1. itmccb's Avatar
    Let's start with the home screen:
    Playbook:

    The Playbooks's home screen shows time date, connectivity status, orientation lock status, a settings icon and up to 6 application icons. A grid of icons displaying all installed applications can be accessed by either swiping up from the bottom of the screen or by tapping in the bottom left or right edges. Notifications are displayed in the top-right corner and a red asterisk appears on applications with unread content. The content of the applications and notifications is not viewable outside of associated applications. Applications can be organized on a variable number of infinite scrolling pages and in user-named folders.

    Windows 8:


    Windows 8's home screen shows a variable number of applications in the form of static and live tiles. A list of all installed applications can be accessed by swiping down from the top and tapping the "All Apps" icon or swiping from the left and tapping search. New notifications appear in the top right corner of the screen and if supported, on the tile itself once you return to the Start screen. As a result of the Live Tiles notifications and important information can be viewed without entering the application. If one wants specific content in an app to be displayed in the Start screen, it can be pinned separately. Applications can be organized into user-named groups and alphabetically in the all apps screen. If the user has many applications installed, a pinching gesture known as semantic zoom can be used to get an overview of all content.

    Next, in-app gestures:
    Playbook:
    Swipe down from the top to view application options and from either top corner to view time, date, and system options. The latter gesture can be used from anywhere in the OS.


    Windows 8:
    Same as the Playbook except system and contextual options are accessed with a swipe from the right edge. This, too can be used from anywhere in the OS


    Task switching:
    Playbook:
    Swipe up from the bottom to view up to "two and two halves" of running applications. You can swipe horizontally to view other open applications. Within an app, swiping from the left or right edges will switch to the next and previous running applications.



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Windows 8:
    Swiping from the left will pull out the next in a stack of running applications. Since swiping from the right is used for another action, Microsoft compensated for this by allowing the user to bring up a list of the last 6 opened applications by dragging the pulled app back to the left edge. From here, any of the 6 apps can be launched. All of this is done without taking focus away from the foreground application.



    Multitasking:
    Playbook:
    In showcase mode, all non-conflicting applications will run simultaneously. Many high-performance games will suspend once losing focus. For videos and music, physical and virtual play/pause/skip controls can be used from anywhere in the OS. If an application is launched that conflicts with a background application such as a video or music, it will be suspended.


    Windows 8:
    All background applications are suspended after losing focus, though necessary background processes will remain active. If you want two applications to run simultaneously you can use one of the aforementioned methods to retrieve an app and snap it to either side of the screen. Necessary controls will be accessible in the panel. You can swap the sizes and positions of the panels and can use previously mentioned app switching methods to swap out the application in either pane.


    Footnotes:
    -The task switcher in PBOS has live previews of running applications whereas they are static in Win8
    -Applications are closed in PBOS by returning to the home screen and either swiping up on the preview or tapping the "x". In Win8 Applications can be closed by dragging down from the top or by retrieving an application (see task switching) and dragging it to the bottom. When viewing multiple apps, both the main and snapped application can be closed at any time.
    -Microsoft mandates Metro UI so all applications will look and function according to the guidelines and all will support snap view (see multitasking).
    I missed quite a few things, but this is a fair enough start. I'll probably add a little more and clean up what I have later.
    Last edited by itmccb; 06-22-12 at 05:46 PM.
    06-22-12 05:04 PM
  2. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    There's a lot to like in Metro (though I'm seemingly the only person outside Microsoft who seems prepared to admit that). I love (make that LOVE) the news reader and the other apps that follow its formatting.

    You've done a reasonable job in comparing Metro with the current PB OS interface, but I'd mention a couple of caveats:

    1) While Metro is probably pretty close to its final form, we don't really know what BB10 is going to look like as a tablet interface, and I'm not sure it's fair to compare 2.1.

    2) I don't view Win8 RT and Playbook to be exactly competing products. To me, they hit different pieces of the tablet market.
    amazinglygraceless likes this.
    06-22-12 05:15 PM
  3. crkeo's Avatar
    I like the simplicity of the playbook personally.
    06-22-12 05:23 PM
  4. itmccb's Avatar
    I read through all the news and developer documentation and it seems like all the gestures will remain the same (save for gesturing to the inbox). What's most likely to change is a few cosmetic details and the function/layout of the home screen. Also, my main reason for comparing them is that they both heavily rely on gestures and have an emphasis on multitasking. I could always do another comparison once BB10 is out.
    06-22-12 05:27 PM
  5. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    ...and I don't mean to invalidate your analysis or the work you put into it, either.

    Definitely a worthwhile comparison.
    06-22-12 05:59 PM
  6. Canuck671's Avatar
    Nice very nice comparison.

    This is what I envision crackberry to be all about. A forum where we can take a real look at what is out there.

    I think windows OS is going to dent the platform market. I love the playbook because it seems to blend into my needs so well. I have to admit that I do play with other tablets. But havent found one that 'feels' right. Samsung is so very close......I am like a kid at christmas to get my hand on bb10.

    i cant wait !!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!!

    06-22-12 06:35 PM
  7. kennyliu's Avatar
    One important thing to note is that PBOS does NOT allow third party apps to run backgound services/tasks when closed (e.g. Facebook or a chat or reminder app staying online and receiving notifications). IMO this is a serious limitation for a mobile platform.

    Windows 8 has background sevices enabled for third party apps.
    Last edited by kennyliu; 06-22-12 at 06:47 PM.
    06-22-12 06:44 PM
  8. app_Developer's Avatar
    One important thing to note is that PBOS does NOT allow third party apps to run backgound services/tasks when closed (e.g. Facebook or a chat or reminder app staying online and receiving notifications). IMO this is a serious limitation for a mobile platform.

    Windows 8 has background sevices enabled for third party apps.
    Yes, and Win 8 also has built-in support for components within an app that have different lifecycles, which makes it much easier for apps to "skinny down" and stay alive (even if just partially) under memory pressure.

    On PBOS, under memory pressure, apps just abruptly disappear into thin air. RIM has an opportunity to fix this issue in BB10 by getting a little more creative in how they define apps and processes (see Android, WP7, and Win8), but so far we haven't seen that from them in the beta SDK. Hopefully we will before launch (although it's awfully late to be making that big a change this close to launch!)

    Memory pressure will become a much more acute issue when BB10 users have dozens of apps on their phones. We don't see that yet with PB, because frankly there really aren't that many apps worth having right now, but if all goes well we will certainly see that become an issue with BB10.
    Last edited by app_Developer; 06-22-12 at 07:07 PM.
    kennyliu likes this.
    06-22-12 07:04 PM
  9. itmccb's Avatar
    If there's anything that RIM's doing right it's that they're focusing on gestures. Sure, it's not immediately apparent how to use a device, but once you figure it out, it's very powerful. The gesture system is probably the single most noteworthy thing about the Playbook and Win8 is a shining example of how great a user experience gestures can offer.
    kbz1960 likes this.
    06-22-12 07:17 PM
  10. ayekon's Avatar
    Yes, and Win 8 also has built-in support for components within an app that have different lifecycles, which makes it much easier for apps to "skinny down" and stay alive (even if just partially) under memory pressure.

    On PBOS, under memory pressure, apps just abruptly disappear into thin air. RIM has an opportunity to fix this issue in BB10 by getting a little more creative in how they define apps and processes (see Android, WP7, and Win8), but so far we haven't seen that from them in the beta SDK. Hopefully we will before launch (although it's awfully late to be making that big a change this close to launch!)

    Memory pressure will become a much more acute issue when BB10 users have dozens of apps on their phones. We don't see that yet with PB, because frankly there really aren't that many apps worth having right now, but if all goes well we will certainly see that become an issue with BB10.
    I would think this is a side effect of everything being run in a sandbox...
    If they modified the user permissions they open themselves to a myriad of hacks but are focused more so on security for government and intelligence sensitive acceptance...
    I only say this due to the current usages of the QNX platform and the background of RIM...
    06-22-12 08:30 PM
  11. app_Developer's Avatar
    I would think this is a side effect of everything being run in a sandbox...
    If they modified the user permissions they open themselves to a myriad of hacks but are focused more so on security for government and intelligence sensitive acceptance...
    I only say this due to the current usages of the QNX platform and the background of RIM...
    You can still have a sandbox and have app components with multiple lifecycles. You can also host multiple components of one app in one underlying process/task like Android does. I don't understand how a sandbox prevents this at all. Seems like totally orthogonal issues to me.

    This isn't a permissions issue, it's an intra-application structural issue. Even iOS does this to some extent at least at the framework level. Android and Windows 8 do it much better. So far RIM seems to have completely missed this concept all together.

    I understand QNX didn't have this before BB10. But QNX also didn't run on mobile devices before the PB, so they must have understood that if they were going to port QNX to this type of device and build a phone out of it, they would have to fix this eventually, right?

    One possibility is that they have, and they just haven't told developers yet. I can accept that, and I hope that's the case. The other possibility is that they just completely missed it. I guess we'll see.
    mithrazor and kennyliu like this.
    06-22-12 08:51 PM
  12. MasterOfBinary's Avatar
    There's a lot to like in Metro (though I'm seemingly the only person outside Microsoft who seems prepared to admit that). I love (make that LOVE) the news reader and the other apps that follow its formatting.

    You've done a reasonable job in comparing Metro with the current PB OS interface, but I'd mention a couple of caveats:

    1) While Metro is probably pretty close to its final form, we don't really know what BB10 is going to look like as a tablet interface, and I'm not sure it's fair to compare 2.1.

    2) I don't view Win8 RT and Playbook to be exactly competing products. To me, they hit different pieces of the tablet market.
    I'm with you. If only because it's different. Instead of making everything shiny and glassy like everything else (Droid and iOS) they chose a different style. In the pictures it looks pretty lame, but it's actually pretty nice once you start doing things with it.

    I think it could turn out to be a big winner. And MS has everything they need to make it a success - money, trillions of developers, lots of people who already use Windows, etc. I'm sure if I had money I would go grab one - not sure if it would replace my 17" laptop though - I already feel like crying when I leave the big screens at the university and have to use my "tiny" laptop screen.

    IMO tablets will never replace laptops. Maybe netbooks will become the thing of the past though.

    I'm just hoping RIM has something insane up their sleeves - they have some tough competition.
    06-22-12 10:56 PM
  13. itmccb's Avatar
    I'm with you. If only because it's different. Instead of making everything shiny and glassy like everything else (Droid and iOS) they chose a different style. In the pictures it looks pretty lame, but it's actually pretty nice once you start doing things with it.

    I think it could turn out to be a big winner. And MS has everything they need to make it a success - money, trillions of developers, lots of people who already use Windows, etc. I'm sure if I had money I would go grab one - not sure if it would replace my 17" laptop though - I already feel like crying when I leave the big screens at the university and have to use my "tiny" laptop screen.

    IMO tablets will never replace laptops. Maybe netbooks will become the thing of the past though.

    I'm just hoping RIM has something insane up their sleeves - they have some tough competition.
    Not sure what version of Android you're using (manufacturer skinned?). Anyway, I can see tablets being more viable general computing devices and laptops more geared towards heavy duty work. A large percentage of PC users need little more than web browsing, word processing, email, and basic gaming. Mobile operating systems are becoming ever more advanced and it won't be long before we see inexpensive Tegra 3 hardware, so a full fledged laptop would be excessive.
    app_Developer and kbz1960 like this.
    06-22-12 11:53 PM
  14. mithrazor's Avatar
    You can still have a sandbox and have app components with multiple lifecycles. You can also host multiple components of one app in one underlying process/task like Android does. I don't understand how a sandbox prevents this at all. Seems like totally orthogonal issues to me.

    This isn't a permissions issue, it's an intra-application structural issue. Even iOS does this to some extent at least at the framework level. Android and Windows 8 do it much better. So far RIM seems to have completely missed this concept all together.

    I understand QNX didn't have this before BB10. But QNX also didn't run on mobile devices before the PB, so they must have understood that if they were going to port QNX to this type of device and build a phone out of it, they would have to fix this eventually, right?

    One possibility is that they have, and they just haven't told developers yet. I can accept that, and I hope that's the case. The other possibility is that they just completely missed it. I guess we'll see.
    You can always email RIM's dev support and see what's up with that. Or suggest it to them. But it would definitely be a plus if they knew about it.
    06-23-12 01:37 AM
  15. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
    Is it just me or it makes the PlayBook look good? Doesn't seem very wallpaper friendly.

    Here's a point, assuming we're comparing wifi only tablets, what happens to the live tiles when offline?

    I've been using Windows8 on my HP Mini for a few months and I've actually stopped using the live tiles screen. I'm using it again just like Windows 7.
    06-23-12 01:46 AM
  16. jrohland's Avatar
    Here is where QNX is weak because of it's realtime roots. In Windows, as memory gets low apps are suspended and the apps memory is swapped out to storage. Realtime OSes never swap out a program because it could be needed at any time.

    RIM is going to need a memory manager/task manager combination with swap capability. That isn't hard to build as long as the underlying task management supports assigning task ids to allocated memory blocks.
    06-23-12 06:05 AM
  17. app_Developer's Avatar
    You can always email RIM's dev support and see what's up with that. Or suggest it to them. But it would definitely be a plus if they knew about it.
    Yep, I did that. They said they would look into it. I related this to the issue of us not being able to create lightweight background tasks.
    kbz1960 likes this.
    06-23-12 08:31 AM
  18. app_Developer's Avatar
    RIM is going to need a memory manager/task manager combination with swap capability. That isn't hard to build as long as the underlying task management supports assigning task ids to allocated memory blocks.
    you can't swap on these devices, because this class of flash isn't capable of that type of load. The phone wouldnt last 3 months. This is why the engineers on WP7/8, Palm, Android and iOS all devised new ways of thinking about managing multiple tasks/apps. So far it seems RIM is just ignoring these issues and pretending these are desktops, which they clearly aren't.

    Let's see how they handle this in BB10. I'm concerned that in the BB10 Jam, they were still boasting about "real multitasking", which I suppose they define as desktop or server style multitasking, which says to me they still haven't figured out why that won't scale as apps become more popular.
    06-23-12 10:17 AM
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