We've been hearing about a larger, 12in iPad for a long time. We've also been hearing about Surface-like split-screen usage on iPads for a long time. Now we're hearing about both again, and the latest report says both are finally on the horizon.
9to5Mac - a consistently reliable source for these things - claims that Apple plans to introduce the dual-app mode for iPads at the Worldwide Developers Conference next month, and that it'll allow either two apps to be viewed at once, or one app (like Safari windows, for example) to be displayed in separate panes. Sources say apps can display in even halves, or with one app taking approximately 1/3 of the screen and the other taking up the remaining portion.
Why has this news been hovering out in the distance for so long? 9to5Mac says Apple didn't think it was polished enough for either iOS 8.0 and 8.1, and put its engineers on more pressing software needs as hardware launched over the past several months.
However, the site says that Apple could well hold off on showing it again at WWDC and save it for later this year when it's more polished. One feature that has already been pushed back, the report claims, is multi-user support for iPad, which will let multiple logins have access to their own individual apps and media. Sources indicate that it may not even make iOS 9.0, but rather be implemented in a later update.
And finally, 9to5Mac says that the so-called "iPad Pro" - the long-rumoured 12in model - very much looks like a super-sized iPad Air 2, with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions in the works. The split-screen feature was reportedly designed for the larger screen, but will be shown first on the existing iPads, since the Pro unveiling is still expected to be a ways off.
Despite the hardware looking familiar (that's the latest supposedly leaked render above, which doesn't look that close to the iPad Air 2), sources say the larger iPad is expected to have its software tweaked to better accommodate the extra screen room, with aspects like Notification Center and Siri potentially taking on a different form.