Is there such a thing as a compendium of touch/pen aware apps?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows 7' started by Vogelbung, Jul 22, 2010.

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  1. Vogelbung

    Vogelbung Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yeah - that's what I read. As well as the speculation over what they plan to do with it. So yeah - back to square one really. I haven't looked through in huge detail over the utilities yet, but is there another touch-friendly Explorer / Desktop replacement?
     
  2. adretzios

    adretzios Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Here is my 5 cents on the iPad issue. I find slates utterly useless. Slates such like the iPad are even more useless. If one wants a small lightweight machine to peruse the web, a netbook makes a lot more sense. In fact, there are a number of touch enabled netbooks as well. My feeling is that slates like the iPad are a fad and a fad that would progressively diminish. It is fine to look at some web sites but at the end one needs a real keyboard to create some content, pen an email, and do some real work.

    I do not see the need to have a smartphone, a slate, a laptop and a desktop. One of these needs to go. Thus, a smartphone, a convertible laptop, and a desktop seems like a good compromise. When travelling, a smartphnone and a convertible laptop make a lot more sense.

    What makes slates like the iPad useless? Exactly what makes the equivalent phones excellent. The iPad (and lookalikes) depends on multitouch. Multitouch requires capacity screens and these screens have low resolution and do not record pressure. Thus, modern convertibles successfully "marry" a capacitive and a resistive display for both multitouch and good stylus support. Unfortunately, they are not cheap.

    I think that the iPad would be OK for persons that simply would like to read some content from the Internet and play a few games, but not much more than this. For professionals, they are a "luxury" device. It has no real value that your smartphone + laptop do not provide. So, if you want this "third" device and have money to throw around, buy an iPad.
     
  3. Vogelbung

    Vogelbung Pen Pal - Newbie

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    A rather worthless 5 cents I find - as it's pretty clear from the above that you haven't used (in a worthwhile manner) or owned one.

    You're either transposing your experience of a convertible then trying to figure out how things would be without a keyboard, or you're assuming the user experience will be very similar to the iPhone. Superficially it is of course - but the applications which are appearing for the iPad makes full use of the increased size.

    The key here is not the merits of the device itself, but the consistent and hassle-free user experience it presents for touch, and the way the message has also gone out to developers. I didn't think I had to lay out the obvious, but perhaps I do have to.

    In the few months it has been out, it has done more for touch than Windows Tablet has done since it came out. Take a look at applications intended for about as non-tech a user as you can get - fashionistas - e.g. the Net-A-Porter app, which is seriously impressive in its use of touch-based user interface elements. (http://www.net-a-porter.com/apps/ipad). The touch element is also helped by Apple's almost clairvoyant capacitive sensitivity - something they have totally nailed from the outset, and has taken other makers three yeras to catch up. Even on a tiny screen like the iPhone, I rarely make a wrong choice on a relatively dense website. With the iPad, it's basically more of the same.

    I find Windows in slate-only mode unmanageable, because it is, as a user environment, not suited for touch. If I try and browse the web using the X201T like an iPad, I usually give up and put it into laptop mode. And that's one of the reasons I think the Windows 7 Slate counter to the iPad is a fatal mistake, especially as Microsoft are leaving a key aspect - the front-end touch user experience - in the hands of the makers. Which is for Microsoft, IMO, the equivalent of pulling the pin on the grenade and holding it without throwing it.

    I am not, as you will probably see on NotebookReview, an Applezombie. But I will give them credit where it is due - their touch experience is well head of what Windows tablet can provide. True, as an inking platform Windows tablet still may reign supreme - but as I might have said before, the vast percentage of the time you're interacting with a tablet, you aren't inking. True, Windows is ultimately MUCH more versatile than iOS as an OS - but if the applications are more frustrating to use in touch, then the increased versatility is curtailed - especially if you have to keep switching between the laptop and slate mode in order to get things done, and this imposes further compromises in terms of unit weight, etc.

    Part of what I'm asking beyond 'what sort of program ecosystem for inking and touch is out there' (and the answer seems to be, from the resources here, as I said what I already assumed - near-zero) is if there are extensions / themes to twist the core of Windows and key applications around to a more touch-friendly aspect. This is something they will *have* to do with the Windows slates, and I was wondering if there were any precursor applications.
     
  4. adretzios

    adretzios Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Wrong on that one

    No, I know that the experience is similar to an ipod. The larger screen, of course, modifies this experience somewhat.

    See, you are making certain leaps of faith in your assumption. I personally do not care that much for touch. I think that it is fine for phones, but I think that it is a regressive UI for larger screens. Touch, by definition, is an "inaccurate" or poorly accurate way of interacting with a computer. The things you can do with it are very limited. So, although I think that touch is great on a device that you interact (and used to interact) with your fingers such as a phone, I personally think that it is regressive on larger surfaces. It just leads to "dumbing down" of the interface because you would need larger buttons or links to press. It just gets childish. But again, this is my take.

    As you can see, the things that are important to you, are not important to me at all. I hardly every just peruse the web. Most of my time in the computer is taken by doing "content creation" (working on documents, answering email, putting together presentations, etc, etc). I need something that facilitates this. When I work on tablets, I want precision drawing with very good pressure levels. I just do not want childish stuff. Thus, an iPad-like device is of no use to me. I do not care if it is powered by the iphone OS or Win7 or Android. I simply have no use for it. I think the vast majority of users have no use for it. If I want a simple "connected" device, I would buy a netbook (and it would have more ports, a keyboard, and far more storage than a slate). I have not found a need for a netbook either, to be frank.

    Windows 7 is perfectly suited for touch (its multitouch support is richer than Apple's). However, I agree with you that the stock UI is not intended for touch support a lot. IE is actually touch enabled, but again, it has not been "re-wired" for touch. I guess that somebody at MS can sit around and recode the buttons and interface elements to be more touch friendly and then issue an "IE for touch". As things are, no, it would not be a great experience in a 10'' screen. However, I personally think that all slates are totally redundant, not just the iPad. I think that those who have bought the iPad would progressively use it less and less. It is just a toy, all slates are. So, this is not a Windows vs. iPhone OS discussion. It is about paying and maintaining a device which adds very little to a user's experience. You can do all the same things with an ipod ...and you can carry it in your pocket. On the other hand, Apple is good in creating "fashions".

    Well, as you well put it, it all depends on the development of touch-friendly applications in any platform: iphone OS, Win7 or Android. Again, it all depends on what you want to get accomplished with a computer. If one is just going to surf the web most of the time, then, the iPad may make some sense. Otherwise, for cheap connected devices, my vote goes to a netbook. If one is needs more power and a more precise inking devise, nothing beats a convertible laptop. Of course, there are always size-weight compromises.


    Well, I think that MS has developed a number of "touch" friendly apps and they are busy developing others from what I hear. But again, I am still of the opinion that these slates (of whatever operating system) are very basic devices that one day would be given out for free with magazine subscriptions. I personally think that the current lot (all of them) are primitive. One needs to wait for color electronic ink (a year or two away) and then a cheap connected reading device may be something to have around (although I probably won't use it much).
     
  5. singisumina

    singisumina Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I find that the iPad revolutionized how companies thought about touch/touch applications/touch devices. Before the iPad, did Windows succesfully try to push for a slate-style PC? Nope. Now, everyone is eagerly anticipating all sorts of slate/tablet-style PCs running Windows 7.

    Microsoft's Ballmer: Windows 7 slates are coming this year | ZDNet

    Samsung is even thinking of a dual-touch screen, among others exploring the touch field.

    Samsung dual-touch patent application tips double-sided tablets - SlashGear

    These investments and sudden boom in the market didn't come without a nod to the iPad for making consumers demand touch-integration into widespread use. Of course, for "professionals" and whatnot, these seem like only luxury items, but the mainstream consumer will always push the market/development stream. So, if all these professionals were demanding touch/improvements to tablet PCs, and were not being heard, then we should applaud the iPad for helping in that direction, instead of saying it is complete useless.


    Getting back to Vogelbung's original question - also check out:

    Zengobi - Curio - Mind Mapping, Brainstorming, and Project Management Software for Mac OS X

    It's nifty mindmapping software that supposedly supports voice and pen inputs. Just downloaded after reading a quick article about it!

    Also just found a flashcard program that supports ink and other various features, but it costs $$:

    http://www.luminaresoft.com/

    Still hunting around for decent ink software, so if theres others not listed under Frank's huge FAQ, keep posting!
     
  6. singisumina

    singisumina Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Found it! Download BumpTop, BumpTop 2.00 Build 5790 Download
     
  7. adretzios

    adretzios Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I have certainly not been demanding the incorporation of touch in my computing experience although I can see situations in which this would be desirable in very large displays during presentations. I simply do not feel the need to touch my monitor (either desktop or laptop).

    I acknowledge that touch is important in interacting with machines with which we always interacted through touch, such as the telephone. Apple made the jump to larger displays hoping to get traction from various persons exposure to touch through their phones. It may or may not work. Apple may sell a few million iPads but the fad may die down if people find progressively that such devices are not all that useful.

    My own prediction: in a decade or so, pads like the iPad would be coming for free with magazine or newspaper subscriptions. And that would be about the limits of their usability.
     
  8. Vogelbung

    Vogelbung Pen Pal - Newbie

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  9. singisumina

    singisumina Pen Pal - Newbie

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  10. skoster

    skoster Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Concerning the original topic, keep in mind that a lot of the software written for windows slates were specific to a stated industry need, not general purpose. Medical software, package tracking, etc. Slates with windows were usually bought by businesses with specific needs up until very recently. It's less that there isn't software and more that the software there is isn't on your radar because it's useless outside of it's very specific purpose.

    As to the argument about whether slates are worthwhile, it's different strokes for different folks. I'm currently stuck with pen and paper because the content creation I need to do would require a bunch more keys than the QWERTY has. So for me a keyboard is a useless accessory in much of my working day. Give me good inking so I can write IPA symbols and supra-segmentals, and 90% of my working time will be spent with a stylus. Until they do that in a light, full sized slate package (10" or more) with a long battery life I'll be buying legal pads and Bic pens.
     
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