Windows 8 Tablet: 10.6-inch 2560×1440

Tom Warren, The Verge:

Although the list, used in the company’s developer tools for testing, wasn’t exhaustive, one particular resolution and screen size caught our eye: a 10.6-inch display running at 2560 x 1440.

Tiny text and icons? Or right sized but messed up text and icons with more clarity? I hope Microsoft gets it right this time.

iMessage is Tappable

Julian Sanchez, Cato Institute:

Can you, for instance, log in from a Web browser, reset your password, and then restore your content to a new device? If you can—and with Apple’s iCloud services, you can—then the cloud provider must itself hold the keys to unlock that data. So iMessages may not be interceptable from a suspect’s cell carrier, but Apple has to be capable of handing them over when the authorities come knocking with a warrant.

I have thought, up until now, iMessage texts were impervious to NSA’s PRISM-like surveillance systems because of its end-to-end encryption scheme. Unfortunately, iMessage texts might be more susceptible than SMS because all iMessage texts are stored on Apple’s iCloud servers, indefinitely. On the other hand SMS messages are stored at cellular carriers for only a few days or not at all, a sore point law enforcement has been complaining about for a while.

The option of setting an expiration date for iMessage texts would be a terrific feature for those who value privacy over the convenience of having your entire iMessage text history.

Windows 8.1: 3D Printing As Easy As Printing A Word Document

Mark Wilson, Co.Design:

Today, Microsoft announced a crucial step to empower the next wave of 3-D printer adoption. Windows 8.1 will be the first OS to support 3-D printing natively on desktops and tablets. “Our thinking was, let’s make this as easy as writing and printing a Word document,” says Shanen Boettcher, general manager at Microsoft’s Startup Business Group.

iOS 7: App Icons

via John Gruber. Neven Mrgan:

But whether we accept the idea of a grid or not, here’s the bigger point: no icon designer I’ve asked thinks Ive’s grid is helpful. In that sense, it’s wrong. The large circle is too big.

Every icon designer Mrgan asked does not consider Ive’s grid helpful, but that does not mean it is wrong. I am thankful design is not democratic.

I might be used to a smaller circle within the radius-cornered square, but the large circle does look too big. But rather than tweak the size of the circle within the square, I think Apple got it wrong in a different way. Apple should take design consistency one step further and merge the physical with the digital: The physical Home button sports a radius-cornered square within a circle. That circle is a near-perfect size for the fingers that use it. The square on the Home button is obviously too small, but Ive’s grid for app icons instead of how it is now should be based on a radius-cornered square within a circle. In addition to a more consistent design, the circular app icons match up incredible well with how our touches look to the touch sensor—a circle—theoretically resulting in touch working more efficiently.

Signal Bars Are Now Signal Dots

I’ve been digesting the changes in iOS 7 Apple presented during WWDC 2013. One of those changes is signal bars. As you might have guessed, I like dots. On DisplayBlog I use three dots (red, green, and blue) as a logo and an end-of-article indicator. It seems Ive and his team like dots too: Signal bars are now signal dots. Unfortunately these dots take much more space than signal bars, but they don’t have to. Apple showed five dots, but I think that’s two too many. Make it three dots: Low, Average, High. Three dots take about as much space as the signal bars in previous iOS versions and are simpler to understand.

Physical Controls

Matt Brian, The Verge:

According to Raj Nair, Ford’s VP of engineering for global product development, owners have complained that its systems make it difficult to switch radio stations or change the volume. As a result, the company will reintroduce physical controls having spent “a lot of time with customers to find out what exactly are the areas that are bothering them.”

I don’t think touch display technology is viable for automotive applications involving the driver. In fact, I think touch displays are dangerous because it forces the driver to take his eyes off the road. Ford is doing the right thing; Tesla should reconsider as well. Physical controls are best, but if that’s not an option, I prefer voice–such as iOS in the Car–over touch.

“A large screen today comes with a lot of tradeoffs.”

AppleInsider: Why Apple isn’t working on an iPhone with a large screen, according to Tim Cook:

At a macro level, a large screen today comes with a lot of tradeoffs. When you look at the size, but they also look at things like do the photos show the proper color? The white balance, the reflectivity, battery life. The longevity of the display. There are a bunch of things that are very important. What our customers want is for us to weigh those and come out with a decision. At this point we think the Retina display is the best. In a hypothetical world where those tradeoffs didn’t exist, you could see a bigger screen as a differentiator.

Tim Cook should have simply answered, “I don’t know.” Because his answer suggests he has not been properly briefed on display technology. And this is the second time Tim Cook showed his lack of understanding regarding smartphone displays. The first time was during Apple’s CYQ1’13 earnings call. I couldn’t believe what Tim Cook was saying so I went line by line, tradeoff by tradeoff to show his hypothetical tradeoffs do not exist. These simple questions should raise doubt as to how little Tim Cook knows about smartphone display technology: Why would a larger Retina display have poorer color? Poorer white balance? Poorer reflectivity? Poorer longevity? The answer: A larger Retina display wouldn’t. The hypothetical world where these tradeoffs exist is only in Tim Cook’s head.

“Apple Shifts Supply Chain Away From Foxconn to Pegatron”

Eva Dou, The Wall Street Journal:

Pegatron Corp. named after the flying horse Pegasus, will be the primary assembler of a low-cost iPhone expected to be offered later this year. Foxconn’s smaller rival across town became a minor producer of iPhones in 2011 and began making iPad Mini tablet computers last year.

Pegatron’s rise means an end to the monopoly that Foxconn Technology Group — the trade name for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer — has held over the production of Apple’s mobile products.

Apple is no longer putting all its eggs in one basket; that’s good, but as far as I can tell a new low-cost iPhone remains a myth.

ASUS FonePad Note

The Verge: Smartphones continue to get bigger. The ASUS FonePad Note is a 6-inch smartphone, with a stylus. Samsung trailblazed this smartphone category integrating a massive display, a stylus, and adding the Note suffix. Now ASUS is following suit, but with an even bigger display and a lot more pixels. The 6-inch IPS+ LCD in the ASUS FonePad Note packs 1920×1080 pixels good for a resolution of about 367 ppi.