Following up on a new survey done with their subscribers, Consumer Reports is pulling the “recommended” rating for four Microsoft laptops they had previously reviewed. A change in recommendation is not uncommon with Consumer Reports as seen in their initial review of the 2016 MacBook Pro and it’s subsequent reversal.
Perspective: iPad Pro blew past Microsoft Surface as soon as Apple could make enough of them, IDC says
It may not surprise you, but Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad, which many would have you believe is the company’s first to compete directly with detachable and hybrid tablets/laptops, outsold Microsoft Surface and other detachable tablets, according to the report:
Dan Laycock, Senior Communications Manager for Microsoft Surface, says that while consumers can get by with a single Surface product, the same can’t be said for Apple’s heftiest tablet.
“Microsoft really wants you to only carry one device for tablet and PC use,” explains Laycock, speaking to us at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas. “Whereas the iPad Pro is always going to be a companion device.”
Laycock also said that “at one point in time, Apple declared that if there’s a stylus, that’s failure” – a reference to a quote by Steve Jobs when referring to early smartphones. Apple, of course, argues that the Apple Pencil as an optional accessory for some tasks is very different to a device which cannot easily be used without a stylus.
Benchmark tests last year showed that the Apple Pencil offered lower latency than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 stylus.
Via Business Insider
Will iPad Pro replace your MacBook? With the iPad Pro officially going on sale today, there is lots of discussion about what this means for the iPad category. Can it be a true Microsoft Surface competitor? Does the addition of official keyboard and stylus companion accessories from Apple mean the company has finally changed its stance on so-called hybrid laptop/tablet devices?
While the majority of reviews praised the bigger form factor, pen input with the new Apple Pencil, and benchmarks on par with some MacBook models, many reviewers pointed out iOS as the limiting factor in making the iPad Pro a PC replacement or hybrid competitor. But does it need to be?
Apple’s marketing message for the new iPad Pro is unmistakably clear. The company is romancing pro users (like Disney and Pixar animators) for the launch of the new device with most of its ads and marketing material focusing on content creation possibilities with the larger display and new Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. And companies like Adobe are taking full advantage by making sure there is a lot of pro software available at launch.
But how will YOU be using the new iPad Pro? Will you attempt to replace your MacBook or other device in one way or another? Or will the larger iPad Pro simply complement your current lineup of devices and add new possibilities to your workflow? That’s the question we’re asking in today’s poll, and we’ll be continuing the discussion in the comments below.
Facing slowing growth for the first time since the iPad’s 2010 debut, Apple is working on several significant software and hardware updates to reinvigorate the tablet over the next year. Apple is developing a dual-app viewing mode, 12-inch iPads codenamed “J98” and “J99,” as well as support for multi-user logins, according to sources briefed on the plans. First planned for debut last year, the split-screen applications feature for the iPad could be introduced as soon as June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, while multi-user login support and the 12-inch iPads will apparently arrive later…
A day after Microsoft updated its OneNote for Mac app, adding OCR scanning of text within images, it has today updated its iPad app. OneNote for iPad gets the same OCR functionality, along with the ability to add handwritten notes–a feature previously available only on the Windows and Android versions of the tablet app.
As many of you have pointed out, one major feature that has been missing from OneNote for iPad is handwriting. With today’s update, you can pen notes. To get started, just tap the new Draw tab on the ribbon. Select a pen, marker, or highlighter and write, sketch or doodle until your heart’s content.
Handwritten notes can be made using either an iPad-compatible stylus or your finger, with customizable ink color and pen thickness …
Microsoft Surface product placement in CNN election coverage fails as iPads revealed behind them [Updated]
Microsoft must have thought it had pulled off a nice piece of product placement when it gave CNN election commentators a bunch of Surface Pro tablets to help with their coverage. CNN dutifully covered its desks with the devices, resulting in a series of proud tweets from Microsoft fans.
There was just one small problem, noted by GeekWire: a closer look revealed that hidden behind the Surface tablets were the iPads that commentators were actually using. In one case, the commentator was actually using her Surface tablet as a stand for her iPad.
Microsoft, which was last year forced to write down $900M on its ill-fated tablet, has frequently taken pot-shots at the iPad, running a series of misleading Surface tablet ads attacking the iPad (and iPad mini) before more recently turning its attention to the MacBook Air. Switching overt advertising for product placement doesn’t seem to be working out too well.
Update: iMore later drew our attention to CNN anchor Mathew Sheffield digging deeper into the hole, claiming he was using both devices:
So, er, using the Surface as a dumb monitor while actually doing stuff on the iPad, then. Didn’t Microsoft tout the famed multi-tasking abilities of the Surface while claiming the iPad was only a single-use device … ?
Oh dear. Just when we thought Microsoft might have gotten over its misleading Surface tablet ads attacking the iPad (and iPad mini), it has run three new ones, each attacking the MacBook Air (the other two are shown below the fold).
Microsoft’s decision to go on the offensive is perhaps understandable: while Apple can run a MacBook Air ad simply observing that it’s “the notebook people love,” poor sales of the Surface despite high marketing costs have so far resulted in Microsoft losing $1.7B on the device …
Former Apple employee: Apple worked on Surface-style keyboard cover for iPad, could announce at ‘haven’t covered everything’ event
Apple has published multiple patent applications for keyboard covers for its iPad that sort of resemble what Microsoft did in its keyboard cover for Surface. Until now, however, Apple has relied on third-party vendors like Logitech, Zagg (who has already announced a new iPad 5 keyboard case) and Belkin to provide these covers. Logitech and Zagg have had keyboard covers for the iPad since before both the patent application above and Microsoft’s Surface announcement.
But today, Jamie Ryan, who lists Apple Developer Relations as a recent job, says that Apple has been working on a prototype of such a device and could release it at tomorrow’s event. He thinks it could be Bluetooth 4.0 to save power and was ‘told other cover like accessories are also being looked at.’
Even after disastrous $900M write-down on discounted Surfaces, Microsoft still attacking iPad in new ad [Video]
As with its previous advertisements, Microsoft bashes the iPad’s inability to perform certain tasks that the Surface is specifically designed to handle. This particular ad highlights the iPad’s lack of built-in back stand, USB port, and keyboard accessory, all of which are not built-in to or included with the iPad.
Interestingly, in this ad, the Siri-inspired voiceover says, “This isn’t going to end well for me, is it? Nope definitely not ending well,” which is particularly intriguing given yesterday’s financial results. As evidenced by these results, it would appear that Microsoft’s Surface is in a precarious position, and not Apple’s iPad.
Turn your iPad (*gasp*) into a waterproof Microsoft Surface with new Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio
Logitech makes some pretty amazing iPad keyboards and now they can pretty much say the cover the spectrum of what’s out there. Today the company announced new $149 Logitech FabricSkin Keyboards that look and act like the keyboard case that comes with the Microsoft Surface. Even better? These guys are waterproof so you can just wipe away the coffee that you just spit out.
“We’ve combined design cues from the world of high fashion with the unbeatable typing experience you expect from Logitech to bring a new level of self-expression to iPad protection,” said Mike Culver, vice president of brand development for tablet accessories at Logitech. “TheLogitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio and Logitech Folio give you more than just a protective case for your iPad, they add a distinctive accent to your iPad that reflects your personal style.”
Logitech worked with world-class designers to identify chic fabrics and a bold color palette and combined them with a clean design. As a result, both the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio and Logitech Folio are offered in a range of colors from Electric Blue and Sunflower Yellow to Mars Red Orange, and in an array of on-trend fabrics from matte leather to finely woven cotton.
“By developing color and material options that evoke our senses and speak to our individuality, Logitech has made owning an iPad unique again,” said Beatrice Santiccioli, world-renowned color expert and designer. “I brought my knowledge in color and design to Logitech to help inspire the selection of materials and develop a color palette that builds a strong emotional connection to people’s lifestyles.”
Don’t want the keyboard but still want the case? Have an iPad mini? The Logitech Folio is keyboardless, fits both iPads, and costs $70.
They are available for pre-order at Logitech and will start shipping next month.
Full-sized image gallery, another video and press release follows:
iFixit, the repair guide site that has been vocal about the lack of repairability in Apple’s devices, has released a new report that compares the repairability of tablets currently on the market. With the exception of the Microsoft Surface Pro, Apple’s iPad lineup lands at the bottom of the list with a 2/10 repairability score.
Among the issues with repairability for iPads: hidden screws complicate disassembly, excessive amounts of adhesive, difficulty removing batteries, and, for some models, a “high chance of cracking the glass during disassembly.”
The good news? Apple’s iPads are also the most reliable according to several studies, meaning there is much less of a chance that you’ll need a repair in the first place.
Coming out on top of iFixit’s list is the Dell XPS 10 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. iFixit explained its methodology:
A device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it is easy to disassemble and has a service manual available. Points are docked based on the difficulty of opening the device, the types of fasteners found inside, and the complexity involved in replacing major components. Points are awarded for upgradability, use of non-proprietary tools for servicing, and component modularity.
ZAGG, an accessory maker that first received a lot of attention for its super-tough invisibleShield screen protector, these days also happens to be making some of the best iPad keyboards around. While ZAGG has big competition from the likes of Logitech and Belkin, its earlier folio and keyboard cover designs have been among our most recommended keyboards for iPad. ZAGG’s latest creations are not only its first dedicated to Apple’s smaller iPad mini, it’s also a new design for the company that helps set it aside from much of the competition.
The first thing that makes ZAGG’s iPad mini keyboards stand out is the company’s decision to sell two models: the ZAGGkeys Mini 7, and a slightly larger keyboard dubbed the Mini 9. ZAGG’s giving you the ability to get a keyboard only 10 percent smaller than a traditional Apple keyboard and built into a solid, good-looking iPad mini case, which something most of the other guys aren’t providing.
Unlike Logitech, Belkin, and others that have gone with the Microsoft Surface-style, magnetic, clip-on keyboard covers, the new Mini 7 and 9 go with a more traditional, folio case design.
First, a few things that are the same about the Mini 7 and Mini 9:
Just months after being ejected from Microsoft, former Windows Head Steven Sinofsky is already Tweeting from iPhone
Immediately following the release of the Microsoft Surface in November, Microsoft sent its Windows head Steven Sinofsky packing. Just a couple of months later, he is already trying out a new platform: iOS.
We were tipped to a tweet from Sinofsky (@stevesi) from January 11th that was sent from Twitter for iPhone. We soon discovered a second tweet from the same platform on January 4th. Sinofsky is still tweeting from his Microsoft Surface and the Web, but we don’t see as many Windows Phone-based tweets as we do earlier in his Twitter timeline.
Sinofsky spent the last week at CES where he documented the 15 hours he spent on the show floor.
After all of those years using the required Windows Phones, it sure didn’t take him long to hop over to iOS.
Update: Sinofsky has commented on Twitter about his use of the iPhone:
Windows RT 32GB tablets actually only have 16GB of usable space nullifying storage cost advantage over iPad
Here’s the Fun FAQ for Microsoft Surface users who are wondering why the 32GB version they bought actually only has 16GB of usable space:
While Microsoft will certainly get off on the wrong foot here in terms of customer expectations, they are still technically accurate—at least in the old desktop world. When you buy a Windows/Mac machine with a 100GB HDD, you expect some of that (but certainly not half of it!) to be used by system software. However, with the paired-down iOS/Android OSes currently so optimized, you pretty much get what it says on the box.
We reported on a Microsoft Engineer last month, saying users would have more than 20 GB of space.
This is part of Microsoft’s no compromises approach. You get a bunch of legacy stuff that requires a lot of legacy space.
At Apple’s Q4 earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked his thoughts on Microsoft’s new Surface tablet PC. Cook called it “a fairly compromised, confusing product,” and he compared it to a car that flies and floats:
“I haven’t personally played with a Surface yet… what we’re reading about it is… it’s a fairly compromised, confusing product… the toughest thing you do with a product is make hard trade offs.. we’ve really done that with the iPad.. the user experience is absolutely incredible… i suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but i don’t think it would do all of those things well.. i think when people look at the iPad over competitive offerings they are going to really want an iPad
Cook also noted that iPhone 5 is still seeing delays but supplies are getting better:
The 32 GB Surface tablet costs the same as the 16GB iPad, but it also comes with twice the storage capacity—or at least that’s what everyone thought until Microsoft’s AMA on Reddit yesterday.
Daring Fireball just linked to one of the Surface Team’s responses that regarded how much free space the tablet actually has available:
So, the entry-level Surface delivers 20 GB of free space with Office and a few apps, eh?
In case you did not know, the iPad’s OS consumes around 1 GB of space. But that’s not all: Microsoft’s Steven Bathiche handled more questions as to whether the Surface’s display stands up to the new iPad’s Retina display.
After giving a long-winded description of Microsoft’s ClearType display technology, Bathiche concluded, “[sic] Doing a side by side with the new iPad in a consistently lit room, we have had many people see more detail on Surface RT than on the Ipad with more resolution.”
Again, in case you did not know, the current iPad offers a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel resolution. Surface for Windows RT has a 1,366-by-768-pixel resolution.
The full AMA thread: IAm Panos Panay, GM of Microsoft Surface, AMAA – Ask Me or My Team Almost Anything
Forget Microsoft Surface, this is what the perfect Apple worktable would look like. You would simply place an iOS device upon the desk to sync with iTunes and it would wirelessly sync data with iCloud. Its multi-touch surface would allow for a range of possibilities like operating your computer the Magic Trackpad style. Imagine being able to schedule appointments or make phone calls using its entire touch-sensitive surface, also doubling as a huge secondary display.
The eye-catching Apple-friendly desk of the future —affectionately called iDesk— was conceived by designer Adam Benton and posted at MacLife. Too bad Apple will never make this, but the artist rendition really has me hooked. Go past the break for another image.