Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus & iPad Air 2 lose out to Samsung & Surface in detailed color accuracy analysis

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Following its detailed reports on displays used in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, today DisplayMate published a scientific analysis of color accuracy for the six best mobile displays it’s tested this year. Despite ranking high in some categories in the test, Apple’s new entries, the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2, end up at the bottom of the list overall. Read more

Former Apple SVP of Retail Ron Johnson talks Apple and Microsoft Stores, offers surprising praise for Surface 3

Ron Johnson at Apple store opening

Former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail (then ousted JCPenney CEO) Ron Johnson made a somewhat rare public-facing appearance on Andreessen Horowitz’s podcast. The discussion comes in at just under half an hour and features the former head of Apple Retail discussing his experience with leading the Apple Store as well as the challenge for up-and-coming startup brands to afford brick-and-mortar retail channels, but more interesting from an Apple perspective is Johnson’s praise for Microsoft’s retail stores and the Surface 3 tablet that the company heavily markets against Apple’s MacBook Air.

“I think the Microsoft stores have succeeded much more than popular opinion. […] I think it’s really helped, for instance, the Surface 3. It’s a really great product and we all know that. Everyone who has tried a Surface 3 is pretty blown away with the software, the interaction, how it can be a tablet and a computer, its part of the future. Without those stores that Surface 3 wouldn’t be where it is today.”

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Microsoft no longer dissing the iPad in Surface ads, now dissing the MacBook Air

Oh dear. Just when we thought Microsoft might have gotten over its misleading Surface tablet ads attacking the iPad (and iPad mini), it has run three new ones, each attacking the MacBook Air (the other two are shown below the fold).

Microsoft’s decision to go on the offensive is perhaps understandable: while Apple can run a MacBook Air ad simply observing that it’s “the notebook people love,” poor sales of the Surface despite high marketing costs have so far resulted in Microsoft losing $1.7B on the device …  Read more

Apple plans to match Microsoft Surface with split-screen iPad multitasking in iOS 8

Multitasking_Air

iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development. These people say that the feature will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once. Up until now, each iPad application either developed by Apple or available on the App Store is only usable individually in a full-screen view.

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XTouch turns any surface into touch-enabled controls for iOS apps

XTouch, an SDK created by a group at the University of Toronto’s Mobile Applications Lab and funded by JOLT, turns any surface into a touch-sensitive controller for iOS apps with no additional hardware. Since XTouch uses acoustics and vibrations to recognize taps on a surrounding surface, the only requirement is that your iPhone or iPad is placed on the same surface you want to use as a touchpad. An SDK is coming soon that will allow developers to think up many interesting implementations, but for now the company has released two apps that show off what XTouch is capable of. Read more

Even after disastrous $900M write-down on discounted Surfaces, Microsoft still attacking iPad in new ad [Video]

Despite Microsoft’s disastrous quarterly earnings report, in which it took a $900M writedown on discounted Surfaces, the company has just pushed out a new ad for its Surface v. iPad campaign.

As with its previous advertisements, Microsoft bashes the iPad’s inability to perform certain tasks that the Surface is specifically designed to handle. This particular ad highlights the iPad’s lack of built-in back stand, USB port, and keyboard accessory, all of which are not built-in to or included with the iPad.

Interestingly, in this ad, the Siri-inspired voiceover says, “This isn’t going to end well for me, is it? Nope definitely not ending well,” which is particularly intriguing given yesterday’s financial results. As evidenced by these results, it would appear that Microsoft’s Surface is  in a precarious position, and not Apple’s iPad. Read more

Times have changed: No iTunes water in Windows 8 Hell for Microsoft Metro tablet users

“It’s like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell”

That’s what Steve Jobs said of iTunes for Windows when asked why Apple made its software for competing Microsoft users in 2007.

But times have changed. Apple continues to make/support iTunes for Windows desktop computing environments, but it doesn’t need Microsoft’s outlier tablet users who now represent the third largest share of tablet OS behind iOS and Android (by the way, don’t expect iTunes for Android any time soon either).

In fact, the iTunes ecosystem is a competitive advantage as Apple sells its iOS tablets, smartphones and TVs against Android and now Windows 8 devices. Where Windows dominated the userbase in the early 2000s, Apple now is the leader in the current ecosystem race.

That’s why it comes as no surprise that Microsoft’s Windows division CFO Tami Reller is telling folks not to expect a Windows 8 ‘Metro’ iTunes app:

“You shouldn’t expect an iTunes app on Windows 8 any time soon,” said Tami Reller, chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Windows division. “ITunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.”

It should be noted that Microsoft has been dragging its feet in delivering the once ubiquitous Office Suite of applications for iOS which is now letting competitors (Like Pages/Numbers/Keynote and Google Apps) thrive on the now dominant iOS and Android touch platforms. Read more

Bill Gates thinks your iPad is frustrating without Office and a keyboard [Video]

Bill Gates and Conan O'Brian play an Xbox game at CES in Las Vegas

Frustrated with your iPad’s lack of Office and no physical keyboard? Probably not but that doesn’t stop Bill Gates from believing it.

Serving as the lone hero for Microsoft’s compromise PC-tablet (the Surface Pro even has a fan, you know, like a PC), the Microsoft co-founder cited users’ growing frustration with the software and hardware limitations of the iPad as we move further into the post-PC reality.

The problem with this notion, as we all know, is that no shortage of keyboard cases for the iPad exists and productivity users have long since found a solution for their Office needs.

Microsoft has been rumored to launch Office for iOS for a while now, but it is hard to recall why it matters anymore with so many other solutions available.

Check out the 7:30 mark in the video below:

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Turn your iPad (*gasp*) into a waterproof Microsoft Surface with new Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio

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Logitech makes some pretty amazing iPad keyboards and now they can pretty much say the cover the spectrum of what’s out there. Today the company announced new $149 Logitech FabricSkin Keyboards that look and act like the keyboard case that comes with the Microsoft Surface. Even better? These guys are waterproof so you can just wipe away the coffee that you just spit out.

“We’ve combined design cues from the world of high fashion with the unbeatable typing experience you expect from Logitech to bring a new level of self-expression to iPad protection,” said Mike Culver, vice president of brand development for tablet accessories at Logitech. “TheLogitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio and Logitech Folio give you more than just a protective case for your iPad, they add a distinctive accent to your iPad that reflects your personal style.”

Logitech worked with world-class designers to identify chic fabrics and a bold color palette and combined them with a clean design. As a result, both the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio and Logitech Folio are offered in a range of colors from Electric Blue and Sunflower Yellow to Mars Red Orange, and in an array of on-trend fabrics from matte leather to finely woven cotton.

“By developing color and material options that evoke our senses and speak to our individuality, Logitech has made owning an iPad unique again,” said Beatrice Santiccioli, world-renowned color expert and designer. “I brought my knowledge in color and design to Logitech to help inspire the selection of materials and develop a color palette that builds a strong emotional connection to people’s lifestyles.”

Don’t want the keyboard but still want the case? Have an iPad mini? The Logitech Folio is keyboardless, fits both iPads, and costs $70.

They are available for pre-order at Logitech and will start shipping next month.

Full-sized image gallery, another video and press release follows: Read more