Programs/apps specific to SP2

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by Tsurugaya, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Tsurugaya

    Tsurugaya Active Member

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    Since our device isn't really like anything else out there it would be good to have tips on software and apps than make life with the Surface Pro 2 a little easier to handle.
    We could also write about stuff we wished existed, this will hopefully help developers come up with ideas.

    My wish is for a plug-in for Excel that would take number entering with the stylus. Hold the button pressed and double tap the screen and it will only accept numeral input from the pen, do it again and you're back to normal input.
     
  2. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Haven't used spreadsheets on the SP2, but have noticed a dearth of image editing software that takes good advantage of the touch interface. The MS photo app supplied with the SP2 does pretty well in this respect, but it really isn't a pro-grade editor program. Does MS offer anything re: excel, plugins, etc.? But it sounds like you've already been checking for updates.

    I think you are correct, lobbying for the kinds of applications we're looking for will likely prompt development of software better adapted to mobile devices. We just need to keep the pressure on, as a friend says, "hold their feet to the fire". Worth a shot anyway.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  3. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    What you're talking about isn't a Surface Pro-specific issue but usability issues for Windows 8 tablets in general. Lobbying for touch-friendly Win8 applications requires you to contact the software developers directly; I'd expect the vast majority of such software devs/vendors don't visit here, especially since this isn't an official MS forum.

    On the plus side, since there are other Windows 8.x tablets on market and becoming more popular, the increasing market share should pique the interest of more attentive software developers. It wouldn't hurt to drum up consumer interest (in lobbying) on other Tablet PC forums, either.
     
  4. Tsurugaya

    Tsurugaya Active Member

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    At least they will know that a demand exists.
     
  5. Renigami

    Renigami New Member

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    Image creation and painting, I have seen some touch gestures work.

    Painter, Manga Studio, and ArtRage, you can pinch to zoom and pan with your fingers.

    In Excel, for number input with the pen, you can click a field and use the handwriting keyboard to enter numbers in (sans hardware keyboard, holding it like a clipboard). This can apply to any thing that needs a text input but you only have the pen in hand.

    AutoCAD, you can use two fingers to pan and zoom.

    These are some of the applications I use and do make use of touch gestures. In the end, that is existent to a degree because the Tablet PC with Windows since existed but was not more apparent than with Windows 8 and the Surface Pro and like devices.

    And it is up to the third party developer to take advantage of this. One company that DIDN'T implement at the basic level of touch scrolling like File explorer windows, is Valve's Steam desktop client. This is where I would HAVE to use TouchMousePointer (as well as their desktop windowed client not being able to custom scale their elements, scroll bar, menu items, etc).
     
  6. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Yes, pinch and pan are pretty common in GUI apps, but that's basic stuff. MS photo app does some more things--I really like the little "spinner" controls one can operate accurately with fingertip movement. Of course a pro-level image editor will need a great deal more capability. As developers catch on to the elegant controls made possible by touch/pen manipulation, we'll see this become common, not only in proprietary software but also in open-source projects as popular "desktop" managers (Gnome/KDE/...) are evolving touch-awareness.

    Even many of MS own Windows control and configuration apps are desktop only. The touch counterparts that exist are woefully simplistic and to do anything beyond the basics, it's necessary to pull up the old standby desktop application. Maybe by Win 10 or 11 things will catch up.
     
  7. the_new_normal

    the_new_normal Member

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    If you're only launching games, Steamtile from the metro store (modern UI store?) works well. Allows placing a tile for each of your favourite games.
    Steam Tile app for Windows in the Windows Store
     
  8. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    The proper term is Windows 8 App Store, and Windows 8 Apps.
    Modern UI is the "language", of the Windows 8 Apps.

    So you can call them Modern UI Apps, or Windows 8 Apps (then Windows 9 Apps with Windows 9, etc.)
     
  9. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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