Apple spent a lot of time at its Worldwide Developers Conference last week getting devs used to the idea that the best way to design app experiences is with size fluidity in mind. Ostensibly, they were discussing best practices for support the iPad’s new split-screen multitasking interface in iOS 9, but you couldn’t help but think about the rumors swirling of a 12-inch iPad Pro at the same time. Now, developer and regular code sleuth Steve Troughton-Smith has discovered more evidence of the same within iOS 9’s beta software.
iOS 9 contains a change to UIKeyboard, the element that provides Apple’s default software keyboard to apps, that makes the interface scalable to a size much larger than had previously been available. Split-screen multitasking doesn’t change the size requirements for the iPad’s keyboard in and of itself, either, since the software keyboard simply comes up and spans both open apps, operating at the same size as normal.
The new keyboard features many more keys than are available on the current iPad keyboard, too, making it approximate the Apple hardware keyboards much more closely. This would definitely come in handy in situations where you’re looking to use the iPad to accomplish more serious work, which would presumably be the primary appeal of the iPad Pro to begin with.
Last we heard, fall looked like a likely timeframe for an iPad Pro announcement and launch. With multitasking and the new MacBook design, the line between Mac and iPad and is definitely blurring – we’ll see if it gets even fuzzier later this year.