iPad Pro vs Surface Pro: Can a tablet-laptop hybrid really replace your PC?

How the PC has evolved over the past decade
Back in 2010, when Apple launched the iPad, it looked like the PC was an endangered species. Ed Bott explains how 10 years of technical progress helped the PC survive. Read more: https://zd.net/38xcvvs

At its June 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled some significant changes to the iPad operating system, even christening the revamped version with a new name all its own: iPadOS. The changes bring Apple’s flagship tablet, especially the iPad Pro models, closer to the “hybrid PC” category that Microsoft has staked out with its Surface Pro line.

From a hardware standpoint, the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the addition of the Smart Folio Keyboard and an Apple Pencil, is remarkably similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6, especially when viewed from the side. (The newer Surface Pro 7 is exactly the same size and shape as the Surface Pro 6, with only one noteworthy new feature: a USB Type-C port.)

Both devices make the same promise: You can have a tablet when you want a simple surface for reading or sketching, or snap on the keyboard to get something closer to a classic clamshell PC form factor.

But as soon as you sit down and actually try to get your work done, the differences between the two devices come into much sharper focus.

Here’s the tl;dr: The iPad Pro still appeals mostly to those who are firmly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem. Microsoft’s Surface Pro is most satisfying to those who require a traditional Windows PC. And anyone who expects to cross effortlessly from either world into the other is doomed to be disappointed.

For both companies, it’s been a journey of a decade or more that led to the current combination. And the development process has been almost stereotypical of how both companies work

ipad-pro-versus-surface-pro.jpg

iPad Pro (left) and Surface Pro 6 (right) offer strikingly similar profiles

Microsoft’s path was convoluted and filled with false starts and mistakes. It all started in 2012, with the launch of the ARM-powered Surface RT. That ill-fated device, launched two years after the iPad, tried and failed to be an iPad clone. It failed so miserably, in fact, that Microsoft had to write off nearly a billion dollars in inventory.

The Surface Pro took a similarly halting path to its current state, stumbling from its initial “brilliant, quirky, flawed” debut more than six years ago through multiple iterations. In classic Microsoft fashion, it took three tries to get the design right, and the company has been in “don’t mess with a good thing” mode ever since.

The Surface Pro 6 is filled with tiny but meaningful improvements over its predecessors, and the company seems at last to have ironed out the reliability problems that plagued the entire line in its early years.

Meanwhile, Apple took the opposite path with iPad, grudgingly adding PC-like capabilities to the iPad hardware over time but steadfastly resisting calls to make the Mac more like an iPad and vice versa.

The first iPad Pro, unveiled in 2015, included support for the new Apple Pencil, which looked like a direct response to the Surface Pro’s signature pen. In 2018, Apple added its own keyboard covers, including the Smart Keyboard Folio, which snaps into place almost exactly like the Surface Pro’s Type Cover.

But despite those hardware improvements, the iPad software experience remained pretty consistent through the years. Until now.


Must read


Forget about Dark Mode. The really significant iPadOS changes announced at WWDC 2019 are the ones that make it more like a PC or a Mac in everyday use. There’s finally support for external pointing devices, so you aren’t forced to swipe the screen to make a selection. There’s new support for external storage devices, an expanded set of Finder-like management tools for local files, some new window-management tricks, and even support for widgets on the home screen.

You’ll also find some enterprise improvements in iPadOS, like the capability for administrators to separate business and personal data on BYOD devices and managed Apple IDs for business.

Must-see offer


Choose your iPad

Apple’s entry-level iPad features a 10.2‑inch Retina display, support for the full-size Smart Keyboard, and iPadOS. Customize your new iPad at Apple.

Read More

Making the iPad experience more like a laptop does not, however, turn it into a laptop replacement, at least not for business customers. It’s hard to imagine a creative professional voluntarily giving up her Mac for an iPad Pro, although there are certainly circumstances where the lighter, more portable device will come in handy. Lightroom and Photoshop on mobile devices are simply not as capable as their counterparts on the Mac.

The same is true with Microsoft Office on the iPad, which still offers only a subset of the features available on the Windows and MacOS versions. Depending on your workload, you might be able to get by with an iPad Pro for an occasional business trip, but that still makes the iPad an occasional laptop substitute, not an all-in replacement.

The Surface Pro 6, on the other hand, is a full-fledged laptop replacement, with all the pros and cons that come with being a Windows PC. In the office, you can attach a docking station and use a full-sized monitor, keyboard, and mouse; on the road, it’s remarkably lightweight. But it doesn’t offer the simplicity of the iPad, and the experience of using the Type Cover is still off-putting for many users who prefer the solid feel of a clamshell keyboard.

Ultimately, the decision about which mobile device to adopt comes down to which one runs the apps you need. The simpler your workload, the more likely that an iPad Pro will be able to substitute for a laptop when you travel. But if you need the tools that only come in a full-strength desktop app, nothing less than a real laptop will do.

Source link

iPadOS productivity secrets (these also work on the iPhone)

The best new features in iOS 13
With iOS 13 set to roll out on September 19, ZDNet’s Beth Mauder walks you through her five favorite new features and how you can add them to your iPhone. Read more: https://zd.net/2QbuNNR

I’m amazed how many features Apple builds into iOS, and then just leaves them hidden for me to find. Here are a crop of tips and tricks for working with words and images on your iPad. 

All of these also work on the iPhone, but because of the limited screen size, they can be trickier to use on the smaller handsets (and near impossible even on those if you have big, meaty paws like I do).

Must read: The ultimate MacBook USB-C accessory just got better

#1: Text selection

iPadOS 13 gives you very fine control over text selection using just screen taps:

  • Double tap: Select a word
  • Triple tap: Select a sentence
  • Quadruple tap: Select a paragraph

#2: Undo and redo

Remember the “Shake to Undo” feature in iOS? While that’s still present, picking up an iPad and giving it a shake to undo something is hardly convenient given the size and weight of the tablet. iPadOS 13 has some gestures that are a little less energetic:

  • Swipe left with three fingers to undo
  • Swipe right with three fingers to redo
  • You can also use a three-finger double-tap to undo, which feels a little bit awkward initially but soon becomes second nature.

#3: Copy, cut, and paste

Now we’re getting advanced. I recommend practicing these on some scrap text before using them for real, as they can take some getting used to.

  • Pinch in with three fingers to copy
  • Pinch in with three fingers twice (moderately quickly) to cut
  • Pinch out (or unpinch!!) with three fingers to paste

Must read: Eight things I love about iOS

#4: Moving the cursor about

Want to move the cursor about the page? Just place your finger on the cursor and move it. 

Think of it as picking it up and dropping it down somewhere else. So simple, yet it took me a while to figure it out (I was jabbing at the screen too hard).

See also:

Source link

iPad turns 10: Why did it take a decade for Apple’s tablet to get its own operating system?

Apple has streamlined its entire iPad lineup to replace your laptop
ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani tells Karen Roby that the base-model iPad is more capable than ever thanks to a recent update. Read more: https://zd.net/2NdaomS

On January 27, 2010, Steve Jobs famously sat on stage and walked the audience through what seemed like a scene straight out of Harry Potter. As he held a piece of glass in his hands, tapping and swiping through websites, a calendar, digital books, and a music library, the iPad came to be. A lot has changed in the last 10 years, both for the iPad and the rest of the tech industry, for that matter. But why did it take 9 long years for the iPad to get its own operating system, iPadOS? To understand that, you have to go back to the beginning. 

The iPad went on sale in April 2010 with iPhone OS 3.2 as its operating system. The OS featured new interfaces and methods to interact with apps not found on the iPhone or iPod Touch. That same year, Apple announced iPhone OS would transition to iOS, and that’s what the iPad had used up until this year, when Apple announced the iPad would get its own operating system called iPadOS. 

When it was released, critics panned it as merely a bigger version of the iPhone. Indeed, it ran the same apps as the iPhone, but developers were able to customize the look and feel of their apps to fit a larger display. Apps like Mail could show your inbox on top of an email you were currently looking at, for example. 

icloud-password-iphone-ipad.jpg

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Another common critique of the iPad, and one that I still hear echoed to this day, is that it’s a consumption-only device — meaning it’s best suited for someone who wants to watch Netflix, manage their inbox or scroll through Facebook (i.e., consume various aspects of the digital world).

Over the past decade, the iPad has shed the “bigger iPhone” label as Apple has expanded the iPad lineup, and it’s added meaningful software features. I’ve never really viewed the iPad as a consumption device, and I’m not entirely sure Apple ever intended for it to be viewed as one. During the original announcement Apple showed off a drawing app, and Apple’s iWork suite of apps — Pages, Keynote and Numbers — were available at launch. 

I’ve been using an iPad as my main writing device since 2012. Back then, I relied on third-party Bluetooth keyboards. Heck, I wrote two digital books entirely on the third-generation iPad. There was something about the way that its software forced me to focus on a single task that I feel in love with. I immediately began looking for ways to expand the iPad beyond being my modern-day typewriter and using it more like I would a computer. Years ago, I wanted my iPad to replace my laptop.

The problem was that it took a lot of work to figure out workarounds for tasks like easily combining images, or working with the content management systems that I often run into to publish online. 

Also: iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 6: Can a tablet-laptop hybrid really replace your PC?

ipad-keyboard-2012.jpg

One of my first reviews of a keyboard for the iPad back in 2012. 


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

I spent a lot of time buying and testing apps, and ultimately, buying and testing more apps until I found a workflow that worked. And when all else failed, I would remotely connect to a computer and finish a given task on a computer, using my iPad. It worked, but I was in the minority of users who were willing to spend time trying to make the iPad work for me. Essentially, I had to force the iPad to be the device I wanted it to be. Still, the potential was there. 

Apple steadily updated iOS, some years adding new features specific to the iPad, other years simply updating iOS as a whole and leaving the iPad as a de facto beneficiary of the improvements. 

It wasn’t until the release of iOS 9 in 2015 that we really saw Apple start to add impactful features with the addition of split view, slide over, and picture-in-picture. The three new features improved multitasking on the iPad and were timed with the release of the first iPad Pro. Apple also debuted the Apple Pencil in 2015, adding another layer of productivity to the tablet. 

The 2015 iPad Pro — combined with iOS 9 and its new iPad-specific features and Apple’s Smart Keyboard Cover — began to lay the groundwork for the iPad’s divergence from the iPhone and its ability to replace the computer, but it wasn’t quite there yet. 

ipad-pro-accessories.jpg

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

In 2016, iOS 10 added split-view for multiple Safari tabs and some other minor updates. In 2017, iOS 11 was one of the biggest updates we’d seen for the iPad. Apple added a Files app for managing files and folders directly on the iPad, the application dock was redesigned, and drag-and-drop was added, making it possible to drag photos or text from one app to another. 

Throughout this time, Apple continued to update iPad hardware, releasing new models at a regular cadence. The iPad’s hardware and software were gaining momentum, boosted by Apple releasing the second-generation iPad Pro in 2017. But, in 2018, even as the iPad’s hardware became more robust and powerful, its software started to fall behind. 

Apple didn’t announce any meaningful iPad updates in iOS 12 despite releasing the third-generation iPad Pro. Safari, Apple’s web browser, wasn’t providing a desktop experience. Instead, it was defaulting to the mobile version of websites, and it severely crippled the overall experience. 

Also: Can you really run the iPad Pro as a full desk setup? This guy did

My review of the 2018 iPad Pro was mostly positive in relation to hardware, but the software was holding it back. 

With the iPad Pro dropping Apple’s Lightning connector in favor of USB-C, and Apple touting the ability to connect the iPad to external monitors and accessories, users naturally began asking for the ability to connect external storage to the iPad in addition to an improved browser and the ability to have multiple windows of the same app open at once. 

008-ipad-pro-2018.jpg

In June, Apple announced iPadOS. The iPad will still share the same core features as iOS and the iPhone, but by giving the iPad its own operating system Apple is signaling the company is ready to begin to make big changes to the iPad. 

The major changes started with iPadOS 13.1, and it included a desktop-class version of Safari, the ability to connect to external storage, vastly improved multitasking — like the ability to have multiple windows of the same app open — and a new home screen that puts more information at your fingertips. 

It’s by far the biggest update we’ve seen to the iPad, and with a dedicated operating system in iPadOS, Apple is poised to push the iPad forward. 

Also: iPadOS pushes Apple’s tablet closer to mainstream PC replacement

Just what that looks like is uncertain, but a lot of it will have to do with user feedback (a driving force for a lot of the changes we’ve seen up until this point). 

I think, in general, it took a decade for the iPad to be ready to stand on its own because Apple has been trying to figure out the exact path forward for the iPad, and just how far to push it. The messaging from the marketing department didn’t often align with what the iPad was truly capable of. Sure, it could replace a computer for some users, and with the iPad Pro lineup (and the added versatility it provided) that dream came closer to reality. Combine the hardware and the cascading of a dedicated keyboard for even the entry-level iPad, along with iPadOS, and it’s clear that the iPad is more of a laptop now than it has ever been.

I’ve all but quit looking for apps that provide some sort of workaround to common tasks, and I can’t tell you the last time I remotely connected to my computer in order to finish a task. iPadOS is only a few months old, and it’s already had a big impact on my day-to-day workflow. 

What the next 10 years hold for the iPad is anyone’s guess, but with its own operating system, I think it’s safe to say we’re about to see the iPad truly grow as a computing device.

Related stories: 

Source link

5 features the iPad Pro should borrow from the Surface Pro X

ipad-pro-vs-surface-pro.jpg

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

I use my
iPad Pro
as my main laptop on a daily basis. It’s portable, forces me to focus on one or two windows at a time, has exception battery life, and is a device I thoroughly enjoy working on. But when Microsoft announced the
Surface Pro X
, I was intrigued. The Windows 10-powered tablet that uses a custom ARM processor is a direct competitor to the
iPad Pro

With the promise of a full Windows 10 experience, despite limits of ARM app compatibility, along with the sleek design and Type Cover keyboard, I eventually found myself at Best Buy buying the base model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage. 

Overall, it’s a joy to use, but the software is its limiting factor. The premium design, from the thin bezels, multiple USB-C ports, fast charging, kickstand and the keyboard is as good, and in some ways a lot better than Apple’s approach to the iPad Pro line. 

However, 8GB of memory meant that tabs in Chrome frequently had to reload whenever I was multitasking. And despite apps like 1Password or iTunes installing and appearing to be compatible with the Surface Pro X, I found them to be incredibly slow and borderline unusable. 

The Surface Pro X is a respectable device that’d be better suited with an Intel processor that can run full-fledged Windows 10. At least until developers update their apps and programs to play nicely with the custom ARM processor that powers the Pro X right now. 

Not all was lost during my time with the Surface Pro X, however. It opened my eyes to some shortfalls Apple should address with the new iPad Pro, a device we should see at some point in 2020. 

surface-pro-x-trackpad.jpg

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

It’s time for the iPad to get a trackpad

When Apple released iPadOS in September, the iPad gained support for a dedicated mouse. It’s currently buried in the accessibility settings, but if you know where to look (Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch) you can connect a USB or Bluetooth mouse to your iPad and use it to navigate iPadOS. 

Overall, it’s a familiar experience that makes using the iPad feel like an even more capable laptop replacement than it already is. But the drawback right now is that you have to carry a mouse with you at all times. Having a keyboard with a trackpad built into an Apple Smart Keyboard Cover — an accessory that uses the Smart Connector for power and connectivity — would streamline the entire process. I envision connecting a trackpad-equipped Smart Keyboard Cover in the same manner, and it automatically telling the iPad that a trackpad is connected and activating the necessary software tweaks. 

The trackpad on the Surface Pro X is smooth and responsive, and just big enough to handle various gestures, taps, and swipes. My lone complaint about the trackpad on the Pro X is that pressing on it and the corresponding click is distractingly loud. 

I like the Apple Keyboard Cover, but…

I don’t like that it comes out and stays flat from the bottom of the iPad Pro. It wasn’t until I used the Surface Pro X’s Type Cover that is angled from the bottom of the Pro X display to where it meets the table or desk, that I realized how much I was missing out on a better typing experience. 

I have zero issues with the keys on the Apple keyboard itself, but I would love for it to have a more ergonomic design.

surface-pro-x-angeled-keyboard.jpg

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

A backlit keyboard

The backlit keyboard on the Pro X’s Type Cover was a pleasant surprise. I’ve grown accustomed to typing on the iPad in a dark room without seeing the keys, but I don’t necessarily enjoy it. 

I realize there are trade-offs when adding backlit keys to any keyboard, but the benefits of at the very least having the option to turn on the keyboards backlight outweigh any negatives. 

More viewing angles

And while we’re changing the keyboard, let’s figure out a way to provide a better way to prop up the display. Instead of two viewing angles that the Smart Keyboard cover currently allows, some sort of hinged kickstand — just like the Surface Pro X — would be ideal. It’s especially helpful for times when I’m trying to type on the iPad Pro while it’s in my lap or on the ever-shrinking tray tables on a plane. 

I don’t use or even own an Apple Pencil, but I imagine having a kickstand that can nearly lay the iPad Pro down flat would be a boost for those who like to sketch and draw on the iPad Pro’s display. 

angles-ipad-pro-surface-pro-x.jpg

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

More ports, please

Instead of forcing users to buy an expensive USB-C adapter in order to connect power, external storage, mouse and a monitor (actually, with Apple’s current adapter you couldn’t connect all of that to an iPad Pro without adding a hub), add another USB-C port or two to the iPad Pro. With iPadOS adding support for external storage and mouse support, it only makes sense for the iPad Pro to have more ports. 

Looking back at this list, I realize that most of the iPad Pro changes I want to see Apple borrow from Microsoft have to do with the Smart Keyboard Cover. If the cover itself was redesigned to provide more viewing angles, backlit keys, a trackpad, and an ergonomic typing experience, it would resolve nearly all of my complaints. 

I’ll be returning the Surface Pro X in the next week or so. It’s a device I wanted to love, but ultimately the software shortcomings are just too much to overcome.

Read more

CNET: The top computers and laptops

Source link

The Brydge Pro+ is an iPad Pro keyboard with an integrated trackpad and it looks amazing

Apple has streamlined its entire iPad lineup to replace your laptop
ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani tells Karen Roby that the base-model iPad is more capable than ever thanks to a recent update. Read more: https://zd.net/2NdaomS

Must-see offer


Choose your iPad

Apple’s entry-level iPad features a 10.2‑inch Retina display, support for the full-size Smart Keyboard, and iPadOS. Customize your new iPad at Apple.

Read More

Just this morning, I published a story asking for Apple to copy some of the best features that the Surface Pro X offers, all of which involved the keyboard. I want a backlit keyboard, a trackpad, more viewing angles, and a more ergonomic design. 

Brydge announced the Pro+ shortly after — pure coincidence, of course — and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. The Pro+ follows the same design and format as the rest of Brydge’s iPad keyboard lineup, except it now includes a trackpad. For Brydge users who already have a keyboard, the company also announced a standalone trackpad for the iPad. 

In the past, I’ve gravitated toward using Apple’s Smart Keyboard Cover because it doesn’t rely on a Bluetooth connection. Instead, it uses the Smart Connector on the back of the iPad Pro for power and connectivity. 

brydge-12-9-pro-space-gray.jpg

Brydge

Brydge’s product lineup uses Bluetooth, meaning the Pro+ will have a Bluetooth connection for the keyboard and the trackpad, with its own internal battery. The issues I’ve had with this setup in the past is that the keyboard goes to sleep to save battery, which results in a slight delay with the first couple of button presses on the keyboard after it’s been sitting idle. 

It’s admittedly a minor annoyance, but one that I don’t have to deal with thanks to Apple’s in-house solution. 

However, I’m beyond intrigued by the Pro+. Based on the video on the Pro+ landing page and reading through the product description, the trackpad will include gesture support, just like a typical trackpad on a Mac. Scroll through an app with two fingers, tap on the trackpad with three fingers to view all of your currently open windows, tap with two fingers to view the app dock, or tap in either bottom corner to go back to the home screen. 

I’m willing to put up with some of the smaller nuances and caveats that come with using a Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad if the product checks nearly every box on my iPad Pro wishlist. 

The Brydge Pro+ will begin shipping February and will cost $200 for the 11-inch model or $230 for the 12.9-inch model. You can register on the website to receive more information as availability gets closer.   

What do you think? Does the Pro+ appeal to you if you’re an iPad Pro user? Let me know in the comments.

Source link

Microsoft’s Outlook milestone: Android app tops 100 million Google Play Store installs

Microsoft Outlook’s AI features: Big help or Big Brother?
Microsoft aims to cut the hassle of arranging meetings for Office 365 users with AI email and calendar suggestions.
Read more: https://zd.net/2FZDSC1

Microsoft’s popular Outlook email app has surpassed 100 million installs on Google’s Android app store. 

Reaching 100 million installs on the Play Store may be a significant milestone for Microsoft’s email app for iOS and Android, but it’s still a long way behind the Google Gmail app and the Samsung Email app, which have five billion and one billion installs, respectively. 

Nonetheless it suggests progress on Microsoft’s mid-2019 update that the Outlook apps on iOS and Android had surpassed more than 100 million users, which is a different metric to installs from the Play Store.     

Microsoft has about 150 apps in the Google Play Store, but Outlook still isn’t among the five Microsoft Android apps that have over a billion downloads. 

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and Skype have one billion installs apiece, while Microsoft’s SwiftKey keyboard has over 500 million. Google counts over two billion Android devices that connect to the Play Store.   

Outlook for Android install numbers should continue to rise in future thanks to Office Mobile being preinstalled on devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10, which is leading Microsoft’s push to bridge Windows 10 with Android via the Your Phone app. Office Mobile will surely be preinstalled on Microsoft’s forthcoming Android Surface Duo smartphone, too. 

The Outlook mobile app is the result of one of Microsoft’s many cross-platform app acquisitions in the past decade that helped charge its push into iOS and Android as it gave up on Windows Phone.  

The latest stage of Microsoft’s mobile strategy is the Office Mobile app, which offers Android and iOS users lightweight versions of its Office apps, including Outlook. 

Initially limited to the Galaxy 10, the company in November began offering it to more Android users and iOS users. The single app offers basic viewing and editing features. Users who want richer features can get separate Office apps for their devices by purchasing an Office 365 subscription. 

Source link

iOS bugs and annoyances Apple desperately needs to fix in 2020

With every iOS update, I become increasingly convinced that the platform has outgrown Apple’s ability to managed it. More and more new features get pushed back, the platform is positively riddled with bugs, and little regard is given to usability.

While I don’t have the time or inclination to list all of iOS 13’s bugs and annoyances, here are a selection that Apple needs to prioritize fixing over the coming months.

Must read: Ten cool and useful gadgets that make great last-minute gifts, and all are under $50

#1: Text selection

I remember when text selection in iOS used to just work. OK, it was always a bit fiddly — in part down to my big clumsy chimp paws — but it worked. Then in iOS 13, Apple changed how this worked, and broke everything.

Now text selection is hit-and-miss at best, and at worst, just plain refuses to work. Sometimes even trying to move the cursor is a soul-sucking siege that ends in frustration and failure.

#2: Wacky orientation issues

Sometime my iPhone or iPad seem to have no clue as to which way is up, resulting in me frantically spinning the thing around like I’m a race car driver, in an attempt to get it the screen to properly orientate itself with the world around it.

On the plus side, I’m sure I look hilarious when I’m doing this, because I’ve seen other people do it, and it always gives me a chuckle.

#3: Background refresh

I’m not sure what has happened in iOS 13, but following the memory bug that broke background refresh, it feels like this hasn’t been properly fixed.

While the situation is nowhere as bad as it was under iOS 13.2, I’m still coming across apps that need to reload when I’m trying to multitask between two or three different apps.  And while it would be easy to point the finger of blame at the app itself, the problem is no consistent and seems to suggest an iOS bug rather than bugs with specific apps.

#4: AirDrop annoyances

When it works, AirDrop is great. When it doesn’t, there seems to be precious little you can do to get it working again. It’s mostly a case of randomly jabbing at the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons until either it begins to work again, or I give up and just email the files I wanted to transfer to myself.

I then shun AirDrop for a few weeks until I forget how it let me down, and then the next time I try to use it, it works just fine.

#5: The Mail app

I rarely use the Mail app, but I hear all the time from people who do, and apparently, it’s pretty painful to use. It’s buggy, and from a usability point of view, it can’t even remember what inbox you last looked at.

Given that email is at the core of what most people do these days, having such a lame excuse for a mail client is inexcusable.

#6: HomeKit

If chaos was an app, it would be HomeKit. There’s little rhyme or reason to it.  For an app that you are supposed to use to switch lights on and off and control other in-house automation devices, it’s bewilderingly tedious to use, the exact opposite of what it should be.

#7: The Settings app

This has become the Windows Control Panel of iOS. It began life as a sleek, streamlined repository for important settings, but over time has become a hideously bloated mess that seems to be getting worse with every major iOS release.

Apple’s decision to add a search box to the app was essentially a signal from the developers that they were waving the white flag and had given up on trying to restore order and make it usable once again.

See also:

Source link

iPhone tip: Turn off this iOS setting when you are in a hurry

Over the past few weeks I’ve been on the road a lot, and that means using my iPhone a lot more than I normally do. This means that I grab a quick recharge when and where I can. But to get the best and fastest battery charge possible, I have found it necessary to turn off an iOS feature.

With iOS 13, Apple introduced a new feature called Optimized Battery Charging. This is a killer iOS feature, and is supposed to slow down battery aging by preventing the battery from charging up to 100 percent until you need it.

But the problem is, when you want to grab a quick charge, it can get in the way and prevent the battery from going beyond 80 percent.

Must read: Ten cool and useful gadgets that make great last-minute gifts, and all are under $50

No worries, because it’s easy to turn off… if you know where to find it!

Head over to Settings > Battery > Battery Health and toggle the Optimized Battery Charging switch.

In fact, it seems that Apple planned for people to enable and disable this feature because when you turn it off you get the option to Turn Off Until Tomorrow to Turn Off.

I only wish there was a way to add a shortcut to Control Center to turn this feature off and on, like there is for Low Power Mode (which is another setting I use a lot when traveling).

See also:

Source link

iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 6: Can a tablet-laptop hybrid really replace your PC?

WWDC 2019: Finally, Apple frees the iPad and Watch from iPhone’s shadow
Can the iPad now become a serious business tool? Are the iPad and Mac platforms headed toward unification? Will developers take the time to get it right? TechRepublic’s Karen Roby gets some answers from Jason Perlow and Jason Cipriani. Read more: https://zd.net/2Wlin3A

At June’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled some significant changes to its iPad operating system, even christening the revamped version with a new name all its own: iPadOS. The changes bring Apple’s flagship tablet, especially the iPad Pro models, closer to the “hybrid PC” category that Microsoft has staked out with its Surface Pro line.

From a hardware standpoint, the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the addition of the Smart Folio Keyboard and an Apple Pencil, is remarkably similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6, especially when viewed from the side.

Both devices make the same promise: You can have a tablet when you want a simple surface for reading or sketching, or snap on the keyboard to get something closer to a classic clamshell PC form factor.

But as soon as you sit down and actually try to get your work done, the differences between the two devices come into much sharper focus.

Here’s the tl;dr: The iPad Pro still appeals mostly to those who are firmly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 is most satisfying to those who require a traditional Windows PC. And anyone who expects to cross effortlessly from either world into the other is doomed to be disappointed.

For both companies, it’s been a journey of a decade or more that led to the current combination. And the development process has been almost stereotypical of how both companies work

ipad-pro-versus-surface-pro.jpg

iPad Pro (left) and Surface Pro 6 (right) offer strikingly similar profiles

Microsoft’s path was convoluted and filled with false starts and mistakes. It all started in 2012, with the launch of the ARM-powered Surface RT. That ill-fated device, launched two years after the iPad, tried and failed to be an iPad clone. It failed so miserably, in fact, that Microsoft had to write off nearly a billion dollars in inventory.

The Surface Pro took a similarly halting path to its current state, stumbling from its initial “brilliant, quirky, flawed” debut more than six years ago through multiple iterations. In classic Microsoft fashion, it took three tries to get the design right, and the company has been in “don’t mess with a good thing” mode ever since.

The Surface Pro 6 is filled with tiny but meaningful improvements over its predecessors, and the company seems at last to have ironed out the reliability problems that plagued the entire line in its early years.

Meanwhile, Apple took the opposite path with iPad, grudgingly adding PC-like capabilities to the iPad hardware over time but steadfastly resisting calls to make the Mac more like an iPad and vice versa.

The first iPad Pro, unveiled in 2015, included support for the new Apple Pencil, which looked like a direct response to the Surface Pro’s signature pen. In 2018, Apple added its own keyboard covers, including the Smart Keyboard Folio, which snaps into place almost exactly like the Surface Pro’s Type Cover.

But despite those hardware improvements, the iPad software experience remained pretty consistent through the years. Until now.


Must read


Forget about Dark Mode. The really significant iPadOS changes announced at WWDC 2019 are the ones that make it more like a PC or a Mac in everyday use. There’s finally support for external pointing devices, so you aren’t forced to swipe the screen to make a selection. There’s new support for external storage devices, an expanded set of Finder-like management tools for local files, some new window-management tricks, and even support for widgets on the home screen.

You’ll also find some enterprise improvements in iPadOS, like the capability for administrators to separate business and personal data on BYOD devices and managed Apple IDs for business.

Must-see offer


Choose your iPad

Apple’s entry-level iPad features a 10.2‑inch Retina display, support for the full-size Smart Keyboard, and iPadOS. Customize your new iPad at Apple.

Read More

Making the iPad experience more like a laptop does not, however, turn it into a laptop replacement, at least not for business customers. It’s hard to imagine a creative professional voluntarily giving up her Mac for an iPad Pro, although there are certainly circumstances where the lighter, more portable device will come in handy. Lightroom and Photoshop on mobile devices are simply not as capable as their counterparts on the Mac.

The same is true with Microsoft Office on the iPad, which still offers only a subset of the features available on the Windows and MacOS versions. Depending on your workload, you might be able to get by with an iPad Pro for an occasional business trip, but that still makes the iPad an occasional laptop substitute, not an all-in replacement.

The Surface Pro 6, on the other hand, is a full-fledged laptop replacement, with all the pros and cons that come with being a Windows PC. In the office, you can attach a docking station and use a full-sized monitor, keyboard, and mouse; on the road, it’s remarkably lightweight. But it doesn’t offer the simplicity of the iPad, and the experience of using the Type Cover is still off-putting for many users who prefer the solid feel of a clamshell keyboard.

Ultimately, the decision about which mobile device to adopt comes down to which one runs the apps you need. The simpler your workload, the more likely that an iPad Pro will be able to substitute for a laptop when you travel. But if you need the tools that only come in a full-strength desktop app, nothing less than a real laptop will do.

Source link