iOS 9 is going to be a watershed moment for iPad users. For many, the iPad is about to graduate from utility to computer. Apple is envisioning a future where users can do more with iPad apps without the inherent complexities of OS X – and they’re largely relying on developers to help build this future.
My poor second-generation iPad Mini won’t get the split-screen multitasking, but even the “slide over” secondary app functionality is going to be huge. The other night, I was browsing Apple’s dev site for things to keep an eye out for in my forthcoming review. Every time I found something, I swiped to bring up Notes, jotted down my observations, and went right back to browsing. It feels completely fluid.
Update: Dr. Drang thinks the new multitasking environment on the iPad is intriguing, too:
Until iOS 9. This fall, the iPad will graduate to an interface that can show two apps at a time. As important, I think, is the way multitasking is being handled. Unlike Mac users, iPad users won’t be dumped immediately into a multitasking environment. Those who prefer to use and see only one app at a time can continue to do so—the multitasking interface will stay out of their way and won’t confuse them.
But for those who need to refer to one app while working in another, Slide Over and (especially) Split View will be a godsend. And it’s seemingly eliminated one of the biggest problems with using Mac-like multitasking environments: window management. There are no windows in Split View, there are only parts of the screen, with one part wholly given over to one app and another part wholly given over to another. There’s no overlap and there’s no Desktop peeking out from behind. The only thing the user has to think about is the position of the dividing line between the two apps.