Regarding split-screen multitasking

A lot of concepts have shown 50:50 split multitasking on the iPad, but I kind of doubt it will happen. I hope this can bring in some discussion to this argument.

Why 50:50 multitasking is inappropriate:

  • iPad screen real estate is not that big (I doubt people do side-by-side multitasking often in a 13" screen, but when it comes to big displays it is not a question)
  • You usually focus on one thing at a time, and split screen multitasking only helps you switch between two things faster, not necessarily let you do two things at once
  • You would have to develop the app to accommodate a different interface for 50:50 or even 25:75 multitasking the file size of the apps would become larger in no time

What I think is a better way to multitask is not to 'evenly split' two things in one screen, because there rarely is a case where you have even amount of things to do in both apps. For example, in this forum post a user claims that reading a book on one half while researching on the other can be productive. But you'll end up reading more than you research, so there is no need for Safari to be present all the time. So what I think can be done is as follows:

  • The radical way: implement something like Facebook chat heads which will pop up small fixed-size versions of the app so the current app is still in focus but you can easy pop open an app and close it then pop open another app
  • The less radical way: notice how you can float the keyboard in the iPad? Maybe there can also be a floating small app that you can have so you can perform certain tasks and slide it down to the bottom to dismiss it when you're done

Either way, the problem persists: having two apps in one screen is going to be rather cramped, so if Apple really had to do split screen multitasking, they will have to solve the screen real estate problem at the first place.