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Apple will hold fire on bringing multi-tasking to its tablets for now, reports suggest, but the feature is still very much part of its long-term plans for iOS 8.

The tech giant is set to unveil the latest version of its operating system, along with the attention-grabbing HealthBook app, today at its WWDC developers’ get-together.

It had been rumoured in recent weeks that the freshly baked software will boost iPads’ credentials as business tools by introducing a split-screen mode, enabling users to interact with two applications simultaneously.

Not so, it seems. New York Times reporter Brian X Chen claims that although the feature is in development, it’s still at a nascent stage and is being held back for the future. Most likely when the next-gen iPads drop later this year.

Split-screen multi-tasking landed on Microsoft’s Surface slates earlier this year. And although it doesn't seem to have helped the Big M crack the tablet market, it was lavishly praised by tech scribes who’ve been pretty sniffy about much of what the Surface range has to offer.

Apple will be livestreaming the event tonight, suggesting that other major announcements could be in store.

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