At the end of June, beta versions of the new operating systems were released one after another from operating system platforms.
One is “Windows 11” from Microsoft. In Japan, the service began around the night of June 28.
The other is Apple’s “iOS 15” and “iPad OS 15”. In Japan time, the service started around midnight on July 1.
This time, I would like to think about the difference in direction that can be seen in the beta version, mainly comparing Windows 11 and iPad OS 15.
Both are underdeveloped versions, some features are not implemented and there are some bugs. Therefore, it is generally not recommended for widespread use. It is of a nature introduced by people who want to check out new features, mainly developers. This article is just for those who want to decide “what’s going on” for the official launch in the fall.
IPad OS is a beta version, and the license does not allow public posting of images, etc. In producing this article, we have released screenshots of the public beta with special permission for the press.
The Windows 11 user interface has been revamped with “Fluent.” Touch enhancements
Windows 11 is a “big update that changes the numbers” for the first time in a long time, but in fact, as long as the operating environment is in place, I don’t think there will be any major confusion or issues when migrating from Windows 10.
Some may argue that it is not enough to change the numbers, but conversely, it is like “when the hardware supports it, an update to the operating system causes fatal problems.” That is no longer acceptable to the user. The risk is not zero, but there seems to be no doubt that we are trying to make a smooth transition compared to the past.
This area is the same for the iPad operating system, and I think it is a feature of the current operating system update. Rather, I think the direction is “do not install if a serious operational situation is likely to occur.”
However, as long as you have changed the user interface, etc., the behavior of the application is not exactly the same as it was before the update. In some cases, there is the possibility that “the applications that are important to that person will not work”, so that will be the challenge. This time, there were some apps that had slight screen distortion on both Windows 11 and iPad OS 15.
When I install it, I have the impression that Windows 11 is getting closer to Apple. However, the “Fluent Design System” used in the design of Windows 11 uses “transparency” and “motion”, which are different from Apple’s design language, so it feels similar to “windows”. I also feel like the part that comes from “the corners are rounded” is big.
The Fluent Design System was announced in 2017. It is not a Windows-only UX framework. Microsoft positions it as something that will be widely used, from the web to smartphone applications. It is mainly used in Office 365, but after that, the scope of the application gradually expanded with each Windows 10 update, and the design was completely redesigned in Windows 11 at once.
The Windows 11 user interface changes slightly with the mouse and touch. Until Windows 10, I was under the impression that touch would change drastically as a “touch-only user interface”, and some parts were a bit difficult to use with your fingers unless they were dedicated to touch. However, improvements have been made in Windows 11 and the amount of “UIs that appear only during touch operations” has been increased.
For example, if you move the window with your finger, dragging it with the mouse is the same as before, but when you touch it, the area expands a bit like the screen. Perhaps because of this, I have the feeling that the finger operation has become easier.
Rather, I was personally happy that when I held the tablet vertically, the apps I was using side by side automatically switched to a “vertically split screen”. Previously, split screen was canceled and ordering became necessary.
In addition, this vertical division is also a use that the iPad operating system does not support. This use is desirable to take advantage of the vertically long screen and this countermeasure is preferable.
There is a reason for the new operating system to appear. It may be security or new hardware support, or it may be for “current situation required updates.” Windows 11 and iPad OS 15 are the same, and relatively new hardware is required to take advantage of the value of the operating system.
Recently, I think Windows has only gradually improved the “touch and pen” part. However, while Windows 11 doesn’t look much different from a non-touch PC, there are more improvements to the user interface that make it “just as comfortable to operate with touch.”
This is the desired direction and a positive development for Windows tablets.
IPad OS 15 evolves with AI on the device
As for iPadOS, including iOS, I have the impression that since last year, including the introduction of widgets, the direction is to incorporate the functional beauty of Android. In 14 and 15, the handling of the home screen, including the handling of widgets, has changed considerably, but the usability has not changed as much as it seems.
iOS has a feature called “Application Library” that hides applications from the “14” screen, making it easier to organize the home screen. It can be said that it is the same method as Android. The iPadOS 14 didn’t have this feature for some reason, but the iPadOS 15 has a library of apps that is compatible with iOS 14. I feel like this is “finally.”
Personally, I am pleased that the pen input “squiggle” is compatible with Japanese and that it supports “character recognition in pictures” using the device’s artificial intelligence.
Scribble is a feature that has been installed since iPad OS 14, but it doesn’t support Japanese, so it wasn’t very useful in Japan. Since it supports Japanese, you can use a pen to search for keywords and write a little. I think being able to use both types and pens is what a tablet should be.
Character recognition from images is quite natural. It can be a photo or an image, but if you register it in the “Photos” library, the area will be automatically recognized if the image file contains characters. Just like when you select a character string, if you trace the “location where the character you want to select appears” with your finger, it will be selected as is.
This is a bit surprising. If you copy and paste from there, the content will be a “character string”, making it easy to use in documents and emails. It can also be used to search and translate. If the image has many characters, a recognition icon will appear at the bottom right, so you can press it. Then all the characters on the screen will be recognized and selected.
In the case of Android, these functions have been installed as “Google Lens” for a long time. Therefore, recognition itself is not uncommon.
However, since Google Lens is processed in the cloud, the recognition work cannot be done unless the network is connected. Also, it is easier to recognize by pressing the “Google Lens” button or the “Text Recognition” button, but it is more intuitive than the user interface than “When you select a character in the image, it is recognized as text”. It is not or rather, it lacks fun and understanding.
Apple is superior to Google Lens in that it is “all the processing on the device and can be recognized even if the network is disconnected” and “the operation is intuitive”.
Unfortunately, however, Apple’s Image Character Recognition is currently not supported in Japanese. Google is better here. Well, like Scribble, it is a delicate sentiment for a Japanese to be late in responding to Japanese. I hope this is also supported next year. In the case of image recognition, it was noted that there are many useful situations, such as URLs and numbers, even if they are not compatible with Japanese.
It can be said that the current characteristics of Apple are that there are many of these “operating systems compatible with AI on the device”. This is probably because the number of parties using AI as a differentiator from the hardware itself is increasing. This is a difference with Microsoft, which does not implement the operating system only on its own hardware.
To put it the other way around, I think it would be interesting if Microsoft could introduce “unique features that do not exist in the operating system but were implemented for the Surface” in the future Surface. In fact, PC manufacturers are trying to differentiate themselves with several small added values. I don’t think there is anything wrong with Microsoft doing that.