In many ways Windows 8 is better than the best that Apple and Google currently offer in iOS and Android, respectively.
Here are five unique features of Windows 8:
Microsoft’s picture password feature in Windows 8 is a convenient alternative to other system unlocking methods. Basically, you choose a photo for your lock screen, and then define three touch gestures to draw on top of the photo in order to unlock your device.
Microsoft says that it is not possible for hackers to figure out the gesture-oriented password based on the smudges on the display,because the order of gestures, their direction and location all matter, it makes the prospect of guessing the correct gesture set based on smudging very difficult even in the completely clean screen case, let alone on a screen that sees regular touch use.
Microsoft provided, in its blog, a detailed mathematical explanation of why a picture-based password is more secure than a PIN-based one.
The picture-gesture-based password is more secure than Apple’s four-number passcodes in iOS and Google’s facial recognition-based unlocking feature in its Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
Easy Gesture-Based App Switching
In the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, Google has added a “Recent Apps” feature that pulls up a listing of most frequently used apps when you click the system bar icon. But in Windows 8, switching between open apps is much more intuitive and easy: A swipe from the left edge of the device will immediately pull up the last app you used (assuming it’s still open in a multitasking state).
If you know you have a large number of apps open, you can simply swipe back and forth on the edge of the screen, and up pops a vertical array of preview windows revealing all your running programs. From here, you can tap on a preview to jump to a specific app. which is easy, quick and elegant.
Adjustable split-screen keyboard
One problem many mobile users suffer is that onscreen keyboards aren’t designed for a variety of hand and finger sizes. This is not a problem on tablets, which usually have enough screen for accommodating keyboards.However, if you plan on using your tablet two-handed, typing with your thumbs, typing on a tablet isn’t so easy.
Windows 8 offers a solution: It provides a split-screen keyboard so you can type with your thumbs. Apple already does this in iOS 5. But Windows 8 goes one step further: You can adjust key size in the Windows 8 split-screen keyboard. You have three sizes to choose from, so if you’ve got the petite hands of a five-year-old, you can type on the small setting, and if you’ve got manly man hands, you can increase key size to large.
It’s not an insanely revolutionary feature, but little UI nuances like this make Windows 8 so appealing in total.
Chromeless, Fullscreen App Experiences
Windows 8 also innovates with a unique, tablet-optimized approach that eliminates distracting “chrome”, ie., all those busy interface elements that can junk up a desktop or app interface. In fact, it’s an OS-wide theme of Windows 8′s Metro UI. There are no menu bars, task bars, or navigational buttons permanently pinned to the display.
In many iOS apps, you’ll find navigational buttons that persist across the app’s entire user experience. And even for apps that don’t do this, you’ll often still see that thin bar at the top of the screen that shows data connection strength, the time, and battery level. These are the very same elements that are locked to the iOS home screen.
Windows 8 does away with all of this. To see the time, battery strength and data connectivity, you swipe open your Charms menu. Once you’re done looking at these simple reports, you touch anywhere on the screen, and the Charms menu disappears.
Home Screen Style and Utility
Every major mobile OS provides a certain degree of personalization in what you see in your home screen. In iOS, you can rearrange your home screen app icons so you can put your favorite ones front and center. I
In Windows 8, however, you’ll find a comfortable medium between the tidy organization that iOS provides, and the freedom and utility of the Android home screen. In Windows 8, app icons are live tiles, either square or rectangular in shape, but always consistent in their basic look and feel.
But live tiles also update with new information in real time, just like an Android widget.