5 Ways Windows 8 Beats iOS
Navigating Windows 8 involves a steeper learning curve, but you can't dispute the features that Microsoft has absolutely nailed.
Thu, October 18, 2012
PC World — Consider first that Ive been a daily iPad user since the day the tablet launched. Ive never had much affinity for MacOS and Apple desktops, but I have literally used either the iPad, iPad 2 or new iPad every day since April 3, 2010. Tablets work for me. Touch navigation works for me. And the iPad has worked for medespite the fact that its never helped me do any real work.
Slideshow: 12 New Network Features in Windows 8
But now theres a legitimate alternative to the iPad in my life. For the last few weeks, Ive been playing with various Windows 8 tablets, including, yes, the new Surface RT, which I took for a spin on Microsofts Redmond campus earlier this week.
Windows 8 tablets are the real deal, people, and their unique charms tie directly back to the new OS. Now, make no mistake: Navigating the Windows 8 touch interface involves a steep learning curve. The new touch gestures arent intuitive, and this alone cedes important ground to iOS, which is so simple, farm animals could probably figure it out. But as with many vexing software interfaces (think Photoshop or Excel), great power is often locked within seemingly inscrutable UIs.
Think about that as I share the five ways Windows 8 beats iOS...
Besides offering legitimate, system-wide multitasking (a feature missing in iOS), Windows 8 includes a snap screen feature allows you to see two active apps on your display at the same time. One app consumes about three quarters of the screen, while the other resides in a narrower strip. You can easily swap app positions, and even cut and paste content from one app to its neighbor.
Unequivocally, snap screen is awesome. In fact, its the primary reason why all Windows 8 tablets must have a minimum resolution of at least 1366-by-768. This widescreen pixel grid ensures all tablets will be able to run Snap Screen, affording the narrower snapped app a width of no less than 320 pixels.
I cant wait to see this feature evolve.
Apple is supposed to be the hip, whimsical, creative company, so its ironic that the iOS home screen borrows all its design cues from the dawn of GUI-based computingthink static, identically sized icons laid out in a rigid grid.
In stark contrast, the Windows 8 Start Screen is dynamic, flexible and flat-out fun. Its app icons are represented by live tiles that can reveal constantly updating information, such as the latest weather forecast or news headlines. Live tiles can also be resized, affording an extra degree of user customization.