When is an iPad not exactly an iPad? Answer: When it's running Windows software. Turns out that if you want want to run Windows 8 with native Metro UI touch gestures on a tablet, you don't have to wait until later this year to do it, there's already an app for that. Splashtop, makers of a remote desktop application for iPad devices, released a new version that plays nice with Windows 8 Consumer Preview testbeds.
Provided you own or have access to an iPad, this is an intriguing update that can potentially offer more than a glimpse of what it will be like to use a Windows 8 tablet. From a developer standpoint, this allows them to test native Metro UI touch gestures on an iPad while coding and compiling new apps on their Windows PC.
"Since Apple’s App Store generates over 80 percent of all tablet app revenue, nearly every software developer that writes apps for tablets has an iPad," noted Mark Lee, Splashtop CEO and co-founder. "With Windows 8 Metro expected to ship on over 400 million new PCs and tablets annually, these developers have high expectations for an enormous new market. Splashtop lets them turn their iPad into a development testbed to evaluate touch gestures and functionality of their app in a Windows 8 environment."
I've played with a previous version of Splashtop and was impressed with how responsive it was. There wasn't any discernible lag or irritating quirks to put up with. I haven't spent any hands-on time with the new version, but according to Splashtop, the 'Win8 Metro Testbed' enables native access to all the touch gestures such as swiping from the right to view the Charms menu, swiping down to bring up additional menus, pince to navigate, and more (see video below).
Splashtop's Win8 Metro Testbed is currently selling for a special 'launch promotion price' of $25; the regular price is $50.