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On iOS 11, selecting an item does not prevent you from interacting with the rest of the system. That is powerful in and of itself, but — as Paul Miller first pointed out on The Verge — it's Apple's API that could truly bring iOS' drag and drop to the next level.He mentions Adobe, which has already jumped on board with three iOS 11-optimised apps that work well with each other. Reports Miller:Adobe gave a demonstration where a presenter selected a few color samples and a brush from the company's Capture app and placed them into Photoshop Sketch, all in one drag-and-drop operation. The presenter then grabbed multiple layers from Sketch and placed them into Photoshop Mix. In Mix you can even target a location on the canvas for the assets to land, or place them in the layer stack. This is just one example, but it's immensely powerful and shows that developer support can go a long way into making a platform more capable and productive.

It's important to keep in mind that iOS is the most thriving platform on the planet, with over 2 million apps that populate its digital store which have collectively crossed 130 billion app downloads.And, more importantly, a whopping $70 billion (£54 billion) has been paid to developers. It's huge — much bigger than the Mac App Store is, in fact, and things are not likely to change any time soon.The App Store's size and popularity mean that the developer community is much more active than it is on macOS. Apple puts much more emphasis on its mobile platform because there are just many more iPhones and iPads than there are Macs.Take augmented reality (AR) as an example: Apple just released its new ARKit framework to developers, which will allow them to create augmented reality-based apps using the cameras of iOS devices. The iPhone will ultimately benefit more from it, but the iPad is equipped with a great camera, too, which means iPad users will able to take advantage of whatever evolution AR is poised to bring to iOS.

iPads don't just have good cameras, of course. Both iPad Pro models have stereo speakers, a last-generation retina display, a fingerprint scanner, a battery that comfortably outlasts the majority of laptops, and much more.They are also powerful: Inside them is Apple's custom A10X chip, which can comfortably go head to head with Intel's most recent version of the laptop-class Core i5 CPU — and beat it.Plus, all of that is sealed in a (fanless!) case that weighs just one pound (the smaller 10.5-inch model, at least); good news if you carry your laptop around all day.What the iPad lacks is some stuff that is still necessary to work longer hours or manage more complex tasks, like extra ports (namely USB-C), some sort of cover that helps with "lapability" or a kickstand (Microsoft's Surface Pro has almost nailed it there) and proper support for a mouse and keyboard.If the iPad begins to cannibalise the MacBook's sales, Apple might want to think about phasing out the latter as a mainstream device for most consumers, and prop up the iPad even further.

If Apple sets its mind to it, the iPad could become enough of an enticing and capable product to see a true resurgence from its declining sales.Steven Sinofsky, a Microsoft veteran who now works for the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, is one of the many pundits who was impressed by Apple's unveiling of iOS 11 and the iPad Pro at WWDC earlier this month."The advances in launching, switching, and working in general geared towards the iPad user are significant — so significant that there's a good chance we are at a turning point where many more people will use (or just admit to using) their iPads for core productivity work," he wrote in a Medium post."I've been saying this for years — that ARM-based, mobile OS, with new apps geared to a new interaction model will become dominant."MacBooks are machines people love and have become familiar with, but advancements in Apple's mobile platform have been much more visible over the last decade.In short, if the advantage regular laptops have is a slew of features iPads simply need to catch up with, it will probably be just a matter of time.

And, in the meantime, iPads will likely jump ahead with features like the display advancements of ProMotion and TrueTone.Of course, some users will still need the power of a more robust, flexible and capable OS, and this is where costly iMacs (like the just announced iMac Pro) or even MacBook Pros come in.Apple will still keep its Mac computers around, particularly for pro users, who will need powerful machines like the iMac Pro.Stephen Lam/ReutersBut for most people who just need a browser, email, YouTube, Netflix and the likes, an iPad might be a much better way to spend their money, and make it their primary machine.And speaking of money, the iPad is also significantly cheaper than MacBooks. Even with the £179 keyboard, the baseline model is under £800, whereas the cheapest MacBook, the aging Air, is still on sale for £949. The 12" MacBook and non-TouchBar-equipped 13" MacBook Pro both come in at £1249.

All that money could be spent purchasing a better third party keyboard, such as Logitech's, or Apple's own Pencil, which is a great (and iPad Pro-exclusive) companion tool on iOS 11.Just think that £989 — £40 more than the basic Air — gets you the bigger 12.9" iPad, the upgraded 256GB of storage (opposed to just 128GB on the Air) and even a cellular connectivity option, which no Mac has.It's clear that iPads are still a few steps behind laptops, and may not be ideal for a lot of people right now. Many others, however, would likely make the necessary tradeoffs and get all the advantages that iOS and the iPad's hardware bring.Price, portability, matching (if not superior) hardware are things that no one can ignore, let alone the immense support iOS has from both developers and Apple itself.Over time, the software gap with Macs will be leveled out, and the complete package will collectively make the iPad a more and more alluring machine.

Android phones have had wireless charging for years, but Apple only now introduced the feature for its new iPhone 8 and iPhone X models.Wireless charging is a nice, if not essential, feature to have. It's slightly more convenient than reaching for your charging cable; just place your iPhone on a wireless charging pad as if it were resting on a table. No plugging or unplugging necessary.But that's the only benefit to going wireless, at least for now. In theory, wireless charging with Belkin and Mophie's 7.5W wireless chargers sold from the Apple store should also mean faster charging, so that you can replenish you phone's battery in less time. But as we can see from this chart from Apple Insider, the difference between charging your iPhone 8 with the standard 5 watt power cable that's included and using a 7.5 watt wireless charging pad is negligible. Both methods take about two and a half hours to reach 98% fully charged. During a quick 15 minute charging session, you'll get an extra 2 percentage points of power.

It turns out that even though the wireless chargers are designed to transfer 7.5 watts, the iPhone 8 currently only accepts 5 watts of power from wireless charging sources.Apple Before Apple rolls out an update that'll supposedly increase wireless charging speeds, the 7.5W wireless chargers charge the iPhone 8 just as slowly as the included charger.Apple InsiderWith that in mind, buying one of the $60 Belkin or Mophie 7.5W wireless chargers from Apple doesn't make much sense, unless the convenience of wireless charging appeals to you. However, the iPhone 8's wireless charging speed it set to change in the near future, as Apple plans to roll out an iOS 11 software update later this year that will allow its new iPhones to accept up to 7.5W of wireless charge.When the update rolls out, the iPhone 8 will make full use of Belkin's and Mophie's $60 7.5W wireless chargers sold on Apple's site, and buying a wireless charger that charges up to 7.5W could make sense if the included 5W charger is too slow for your liking.

On Thursday, Consumer Reports announced that it was revoking its recommendation for Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets, citing the results of a survey showing that people found them to be unreliable. You can read more about the study and its methods here.Speaking personally, I'm a big fan of the Microsoft Surface — I've reviewed every Surface device from late 2015 through the present, including the Surface Pro tablet and the Surface Studio PC, and I've given each and every one of them a glowing assessment. And so, I have some feelings about what Consumer Reports found in its own research.I would still recommend the Surface to pretty much anybody, provided they're okay with the premium pricetag. Each Surface device is a worthy alternative to the equivalent Apple product, which is a heck of an achievement for Microsoft after only five years in the hardware business. I would be lying if I said that I've only ever had positive experiences with the Surface, and there have been some hiccups. However, things have gotten much better with recent iterations of each device. On that second point: my own experience dates back to 2015, when I received not one, but two busted Surface Pro 4 tablets to review, one after the other. By the time I got to the third, fully functional unit, I ended up loving it unreservedly. But the experience was enough to cast some doubt on Microsoft's canniness as a hardware developer.

Similarly, Microsoft's Surface Book device launched around the same time and was greeted with a chorus of user complaints around bugginess and random crashes. In February 2016, Microsoft issued a software update to fix the worst problems, along with an apology for taking so long to fix things.But since then...nada. The Surface line has been nice and stable, without major incidents. Oh, sure, there have been the odd bug here and there, which have required some patches. But it's way better than it used to be.microsoft surface studio Microsoft Surface StudioDarren Weaver/Business InsiderIt's also worth noting that the Consumer Reports survey was measuring failures after two years of ownership, which means that they're largely dealing with those older Surface devices, not the newer, better, more stable models. The Surface Laptop, Surface Studio, and current-model Surface Pro are all rock-solid, in my experience.So while I don't exactly doubt the findings of the Consumer Reports study, I remain bullish on Surface in general, and would still recommend its hardware — especially its most recent hardware — to anybody who was looking for a Windows-powered Mac alternative.

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