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Showing posts from May 18, 2014

Split Screen Multi-tasking on iPad - Unnecessary Complexity

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With WWDC not too far away and iOS 8 expected to be the subject of Tim Cook's keynote speech, it's a good time to take a look at one of the features that is being strongly touted to appear for the iPad as part of the update.

Split-screen multitasking - as seen on Windows 8 tablets - has been loudly demanded by some iPad users even from the days before Microsoft made it a tablet reality. Samsung too have implemented a version of multitasking on its Galaxy tablets which allows multiple applications on screen at once.

Now even jailbroken iPad users get the option to try it out, thanks to a tweak called OS Experience.

However, I believe that the concept, on the iPad at least, is flawed and isn't something that anyone actually needs. The potential execution offer a number of land mines to be navigated too.

In Windows 8 apps snapped to positions at the left or right of the screen switch to a different display mode to suit the reduced screen real estate. In the screenshot below y…

Surface Pro 3 Demonstrates A New Clarity For Microsoft

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Microsoft has been gnawing away at the tablet market for two decades and despite many attempts along the way it has never managed to get the things 'launched'. Some of it was down to the gap between the vision and the technology's capability to deliver it. Some of it was down to misunderstanding just what the market was for these devices.

When the iPad came along and demonstrated that what was actually required from a tablet was everything that made a smartphone great with a bigger screen it must have been a painful dagger in the side of Microsoft's tablet team.

With the launch of the Surface Pro 3 Microsoft has demonstrated that now it actually understands how the tablet market works - and with the move to a larger device Microsoft has taken the Surface Pro out of competition with the iPad - a place that it should never have been in.

The iPad and it's Android competitors are a success because of the size, weight, simplicity and integration with the smartphones tha…

Samsung Gobbling Up Smartwatch Market Share In Anticipation of the iWatch, Android Wear

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Samsung sold half a million Galaxy Gears last quarter, marking a 71% share of the market over the period. That's a not insignificant number - although you'd expect the iWatch to do that sort of numbers in pre-sales once Apple announces it.

Whilst the original Galaxy Gear was big and clunky and tried to do too much, Samsung's launch of the revised device in March showed that it was capable of responding to feedback. The replacement Gear 2 still looks like an awkward sell to me, but the Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit Samsung actually seem to have found a market for it's Smartwatches.

Samsung's numerical dominance of the market isn't going to last long - Apple's long-rumoured iWatch can only be a matter of weeks from announcement, whilst Google and it's partners will start delivering Android Wear smartwatches to the world as soon as July.

I'm still not convinced that there's a market there to make all this smartwatch activity worthwhile. Maybe Apple will…

F1: Ayrton Senna, Twenty Years On. Part Two.

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Ayrton Senna won his first Grand Prix in Portugal, on a day when the heaven's opened and driver's struggled to keep their cars on the track down the straights. Senna was operating on a different plane to the rest of the field. His margin of victory was over a minute and only the second-placed Ferrari of Michele Alboreto was on the same lap by the end of the race.

If the previous year's Monaco Grand Prix had demonstrated that Senna was a prodigious talent this race was the one that marked him out for greatness. The Lotus- Renault was far from the best car on the circuit that year, but as ever, introducing rain into the mix levelled the playing field.

And Senna was in a class of his own.

Eight years later, in a Mclaren-Ford at Donnington Park, Senna repeated his humbling of his peers when the notorious British weather made a river of the Derbyshire circuit. That race, though touted by many as Senna's greatest was perhaps tainted by Senna's disgust at being kept out …

F1: Black Jack - The Forgotten Champion

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Ask even the most passionate F1 fans to name those men who have achieved greatness through winning multiple championships and you'll find the same names on most lists. Everyone will remember Senna, Schumacher and Fangio. Most will include Prost and some with longer memories (or those who may just have seen Rush) will include Lauda and maybe Stewart. Much fewer will remember Piquet.

Almost nobody will have the name Jack Brabham on the list, despite a list of achievements to rival any of the others on this list.

Brabham's death earlier today gives us an opportunity to remember his, mostly forgotten, achievements.

Brabham came to Europe after a successful dirt-track career in Australia. He worked his way into the Cooper team and in 1959 took the World Championship in an epic battle with Phil Hill and Stirling Moss - the title being settled at the last race in the US when Brabham pushed his car over the line to clinch fourth place and the Championship after it had run out of fuel…