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Apple Split View and keyboard trackpad boosts iPad productivity

Apple is hoping to convince more businesses to adopt iPads in the workplace after the announcement of new productivity features at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

iPad users will now be able to make use of a split-screen app that enables them to run multiple apps at the same time, as well as a specially designed keyboard and trackpad.

Read more: The iPad-enabled sales force: Boosting productivity for the enterprise

The split-screen feature, dubbed Split View, is designed to be easy to use and is accompanied by another new addition Slide Over, which enables users to continuing working on a second app without leaving the first. The multi-tasking tools were demonstrated at WWDC by Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi and will be available as part of iOS 9.

Split View also supports video content, meaning you will be able to use Face Time and browse other apps at the same time, and Apple has confirmed that it is keen for other software engineers to make use of the new features.

“These new multitasking features are supported by built-in Apple apps, and APIs make it easy for third-party developers to add support into their own apps,” the company said.

Enhancing the iPad’s reputation as a useful tool for businesses has a been a key aim for Apple for some time, particularly given that the tablet/laptop hybrids being offered by the likes of Microsoft are viewed as more enterprise-friendly.

Alongside the multi-tasking apps, Apple also unveiled an on-screen keyboard that transforms into a trackpad when users place two fingers down together over the keys. The new QuickType keyboard for iOS 9 comes with a number of other features including extra text formatting buttons and support for external keyboard shortcuts.

Read more: New app turns iPad into second screen for a PC or Mac

While the split-screen mode and trackpad feature may seem like relatively minor additions, they are both crucial steps into transitioning the iPad from a purely entertainment device to a content creation tool.