Archive for the ‘Windows RT’ Category

Diving Log Touch Update

Monday, November 5th, 2012

The first update of Diving Log Touch should be available this week in the Windows Store. I’ve tested it on Windows RT for ARM devices like the new Surface tablet, it contains some minor bug fixes and I’ve implemented the Share feature of Windows 8. The Share function can be reached from the Charms bar and allows you to share certain content from Diving Log with other apps you’ve installed on your device. It can be quite useful, but it really depends on what other apps you’ve installed and what they can do with this data. Here are some examples:

Tap the Share button in the Charms Bar to send data to other apps.

Learn more about a country by sharing it to the Wikipedia app.

Send a dive site map image via the mail app to your buddies.

Share your latest dive activity on Facebook or Twitter with your favorite social network app.

I expect that there will be many more use cases in the future, when more apps arrive in the store. Think about an app with global dive site information, where you can post or retrieve dive site data.

Diving Log Touch for Windows RT (here running on the new Surface) will be available this week.

Update on Windows 8 development

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

I’m working currently hard on the touch optimized version of Diving Log for upcoming Windows 8 devices, and I want to give you a quick status update. Windows 8 is currently available for everyone to try in form of a release preview (aka release candidate) and will be available this fall. From my personal experience, it works really well on touch devices like tablets, convertibles or touch enabled laptops. On a desktop computer with a large screen, mouse and keyboard, it may take some time to get used to and not everyone will like it. But that’s not the target market for this Windows version anyways, Microsoft targets mainly tablets and other portable devices and even announced its own Surface tablet with dockable keyboard this week:

When buying a Windows 8 device you have to make one important choice: Windows 8 comes in two versions called “Windows 8” and “Windows RT”. The RT version is based on ARM processors, the normal version is based on Intel processors and is a full featured PC. The RT version has some advantages (a bit lighter, lower price), but also some disadvantages (you can’t run any existing desktop application except MS Office). The Surface tablet above will also come in 2 versions, “Surface for Windows RT” and “Surface for Windows 8 Pro”.

The new Diving Log Touch application will run on both device types, but the existing full featured Diving Log desktop application runs only on full Windows 8 devices. Right now it looks like you can only download dive computers with full Windows 8 devices, not the RT version. If you want to download your dive computer with your tablet, make sure to buy a Windows 8 tablet, e.g. those from Microsoft, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer or Asus.

With Windows RT tablets you can fill in some dive data on the tablet and later when you’re back at home, sync it with a PC and merge the data with your dive computer data in Diving Log. Then you sync everything back to the tablet. This is how it works with iPads right now and it’s working very well. So I think both options are good and it’s up to you which method you prefer. In the end your logbook will be identical.

The development of Diving Log Touch is going on nicely. At the beginning it was harder than expected finding a suitable user interface and navigation model for the application. But now I think I have a really nice user interface and will continue to polish it during the next weeks and month. I hope to have the version finished for the Windows 8 launch and I’ll show you some screenshots as soon as I know the UI is near final.

Diving Log, Windows 8 and tablets

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Last week, Microsoft released the Consumer Preview (beta) of Windows 8 and I’ve been testing it since then on an Acer 1825PTZ convertible laptop with touch screen and mouse + keyboard. Windows 8 will feature beside the classic desktop from previous versions an additional touch-first user interface. The new design language was first introduced in Windows Phone and is optimized for smartphones and tablets.

Windows 8 Start Screen

Diving Log 5.0 on Windows 8

Diving Log 5.0 runs perfectly fine on the Windows 8 desktop and everything works exactly the same as on Windows 7 (and older).

I’ve also started working on a touch optimized version of Diving Log for the new touch UI of Windows, which will run on all upcoming Windows 8 tablets (ARM and x86 processors), but also on every Windows 8 PC (laptop or desktop PC) with mouse and keyboard. You can run both, the desktop version and the touch version on the same device (tablet, laptop, desktop), which is especially interesting for convertible devices or tablets with attachable mouse and keyboards.

Here you can see which Diving Log version will run on which Windows version:

As you can see, the new touch version will run on all Windows 8 devices (but not older versions), the desktop version of Diving Log will run on the x86 Windows versions (XP, Vista, 7 and 8), but not on the new ARM version (called Windows RT). So you have to decide which type of applications (desktop or touch) you want to run when you buy a new PC or tablet. It looks like that downloading dive computers will only be possible on the x86 versions, which is important to keep in mind if you want a tablet that can be used for that.

As I’ve written, I’ve already started working on the new tablet version of Diving Log, but it is too early to show you anything. But I can tell you that the user interface will look similar to the Windows Phone version of Diving Log, with a clean, touch friendly design, but of course optimized for bigger screens. As soon as I have something to show, I’ll post it here in the blog.

Windows 8 will be available later this year (I expect October / November) and contains a new app store, which is the only place to download new Win RT apps.