Monday, 10 June 2013

iOS7 - What I want....

Today Apple announced iOS7 amongst other things. I wont dwell too much
on the details as theres a ton of info on the net, and I dont want to
detract too much on what will be a nice upgrade to iOS6.

But there appears to be something wrong in the gadget industry - Android
and Apple.

Since the dawn of time, computers have had a "general purposeness" about
them. They can be calculators, spreadsheets and data processors. With
the advent of mobile computing and the impressive feats of video and
audio playback...something is lacking.

I have a Galaxy Note II - a great device (apart from a few caveats).
But one thing I truly love is the multi-window multitasking feature.
Its difficult to believe this is a great thing - how on earth can you
have multiple windows on a tiny device and make use of it? Even
on a laptop or desktop screen, one can spend ages moving windows around
to uncover some application hiding underneath.

But this very simple (and yet, flawed) feature in the Samsung
product provides a true value-add feature, unseen elsewhere in Android
or Apple land.

Its distracting to flip from one app to another on both iOS and Android.
We all need our snippets of mail or info.

But what do you do when watching a TV or Film on your beloved device?
Switching away to do the "whats happening in the world" is a real
context switch. Now imagine, you are watching a film, and want to check
something on imdb.com?

Well the Samsung device is the only device that supports this. Its
not quite picture-in-picture of a true desktop - you get a side-by-side
windowing arrangement - not disimilar to Windows 2.0. But that is all
you need - split the screen in half and you can keep an eye on the video
whilst doing some research or whatever.

Alas, the samsung feature doesnt work well with most apps. E.g.
imdb.com works fine until you do a search, and then imdb.com doesnt
handle the restricted width window. (It did used to work but imdb.com
updated the app to break this function, alas).

Why arent more value-adds like this?

MX-Player for Android is a truly wonderful and brilliant app. You can
fast forward or rewind by swiping across the screen. Yet Apples Movie player
is like using a black-and-white TV set to watch video - so much innovation
could have been present (especially the awful fast-forward timebar).

I guess it is comforting that such useful but small features are not
standard as it allows the developer community to add value to our devices.


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