Tag Archives: Apple

The Surface; an iPad and Laptop combined.

For many years now I’ve used a laptop as my primary workhorse, in addition to an iPhone and iPad + all the associated power devices!

Today, more so than ever before, I work in a truly mobile sense. My office is my backpack and, to a large extent, where I am physically doesn’t affect my ability to work. All I really need is connectivity.

I do like the iPad a lot. Its convenient and easy to use whilst traveling, but for me its never quite been the complete package. When I really consider what I get from the iPad, it’s not a true necessity. Like most Apple products!

I’ve long been an Apple fan, the iPhone is exceptional. But it seems to me that everything else is really an extension of the phone – or an alternative to the Windows based PC, which for most businesses isn’t that practical to convert to. The Apple Watch still confuses me. It’s cool perhaps, but its just another extension to the phone?

Our IT manager contacted me recently; “We’d like you hand back your laptop and iPad. You’ll be using a Microsoft Surface Pro going forward. Is that ok?”. I’d already spoken to a couple of colleagues who’d been using the Surface and had been impressed, so I agreed. The idea of finally having one combined laptop and iPad device is appealing!

Microsoft Surface Pro

So I’m a few days in. The Surface is good. Exceptionally good in fact. It really does seem to blend the laptop and iPad functionality very well; I’d even go as far as to say its better than an iPad! The pen (stylus) is very realistic, allowing you to write and draw naturally, rather than using a clumsy rubber blob-like thing on the iPad. The pen can also be used as a mouse alternative which is very intuitive. The screen is as good as the iPad and in terms of performance it is more powerful than my 20 month old Dell laptop. The option to use the screen keyboard or the smooth magnetic add-on keyboard are both good. The integrated stand on the back of the Surface is also good and offers many positions. The power-pack is compact and has a second USB port which is handy to charge a second device. It also has a very slick magnetic connector which goes onto the side of the Surface. Some of the more demanding programmes I use (Revit, AutoCAD, Photoshop, InDesign) all seem to cope fine which is encouraging.

There are only two negatives. There is only one USB port. Admittedly this is one more than the iPad, but 2-3 would save the need for a USB hub if you want to connect an Ethernet cable, monitor, mouse etc. Also, bizarrely, there is no SIM slot for mobile connectivity? WiFi is the only option. Surely if the Surface is looking to take on the iPad/ tablet market, this is an essential! I’ve been given a seperate EE WiFi device for this, so I’m now a walking WiFi hotspot!

So my early view on the Surface is really very good. If you’re tempted to make life simpler, go for it. The Surface could be the future! I am a big fan of it already.

 

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An open letter to Apple…

Dear Apple Inc,

I’ve been using your devices for a number of years now. In fact I have come to rely heavily on both your iPhone and iPad products for my day to day business. Notwithstanding the hopeless battery life on the phone particularly, both products have been pretty reliable.

I have updated the software as new releases have been issued by you to keep my devices up to date. However in using iOS 7.1.2 in recent months you appear to have created a conflict with .PDF file formats. I am now unable to view .PDF files on my devices properly. This is kind of critical to me as I both send and receive a lot of .PDF files.

Bad AppleSo my question is really very simple; When (after several months of waiting now!) are you planning to rectify this??

I’m looking forward to the imminent release of the iPhone 6 (or other such name), but my choice to acquire this when released will depend heavily on me being able to access .PDF files properly.

In the interim I will continue to consider switching to a Samsung Galaxy or perhaps the HTC one…

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Thank you.

Nick Riley.

Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone?

There has been an unanswered question in my mind for sometime now; whats the best phone on the market? The Samsung Galaxy or the Apple iPhone?

My good friend and fellow bloggerTim Garratt is a long-term avid ‘Apple man’, but just recently he’s been trying out the Samsung S5 phone. Today he’s blogged about his experience so far and comparison with the trusty, but perhaps tired, Apple…click here to see his post.

Interestingly, another question in my mind recently has been the adoption of my iPad for all note taking – and losing my A5 notebook. Tim also responds to this question in his post.

It seems the notebook lives on, alongside the iPad. So too does the Apple iPhone – it just needs a better battery! It seems that rumours are circulating on the internet right now that the iPhone 6 is on it’s way, but what will it look like?

iPhone6