While we’ve seen the split-screen functionality of iOS 8 in code before, today’s video comes as a bit of a surprise. After all, Apple didn’t show off any split-screen abilities in iOS 8 during WWDC 2014, and we’ve heard no official word on the matter either way. Today brings the next level of multitasking functionality to the world of Apple’s mobile operating system.
This ability to change the way you see the iPad’s one screen - or two, however you want to believe it - means we may see two apps working at the same time in the near future. The newest iPads - iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display - have more than enough processor power to do this, so we must expect that Apple is at least testing out the screen split internally.
What you’re watching has been dug up by Steven Troughton-Smith, a fellow who has dug through previous versions of iOS and revealed early-release items in the past. He’s showing how this function acts today. You’ll notice a distinct lack of a second app, but full functionality in the resizing of the main iPad workspace.
The above function goes by the name "UI Simulated Application Resize Gesture Enabled" without the spaces. As Steve T-S suggests, he had to byte-patch the UIKit to enable this functionality, and the updated setup checks for both internal install as well as titular plist keys inside com.apple.UIKit. In other words - not just any developer is going to be turning this on.
At this time it appears that the split-screen ability exists in 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 sizings. It is not clear at this time if this functionality will ship with iOS 8 when it appears later this year, whether it’ll be regulated to certain models, or whether it’ll be allowed on any but the newest in new iOS devices. We shall see!