ZNet’s James Kendrick notes that one feature on which Apple’s iPad competitors have the iPad beat is the ability to display at least two apps on the screen at the same time. In Windows 8 this capability is called snap view and on Samsung Android tablets it is dubbed multi view, but both let the user view one app alongside another simultaniously to provide increased utility to the user, a facility sorely lacking on the iPad.
Kendrick says he rarely uses his Note 10.1 without having two apps onscreen with multi view, typically having email on a narrow pane on the left with another app, perhaps the web browser, in a larger pane on the right. Or maybe a Twitter app on the left and the browser on the right – especially useful for tapping hyperlinks in tweets, having them open in the browser on the right. He can do similar things on Windows 8 with good results.
He also notes that on the Galaxy Note 10.1 Samsung has included the ability to cascade multiple app windows on the screen, so more than two apps at a time can be running and displayed, which can come in handy as any app window can be selected and resized as desired. The windows can be positioned anywhere on the screen, so it’s possible to have several apps displayed next to each other for those times when this makes sense.
He concludes, and your editor concurs, that while the single app iOS paradigm will no doubt make this functionality difficult to implement, but Apple had better be working on it, predicting that as more consumers see that this is possible on other platforms, they’re going to ask themselves: why can’t they do it on the iPad?
He observes that he himself initially thought he liked single app focus, but having now used multi view a lot he’s have changed my view on how useful it can be.
Personally, I needed no such convincing. A document-based UI rules! When they fix multiple document views, they can then work on access to the file directory.