There’s good news and bad news for the millions of iPad owners around the world.
The good news is that the iPad is getting a bunch of great new features that finally allow you to multitask. So if you want to use two different apps at the same time, like taking notes while looking at photos, or watching a video while responding to a text message, you don't have to switch between apps.
But the bad news is that the new features may not work on your iPad, unless it's one of the newest models.
And Split View, which allows you to use two apps at the same time, and is one of the best new features, only works on the iPad Air 2, Apple's latest iPad, which starts at $499 and was released last fall.
Craig Federighi, the executive in charge of software at Apple, unveiled the new features on stage at the company's annual developer's conference on Monday.
The cynic would say the fact that the new features, which are part of a software update coming later this year, only working on the latest and greatest iPads is a ploy to get you to upgrade your iPad. Apple has struggled with relatively sluggish iPad sales — the company still sells millions each quarter, more tablets than any other single company — but sales continue to fall.
It's a stark contrast to the incredible iPhone sales the company has reported over the last year.
And one of the reasons iPad sales are down is that people don’t upgrade their tablets as frequently as they update their phones, because they simply don't need to. A 4-year-old iPad, which you may keep at home and use occasionally to watch Netflix or read news at home, is a lot more useful than a 4-year-old iPhone, which would feel sluggish and outdated for everyday use.
Of course, using two apps at the same time, or watching a video in the background while doing something else on your iPad, certainly requires more processing power than just using one app, so it may be that the features only work well enough for Apple to include it on its latest and most powerful iPad.
But Apple also needs to sell more iPads. And making new features only available on newer iPads could be one way to spur sales.