iOS 8 Split-Screen Multitasking Confirmed

Developers analyze new iOS 8 code, conclude that Apple has new features planned

Before WWDC debuted there were concerns that some of the rumored features making their way into iOS 8 would not be ready for demonstration at the opening keynote. Those fears were confirmed on June 2, and now the features themselves have been revealed in the OS’s underlying code.

The Health app, previously referred to as Healthkit, reportedly got a name change at the last minute. A source confirmed to 9to5mac that Apple redesigned the user-interface and “dropped the ‘Healthbook’ name late in development due to the leak.” The reported functionality, however, remained in place.

For developers, Apple is offering a HealthKit API to enable third-party apps to offload data into iOS 8’s Health app. A health & fitness company activating under the same name in Australia is considering to sue the Cupertino behemoth for using the HealthKit mark without permission.

As far as Maps is concerned, a report came out yesterday citing sources as saying that Apple had indeed planned a showcase for WWDC but that there was an internal fight between the project managers and software engineers, which ultimately derailed the plans to demonstrate the latest Maps enhancements at the keynote presentation.

However, developers sifting through iOS 8 code this week have discovered new Maps interface materials referencing one of the rumored new features: public transit mode.

Finally, and probably most importantly, split-screen multitasking is also confirmed. According to developer Steven Troughton-Smith, code strings buried deep within the OS confirm that split-screen multitasking is indeed in development.

Considering that iOS 8 is still months away from its release, all of these features have time to make it inside in a usable form before the software update is pushed out. Even if some of these new additions are delayed, Apple will undoubtedly set the record straight with iOS 8.1.

Outlining the key new features in the company’s mobile software, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said, “iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app.”

“We’re also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience,” added Federighi.

iOS 8 will be available for download this fall on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, and iPod touch fifth-generation.

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