The latest iOS update you haven’t heard of: Split Screen App Support

Jun 24, 2014

Almost simultaneously with the release of the latest iPhone comes speculation as to the features and design of the next iPhone. As we grow closer and closer to the release of iOS 8, announcements of the latest and greatest features have pervaded tech news.

But here’s one you might not have heard of. Split Screen App Support. Early in June, app developer Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted that Apple’s iOS 8 software development kits has code built into it to allow users to run multiple apps on one display. The apps can be at multiple sizes: ¼, ½, or ¾ size.

Imagine it! You can videoconference while surfing your Instagram feed. You can check email while typing up a proposal. And, most importantly, you can watch World Cup games while budgeting in Excel. If only this feature were already available right now…

Of course, this technology is nothing new—Apple is playing catch up with this round of technology. The Android operating system and, therefore, Samsung and LG smartphones and tablets are already split-screen savvy. We question, though, Apple’s intents and purposes in developing this new update.

The iPad started out as a web-surfing device, most users relying on the tablet for quick web browsing, reading ebooks, and rounds of Angry Birds, Candy Crush and Draw Something. With this update, it seems the iPad is transitioning into a productivity device, more like a laptop or desktop than a true tablet.

The update also raises questions about the future of the iPhone. The split screen feature is really too small for the size of the iPhone’s screen…unless the screen were much, much bigger. Recent rumors have hinted at the development of two new iPhones, one with a much larger screen, in line with Samsung’s Galaxy S line.

All of this is merely speculation…Apple could very easily decide to not include side-by-side features in the final version of iOS 8. There’s a long, long time between now and iOS 8 (set to be released in the fall), and much can happen.

But if it does happen, well, you heard it here first.

CNET updates this story as they learn more information. If you’re interested in updates to the split-screen feature, visit