It is hard to imagine anybody developing tablet apps for a living who has not managed to get their hands on an iPad yet. Let’s face it, that’s the only way to tap into the market at this point given that developers are reported to make almost five times as much on their iPad offerings compared to Android equivalents. It was only a matter of time before somebody took advantage of this fact, and Splashtop is doing exactly that. It is now possible to run Windows 8 right on your iPad, albeit through remote desktop streaming.
Splashtop’s Remote Desktop software isn’t precisely new and exciting at this point. It is one of the best, most affordable options for remote streaming to and from practically any computing device, but that isn’t what makes this announcement interesting. In order to make Windows 8 development go a bit more smoothly, they have begun offering the Win8 Metro Testbed.
This will allow users to experience not only the basic look of Metro on the iPad, but replicate the entire experience. Splashtop is currently the only way to add in support for things like Windows 8’s touch gestures in such a way as to make actual testing and debugging possible far in advance of actual Win8 tablets hitting shelves.
This is not going to provide a perfect picture of the Windows 8 experience, of course. Even on the best of networks there is likely to be some delay in response, since the actual processing is being done on the PC you are streaming from. This doesn’t detract from the usability as much as you might expect, though, unless you run into an especially poor connection.
Windows 8 is expected to be the next big thing in tablets, and Metro is pretty well proven already when using All-in-One PCs with touch screens. This might also serve as an interesting introduction for consumers who want to get a feel for the new tablet OS using something they already own. The app is fairly expensive at $24.99, but that allows for unique interface feature access that you can’t get through any other streaming software on the market right now.
To get everything set up, you will need a PC with Windows 8 installed. It is simple enough to do in a small partition of an existing environment. Splashtop recommends a computer with a 1.6GHz+ Dual Core CPU and at least a full gigabyte of RAM. The software you install on the PC itself is free and available from the Splashtop website. There’s really no simpler way to get a feel for Metro in the situation it was designed for.