Asus appears to be preparing to launch a new feature called ScreenPad that lets you launch and interact with some Windows applications using a touchscreen device.
It’s unclear at this point if ScreenPad is an accessory that you connect to a PC, a built-in touchpad that will be included in upcoming Asus computers, or maybe a special type of touchpad with a built-in display, as shown in a mock-up picture created by MSPowerUser.
What we do know is that a bunch of ScreenPad apps and plugins have made their way to the Microsoft Store recently, suggesting that whatever ScreenPad is, you’ll be able to download extensions and get updates through Microsoft’s app store.
First spotted by Windows Blog Italia, the apps include a ScreenPad Launcher with shortcuts that should let you launch applications with a single tap.
Some of those apps are desktop programs like Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, McAfee Security, or Asus utilities. Others are apps that will run on the ScreenPad itself, letting you use the second display to change fonts or colors in Microsoft Office, control media playback in Spotify, or even make calculations or view the date in calculator and calendar apps that run solely in the second screeb without taking up any space on your primary display.
Here’s a run-down of the ScreenPad extensions we know about so far:
- ScreenPad Launcher – App launcher
- ScreenPad Spotify – Sync playlists, view song/album info, control the music player
- ScreenPad Office – Access “most used functions” such as fonts, styles, and functions such as fx, or ∑
- ScreenPad YouTube – Visit YouTube in the Chrome web browser, view the interface on the ScreenPad (and use touch controls to play/pause/skip)
- ScreenPad Adobe Reader Sign – Use the pad to sign PDF files via Adobe Reader
- ScreenPad Calendar – View a calendar with event information from Microsoft Calendar
- ScreenPad Calculator – Pretty much what it sounds like
- ScreenPad Numkey – Don’t have a numeric keypad on your computer? This’ll give you a virtual one.
- ScreenPad Music Player – Music player for local media
- Asus SpeechTyper – Voice-to-text tool with controls that show up in the ScreenPad window
This might not be a complete list of ScreenPad apps and extensions, it’s just the list of the ones we could find in the Microsoft Store ahead of any official announcement.
There’s no word on when ScreenPad will be available, but I’d expect to learn more next week. Asus is scheduled to hold a press conference on June 5th during the annual Computex computer show.
It’s like Asus never gave up on the Vista-era Windows Sideshow concept.
The HTPC crowd is definitely going to like this.
seems like this would be useful for media players or Netflix or something
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