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Apple Strikes Much-Anticipated Demo From WWDC Lineup


While there will still be much to unveil, we won't see split-screen functionality for the iPad at next week's WWDC event.

As we draw closer to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference next week, the potential for embarrassment has given way to cautious optimism. While expectations are being kept in check by minor updates and features that have been introduced long ago by the likes of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) -- as indicated today by Minyanville's Michael Comeau -- there could still be a big surprise or two up Cupertino's sleeve.

Unfortunately, one much-anticipated feature probably won't make its debut at the conference.

Earlier this month, rumors swirled that Apple would introduce split-screen functionality into iOS 8, allowing iPad users to greatly improve their workflow and efficiency on a tablet. (See: Apple to Introduce a Much-Wanted Feature in iOS 8, Rumor Says.) Similar to the feature already found in Microsoft Surface and Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) Galaxy tablets -- and prominently used in Surface ads to tout the shortcomings of pricier iPads --  multiple iOS app windows would be permitted to run side by side simultaneously and interact with each other via drag-and-drop actions. (Currently, such a feature could only be achieved by jailbreaking the Apple device and installing the OS Experience tweak by Cydia.)

Well, it would appear that users will continue to have to jailbreak for split-screen functionality for some time, as the New York Times' technology writer Brian X. Chen has indicated that the feature isn't ready for prime time. In a tweet, Chen posted, "I've been told that the split-screen feature for iOS 8 isn't ready yet and won't be shown at WWDC. Still a work in progress."

According to Cult of Mac, Chen received this information not from Apple directly but from an inside source familiar with the proposed WWDC lineup. Although the split-screen feature will eventually make its way to iPads -- likely in time for the next iPad Air and iPad Mini release dates, possibly this October -- it's still too buggy in its current state.

Surely a disappointment for iPad users hoping for improved productivity, the delay also prolongs the speculation as to how and why Apple would introduce a feature that's allegedly designed solely for the larger 9.7-inch iPad. Apple absolutely abhors Android-level fragmentation within its mobile devices and prides itself on uniformity across iOS. So for the company to implement a much-wanted software upgrade for only one type of iPad -- the iPad Mini is said to be too small for optimal split-screen window viewing -- well, it's decidedly un-Apple-like.

There will be plenty to talk about regarding Apple's conference next week, and hopefully this delay won't put too big of a damper on fans' excitement for brand-spankin'-new Apple products.

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