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Wow! Surface Studio seems to be giving its competition, Wacom and Apple, a run for their money.

 

There's a lot of arguments out there, but i wish Apple could design an iMac and macOS to accept touchscreen input in the manner Studio does.

 

I remember Craig demonstrating drawing on an iPad Pro and then copying the drawn map to a Mac at WWDC2016. This was supposed to showcase the brilliance of the new Universal Clipboard feature that binds iOS and macOS devices closer together. Comparing to Studio now, that copy-paste feature really looks like a desperate workaround more than anything else. When it comes to productivity, Microsoft certainly has trumped Apple, at least for now. This makes me consider switching allegiances. Apple needs to address this quickly! Right now, I strongly feel that their adamant decision to not sort of merge iOS and macOS, is more of an egotistical stance and a cruel business strategy to generate more profits.

 

I'll reserve more comments for now, until at least after 27th October when Apple will be announcing new Mac hardware.

 

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3135370/computers/hands-on-microsofts-surface-studio-is-a-windows-pc-for-the-mac-crowd.html

 

Will Affinity on Windows be "tweaked" to take advantage of the Surface Dial?

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It might take me a while to save up - seriously, if I could go back to 1988 and start my business again, this is what I would use. Perfect. I want. I have space, too, I sold my old, good as new, A0 drawing board last month due to lack of use.


MacBook Pro 11,2,  Intel i7 4 core, 8Gb RAM, Graphics Intel Iris Pro.

iPad Pro 11.4,  256Gb, 10.5 Retina, A10X Fusion chip, Apple pencil

Desktop upgraded to Win10 64-bit, Intel i5 quad core, 8Gb RAM, NVIDIA GefORCE GT730

The Win-10 laptop is on permanent loan to my daughter......

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Lighter, smaller, thinner Macbook Pros with TouchBar vs Surface Studio. You might say, hey, this is not a fair comparison, Laptop vs Desktop. But if I were to see that in terms of a revelation of new products, Microsoft has brought the prize home, in my opinion.

 

One may argue that the TouchBar works like magic. Many third party apps will provide support before the end of this year, including our beloved Designer. You can change colours while paintbrushing on a canvas in Photoshop! And that is something you can't even do using real-life tools. Yay!!!

 

But wait, isn't the Surface Dial doing that already? And better? Hmmm ...

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I hope to get one as soon as they are available and see what we can do with it :)

I'm surprised that MS hasn't already sent you one for in-house testing prior to product announcement.

 

I know you guys like to be tight-lipped!

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I am actually not a huge fan of touch screen due to having to constantly clean the finger prints off the monitor. This was one reason I went with the MacBook over an iPad or tablet. Sierra has pretty much all the iPad features at this point so the constant screen cleaning seems unnecessary to the way I work.

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This is an argument not just about having a touchscreen or otherwise.

 

I'm aware that there are other options on the market, but if Apple could provide a giant slate, maybe an iPad Studio ~ 22 inch or slightly larger, Creative Professionals will find a place for it in their workflow. Real Estate is crucial in some niche markets. One can only dream.

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I have no doubt that a large iOS screen like that will come out at some point but I think Apple is still trying to take advantage of the 13" screen with iOS. The Mac is still so much more feature rich which is why they can justify the use of 27". When iOS has expose and a dock and a notification sidebar like the Mac it starts to get a lot more compelling to increase that screen size.

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I have no doubt that a large iOS screen like that will come out at some point but I think Apple is still trying to take advantage of the 13" screen with iOS. The Mac is still so much more feature rich which is why they can justify the use of 27". When iOS has expose and a dock and a notification sidebar like the Mac it starts to get a lot more compelling to increase that screen size.

There you go, this is the point I was driving at, them sort of merging iOS and macOS. In my opinion, an OS that changes its skin cleverly and contextually, anticipating a user's intended mode of interaction, would be a splendid idea. I'll leave this to your imagination.

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What is interesting about this design is that it is a bit reminisce to the iMac G4. It was an idea that Apple killed off way to soon (only about 2 or 3 years on the market) where the current iMac design has been on the market for about 12 years in varying degrees of thickness. The main difference here being that the iMac could swivel from side to side and the Surface has more up and down movement range. I have thought prior to seeing the Surface that it would be interesting to have an iMac G4 like system that runs iOS instead of MacOS and has drawing abilities (sorry an iOS / MacOS hybrid isn't going to happen.) I guess I would be ok with a system like this as long as I spend most of my time with the pen instead of the my finger. In an interview from yesterday Craig Federighi said that Apple had working prototypes of touchscreen Macs but didn't release it. I think after they kept having to clean the large displays this was one of the problems. Another possible problem was that they didn't have the pencil available at the time (most likely) so they couldn't consider that as a possible solution. And of course they are focused getting iOS caught up to where the Mac is today (and even to where the Mac was a decade ago.)

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Right now, I strongly feel that their adamant decision to not sort of merge iOS and macOS, is more of an egotistical stance and a cruel business strategy to generate more profits.

The greatest single obstacle to 'merging' iOS & macOS is by design iOS has no user accessible file system -- no Finder equivalent, no separate user domain that allows unrestricted access to user files, no disk utility apps with admin privileges, etc. This so-called "walled garden" approach is a fundamental feature of the OS Apple originally designed specifically to meet the unique security challenges of mobile devices like iPhones.

 

Memory management & some other system level processes also differ considerably, in part because iOS is a single user OS & macOS is a multiuser one.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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But wait, isn't the Surface Dial doing that already? And better? Hmmm ...

People tend to only compare computers based on their technical aspects. Let's not forget about the OS lads! IMO macOS is just miles ahead of windows. That has always been the main thing making me stick with Apple. You just save so much time and energy avoiding instability, forced updates (*cough* Win10), malwares, bugs etc and using an overall quicker OS.

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People tend to only compare computers based on their technical aspects. Let's not forget about the OS lads! IMO macOS is just miles ahead of windows. That has always been the main thing making me stick with Apple. You just save so much time and energy avoiding instability, forced updates (*cough* Win10), malwares, bugs etc and using an overall quicker OS.

No one's forgetting the "strength" of macOS here. We all get that.

 

But what Apple revealed a day after MS pales in comparison. Seems like MS is taking the charge here for now.

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The greatest single obstacle to 'merging' iOS & macOS is by design iOS has no user accessible file system -- no Finder equivalent, no separate user domain that allows unrestricted access to user files, no disk utility apps with admin privileges, etc. This so-called "walled garden" approach is a fundamental feature of the OS Apple originally designed specifically to meet the unique security challenges of mobile devices like iPhones.

 

Memory management & some other system level processes also differ considerably, in part because iOS is a single user OS & macOS is a multiuser one.

We all applaud what Apple has done so far with iOS, especially when we compare it to Android, in terms of security and what not.

 

As end users, or specifically as designers/illustrators, people naturally get thrilled by innovation news such as the one which MS brought with Studio, at least.

To me, Studio proves that a large slate with touch (pen/pencil) input is a strong selling point. Apple won't achieve this if they stick to the current paradigm. But maybe this is Apple's way of telling the world that it does not really matter to them, even if artists like Peter Han may find the Surface Studio useful:

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To me, Studio proves that a large slate with touch (pen/pencil) input is a strong selling point.

I think it remains to be seen how strong a selling point this actually will be, & the same is true for the Mac Touch Bar. We really haven't seen much for either one besides some company sponsored demos. Real world use could be somewhat different.

 

For example, I did see in the comments about the Peter Han video something mentioned I have noticed in the current U.S. TV ads for the Surface laptops -- there is a small but perceptible lag in the stylus response when it is moved quickly. I am not even remotely good enough a sketch artist for that to be a problem for me, but it could be an issue for artists with real talent, or at least something they might not want to have to adapt to.

 

Likewise, there could be some flaw or drawback with the Touch Bar that we won't notice until people can actually try it out with apps that support it.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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For example, I did see in the comments about the Peter Han video something mentioned I have noticed in the current U.S. TV ads for the Surface laptops -- there is a small but perceptible lag in the stylus response when it is moved quickly. I am not even remotely good enough a sketch artist for that to be a problem for me, but it could be an issue for artists with real talent, or at least something they might not want to have to adapt to.

 

Reviews claim that the N-Trig technology does not perform as well as the Apple Pencil for digital sketching. However, Studio definitely not only challenges Wacom in the professional drawing segment, but it has also gotten some iMac users thinking.

 

The next logical step for MS is to improve its pen/pencil technology, or Apple could come up with a combo of a giant iPad/iMac with drawing capability and Pencil 2 in 2017 to stay ahead in the competition. There is a higher likelihood for the former to materialise.

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Excerpted from CNet: https://www.cnet.com/special-reports/does-the-mac-still-matter/

 

"That thinking explains why Apple is keeping two operating systems. MacOS is meant to be operated with a mouse and keyboard. Apple says it doesn’t make sense to lean forward to touch your Mac screen. An iOS-powered iPad works best with fingers, which means you can just lean back while using it."

 

I love both the Macbook Pro and iPad Pro. But this is why I think Studio is a head turner.

 

1.

If you envision iPad to be the future of personal computing, then sitting on a desk with the keyboard but without a mouse can be tiring for the hands quickly. I hate having to type with the physical keyboard only to find out that I need to touch the iPad screen for selection and other things that you can do more easily and efficiently with a cursor like on a Mac! Talk about not making sense in leaning forward to touch the Mac screen. Who is Apple kidding?!

 

2.

If you want to sketch natively on the Mac, currently you need to do this on its trackpad, even if they were to implement Pencil to go along with it. This is like saying, hey, we think that you can achieve your objective in whichever way, Intuous or Cintiq does not matter! Wrong again! And I think Apple knows this very well but just being disingenuous about the whole issue. Any idea why they came up with the iPad Pro and Pencil? Hmmm ...

 

So, Studio addresses both issues pretty comfortably! No wonder they're saying that MS has out-appled Apple in the fourth quarter of 2016!

 

I wonder what Apple's next move will be. The nascent Toolbar on the new Macbook Pro is not exciting enough or, in Ive's own words, "particularly useful"! It's obvious that Apple is testing waters yet again!

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 And I think Apple knows this very well but just being disingenuous about the whole issue. Any idea why they came up with the iPad Pro and Pencil? Hmmm ...

I think they are moving in the direction of a very large iPad screen with pencil but they are just getting there at a slower rate then MS. Like I said previously iPad has a lot of ground to make up just to catch up to today's Mac, or even last decade's Mac (Time Machine, tagging, fast user switching, etc.) I think Apple's focus is on providing software updates for their current hardware before unloading even more iOS hardware that is now made up of multiple iPhones and multiple iPads. I know some with get frustrated at Apple for pushing the release of a desktop iPad off but in the long run it just makes sense to focus on the current product line before expanding to more hardware.

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Any idea why they came up with the iPad Pro and Pencil? Hmmm ...

My guess is because by putting the sensors for touch pressure & tilt angle in the Pencil they did not have to build anything besides position sensing into the screen, which unlike the approach Microsoft took with Surface makes it much more straightforward & less expensive to scale to different screen sizes. That does mean the Pencil has to have a rechargeable battery to power its processor, but it is a pretty good engineering tradeoff, particularly since it makes tilt sensing relatively easy to do.

 

Apple has a long history with this kind of technology, beginning with the Apple Newton they brought to market in 1993 after about 5 years of development. They did not invent multi-touch sensing but the release of the iPhone in 2007 popularized that refinement & the concept of gestures. Meanwhile, Microsoft had began experimenting with a different kind of interactive surface technology around 2003, which resulted in Surface 1.0, a tabletop computing platform first seen in 2007. Like some earlier research projects done by others, it used IR cameras to "see" objects & a projector to create the screen image. That eventually led to what is now called PixelSense, but it is very different from the PixelSense display used in the modern Surface laptops & Studio.

 

So in a sense (pun intended) none of this is really new. Apple, Microsoft, & many others have been exploring the technology for decades, & to some extent they have all built on each other's work.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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My guess is because by putting the sensors for touch pressure & tilt angle in the Pencil ... Apple, Microsoft, & many others have been exploring the technology for decades, & to some extent they have all built on each other's work.

Wow! Thanks for sharing all this info. I guess it could benefit some people.

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Just for the competition with Wacom I thank Microsoft for the Surface Studio. It is about time Wacom gets some serious competition - let's see if they can keep up those inflated prices.

 

This is only the first Studio generation - I'll be looking forward to its evolution.

 

As for Mac hardware: as much as it pains me to say this, I feel Apple stopped catering for creative professionals years ago. It was the creative community that kept Apple afloat during the hard times all those years ago, and it is exactly that community Apple is no longer interested in developing hardware for anymore. A shame.

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Johnny Ive did say that Apple is moving in a new direction with the new Macbook Pro with Touchbar. I hope they reveal an iMac with compelling features/design in 2017.

 

Can't wait to see Studio version 2 and counting, too.

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I agree a bit with Sarizad, i'm a mac user since years and i love it : stbility, stability & stability ... More : simplicity ( not a lot of option in all sub folders of folders of folders of menus etc ... ) ... But it's honnest to say that MS did a real good job since some years ...

. Win Os is more and more "readable", ( i have a win 10 tablet and it's a pleasure to use ) and is getting more and more stable ... Not as a mac but impressive progress !
. They seem to have understood "versability" : you can have a desktop ( and now ! wow ! a machine dedicaced to art creativity !!!! what a marvelous thing they have made !!! ) computer, then a laptop or portable, again a tablet ... And all on the the same os : Imagine, same Affinity Photo on your desktop, on you portable, on your tablet ... it's just not existing anywhere else : Mac ? Tablet under ios ... Computer under mac os ... Android ? Nothing to say etc etc etc ... If only Apple launch aprofessional tablet under mac os ( deicated interface why not ? ) it will be quite cool ...
. Last macbook annouced are for me ( and it's just my point of view ) just boring ... 

It's quite deveicing ... And i'm a real mac user and addict ...

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I love Apple OSes. But MS is proving that Apple is just "ripping the people off" by going two-tier with iOS and macOS.

 

Another thing, they increased the baseline price on the new macbook pros but they can afford to do that because no other hardware uses their proprietary system. I'm skipping the new laptop and already looking forward to what they have to offer in 2017. If MS delights users again, I'm sorry to bring up this somewhat a little harsh old adage, but Apple has to shape up or ship out!

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Just my 2¢ worth, but I think it is a bit premature to say much about what impact the Surface Studio will have on the market. It hasn't even been released yet but there are already questions being raised about its price, the use of a mobile GPU instead of a more powerful desktop one, if its memory is user upgradeable, why it just has USB 3 ports instead of the faster USB 3.1 ones, etc.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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