Supporting Split View Multitasking on iPad Pro

Neil Squillante of TechnoLawyer wrote an interesting post on why he bought a 9.7 inch iPad Pro. In the post he pointed out that some developers (even large ones like Google and Microsoft) are slow to support he iPad Pro Split View capability. Below is LIT SOFTWARE's response. By the way, if you haven't joined TechnoLawyer, it is free and is a great resource for legal technology. 

Hi Neil,

Your article "Why I Bought a 9.7 Inch iPad Pro" makes some good points.

I wanted to offer a quick explanation as to why developers large and small seem to be slow to support the Split View multitasking.. While multitasking functions like Slide Over are relatively simple to implement and support, Split View requires a lot more.

The biggest challenge is that prior to the iPad Pro and Split View there were only two possibilities: Landscape and Portrait. Now, apps have to be functional in half, as well as compact (e.g. iPhone-sized) variants of those original orientations, as well as all the same combinations for the larger iPad Pro. In addition, apps now have to be ready to transition to a myriad of different sizes at any point, and each of those transitions requires special consideration (e.g. if you are reading an email and transition to a compact size then the email should remain visible and the list of emails should hide, but if you have not selected an email yet, you would most likely want to see your list of emails instead.)

The gist is that there are now 12 different possible sizes that apps have to support (up from two: landscape and portrait), and the transitions to and from those sizes requires more than just resizing logic (e.g. choosing what remains on screen based on what the user is doing).

That just isn't feasible for some apps, and doesn't make sense for others, especially when you consider that Split View is only supported on iPad Air 2 and later. (Other multitasking functions are supported on a wider range of iPads.)

As far as my own usage, I used to be inseparable from my MacBook Pro. On a recent working vacation, however, I tried just bringing my iPad Pro, and am happy to report that I didn't miss the MacBook at all. I was able to be fully productive, and surprised myself a little. My iPad Pro is now my chief computing device.

Tara Cheever, Product Manager