Apple iPad: Splashtop Win8 Metro Testbed (first look)

Splashtop released Win8 Metro Testbed for the iPad. It’s much cheaper than buying a Windows Tablet and you can test your apps in a Windows environment using your iPad.

If you’re a developer looking to try out your tablet app on the Microsoft Windows 8 Metro UI, the new Splashtop Win8 Metro Testbed is definitely worth checking out. This app puts your PC’s Windows 8 Metro Style UI experience right on your Apple iPad.

Like other products in the Splashtop family, this app lets you put your desktop’s OS — in this case, Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview –on your mobile device with minimal latency, CEO Cliff Miller told staffers. For $25, getting the experience of most Metro UI functionality on your iPad is a lot of bang for the buck. And it spares you having to buy or carry around the Win 8 developer tablet Microsoft provides when you already have an iPad, too.

Not surprisingly, the Win8 Metro Testbed doesn’t completely leverage either platform. We’d be surprised if it did. It doesn’t support the iPad’s camera — and your Metro Style UI apps will only work at 1024 x 768. No retina display for you.

You also don’t get the side-by-side Snap functionality.

That said, the app provides a surprising amount of Metro UI functionality, including multitasking, audio and video streaming, multi-touch gesture, and most of the swipe functionality Windows 8 Metro Style UI provides.

Some question whether this app will harm eventual sales of such Windows 8 tablets as the upcoming Lenova Yoga Windows 8 tablet, but that’s unlikely. This is a developer’s product. Tech buyers are going to swing one way or the other or other in terms of Apple iOS vs. Android vs. Windows 8. The quality and number of killer apps will be the big deciding factor.

This product, though, is a big win for Microsoft. Anything that makes developing apps for the app starved Windows 8 platform is a boon to that ecosystem. Thoughts?

Watch for our review. Splashtop Win8 Metro Testbed is available now on iTunes. Find more information at Splashtop.

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