Apple continues adding new features and tweaking old ones with iOS 10. There were a great many changes in iOS 9 for iPad, but the follow up has more to offer iPhone. Still, there definitely are enhancements to benefit those with an iPad Pro1 or iPad mini2. We extensively tested iOS 10, and here are the new or updated features that will mean the most to tablet users. We also catalogued some much needed enhancements that are notably absent.
Split View Safari Tabs
iOS 9 brought much needed support for side-by-side multitasking the ability to display two applications on-screen at the same time. While that was all very well, each app was still limited to a single window. This was especially burdensome in Safari, as people frequently want to display two web pages simultaneously. This limitation began changing with iOS 10. Apple s web browser can now show a pair of sites, with each taking up half the screen. Arranging the two pages on the display is simple go to the list of open browser tabs and drag one to the side of the screen to open it in a second window but this split-view feature is limited only to landscape mode.
Split View Safari Tabs in iOS 10
Ending split view is just as easy, but not as intuitive as it could be: Touch and hold on one of the Tabs icons and choose Merge All Tabs. This is a welcome step in the right direction, but now this functionality needs to be extended even further. iOS 11 should give third-party app developers the same feature. iPad users need to be able to work with two Word documents at the same time, for example.
iOS 10 changes the look of the Notification Center, and makes it more functional too. Dragging from the top of the screen brings down a list of recent notifications that now appear in grey boxes with rounded corners. Dragging each of these to the left allows the user to either clear the notification or jump to the application that sent it. A small X button can be used to clear all notifications at once.
From the Recent Notifications page, dragging the screen to the right brings up two columns of widgets. These can be a thumbnail view of the calendar, weather reports, and similar snippets of information.
iOS 10 Widgets
An Edit button at the bottom of the left column opens the controls of which settings are displayed, and in which column, and in what order.
Apple made significant changes to the way people use their tablets before they are even unlocked. First off, Slide to Open has been removed, and just pressing the Home button has taken its place. This simplifies the process considerably, especially as everyone should already be touching this button so their fingerprint can be scanned to unlock the computer.
iOS 10 Lock Screen
Before the iPad is unlocked, iOS 10 can show users their newest notifications. They can also respond to these, by dragging the notification to the right. A whole conversation can take place in Messages without ever unlocking the tablet. Dragging down from the top of the Lock Screen brings up a list of other recent notifications. Dragging to the right on the Lock Screen gives quick access to the same widgets displayed in the Notification Center. Anyone who wants to keep private their notifications and the information displayed by these widgets should turn this feature off by going to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. This is especially important because otherwise anyone can respond to incoming text messages without unlocking the tablet.
Bad news: No current iPad has the motion-sensing chip necessary for Raise To Wake, so it s only users of recent iPhone models that don t have push the Power button to activate their devices.
Dragging a finger up from the bottom of the screen still opens a set of controls for toggling WiFi, Bluetooth, etc., but this has received a facelift with iOS 10. It s now split over two screens so everything is less crowded.
iOS 10 Control Center
The main screen has the controls for various wireless functions, the backlight, as well as links to the camera and Clock app. Sweeping the finger to the left moves to a second screen that s focused on audio.
The Notes application has been gradually improving in recent iOS versions, and has now acquired collaboration capabilities. Users can notify another person that a note has been shared with them, and then they can both see and make changes. Apple suggests using this for simple jobs, like a family sharing a grocery list, not for a team collaborating on a patent filing.
Possibly the most important change in iOS 10 for iPhone users is the improvements to the Messages app. Although instant messaging is done primarily on a phone, that doesn t mean tablet users should overlook it. By turning on Settings > iMessage, conversations happening on a iPhone can also be displayed on an iPad. The larger screen and keyboard make longer conversations easier.
iOS 10 iMessage on iPad
Apple added all kinds of fun features to iMessage, like bubble effects which cause texts to swell up, fall onto the screen with a bang, and more. Messages can be handwritten, or moving images can be inserted into conversations like really big emojis. These look better on a tablet than they do on a phone, even an iPhone 7 Plus.
What s Missing
Apple has tried to keep iOS simple, even to the point of leaving out features it doesn t consider necessary. This is why this operating system debuted on the original iPhone without a central file system accessible to users. But what was the right decision in 2007 has since become a serious limitation. iOS 10 is intended to be used by businesspeople on tablets as powerful as laptops, and they need to be able to easily view and manage their files. Last year s iCloud Drive was a step in the right direction, but iOS 10 should have taken it much further. There s another missing feature that s forcing buyers toward Windows-based alternatives: the new iPad Pro series is being positioned as laptop alternatives, and most people aren t yet accustomed to controlling this type of computer with a just a touchscreen. Apple recognized this when it released its Smart Keyboard3, and it s time to take the next step and add a trackpad to this accessory, as well as support for it to iOS. It would be a step backward a touchscreen is better than a mouse but it would increase iPad sales. Plenty of people have been asking for a removable memory card slot in iPad and iPhone for almost a decade, and at this point it s clear Apple isn t ever going to add one. Fortunately, many accessory makers offer very good alternatives, allowing iOS tablets to access microSD cards and flash drives. There are very good alternatives from SanDisk4, Lexar5, Leef6, and more.
Split-screen support in Safari is probably the best feature for iPad users, but just about all of the new features in iOS 10 are useful, and others are fun. Some oft requested changes are still missing, though. even so, people are wondering when they should install this onto their tablet. We have been testing the official release version on an iPad Pro7 since it debuted, and so far have encountered no significant problems. Apple s new strategy of allowing anyone who s curious to install iOS betas appears to have resulted in a final release version that s more stable than iOS 9 was when it debuted. That said, there have been a few small bobbles. Anyone feeling very cautious might wait for Apple to introduce iOS 10.1.
Dramatic footage which appears to show a policeman attacking a car after the driver refuses to get out will be investigated, Scotland Yard said. The clip, shared on social media on Saturday and viewed around 50,000 times, shows what appears to be a police officer – filmed from the position of the driver – repeatedly telling him to “get out of the car”, adding: “You’re not allowed to drive it.”
The officer then hits the driver’s side window with what looks like a baton, before a voice can be heard saying: “I’ve got a licence. I’ve got a licence. I’ve got insurance. You’re smashing this for no reason.”
The Metropolitan Police said it is “aware of footage circulating on social media of an incident involving two uniformed officers in Camden”, adding that the incident took place at Weedington Road, north-west London, at around 5pm on Friday. In a statement, the Met said: “The footage will now be subject to an investigation by officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS).”
The policeman can be seen striking the windscreen, resulting in the glass shattering, and he then starts slicing around the damaged area with what appears to be a pen knife.
When asked by the driver what the problem is, the officer tells him he is “not allowed to drive”. The police force said on Saturday evening: “As soon as the MPS was made aware of the footage, the DPS was contacted immediately. The individual who uploaded the footage has been contacted by DPS officers.
“As this matter is in its early stages, the officers have not been suspended or placed on restricted duties. No-one was arrested during the incident.”
The video, which could not be independently verified, has been shared on Twitter and Instagram where the officer’s actions have been described as “mindless vandalism and intimidation”. A man who wanted to be referred to by just his first name, Leon, told the Press Association he was the driver and the person who filmed the footage.
He said the incident took place on Friday evening in the Gospel Oak area of north London, and said it was a case of “mistaken identity”, describing the officer’s actions as “a completely unlawful act”.
Leon, who said he spent the evening in hospital due to getting glass in his eyes, said it was “complete madness” and that he is “still in shock”.
“Every time he smashed the glass, fragments of glass were just ricocheting in my face,” he said.
Microsoft’s Surface 3 was, at least in the subdued PC market, a relative success, selling well despite a rather steep price point for what it provides hardware-wise (something we criticised1). At nearly 500 (£690 in the US, which is around AU£920) when you factor in the detachable keyboard and the stylus, it comes across as an expensive tablet even by Microsoft’s standards, especially as the competition has heated up in the 2-in-1 segment. So it comes as no surprise that, just like the MacBook Pro2 and the Yoga 3 (both of which had very similar competitors in the shape of the Xiaomi Air 123 and the Voyo VBook V34), the Surface 3 has attracted the attention of one Chinese vendor, Jumper.
The latter has unleashed the EZpad 5S, a Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard which is remarkably similar to the Surface 3.
Gearbest sent us a review unit the device5 is currently on sale for just under 185 (£238, which is around AU£320) with the keyboard. Oddly, the model we received doesn’t look like the one that’s displayed on Gearbest’s product page the card reader is located on the side rather than under the kickstand, and there’s one microUSB port in lieu of a full-size USB 2.0. We strongly advise you to read our article on the pros and cons of buying from Chinese retailers6 (and generally speaking, outside of the UK).
The Jumper EZpad 5S comes with the detachable keyboard, standard charger, a USB cable, and surprise, surprise, a stylus. Funnily enough, there’s no mention of the latter on the product page and it didn’t work when we tried it. You don’t need yet another charger as you can charge this tablet from pretty much any existing USB-equipped device and charger; and yes, that even includes portable battery packs.
The biggest difference between this slate and Microsoft’s effort is the aspect ratio of the display. To put it simply, the EZpad 5S looks like a stretched Surface 3, but other than this the differences between the two are relatively small.
The rather thick black bezel is there with the silver border and the slightly tapered edges. The physical Windows home button has been moved but the metal kickstand which locks in two positions (about 40- and 85-degrees) is present. The tablet’s enclosure is entirely made of brushed aluminium; Jumper says that it is as strong as stainless steel but a third lighter. From afar though, it looks like plastic painted to resemble, well, brushed aluminium.
The glass display is glossy and as expected, is a major fingerprint magnet, but that’s an endemic problem for (most) entry-level tablets in general. Microsoft used an Atom x7-Z8700 CPU for the Surface 3; Jumper opted for a much slower (and cheaper) x3-Z8300 processor instead.
The main differences between the two are the base frequencies (1.44GHz vs 1.6GHz), the burst frequencies (1.84GHz vs 2.4GHz) and the graphics units’ burst frequencies (500MHz vs 600MHz). Open the device up and you will see 4GB of RAM and 64GB on-board storage (eMMC) plus a large 8500mAh battery.
The EZpad 5S has a larger 11.6-inch display compared to Surface 3’s 10.8-inch screen, which translates into a lower pixel density, but that won’t mean much if you plan to use it mostly with a keyboard. The rest of the specification includes rear and front cameras (5MP and full HD respectively), Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi, and on both sides, a mini-HDMI port, a pair of speakers, a headphone jack, an SD card slot, one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port and a microUSB one.
The power button and volume rocker can be found on the top, while the magnetic connector for the keyboard is located at the opposite end.
The keyboard cover adds some significant thickness to the keyboard but is a welcome addition. The tablet measures 276 x 172 x 8mm and weighs 676g, and the keyboard increases the overall weight by another 50%, to just over 1kg. Despite being a passive keyboard, it worked quite well, and is probably the best keyboard typing experience we’ve had on a cover-type model from any vendor and that includes the likes of Microsoft. Sure, it is a tad small and should ideally have taken the whole width of the cover, but it has a decent size touchpad, and the fact that it is rather thick (9mm) means there is at least some travel and spring.
Don’t expect miracles though the keys are tiny so will require some adjustment for touch typing, especially as there’s barely any space between them. Fat-fingered typists will probably have a worse typing experience, predictably enough. The touchpad is smaller than a credit card but produces a useful click when pressed harder, and it’s precise.
The IPS display, although sharp, lacked the punch usually associated with brighter monitors. We also noted that blacks were lacking and that wasn’t helped by the glare caused by the glass overlay, which added what looks like a layer of smog, even when we pushed the brightness setting to 100%. Having a metal body is useful to dissipate heat as the EZpad 5S doesn’t have an active fan, but it still got fairly hot in our tests. General performance was, as expected, significantly worse than most of the products we test here.
And the main culprits are the processor and the storage subsystem. We tested the Jumper tablet with Passmark, CPU-Z, GeekBench and Cinebench; unfortunately, CrystalDiskMark wouldn’t run. You can see the results below.
We didn’t extensively test its battery life but we managed to play a YouTube video for about 3 hours 5 minutes on maximum brightness bear in mind that the battery saving mode kicked in on 20% battery life. That’s a decent result but a far cry from the Surface 3. You won’t buy the EZpad for its audio performance; the pair of speakers on this tablet is one of the worst we’ve encountered. The rendition of Alicia Keys phenomenal New York was appalling to say the least. All the ingredients for even an average audio experience were missing: there was barely any depth, a lack of definition, and muddled sound at higher frequencies. You could easily mistake this cacophony for the sound coming out of a pair of cheap smartphone earbuds.
And as with most of the Chinese devices we’ve tested up until now, the Windows 10 operating system has already been pre-registered, and ours even came with a Chinese version of WinRAR.
The Jumper EZpad is a better-than-average product with not much to be criticised concerning its performance or build. Sure, the battery life is poor and the speakers are terrible, but that’s about all on the moaning front. However, as with most products that ship directly from China, we have more than a few reservations, such as the OS installation and, as we mentioned before, be sure to check out our guide7 to online Chinese retailers. The truth of the matter is, though, that the competition outside the Surface 3 is, well, almost non-existent. The Acer Aspire Switch 11 V8 may have a much faster CPU but it also costs around twice the price. Ditto for the HP Pavilion x29 which is actually even more expensive (while having a better CPU and quadruple the storage).
As such the EZpad 5S almost wins by default sadly, none of the big players (Dell, Lenovo and HP) have anything even remotely competitive.
- ^ something we criticised (www.techradar.com)
- ^ MacBook Pro (www.techradar.com)
- ^ Xiaomi Air 12 (www.techradar.com)
- ^ Voyo VBook V3 (www.techradar.com)
- ^ device (www.gearbest.com)
- ^ pros and cons of buying from Chinese retailers (www.techradar.com)
- ^ guide (www.techradar.com)
- ^ Aspire Switch 11 V (www.techradar.com)
- ^ HP Pavilion x2 (www.techradar.com)