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Apple to introduce split-screen multitasking to iPad with iOS 8

Apple is set to introduce split-screen multitasking to the iPad with iOS 8, according to sources in the know.

In other words, iPad users will be able to work on two apps side-by-side, much as is already possible on other tablets such as Microsoft's Surface and Samsung's slates (actually, the latest Galaxy NotePRO allows you to multitask with four apps – though your screen might get a little cramped, the 12.2in display helps a bit here).

Anyway, Apple has evidently got the message that it's behind the times in this respect, and according to 9 to 5 Mac, the new iOS 8 feature will also enhance the interaction of multitasked apps. For example, you'll be able to highlight and drag text over from one app directly to the other, or indeed do the same with video or images.

Whether this feature will be available on just the full-size iPad isn't clear – we've already mentioned the issue of screen real estate, and obviously on the iPad mini, split-screening will be a bit more cramped. Indeed, Apple is reportedly working on a supersized iPad which will weigh in at 12in, and much like the NotePRO, would be able to cope very nicely with twin-app multitasking.

Split-screen multitasking is something iPad users have long requested, but the bad news is that if this feature is indeed inbound, it could be delayed to iOS 8.1. As we've previously reported, Apple is apparently having to take the focus off iOS 8, as OS X is the subject of much work for WWDC next month, so some iOS features are being put on the back burner – split-screening potentially being one of them.

iOS 8 is expected to introduce a raft of health-related features in the form of Healthbook, improvements to Maps, and more of a focus on iCloud, among many other measures.