Apple's iOS 8 side-by-side multitasking not yet ready -- report

The feature is reportedly destined for iOS 8 but won't be shown at next week's WWDC, says a New York Times tech reporter.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

You can run apps side-by-side in Windows 8 but not in Apple's iOS. At least not yet.

Apple has reportedly been prepping a way for its next mobile operating system, iOS 8, to run two apps side-by-side but that feature may not be quite ready for prime time.

In a tweet posted on Thursday, The New York Times tech reporter Brian Chen said: "I've been told that the split-screen feature for iOS 8 isn't ready yet and won't be shown at WWDC. Still a work in progress."

iOS 8: What to expect (pictures)

See all photos

The ability to run two apps side-by-side has long been available on both Samsung and Microsoft Windows 8 tablets. For example, on a Windows 8 tablet, you can snap two apps together so each one takes up one slice of the screen. Apple's iOS offers its own form of multitasking in which you can switch from one open app to another, but you can't view more than one app at the same time.

In an attempt to play catch-up, Apple is aiming to introduce true side-by-side multitasking in iOS 8, "sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development" told 9to5Mac earlier this month. Such a feature might even let you copy content from one app to another via the drag and drop method.

But if Chen's tweeted tidbit rings true, does it mean Apple is running into trouble implementing side-by-side multitasking, or that the feature just isn't ready to be touted at the Worldwide Developers Conference next week? Chen didn't spill any specific details but simply said he picked up his information from non-PR sources about a week ago.

Also unknown is whether the split-screen multitasking would be limited to the iPad with its 9.7-inch screen or would also be accessible on an iPhone or iPad Mini. Such a feature would certainly be at home on an even bigger-screened iPad.

Rumors popping earlier this year claimed that Apple was cooking up a larger-screened iPad that could potentially serve as more of a laptop replacement. Microsoft has touted its new 12-inch Surface Pro 3 as just that. And though a recent report claimed that Apple has shelved the big-screen iPad, an IHS analyst recently told CNET that the device could yet live if the necessary use-case could be made for it.

To find out what Apple does unveil at its annual developers conference, tune into CNET's WWDC live show and blog at 9 a.m. PT on June 2.

(Via MacRumors)