Richi Jennings

New iPad 6 and iOS 8 rumors rampant, ahead of WWDC14

May 14, 2014 7:02 AM EDT


iPad 6 release date still assumed to be November.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to introduce side-by-side app multitasking next month. At WWDC14, Tim's crew will show off a split-screen feature to allow two apps to run simultaneously—or so the rumors say.

Cue much salivation from BYOD fanbois.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers make the obvious comparisons to Windows 8 and Touchwiz.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 
Mark Gurman heard whispering from "sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development":

iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature [which] will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once. ... [It] takes a page out of Microsoft’s playbook.

[It's also] designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, [say] sources. For example, a user may be able to drag...text, video, or images, from one app to another. [It] may mean that Apple is finally ready to enable “XPC”...(or improved inter-app communication).  MORE


 
Is the rumor true? Mark the other Mark—Mark Hachman's—words:

This comes with the normal caveats: this may not be true, or it may debut in some sort of limited capability—restricted to Apple’s own apps, for example. But...it will be inevitably be seen as an acknowledgement that [Windows 8 was] on to something. ... The ability to snap an app or two quickly to one side of the screen and keep working has always been seen as one of [Windows 8's] most distinctive features.

[The] Worldwide Developer Conference takes place beginning June 2. ... The company is expected to debut iOS 8 and perhaps some new iPads to go along with it.  MORE


 
Not just Windows 8, notes Kif Leswing:

Since the first iteration of the iPad, users have requested a better way to multitask that includes two apps running on the same screen. ... Samsung’s Touchwiz Android skin [does it]. The ability to run applications simultaneously has been a major differentiating point for [the] Galaxy Note line.

OS Experience, an app for jailbroken iPads, allows for same-screen multitasking.  MORE


 
And Andrew Cunningham says it won't be as simple as it seems:

If it's true, this new display mode implies big changes to the way that iPad apps are designed and the way that they interact with each other. [It] wouldn't be as simple as plopping two app windows next to each other and shrinking them. ... To be consistent with Apple's other guidelines—the ones about minimum sizes for buttons...for example—applications are going to need to be redesigned.

Android and Windows 8 (and apps built for those platforms) already expect to encounter a wide variety of screen sizes [and] resolutions. ... Current iOS apps, on the other hand, only need to support four different configurations. ... Given the rumors that the next iPhone will have a larger, higher-resolution screen...it seems like the right time to make iOS and its apps resolution independent.

Another hurdle is hardware. iPads have generally shipped with about half the RAM of contemporary Android and Windows tablets. ... Background applications are limited in what they can do. ... Enabling multitasking...may cause more delays.  MORE


 
Remember Steven Sinofsky? Here's what he learned about creeping enhancements:

Designing a user experience for many millions of people is a...job that [few] people practice. The responsibility of such an undertaking is immense. ... At introduction almost every successful product champions simplicity as a design and execution goal. ... But where to go next?

[With] software products...there is an almost natural tendency to organically add or to absorb features from competitive or adjacent products. ... These new features will do constant battle with the simplicity of the initial release.

Products reaching a mature stage face a fork in the road—one where you can renew or watch your product slowly shrink in relevance. ... Disruption and technology transitions are part of the context of designing products and experiences.  MORE


 
But iPads are still just consumption toys, not production workhorses right? Watts Martin begs to differ:

I’m expecting iOS to start delivering on distinctly “power user” features over the next few versions.

The future of computing is a trend toward computing as appliance. Right now, there’s a measurable gap between what computing appliances do and what general computers do. And it sells Apple short to suggest that they never plan to address that gap.  MORE


 

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