Last year Microsoft introduced two tablets, the Surface RT and the Surface Pro. This year the company launched two more: The Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2.
Notice something missing? Any mention of RT in the cheaper tablet. Since Microsoft is also continuing to offer last year’s model as an entry-level device, it’s not surprising that the company has updated the name — it’s now just called the Microsoft Surface.
So a basic Surface tablet runs Windows RT, which means it has an ARM-based processor and support for Modern UI apps downloaded from the Windows Store, but can’t run most older Windows apps in desktop mode.
The Surface Pro tablets fully support desktop and Modern apps.
To help keep things distinct, Microsoft is also eliminating the Desktop tile from the Start Screen on Surface and Surface 2 tablets. You can still get to the Desktop, but it takes more taps or clicks — and the only app you can really run in desktop mode is Microsoft Office.
It does seem a little odd though, that by taking “RT” out of the names, Microsoft seems to be blurring the lines between the Surface and Surface Pro tablets — but by making access to dekstop mode even more limited in Windows RT tablets, the company’s kind of emphasizing the differences. Surface tablets primarily run touch-friendly Modern apps, Surface Pro tablets run all Windows apps.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Microsoft’s original Surface RT drops the RT, becomes Surface, drops the Desktop Live Tile
Microsoft used to pitch Windows RT as being just like Windows 8.1… it looks like the company is moving away from that, and making it more like Windows Phone all the time. [The Verge]
- BlackBerry 10.2 now rolling out for the Z10, Q10
BlackBerry 10.2 software shipped with the BlackBerry Z30 smartphone, but now it’s available as a free update for BlackBerry’s earlier phones. It adds features including instant previews of messages, a new Priority Hub for the most important messages, keyboard, sharing, and copy/paste enhancements, and notifications on the lock screen. [Inside BlackBerry]
- Microsoft Surface Pro 2 teardown from @ifixit: Powerful, but tough to repair
Microsoft’s new tablet has a faster processor and comes with options for more RAM and storage than its predecessor, but comes in the same small case. Unfortunately that case is awfully hard to crack open if you need to repair the tablet. As Ars Technica points out though, it’s unlikely you’d be able to fix the tablet even if it were easy to open — it’s filled with custom parts that aren’t easily accessible. [iFixit]
- Evidence of a 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core chip with Adreno 420 graphics
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip is already one of the fastest ARM-based processors on the market. It looks like an even faster version may be on the way [Android Authority]
- Not sure if you can trust that Chinese phone/tablet importer? GizChina’s store directory offers user reviews
Trying to get a tablet delivered from China, but not sure if you can trust a shop with a name like Bangood, Chipapadmall, or Newfrog? This directory features user reviews helping you figure out whether these stores deliver on their promises. It’s still pretty new and there aren’t a lot of reviews yet, but the directory idea shows a lot of promise. [GizChina]
- Samsung Galaxy Gear now compatible with more phones
When the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch launched, it let you view notifications from your phone or even make calls — but only with the Galaxy Note III. Now it works with more Samsung phones, and even more will be supported soon. [Samsung]
- YouTube app for Android eventually getting support for streaming audio while in the background
The latest version of the YouTube app for Android includes code that shows you’ll eventually be able to hit play on a video and keep listening to music or other audio when the app loses focus so you can multitask. [Android Police]