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Microsoft Begins Beta Testing Trackpad Support in Word and Excel Apps for iPad

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
1,318
397
I don't think those are really comparable though, you can't just discount the huge variations in complexity between various third party apps.

Why not? Why can't Microsoft just make an addition to their iOS software for the updated mouse and trackpad APIs?

What is in the nature of the Pixelmators of the world that Microsoft is lacking? Why could those much smaller companies get out the adaptations in about 2 weeks?do
Pixelmator Photo uses a lot of off the shelf stuff from Apple, so much of the trackpad support they "added" came essentially free. All they really had to do was build against 13.4 and make some tweaks.

Your statement is nonsense. Claiming that Microsoft would have more work to adapt to the new pointer APIs makes absolutely no sense.

The Office apps, on the other hand, use an entirely custom rendering framework to create and modify significantly more complex files than images, and much of this framework is affected by how you are interacting with the device.

WTF does the rendering framework have to do with the pointer APIs in 13.4?

As for Apple demoing third-party apps at WWDC? Yeah, they do, this wasn't WWDC, and if I remember correctly no third-party apps were demoed with trackpad support at launch. That to me says Microsoft found out about this the same day we all did.

You failed to look up what I was responding to:
The few times I have seen Apple doing something like that is when they worked together with Logitech to launch a product using the Smart Connector and with Adobe after Photoshop version sucked so bad on iPad and they needed it running since the entire system was going to switch to ARM.

GeoStructural's comment was total nonsense. Apple regularly gives developers a crack at coding to new APIs before the software is publicly announced.


One last point about Pixelmator Photo, the developers also have an app that is a good bit more complex than Pixelmator Photo that's just called Pixelmator. It has a lot more UI elements and functions that interact with a pointer. That app just got trackpad support today.

...and Microsoft still only has it in beta -- still behind the curve.

Here's a list of apps that all had trackpad support within a month or two. The Sweet Setup authors note this isn't the first time Microsoft has been deficient in adopting new features:

"Split View, for instance, was only launched within the last few weeks for Microsoft Word.
It can be expected, then, that Microsoft is going to take its time in implementing trackpad and cursor support. At the time of writing, Microsoft has stated mouse and trackpad support will come to Word and Excel in the fall, providing ample time for current users to become frustrated."

Why can all of those tiny developers do what a $1.5T company can't figure out?
 
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toph2toast

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2011
643
489
A touchscreen MacBook will not affect iPad sales. And even it does, Apple is still getting the money from Mac sales so they could care less.

Apple could care less? You really think they would prefer you buying something like a touchscreen Macbook vs. 2 devices (an iPad and a MacBook) as people do now? 🙄
 

toph2toast

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2011
643
489
I think what's going to happen is Macs and iPads are going to get closer, but the difference is going to be the primary input. For iPads, it's touch with pointer secondary, for Macs, its pointer with touch secondary. That distinction alone is going to drive a lot of design decisions across both apps and the OS itself. Many apps in particular may be designed to work well with the primary, but not the secondary beyond what it gets "for free."

That coupled with iOS being more managed and macOS being more open, seems like there's plenty of space for both options in the market.

I can see that and would be 100% ok with them keeping the iPad and Mac product lines separate, but still giving me the option for a touchscreen Mac. I thought the touchbar was going to be cool and a useful tool, but I honestly find myself looking up and down between my screen and the keys now more than ever. I'd rather just touch the screen to be honest. Plus their are some applications I use when I play guitar that would be nice to have backstage on my laptop, then fold down to a tablet style while on stage playing. Things like that I would give me flexibility rather than needing 2 devices.
 

Spock

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2002
2,178
1,833
Vulcan
Apple could care less? You really think they would prefer you buying something like a touchscreen Macbook vs. 2 devices (an iPad and a MacBook) as people do now? 🙄
I don’t think a touchscreen MacBook can replace an iPad.
 

VforVelveta

macrumors regular
Nov 16, 2006
234
50
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Why not? Why can't Microsoft just make an addition to their iOS software for the updated mouse and trackpad APIs?

What is in the nature of the Pixelmators of the world that Microsoft is lacking? Why could those much smaller companies get out the adaptations in about 2 weeks?do


Your statement is nonsense. Claiming that Microsoft would have more work to adapt to the new pointer APIs makes absolutely no sense.



WTF does the rendering framework have to do with the pointer APIs in 13.4?



You failed to look up what I was responding to:


GeoStructural's comment was total nonsense. Apple regularly gives developers a crack at coding to new APIs before the software is publicly announced.




...and Microsoft still only has it in beta -- still behind the curve.

Here's a list of apps that all had trackpad support within a month or two. The Sweet Setup authors note this isn't the first time Microsoft has been deficient in adopting new features:

"Split View, for instance, was only launched within the last few weeks for Microsoft Word.
It can be expected, then, that Microsoft is going to take its time in implementing trackpad and cursor support. At the time of writing, Microsoft has stated mouse and trackpad support will come to Word and Excel in the fall, providing ample time for current users to become frustrated."

Why can all of those tiny developers do what a $1.5T company can't figure out?

So you're arguing that the complexity of software has no effect on the time it takes to add new features? The Office codebase alone is probably at least an order of magnitude larger than Pixelmator Photo's is, meaning it's going to take longer to go through that code to not only add support, but then QA test it to ensure what you changed didn't break something else. And Office has more code that's going to be affected by adding pointer support. Since their entire document rendering engine is custom, every point in it that reacts to an input needs to be looked at to see if it should now react a different way based on a pointer event instead of a touch event.

My point about Pixelmator just now getting updated illustrates this point. Pixelmator is more complex than Pixelmator Photo, and has more code that will need to account for pointer input instead of just touch input. Due to this complexity, it took the same group of developers nearly 7 months to update one app, while it only took 2 weeks to update the other. Complexity absolutely affects how long it takes to add features.

Add all this to the fact that Microsoft has its own roadmap and schedule for these apps. Based on the fact that zero third-party apps were demoed with trackpad support, I see very little evidence that any app developer got early access to these APIs. Yes, Apple has done it previously, but that doesn't mean they do it every time. That means Microsoft likely found out about this when everyone else did, and so they had to get it integrated into their roadmap, and implementing it takes more time and coordination across a team that large to keep everything working together than it would a small group of developers like Pixelmator. That's just the reality of software development in large companies developing large, complex apps.
 

amartinez1660

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2014
563
493
I am still waiting for Pause/Play with the Spacebar in the YouTube App.
Happy to have come across this. What’s up with the development on this front? I use my iPad Pro 99.99% of the time with the keyboard attached on my lap sitting on a comfy chair and this is beyond annoying, none of the keyboard shortcuts work (J K L for playback navigation for example).

And also, what’s up with the on-screen middle tappable play/pause button? I swear to god I have to tap it several times before it decides to toggle play/pause. It’s doubly annoying because I see the play button circle getting highlighted briefly indicating that it registered a tap... but will continue playing the damn video.

I’ll burst instantly if these are ever added as YouTube membership features.
 
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