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Windows 8 vs iOS and Android

April 27, 2012
By Loh Ving Sung GooglePlus


27 April 2012 – Microsoft is readying up Windows 8 as its next major update for its Windows platform, but the update is not only for desktops, but will span, laptops, netbooks, and tablet PCs. Meaning it will work with the traditional mouse and keyboard setup but is designed for touchscreens too. Windows 8’s Metro user interface is similar to the Windows Phone and Xbox 360 interface.


In addition to the Metro UI, the familiar desktop version of Windows remains in Windows 8. But instead of a Start button, tapping Start here (which we will explain more in the Full Screen apps section) will bring you immediately over to the Metro UI. And that is among the few updates to what we are accustomed to, and we have list down a few prevalent ones and see how they differ against power houses like iOS and Android.


Full Screen apps


Most apps on iOS will not completely immerse you in the experience, take Facebook for example, where you are looking at post and photos, there is a little bar that reminds you of data connection strength, the time and battery level. All these are locked to the UI. The same goes for Android where three navigation buttons persistently attached itself to all apps.


Windows 8 irons that out by doing something called the Charms menu, where the arbitrary stuff we mentioned above is hidden. If you want to check on your battery power, simply bring up the Charms menu by going to right hand corner of your screen and swipe down. And when you are done tap anywhere else on the screen and Charms disappears again.


With Metro apps nothing is permanently tacked on the viewing experience, and everything is neatly hidden away so you can focus on a single app at a time.

Charms in action


As we mentioned above, there is still a Start button, but it is hidden. So if you are in desktop mode or when you are done checking your emails, bring up Charms again, tap on the Start button, and you are back in the Metro UI.


Picture Password


Perhaps the most innovative feature to hit Windows 8 is the picture-based password, which security experts are saying is much more secure than a PIN-based password. Basically, all you do is select a photo which you then assign three points to it.


Sounds simple enough, but couldn’t the likes of hackers or malicious users make mincemeat out of it by predicting the smudges on screen?


Given the order of the points, the direction and location makes it difficult (Microsoft has proven that mathematically) to guess the correct points set based on smudges on the screen. The company says that to guess the correct points based on smudging are close to impossible even on a completely clean touchscreen, let alone on a screen that has seen plenty of use.

Image Credit: Microsoft


Gestures Multitasking


On Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb, the operating system has its Recent Apps feature. It is a side bar that pulls up a list of the most frequently used apps when you tap the system bar icon. On iOS, you can double tap the home button or the swipe up (with multitasking gestures on) to bring up a multitasking bar.


Windows 8 does that by implementing a swipe from the left edge of the device that will pull up the last app you used. Another method is to swipe back and forth on the left edge which brings up a vertical array of preview windows revealing all your running apps similar to Android’s list.


It is designed to makes things easy and quick, and should be natural enough so there will not be any accidental swipes.


Homescreen customisation


Personalisation is available in some form or other across all mobile platforms. The minute you fire up iOS, you can rearrange your apps on the home screen following a grid. You can even rearrange the apps into folders.


Android allows a slightly greater degree of customisation to developers, who can create specific themes and designs for widgets. Users can then place these widgets on their homescreens which will then update automatically.


Windows 8 does both by introducing large squares or Live Tiles in the Metro UI, which reduces clutter as all the apps show up as square. But at the same time they are big enough, so you can see live updates on them.


On Windows 8, Microsoft has placed heavily used apps like the email client, calendar and the web browser all on the primary page of Metro.


Keyboard for all types of hands


Typing on tablets are always a challenge, and whether it is the lack of tactile feeling, or the lack of real estate to type on. Developers have tried to overcome these limitations with split keyboards. Spilt keyboards allow users to type with their thumbs on a tablet, which mimics the typing experience on their smartphones. Typing with your thumbs on a tablet is not the easiest thing to do either.


Windows 8 not only does split keyboards, it also has the option to adjust the key size on Windows 8 split-screen keyboard. With three sizes to choose from, so if you have smaller hands, you can type on the smaller keyboard.  But if you have giant claws for hands, you can increase the key sizes.


Impressions


After spending some time with Windows 8, the Metro UI feels like a proper touch based user interface. The icons are big, easily arranged and there are plenty of gestures built in.


With Windows desktop hidden in the background, there is always the ability to switch to a full-fledge operating system. But once you get used to it, Metro is a core part of Windows 8, and will provide numerous ways to get things done, be it on the Metro UI or Windows desktop.


Microsoft has pre-released the Windows 8 Consumer preview edition since February, and with a rumoured release by October, we are looking forward to see the more complete version of the operating system as well as seeing how it will rival its closest touch base competition like iOS and Android. 


" Microsoft menyediakan Windows 8 sebagai kemaskini seterusnya untuk platform Windows,kemaskini bukan hanya untuk desktop, malah akan meliputi, komputer riba, netbook, dan tablet PC.Ini bermakna ia akan berfungsi dengan persediaan tetikus dan papan kekunci tradisional tetapi direka untuk skrin sesentuh juga. User Interface Windows 8 Metro adalah sama dengan interdace Windows Phone dan Xbox 360 "



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