Split-screen feature for Android is coming, but that’s far from enough

Google’s sleek new Pixel C tablet has already gotten dinged in initial reviews for missing a basic productivity feature that is available in comparable gadgets, like the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4: the ability to run multiple windows at any given time. Now we know for sure that the feature is coming to Android.

We talked about this yesterday. A split-screen feature to be able to have two windows at the same time in your screen in nice, but the problem is the software catalog itself.

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You can’t not be that productive when the apps look like scaled, giant versions of the ones you’ve got on a phone. Android has never had a good tablet catalog of apps, and work must be done there.

Look at the iPad Pro. The split-screen feature hasn’t saved it from “just decent” reviews.

Source: Google is working on a split-screen feature for Android, always-on ‘OK Google,’ and DisplayPort support for Pixel C

iPad Pro review time: a great product that you shouldn’t buy?

Walt Mossberg on The Verge has written an impressive, sincere and up to the point review. Three problems arises according to that piece: it’s “too big and bulky“, the keyboard case (just one angle, no backlightning, not many shortcuts) is disappointing (“I kept wishing for a trackpad, so I didn’t have to keep reaching for the screen“, something that Lauren Goode, the other reviewer, also misses there), and few apps take advantage of the greater screen state.

The Apple Pencil is great but not perfect either according to Mossberg, who points out the fact that “there’s no place to store it, or even to magnetically attach it when it’s not in use

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Those reviewers agree on one thing: the hardware is there, the software not so much. That’s important: the apps are not ready for the iPad Pro. I guess they will be at some point, but that could be a problem for early users. The new dual-window mode seems nice but it’s not a real replacement for multi-window management on a desktop OS. Andrew Cunningham at Ars Technica goes deeper on this and explains how many apps don’t render well on the new screen resolution, and reveals that “iOS 9’s multitasking still needs a lot of work“. The conclusions about the software are pretty evident:

There’s no exposed filesystem, no easy official way to install apps from outside the App Store, no iOS version of Xcode for developers. Connecting external accessories (cameras or SD cards, mics or audio interfaces) requires dongles and adapters and, occasionally, external power supplies. There’s no true multi-display support to speak of.

Cunningham goes further and tells us he feels the iPad Pro is a “sometimes computer“, which is probably a good definition of a product that wants precisely to be that. And although that could be enough for some people -artists and designers, for example-, I read the reviews and I can’t help but thinking about what a great product this seems and how no one reviewer really recommends it.

By the way, take a look at TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino review: he gives a different perspective, one in which he understands that Apple is just exploring the future with this device, as the company did with the MacBook previously this year. I’d say the former is the future for tablets, and the latter, the future for laptops. Fortunately, we’ll have many things in between.

 

Begun, the mobile adblocker war has

The new content blocking feature in the new iOS 9 seems to have started a renewed interest for privacy. Marco Arment just released his own tool based on the Ghostery (a well known extension for desktop browsers) database.

I wonder how many others will take advantage in iOS, Android or Windows 10 Mobile.

The name of the app, Peace, is a little bit too much for me, though. Misleading and exaggerated.

Source: Introducing Peace, my privacy-focused iOS 9 ad blocker | Marco.org

iOS 9 seems like a worthy upgrade, especially on the iPads

Apple gives the iPad a lot of love as iOS goes back into spit-and-polish mode.

Today users will be able to upgrade to the final version of iOS 9. There are no big announcements here, but it doesn’t matter because there are  several little enhancements overall.

I’ve not tested it, but if you want to get a good review of the system, you should read Ars Technica review -reminds me of those legendary OS X reviews by John Siracusa- .

Better visual keyboard, better battery life, less space consumption, proactive siri, searchable settings and of course, the new multitasking features that allow the dual window modes shine on the (newer) iPads. Oh, and that content blocking thing.

If you want to know what’s in there in detail, head to the review and grab a couple (or 3,4…) of cups of coffee. There’s a IReallyDontHaveTheTimeForThat version of that review in the WSJ which isn’t bad at all.

Or you can just install it and enjoy it.

Source: iOS 9, thoroughly reviewed | Ars Technica

Why 2GB, Apple?

A popular request for Apple users has come to life. According to Xcode, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have 2GB of RAM, while the iPad Pro has 4 GB.

I wonder what’s the reason behind the growth in RAM memory. Cost is probably not an issue (maybe the 1GB chips were obsolete?), but iOS didn’t seem to worry about managing just 1GB of RAM. In fact, most Android users wouldn’t understand (and would envy) how a phone with this small memory could offer such experiencies.

I’m pretty sure the new voice activation and the multitasking capabilities are partly responsible (3D Touch is guilty too), but I guess they just want to give headroom for future enhancements in the OS. Anyway, a really welcome upgrade for spec-hungry people.

Now you’ll be able to open a lot more of tabs in Safari withouth them reloading over and over again. Wonderful.

Source: Xcode confirms 2 GB RAM for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, 4 GB RAM for iPad Pro | 9to5Mac

Force Touch on iPhone 6S revealed: expect shortcuts, faster actions across iOS | 9to5Mac

Apple, who never implemented the right clic mecanism on their desktop computers, now introduces it in their smartphones. Force Touch will allow to access to several options more quickly.

Instead of opening up a large window of extra controls that did not fit on the screen, as is done on the Apple Watch, Force Touch on the iPhone is designed to skip existing lists of options or button presses

It seems to be a great idea: considering the screen as a big button can really give users new chances to improve their experience with the OS. I see this coming to competitors as well.

Source: Force Touch on iPhone 6S revealed: expect shortcuts, faster actions across iOS | 9to5Mac

There’s no such thing as post-PC

Steve Jobs is famous for talking about the post-PC era. Tablets seemed then to conquer the traditional PC users, but five years after the launch of the iPad here we are, still using PCs like crazy although obviously smartphones are the devices that go with us everywhere. Tom Warren on The Verge:

As iOS 9 turns the iPad more into more of a PC, and Microsoft turns phones into PCs, the questions over which devices will be important in the future won’t be around their traditional forms, but their function. PCs will continue to evolve, as will the versatility of devices that are shaping the mobility of computing. Perhaps it’s time to kill off the idea of “post-PC” in favor of just personal computing. After all, smartphones, tablets, and laptops are all just PCs anyway.

Exactly.

Source: There’s no such thing as post-PC