One thing that had been rumored for inclusion in iOS 8 that wasn’t announced on stage was a new trick for the iPad that would let it run two apps side-by-side concurrently. The feature was first reported by Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac as one in a series of articles revealing upcoming features of the then-secret beta, and claimed that you’d be able to not only run two apps next to each other, but also move data from one to the other. It wasn’t unveiled, but developer Steve Troughton-Smith has uncovered code that suggest it was at least in development.
So… just in case there was any doubt left… iOS 8’s SpringBoard has code to run two apps side-by-side. 1/4 size, 1/2 size, or 3/4 size—
Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 09, 2014
The code found by Troughton-Smith allows two apps to run side-by-side in different proportions, taking up a quarter of the screen vs. three-quarters for the other active app, or half each. When executed, however, the code causes one half to display as simply gray and then the software crashes, according to another developer on the Twitter thread discussing the news.
As originally reported by 9to5Mac, some features of iOS 8 weren’t deemed quite ready in time for the official launch, hence why we may not have seen it on stage. Instead, it might come in the form of an 8.1 update, which 9to5Mac’s sources originally reported could also include updates Maps with transit directions. Alternatively, they could also be scrapped, but it’s still interesting to see that they were once included.
Image above from jailbreak app OS Experience