Last week brought us Apple’s iOS 8 announcement, revealing a metric boatload of new features and abilities. While it won’t bring us the sweeping visual overhaul that the iOS 6/7 transition did, iOS 8 sets the framework for a lot of important new tools apps can start taking advantage of. But for all we did get to see, there were a few noteworthy omissions (and no, we’re not complaining about the absent iWatch), with split-screen operation failing to make an appearance. Prior to the launch we heard this might be the case, with Apple not yet ready to make the feature public, but not seeing it was disappointing all the same. While the feature may not be accessible in iOS 8 beta 1, traces of it are apparently lurking just under the surface, as one developer has uncovered.
Steven Troughton-Smith has a reputation for poking around new iOS releases looking for hidden features, bringing us an early look at iOS in the Car back in January. This afternoon he took to Twitter to share his latest find, code in the iOS 8 SpringBoard that appears to support apps running quarter size, half size, or three-quarters size.
SpringBoard, as you iOS junkies know, is Apple’s software that controls the platform’s home screen, and as being responsible for launching apps, it’s only fitting that some split-screen code would reside here. For the moment we haven’t heard of any reports of devs being able to get it to do anything interesting, but this is both a recent discovery, and it may well be the case that necessary supplementary code is entirely absent from this first beta release. Right now we just don’t know, but we’ll be keeping an eye out to see if anyone’s able to actually get this working.