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  • Microsoft touts Surface success, claims more MacBook switchers than ever

    linkman said:

    The Surface tries to be a tablet and a laptop and fails at both. Apple figured out that the same OS doesn't do well for both tasks so they put iOS on the iPad instead of OS X.

    That's a popular talking point, but nobody ever seems to mention any specifics.

    How does the Surface fail as a tablet? What does it not do well? How does it fail as a laptop? What are its shortcomings? I'm not taking a position here, I simply don't know because I've never used one. What leads you to judge it a failure on either front?

    The fastest way to describe it would be to say performing more tablet-like tasks on a Surface Pro is like taking photos with your smartphone. The photos that come out of a smartphone are relatively terrible, however in most cases they are "good enough", and the convenience and reduced cost of having the one device trumps the desire for capturing the best photos possible.

    Looking at the Surface Pro in particular, it is neither a laptop nor is it a tablet. That characterisation is incorrect and if you think in those terms you'll never understand the device (it doesn't help that Microsoft themselves heavily pushed this narrative).

    Imagine a 3-way Venn diagrams outlining all the features one could perform on a computing device. Laptops are best at performing laptop tasks - like writing or pro video editing etc. Tablets are best at performing tablet tasks - reading a book, playing mobile games, checking Facebook etc. The Surface Pro is a hybrid or a 2-in-1. It's best at performing 2-in-1 tasks - document editing, drawing, taking notes, media consumption etc.

    The overlapping areas contain tasks you can perform on multiple devices, to varying degrees.

    When looking to purchase, a user would hopefully consider their own unique needs and purchase the device or devices which covers those needs the best.

    The kicker for me was actually the development of large-screen smartphones. The tasks I once required a dedicated tablet for (email triage, Facebook, messaging etc) are handled more elegantly and conveniently on a smartphone. However I still appreciate a couple of tablet-like functions (like being able to take notes in a meeting or prop my screen up on an airplane tray table and read or watch a movie) which is why I've gone the 2-in-1 route.

  • Google turns Drive for iOS into Android migration tool

    Funny that Move can bring more items over to the iPhone (like SMS) than Google can bring back. Simply because Apple has stricter privacy permissions than Android.
    I was able to transfer my SMS history without any fuss. Admittedly not quite as simply as installing and app, but still ridiculously easy. Also (and this is quite nuanced) iOS and Android actually have very similar privacy permissions. On either system before an app accesses user data for the first time it needs to ask permission from the user. The difference is that Android allows developers to ask for access a wider range of user data than iOS.