Windows on the iPad

20 05 2014

Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on

November 20, 1985 as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUI).

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Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world’s personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984. As of October 2013, the most recent versions of Windows for personal computers, mobile devices, server computers and embedded devices are respectively Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Embedded 8.

Tablets …

Touch screen technology has brought about a revolution in the new-age and broadcast media industries and is now widely adopted by Television, Computer, Mobile Phones and Camera manufacturers. Tablet computers are among the most visible manifestations of this technology and are seen as a possible replacement for regular desktops and laptops in the foreseeable future.

The majority of tablets are available in 2 sizes, 7 and 10 inch.

Note
Some tablet manufacturers make also 8 and 9 inch tablets. Few models can be found with large than 10 inch display sizes, in majority these are Windows based tablet computers.
There are several aspects about tablet displays which a discerning customer should consider before considering one of the manufacturers for the final purchase.

There were already early beginnings in finding out the right screen size.

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There are many requirements for suitable tablets which basically remain the same independent of the screen size. So let’s have a look on some technical specifications.

1 Display resolution …

Screen resolutions vary according to the manufacturer and the price range in which the tablet is sold. From the QXGA resolution on the new iPad to the WVGA resolution that is found in the most basic models, there is a wide choice available for the consumer depending on his or her personal needs.

Typically, the screen resolution can be categorized as follows:

QXGA 2048 x 1536
WXGA 1366 x 768 or 1280 x 800
XGA 1024 x 768
WSVGA 1024 x 600
WVGA 800 x 600

Tablets of smaller sizes such as the 7 inch can do well with a lower resolution screen. Higher screen resolution becomes relevant as the tablet size increases.

2 Screen coating, Brightness and Protection …

Since tablets are highly portable devices, they are widely used indoors and outdoors. While screen brightness is not really an issue when used indoors, these tablets can become highly reflective in outdoor daylight conditions and therefore needs the screen brightness to offset the ambient brightness. Most manufacturers have overcome the problem by using a coating that prevents glare while also protecting the glass from scratches and dirt. If your tablet display is protected using a toughened glass such as Gorilla Glass, the chances of screen cracking due to the tablet accidentally falling on the ground is minimized.

3 Screen Viewing Angles …

While this may not be a major concern if you are using the tablet as a hand held device, screen dimming and colour change can be an irritant if you are placing the tablet on a stand or keeping it on a table for people around you to see. This problem is normally found in LCD displays made using TN technology. Colours like red, blue or green become darker and the screen becomes dimmer as you move away from the centre of the screen. Make sure that you get to test this out on a demo piece at the retailer before you choose your tablet. Most modern tablets do not use the TN technology in their LCD display.

4 Screen Technology …

There are 2 prominent TFT (Thin Film Transistor) LCD Screen technologies available today.

In Plane Switching technology or IPS was developed in Japan in response to the viewing angle problems caused by LCDs based on twisted nematic display technology. IPS LCD screens have almost no viewing angle colour changes.

Plain Line Switching or PLS is a relatively new LCD technology and was developed by Samsung in Korea and has lower manufacturing costs as compared to other LCD technologies. With improved image quality, viewing angles and screen brightness, PLS is expected to address several of the issues faced by tablet manufacturers.

Samsung’s way …

On 12.2-inch models, you can also split the screen into four, to run four visible apps at the same time. You might display your email app, next to your browser, next to a video, while editing an iWork document.

Samsung already refreshed the traditional Android interface. Instead of grids of icons for a home screen, the tablets show a magazine-like layout that separates apps and content into different tiles and pages.

Samsung’s emphasis on professional users for tablets is a direct effort to compete with Microsoft’s Surface tablets, which are marketed as a more viable replacement for a laptop suitable for work. But it is also an effort to take on Apple, whose iPads are widely used by workers in various fields, like construction, medicine and food service.

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Apple, it’s your turn now to say Good Bye to the One-Window technique.

Increased screen size …

There are rumors about an iPad coming in 2014 with an increased screen size. The actual screen size is 9.7″ and sources speculate about a screen size up to 13″.

If this will come true what would the intention of Apple be?
Would the customers benefit from a larger screen size?

To answer these questions we should look at the motivation of users when buying a tablet. Well-known daily tasks are mailing, shopping, and banking and stats of Apple’s App Store say that nearly all of the top ten downloaded apps are games.

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For this kind of usage an increased screen size is dispensable. This is also validated by increasing sales of the iPad Mini.

So the only reason for launching a bigger screen size could be to use a tablet for professional tasks like editing documents, e.g. spreadsheets, presentations, and letters with Apple’s iWork suite while accessing sources shown in other apps, e.g. websites in Safari.

  • 1 With the actual operating system iOS 7 for mobiles an increased screen size will not solve the following problems:

    – Files still remain in a fragmented file system followed by redundancy.

    ( see my post http://iNotes4You.com/2012/10/11/the-ios-filesystem )

    – The One-Window-Technique is the main disadvantage when working with more than one application. It’s a daily task to retrieve information from one window and use it in a window of another application.

  • 2 Embryonic clipboard
    Working a bit more effectively affords an advanced clipboard with multiple entries.
  • 3 Mobility is slightly decreased.
    Weight and energy consumption could hamper the usage of a tablet with a larger screen size. The size of the device depends on the bezel which is actually about 0.79″ (2cm) for the actual iPad Air. A minimum bezel width of half of this value would be acceptable and the total size of the device would’t really decrease the mobility.
  • 4 Stats for the iPad Mini show us that many customers seem to go the reverse way regarding screen size. This decreases the number of potential customers for an iPad Pro. An overview of all actually available tablets show us that all manufacturers see the perfect screen size within a range of 7 to 10 inch.
  • 5 With the iPad Air Apple developed a tablet with an incredibly reduced weight and a battery life which lets you use the device a whole day. A bigger screen and improved multitasking will possibly roll these advantages back.

Windows and the operating system …

To enable a tablet for a more professional use it should offer

  • application windows
  • real multitasking
  • an increased memory
    to handle different tasks and to not let more complex applications fall into the suspended state

I’m no iOS developer so I cannot estimate whether iOS 7 already was designed for important changes in the near future.

So my presumption is that Apple will not just increase the screen size. The new iPad Pro (if there will be one) will show us application windows with an improved iOS 8 or an operating system named Mavericks for mobiles.

It needs some innovative power to organize windows on a touchscreen and find intuitive gestures to use them.

A workspace for innovation, right? And with that a case for Apple.

Suggestions …

My suggestions are based on a Two-Windows technique following the KISS principle.

A UI for the following tasks has to be developed …

  • Open two or more windows
  • Switch between windows
  • Maximize one of the windows
  • Return to ‘Two/Multiple-Windows’ display

(Tap on an image to zoom.)

Increased size doesn’t matter …

Actually tablets are used mainly because of their mobility and a more relaxed usage when reading information. Here is what Ben Bajarin wrote on TabTimes:

People see this device and realize that it is in fact a computer. This fundamental point is where the paradigm shift to tablet computing is about to happen.

The amazing thing about a tablet, that sets it apart from every device I have and use it that has more computing capabilities than my phone and is more portable/mobile than my notebook.

I can sit reclined on my couch or bed and learn, work, or play. I can take it to the office and work. I can use it as portable TV or DVD player. I can use it to make home movies. I can use it to make music. I can take it to the lake and capture video of my family water skiing and edit and create the video right there on the lake.

I can keep going with these scenarios but you get the picture.

This is why, I believe it has the most potential of any form factor out there with regard to the future of computing.

We can read statements like this quite often and I never read any suggestions for a bigger screen size. So the question is:

Is there a market for tablets with screen sizes near to 13″?

Sam Beckets concept …

Sam Becket published a concept video in December 2013 showing multitasking on an iPad.


(1:06 min)

Summary …

A bigger screen size for an upcoming iPad makes no sense without improvements of the operating system. Even then mobility decreases and there are only a few applications where an iPad with a screen size near to 13″ could make sense.

Related links …

The Post PC era

Thanks for paying attention.


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