iOS 8 side-by-side multitasking 'not ready yet'

A new report has indicated that although Apple's awaited side-by-side multitasking feature is under development for iOS 8, it is still being built and is not yet ready for public usage. App multitasking is currently one key area where Apple lags behind the other players in the computing market.

It is also one of the few things which Microsoft's Windows 8 consistently scores highly in with its praised 'Snap' feature, capable of running on even low-resolution displays. This is present in all areas of the UI, including the desktop, where it has been appreciated by users since the launch of Windows 8.

One of the most-praised features of Windows is its impressive app multitasking capabilities through 'Snap'

Brian Chen, a technology reporter for the New York Times, tweeted yesterday to say that he has been told the feature "isn't ready yet" although he does not say where he acquired the information or who his source was. Chen adds that the functionality is still very much a work in progress and as such won't be shown off at Apple's Worldwide Development Conference, WWDC, next week.

Presumably, therefore, split-screen multitasking is still coming to iOS 8 but not at launch. It looks very much as though it will debut in a future update for the mobile operating system. When it arrives, the functionality will finally make Apple devices a more viable option for business users seeking maximum productivity on the go - something that only a Windows device or an Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Note with its S-Pen could formerly offer. The iPad will be able to properly rival Microsoft's Surface for business users.

Although it remains to be seen whether the feature will be present on all Apple devices, it is likely that only iPads with the increased screen space will be able to utilize the option. Even with a 'retina' display, viewing two apps on a 4-inch iPhone could very quickly prove to be a bit of a squeeze.

Source: Brian Chen on Twitter via MacRumors

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I have no idea why it took so long for them to realize the need of running two app at once in the tablet era especially Apple constantly advocate the post pc device is incredibly sufficient to replace traditional PC or whatever they wanna call it.

Well, I'm fine with them copying the feature, all of the 3 big ones learns from each other, but I will hate all of the "revolutionary" articles all over the internet when it's out...

thats exactly what I was thinking. I mean ipad is a great consumer device but when it comes it college and workplace it pales in front of surface Pro.

Apple has always been a consumer driven, while Microsoft has always been business driven.

Apple had the right mindset for what they delivered. They did NOT do multitasking (in the sense that two things were on the screen at the same time) because it totally diminished both experiences of both apps being "multitasked".

Hell, we have a lot of talk about Apple devices and resolutions and keeping it from looking pixelated in general on their iDevices. There is a LOT of thought put into the Apple "how it looks, how it feels" than Microsoft ever does. Microsoft just makes an API, and jams apps into it. Sure there's some thoughts, but it seems you have to always micro-adjust Microsoft stuff to make it "just right".

I look forward to seeing how Apple tries to deliver a simple, elegant multitasking solution. I'm not saying it'll be better, or even great. It just seems to me that they put a lot of effort into the user experience and for that I am appreciative.

Couldn't resist....

If they really gave a lot of thought to the user experience, they would have made the Control Center in iOS7 customisable. They would have done a better job of designing all the icons. They would have revamped the OS settings instead of leaving it as the mess it is where you have to go hunting deep inside for simple stuff. They would have at least tried not to make the user rely on that goddamn iTunes for every bloody thing!!

The Dark Knight said,

If they really gave a lot of thought to the user experience, they would have made the Control Center in iOS7 customisable.

This! In the early betas, the shortcut to the timer actually remembered the last tab of the clock app you used and return there. Then they went and ######ing hard coded it to the timer. So now it's another click to hit the alarm for me.

Guess its a case of how it looks or feels > how it bloody works!

mram said,

They did NOT do multitasking (in the sense that two things were on the screen at the same time) because it totally diminished both experiences of both apps being "multitasked".

You've obviously never used Windows 8.

jakem1 said,

You've obviously never used Windows 8.

You've obviously never read the negative comments for multitasking metro apps in Windows 8. Especially on large screen monitors. You can't pick and choose the target here, Microsoft was completely myopic in making multitasking reasonably "ok" on tablets, while making it horrid and downright scary on monitors.

mram said,

You've obviously never read the negative comments for multitasking metro apps in Windows 8. Especially on large screen monitors. You can't pick and choose the target here, Microsoft was completely myopic in making multitasking reasonably "ok" on tablets, while making it horrid and downright scary on monitors.

Because the first-version, not-yet refined multitasking on the Modern side totally disables the mature multitasking capabilities of the desktop, right?

Even after iOS gets its Modern-esque multitasking added, it'll still be inferior to the Windows 8 implementation because 8 has both Modern-style multitasking and classic desktop style multitasking, and you can use either or both - whichever suits your needs.

Heck, even RT has both styles, albeit limited to the built-in apps on the desktop side.

By the time iOS gets multitasking, Modern will be on a hopefully-improved version 2 or 3 of its multitasking capability. And Windows 8 will _still_ have the already mature multitasking abilties of the desktop.

Edited by DConnell, May 30 2014, 8:28pm :

mram said,

You've obviously never read the negative comments for multitasking metro apps in Windows 8. Especially on large screen monitors. You can't pick and choose the target here, Microsoft was completely myopic in making multitasking reasonably "ok" on tablets, while making it horrid and downright scary on monitors.

That is the most absurd thing I have read all day. So W8's ability to actually, you know, work with monitors to natively display the screen or extend it is now a weakness compared to iOS????

This is a comparison of iOS to W8x, why bring up monitors. The fact is that W8x works very well with monitors, even RT, something that iOS is just pathetic at. And since most Windows tablets are full Windows, just either run desktop apps or install Modern Mix and run your apps in windows. iOS would not allow a multi-windowed app to install, you have to jailbreak to get that kind of functionality.

Rann Xeroxx said,

That is the most absurd thing I have read all day. So W8's ability to actually, you know, work with monitors to natively display the screen or extend it is now a weakness compared to iOS????

This is a comparison of iOS to W8x, why bring up monitors. The fact is that W8x works very well with monitors, even RT, something that iOS is just pathetic at. And since most Windows tablets are full Windows, just either run desktop apps or install Modern Mix and run your apps in windows. iOS would not allow a multi-windowed app to install, you have to jailbreak to get that kind of functionality.

Most windows tablets are Windows RT. (certainly not "full windows")
Modern Mix isn't part of windows.
ios doesn't work at all with monitors, it's purely a tablet OS. Windows uses the same API across all iterations. Windows 8.x works well with monitors, but that's not the point, it's about multitasking metro apps. If you wanted to compare, you'd have to bring the OSX/IOS family together.

So that breaks most, if not all, if your argument. Here's the rest, and the reason why I bring up monitors.

I use Lync quite often in my Windows 8 setup. Yes, you can have two programs snapped together. But you have to fidget with it. You have to install Modern Mix. You have to tweak it. You have to slide the divider bar so the left/right side of the screen looks ok. And once you've done those MULTIPLE little iterations to what Microsoft has provided, THEN you're happy with it.

There is still a huge complaint in the monitor space for Metro multitasking where there is a copious amount of wasted space when multitasking snapped (metro) applications on the screen. Granted, MS is moving away from that, and going back to real "Windows", what Modern Mix provides now. Yes, that will be an iteration 2 or 3 of the original plan. But again, you'll have to fidget to get it "just right" for you. If you think this doesn't exist on "full windows" you're nuts. It hasn't changed since Windows 8 release, and hasn't gotten better. Just better hacks.

You guys are getting all turf-war-y. I don't mean that at all. Certainly, MS beat Apple to the multitasking game. But if you read my original comment, Apple tends to be late to the game, and also tends to be of the mindset that "if we're going to do multitasking, It Just Works." ... and people should for the most part not be seeking out 3rd party programs or slide divider bars or "tweak" things to make it work in a user-friendly and liked way. I look forward to seeing just how they intend to do it. And hey, it might suck.

In fact, all the arguments here (modern mix) are basically proving my point. MS did it, but they didn't do it "pretty". And before you get your panties in a twist, understand that I don't really expect Apple to do it much better either. :) There's only so much you can do with the pixels, without shrinking the view, and Apple doesn't tend to want to do that.

This reminds me of that Grolsch "Stop. What are You Doing? It's not ready yet!" advert from back in the day :)

jasondefaoite said,
It'll be ready as part of iOS9.

However it'll will only work with the iPad Air 2

Well iOS devices usually have a small amount of RAM. Maybe iOS devices can't run two applications at the same time very well due to the limited RAM. iPad Air 2 may finally have 2GB in preparation for multitasking.

Multitasking is a very innovative new feature. I bet Windows and Android will copy it soon after iOS gets it!

mrp04 said,

Multitasking is a very innovative new feature. I bet Windows and Android will copy it soon after iOS gets it!

Did you forget the "/s" tag?

mrp04 said,

Well iOS devices usually have a small amount of RAM. Maybe iOS devices can't run two applications at the same time very well due to the limited RAM. iPad Air 2 may finally have 2GB in preparation for multitasking.

Multitasking is a very innovative new feature. I bet Windows and Android will copy it soon after iOS gets it!

/s

VHMP01 said,
"Well iOS devices usually have a small amount of RAM"... So why did Apple bragged on and on about 64bit ???

The number is bigger. People like that and they were the first with the 64bit ARM chip so they could take advantage of that.

VHMP01 said,
"Well iOS devices usually have a small amount of RAM"... So why did Apple bragged on and on about 64bit ???

Security... 64-bit allows for a lot of secure possibilities with and without the fingerprint scanner. It was never about the RAM...

The innovative magic isn't ready yet, need more pixy dust

Can't wait for people to call this a game changer while Win8 has had this since day one.

swanlee said,
The innovative magic isn't ready yet, need more pixy dust

Can't wait for people to call this a game changer while Win8 has had this since day one.

I guess they just can't win, haters either say Windows RT is more advanced than iOS, or when Apple finally adds something to complete, the hates then moan that RT has had this forever. There's just no pleasing some.

shockz said,

I guess they just can't win, haters either say Windows RT is more advanced than iOS, or when Apple finally adds something to complete, the hates then moan that RT has had this forever. There's just no pleasing some.

Please.. And you mean its different the other way around?

shockz said,

I guess they just can't win, haters either say Windows RT is more advanced than iOS, or when Apple finally adds something to complete, the hates then moan that RT has had this forever. There's just no pleasing some.

Um, these two positions are not mutually exclusive. :p

swanlee said,
The innovative magic isn't ready yet, need more pixy dust

Can't wait for people to call this a game changer while Win8 has had this since day one.

Uhm, you can actually sorta do this in Windows 7...

Drag to the left, drag to the right, voila!

Wall-swe said,

Please.. And you mean its different the other way around?

Not nearly as much, especially in these parts.

swanlee said,

Can't wait for people to call this a game changer while Win8 has had this since day one.

Well it will be a game changer since ios is not a failed OS like widows 8.

Order_66 said,

Well it will be a game changer since ios is not a failed OS like widows 8.

Well, Windows 8 isn't a fail.. It had more market share than any version of Mac!

kayyumzp said,

Well, Windows 8 isn't a fail.. It had more market share than any version of Mac!

Wow, hard to imagine there are still people in denial about windows 8.

shockz said,

Not nearly as much, especially in these parts.

No but concerning every other possible issue, the Apple club is way way way worse.

Wall-swe said,

No but concerning every other possible issue, the Apple club is way way way worse.

?

Actually, wing-nuts on all sides are just as bad. They discard logic and reason. They spin. They cherry pick whatever fits their agenda, and then hammer it home. They even pretend that the other side of whatever fence they are on is worse.

Take their time to get it right? All they have to do (as they've done with most of their 'achievements') is copy what Windows 8.1 has. How much time do they need to imitate what has already been done, and get it right?

So Microsoft has never copied anyone heh? Earth to devHead......anyone home? My comment had nothing to do with Microsoft. I'll leave you to your flame bait.

i think what he meant was other mobile OS's have had split screen multi-tasking for quite a while now. how long does apple need to get it right?

devHead said,
Take their time to get it right? All they have to do (as they've done with most of their 'achievements') is copy what Windows 8.1 has. How much time do they need to imitate what has already been done, and get it right?

Have you heard of bugs? Yeah, they're a bitch to get rid of.

Windows 8 was designed with the ability to snap windows from the start, iOS was designed to display a single app.

There's more to implementing this than just displaying two apps on screen, especially when you don't want to break compatibility with existing apps and (presumably) having to come up with a way of having it work on a phone.

iOS #8! Originally it may not have had copy & paste either, but it's iOS 8! Apple is too lasy too innovate and even copy now a days! They used to be great at copying though!

Rann Xeroxx said,
What "bugs" are there in Windows Metro snap windows? If MS can do it, why can't Apple?

Erm, the bugs that were prevalent in Windows mobile 5, then 6, then 6.1. It took them 3 years to perfect the version of windows mobile that you seem to be so fond of and you want Apple to implement something in less than a year? Come on.

devHead said,
Take their time to get it right? All they have to do (as they've done with most of their 'achievements') is copy what Windows 8.1 has. How much time do they need to imitate what has already been done, and get it right?

Depends how you look at it. They all copy eachother, grow up and realize this instead of getting emotionally invested in these pointless debates. Secondly, MS's window mode confuses the hell out of end users who arent computer savvy. Apple likes to take features they KNOW end users will want/use, and make it simple and efficient.

Myself, i use a Nexus 5, Ipad mini Retina, Macbook air, Windows deskop gaming machine. I have no brand loyalty, i just look at the strategies behind each product and appreciate them. Though, i was once a huge apple hater.

virtorio said,
Windows 8 was designed with the ability to snap windows from the start, iOS was designed to display a single app.

There's more to implementing this than just displaying two apps on screen, especially when you don't want to break compatibility with existing apps and (presumably) having to come up with a way of having it work on a phone.

Bingo! There's also an idea floating out there that when it is introduced, it would be exclusive to Apple apps for a time until it's available to other developers.

still_rookie said,

Erm, the bugs that were prevalent in Windows mobile 5, then 6, then 6.1. It took them 3 years to perfect the version of windows mobile that you seem to be so fond of and you want Apple to implement something in less than a year? Come on.

Those OSs were years ago and Apple has had all this time to work on this for implementing in their OS. Metro snap windows have always been stable. Apple has almost 100 BILLION in cash, don't you think they could figure this out? What is the excuse?

Rann Xeroxx said,

Those OSs were years ago and Apple has had all this time to work on this for implementing in their OS. Metro snap windows have always been stable. Apple has almost 100 BILLION in cash, don't you think they could figure this out? What is the excuse?

Throwing money and people at software development always ends in success.

Rann Xeroxx said,

Those OSs were years ago

Well its not like they came out with the current version of Windows Mobile with a brand new code. It was build after years of experimenting with and modifying the previous versions.. That's how you improve on your current version. This is basic stuff, I should not have to point it out for you.