been found, there is certainly substance to the rumor and reason to believe that iOS will eventually support true multitasking which will be a dramatic change for the iOS which has, for 8 generations, not allowed split-screen multitasking support.

Apple could hold the update back further as a feature this large would certainly warrant some kind of announcement. If that holds true, we may not see it until iOS 9, as the likely reason why it was not announced with iOS 8 was because the feature was not yet ready for testing by the public. Apple often is not the first to release a new feature but has traditionally taken the route of perfecting an idea before pushing it out to its users.

Seeing that the code is in the shipping beta of iOS 8, this feature seems far more real than something that was only on a roadmap. But for now, though, you will still have to wait as those who have run the multitasking code say that is far from complete and is not functional at this time.

Via: Techcrunch | Image Credit: Apple

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

That claim that a computer 'passed' the Turing Test was crap - and here's why [Update]

Next Story

Xbox One coming to Russia September 5

14 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Yes, Windows dominates multitasking... after all, it is one of the things it was primarily designed to do well over 20 years ago...

I love how Apple added more options in the multitasking screen because I tend to use the multitasking option a lot. I like quick access to people and maybe even text messages?

Denis W. said,
Recall that, for example, Game Center made its debut in 4.1 not 5.

It took until a point release to get the green felt clean..

Apple could hold the update back further as a feature this large would certainly warrant some kind of announcement.

They could be waiting for a new iPhone to tout it as one of the big features.

Not exactly. TouchWiz has had it for a long time. And rooted devices could hack in an iffy version of this. But stock Android (Nexus) and many other OEM versions do not support split-screen multitasking.

Android apps are in fluid containers plus there are no 'set' resolutions defined. Apps are expected to scale to anything. Hence it's trivial to build as a feature into an Android build.

For iOS, which traditionally had static containers, it'll require changes on the app's behalf and the OS.

Denis W. said,
Android apps are in fluid containers plus there are no 'set' resolutions defined. Apps are expected to scale to anything. Hence it's trivial to build as a feature into an Android build.

For iOS, which traditionally had static containers, it'll require changes on the app's behalf and the OS.

Early versions of the TouchWiz split-screen feature was limited to apps that were fully tested. Hacks were released that opened it up to any app, with a warning that YMMV. There were definitely glitchy apps, regardless of how they were 'expected' to behave.

Joshie said,

Early versions of the TouchWiz split-screen feature was limited to apps that were fully tested. Hacks were released that opened it up to any app, with a warning that YMMV. There were definitely glitchy apps, regardless of how they were 'expected' to behave.

Kinda figured it was a TouchWiz-only thing seeing how only friends with Notes were showing off that.

Fine by me. Especially if they can improve W8's multitasking, as that will push Microsoft to do the same. Plus, if I can point at my Surface when iPad uses are learning the new feature, that's sprinkles on top :)