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An Apple vs. Microsoft Kind of Day

An Apple vs. Microsoft Kind of Day
By Jason Aten • Issue #4 • View online
Yesterday, it seemed like most of the big tech news was Apple and Microsoft. Not only did Microsoft spend $20 billion on Nuance, (a company you’ve probably never heard of), but it also introduced a new Surface Laptop. We’ll get to that in a minute.
First, Apple sent out invitations for another event, once again to be streamed online. Apple has gotten so good at the format, I find myself actually a little worried it may just stick to this version. Hopefully that’s not the case, and Apple will eventually invite people back to Cupertino for events in the future.

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' invitation.
Apple's 'Spring Loaded' invitation.
I don’t think there’s much point putting in any effort trying to figure out what products Apple plans to introduce (though that doesn’t mean people won’t try). If you can’t resist, there are plenty of rumors–from a new iPad Pro, the mythical “AirTag,” to new Macs (including a redesigned iMac).
I think it’s more likely that we’ll see the introduction of the next Apple Silicon Macs at WWDC, the company’s developer conference, which is only a handful of weeks away at this point. As for an iPad Pro, there are a few reasons that makes more sense.
Mostly, the iPad Pro is in desperate need of an update. When Apple introduced the latest iPad Air in September, it made it difficult to justify the iPad Pro–at least the 11-inch version. The two were on par in almost every way, including the fact that they look like twins.
Yes, the iPad Pro had a better display, the LiDAR sensor, and Face ID instead of Touch ID, but the iPad Air sports an A14, whereas the Pro version is still rocking an A12Z–essentially a 3 year old chip.
I’ve long been a fan of the iPad Pro. In fact, I’m using it now to write this issue. Mine is the 2018 version of the 11-inch model, and I love it, but it’s definitely time for an update. My wish list? Here you go:
  • Better multi-display support: I’d love it if I could use my iPad Pro with an external monitor without simply mirroring the iPad’s display, which doesn’t work well at all. This would mean iPadOS would need windowing support, but there’s no reason Apple can’t make that happen.
  • MiniLED Display: The current iPad Pros have what Apple calls a Liquid Retina Display, which is basically just an LCD with the corners rounded. That’s really all it means. There have been plenty of rumors that the next iPad Pro will sport MiniLED, with gives much better contrast by using very small, local dimming zones. There have been some reports that this is only coming to the 12.9-inch model, but I think that would be a mistake.
  • Move the FaceTime camera: The front-facing camera on the iPad Pro is along one of the short sides. That’s fine, except my iPad is almost always in landscape mode, meaning that camera is sitting along the left side of the iPad. It’s a pretty inconvenient location for, well, everything you might use it for. Apple released the Magic Keyboard last year for the iPad Pro, and it’s wonderful to use. That gives me hope that the company might change the location of the camera to sit at the top when the iPad is in a case or keyboard.
Microsoft's New Surface Laptop 4
Microsoft also made an announcement yesterday, introducing the Surface Laptop 4. If you’ve seen one of the company’s minimalist-looking laptops in the past, you know exactly what these look like. In reality, there’s very little that has changed, at least on the outside.
On the inside, the big difference is that Microsoft is now making both Intel and AMD options available to consumers. The new chips from both manufacturers help the Surface Laptop 4 also get much better performance, both in terms of what they can handle, but also in terms of battery life.
Honestly, as far as PC laptops go, other than the Dell XPS 13, I find the Surface Laptop to be one of the best overall devices you can get. I don’t mean it’s the most powerful, but rather, it’s extremely well built and Microsoft gets the important stuff right. That includes the keyboard and especially the trackpad, which is about as good as any find that isn’t on a Mac.
If you need a new laptop to run Windows, I wouldn’t hesitate to look at the Surface Laptop 4.
A few other stories you might like:
The Brilliant Reason Microsoft Just Spent $20 Billion on a Company You've Never Heard Of
Microsoft's Surface Laptop 4 features Intel and AMD CPUs | Engadget
Apple Says This Is the iPhone's Most Valuable Feature. Why It's Never Coming to Android | Inc.com
'Scores' of customers ripped off by Apple's trade-in partner, says report | iMore
Coinbase Makes Its Debut—and Bitcoin Arrives on Wall Street | WIRED
Mark Zuckerberg Just Asked Congress to Eliminate All of Facebook's Future Competition | Inc.com
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