If you like to multitask, you’re going to like some of the changes coming in Apple’s iOS 9 operating system for iPhones and iPads. They’ve added one of my favorite features of Windows 8, the ability to run two apps side-by-side sharing the same screen.
In Windows, this is called snapping an app. In iOS 9 there are two ways to do it. You can use Slide Over to respond to notifications or check the Internet. This means you can respond to a message or maybe check something out on the web before adding it to a document, all without leaving the app you’re working in.
The iPad Air 2 will offer Split View, which works like app snapping in Windows 8. You can have two apps open and working at the same time. You could work on a document while using information from an open book in iBooks. You could sketch something while having a photo open beside it.
There’s even a picture-in picture feature that will let you keep a movie or a FaceTime video chat down in the corner while you play a game or check your e-mail.
Apple is even promising improvements that make it easier to type. The keyboard now has a new Shortcut Bar and you’ll be able to use multi-touch gestures for editing functions.
All of this is designed to make iOS more appealing for people who need to get work done on their iPads. It moves the operating system closer to what you’d expect to find on a PC or Mac, which is not surprising as the lines between those devices continue to blur. It’s also a good competitive move against Windows 10, which Microsoft promises will let you use the same apps (with slightly different interfaces) on your PC, Tablet, Phone or gaming system.
iOS 9 will be released in the fall.