Google's consumer hardware director, Andrew Bowers, notes that split-screen is in the works for Android N, the operating system's next major release. But given Google's release cycle, we probably won't see that OS on devices until next fall.
As Ars Technica reports, Google seems to have been working on a variety of operating systems for the Pixel C before settling on plain old Android. There's evidence it was building a version of Chrome OS that worked better with touch screens, as well as the ability to dual boot Android and Chrome OS. We don't know for sure why Google scrapped those plans, but it might have something to do with reports that Android and Chrome OS will eventually merge into a single platform.
And what of the perennial lack of quality Android tablet apps? "We're spending a lot of time working with developers to get better and more awesome tablet apps," Murphy said. "But it is definitely a chicken-egg problem, and we think a key driver is awesome hardware (like the Pixel-C :)." It's true there haven't been many truly great Android tablets (though I'm a big fan of Samsung's Tab S series and the Nexus line), but if Google wants developers to actually pay attention, it needs to step up in a bigger way.