Windows8 developers can now use their iPads for development

SplashTop Windows 8 on an iPad

Thanks to a great new app Win8 Metro Testbed by Splashtop, those developers out there building apps for the touch-first, Windows 8 can now use their iPad for development. Remoting to a Windows desktop is nothing new for the iPad, Citrix and others have been doing it for years.

The unique and interesting thing about SplashtopWin8, is that the multi-touch gestures of the OS also get captured and sent back to the source machine. This means the user feels as if they were sitting in front of a Windows 8 tablet (or slate).

Of course emulation will never be as good as the real thing, but its pretty decent. Asking developers who already own a perfectly good multi-touch tablet – the iPad, to lay down hundreds more for a Win8 version is a hard sell. Splashtop is a nice alternative. The app is not free and with a unique feature set, they can get away with charging A$25.99. Best to get in quick if you are interested as this includes a 50% launch discount.

Of course if you want free, Microsoft already include a software based simulator free of charge as part of Visual Studio 2011. A couple of criticisms with Splashtop is its handling of orientation changes, flipping to portrait mode doesn’t always re-render the screen correctly. Also there’s the resolution issue, it drops you desktop (running the Splashtop Streamer), back to 1024×768. This resolution is below the 1366×768 required for snapped application testing. If you can look past these couple of version 1.0 issues, it’s definitely a worthwhile buy for Win8 developers.

Hands-on video

Actually the 1024×768 resolution is simple the default, by entering the Desktop and changing the resolution, you can increase it to 1366×768 and beyond, however the iPad’s aspect ratio is 4:3 so you’ll end up with black bars at the top and bottom. 1920×1200 works well, to show more tiles, but pushing that many pixels does result in the introduction of some lag.

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This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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