Update on Windows 8 development

I’m working currently hard on the touch optimized version of Diving Log for upcoming Windows 8 devices, and I want to give you a quick status update. Windows 8 is currently available for everyone to try in form of a release preview (aka release candidate) and will be available this fall. From my personal experience, it works really well on touch devices like tablets, convertibles or touch enabled laptops. On a desktop computer with a large screen, mouse and keyboard, it may take some time to get used to and not everyone will like it. But that’s not the target market for this Windows version anyways, Microsoft targets mainly tablets and other portable devices and even announced its own Surface tablet with dockable keyboard this week:

When buying a Windows 8 device you have to make one important choice: Windows 8 comes in two versions called “Windows 8” and “Windows RT”. The RT version is based on ARM processors, the normal version is based on Intel processors and is a full featured PC. The RT version has some advantages (a bit lighter, lower price), but also some disadvantages (you can’t run any existing desktop application except MS Office). The Surface tablet above will also come in 2 versions, “Surface for Windows RT” and “Surface for Windows 8 Pro”.

The new Diving Log Touch application will run on both device types, but the existing full featured Diving Log desktop application runs only on full Windows 8 devices. Right now it looks like you can only download dive computers with full Windows 8 devices, not the RT version. If you want to download your dive computer with your tablet, make sure to buy a Windows 8 tablet, e.g. those from Microsoft, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer or Asus.

With Windows RT tablets you can fill in some dive data on the tablet and later when you’re back at home, sync it with a PC and merge the data with your dive computer data in Diving Log. Then you sync everything back to the tablet. This is how it works with iPads right now and it’s working very well. So I think both options are good and it’s up to you which method you prefer. In the end your logbook will be identical.

The development of Diving Log Touch is going on nicely. At the beginning it was harder than expected finding a suitable user interface and navigation model for the application. But now I think I have a really nice user interface and will continue to polish it during the next weeks and month. I hope to have the version finished for the Windows 8 launch and I’ll show you some screenshots as soon as I know the UI is near final.

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