Among the many announcements surrounding iOS 9 today, one of the most exciting is real multitasking functionality for iPads. By pulling in from one side, you can choose a sidebar with a number of other apps and run both, side by side. This is a much-needed improvement to the iPad experience that could help it regain some relevance among both mobile and computer users.
If you’ve used an iPad, you know that the big touchscreen is great for mobile apps, Web browsing, and video playback. The limitation was always that you could only do one of those at any given time. There are ways to quickly switch between apps, but that doesn’t allow you to add dates to your calendar while checking your Facebook messages for the details.
In iOS 9, apps will be able to support a number of different sizes and portions of your screen, so you can choose the combinations of apps that will help you get the most done. It’s not just useful for pure multitasking, but also for quickly responding to an email or message without leaving your game, or checking the weather without pausing your movie.
It also supports floating windows, so you can move around between apps and to the home screen, and never miss a second of your favorite sports while using WatchESPN. You can resize and move the window around freely, and then close it when the whistle blows and the game ends.
True multitasking been a common complaint of Apple’s tablets since their inception, and one that, in the eyes of the users, had an easy solution. Clearly for Apple it wasn’t as simple as splitting the screen in half, especially considering how much pride the company takes in its UI design and seamless transitions. The proposed multitasking feature in iOS 9 is certainly a move towards a more robust mobile operating system, and one that we hope makes it to the iPhone 6 and 6+ as well.