Microsoft Surface Dial gets integrated into more apps

A tool is no good if you don't have anything to use it on. That goes doubly so for something as unique as Microsoft's Surface Dial. Application developers do need to add specific support for the Dial in their wares, though. To make sure that artists using the Surface Studio and its Dial aren't lacking in options, Microsoft has announced partnerships with developers of a host of both new and updated creativity applications.

Among the applications receiving new or improved support for the Dial, you'll find Algoriddim's djay Pro, CorelDraw, AutoDesk Sketchbook, Sketchable, and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Algoriddim's djay Pro application integrates with Spotify and allows users to "browse their music library, scratch, scrub, loop, and precisely adjust knobs and filters on-screen and for each deck individually." Art-focused applications like CorelDraw, Sketchbook, and Sketchable allow for functionality like shifting colors without lifting your stylus or interrupting your flow—on top of stuff like adjusting zoom, opacity, and brush size. Adobe Premiere Pro CC promises faster scrubbing through clips and sequences along with more precise frame selection.

Many of the updated applications are available immediately, like djay Pro and CorelDraw. It sounds like Adobe Premiere Pro CC's integration is a bit further out, as Adobe's blog post directs users to its booth at the upcoming NAB Show convention in Las Vegas later this month.

The more applications have support for the Surface Studio and the Dial, the easier it's going to be for Microsoft to get professional artists interested in the hardware. Big names like CorelDraw and Premiere Pro could prove instrumental to that goal.

Comments closed
    • Welch
    • 3 years ago

    This product seems so useless. Like one of those “tools” that gets lost in a junk drawer. Why so bulky, one more thing to charge, one more thing to troubleshoot.

    Seriously, it looks like a solution to a non-problem. Then again, I’m not a pro artist (or an artist at all) But these guys are….

    [url<]http://mashable.com/2016/10/28/mashable-art-team-reacts-microsoft-surface-studio/[/url<] In all fairness they have like 4-5 other articles that talk about how cool the device is, seem like phishing for views to me.

      • Welch
      • 3 years ago

      3 want-to-be artists disliked my comment 😉

    • Drachasor
    • 3 years ago

    The strangest thing about the surface dial to me is how it is designed to sit on the screen. I mean I guess that provides some feedback wherever you are holding it, but if it is basically like a mouse wheel, then I’m not 100% sure why it needs to take up screen real estate. Maybe it isn’t a big deal though.

      • EzioAs
      • 3 years ago

      Because when you’re utilizing the Studio at it’s lowest angle, your workspace is pretty much the entire screen. I’m guessing the intended users wouldn’t want to move their hands outside the screen (too much) when they’re working. It’s not that far off from typing codes really (or regular typing). It’s much more convenient to utilize your keyboards as much as possible by using keyboard shortcuts than having to move your mouse half the time.

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    they forgot to mention the learning curve. you cant expect people to just jump in and know how to use it seamlessly at a professional level.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      Also true with a keyboard and mouse. Learn your tools.

      • Klimax
      • 3 years ago

      Not really much difference from other specialized accessory for content creation.

    • Erebos
    • 3 years ago

    That hover hand position for hours on end seems like a sure way of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Do artists use special non-conductive gloves to allow them to rest their palm on the touchscreen while drawing?

      • tootercomputer
      • 3 years ago

      How is that hand position any worse than free-style drawing?

      • Drachasor
      • 3 years ago

      If you use the surface pen it will ignore most touching when the pen is nearish the screen (within a few inches). At least that’s how my Surface Pro 4 works, so I assume it is the same here.

      That said, I’ve thought about gloves or something similar to limit the amount of oil from my hands getting on the screen. Something really thin for one hand would do.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    Microsoft seem to be good and designing awesome concepts and then utterly failing on execution.

    And by execution I don’t mean the hardware or physical drivers, I mean the fact that they naively expect third parties to do all the legwork in building an ecosystem around their cool new ideas.

    It didn’t really work for the Zune (iTunes was better than Microsoft’s nonexistant music store)
    It didn’t really work for tablet PCs (iPhone and Android completely nailed touch interfaces)
    It didn’t really work for Windows Phone (No apps, no market)

    Microsoft has consistently been first (or close to first) with new concepts in the PC industry but are always trumped by competitors because they don’t follow up on their good start. I’ll be amazed if the Surface dial is anything other than another temporary fad in Microsoft’s history. Just wait until Tim Cook unveils the Macbook wheel in 2018 and it sells like hotcakes with 300+ developers adding support in their apps.

      • Erebos
      • 3 years ago

      Don’t forget Photosynth and XBMC.

      • Drachasor
      • 3 years ago

      Well, the Surface PC is already a pretty specialized product mostly aimed at artists. If the dial improves productivity for them sufficiently, then I expect it will be supported by art-related productivity apps. Looks like that’s already happening. It’s just not something most people will use since most people won’t get the Surface PC.

      MS actually does put effort into getting people to port very popular apps to the Windows Phone — but it is hard to do that when the phone doesn’t have a lot of users. A bit of a chicken and egg problem — and it is expensive so they can’t do it for everything. Seems like they are hoping to get around that in part with UWP, but that’s obviously slow going.

      Which isn’t to say MS hasn’t screwed stuff up in the past, but they seem to have a better strategy with a lot of current efforts (though I am sure they will screw up things in the future too — everyone does). Windows Phone has suffered more from new version after new version of the OS, I think, which posed some dev problems from what I hear. Still not sure if they will get it to take off — it is really hard to break into the phone market in general. On the other hand, the Surface line is doing really well.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 3 years ago

      That’s basically how MS came up in the 80s and 90s. They made a platform, worked with the biggest manufacturer and waiting for developers to fill in all the gaps.

      What’s odd now is they want to have it both ways. Instead of a very open platform, they want it locked down, but they also don’t want to invest in software properly. So they’re outflanked in openness by Android and integratedness by Apple, stuck in a middle ground no customers want.

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 3 years ago

        Good insight. Trying to lock down their platform does seem to be hurting their business model given their lackluster first party software in most areas. Now that their standout software is available on other platforms, they should really consider loosening up the grip on their platform.

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 3 years ago

      [quote=”Chrispy_”<]Microsoft seem to be good and designing awesome concepts and then utterly failing on execution ... they naively expect third parties to do all the legwork in building an ecosystem around their cool new ideas.[/quote<] I don't necessarily disagree with this, but the article you chose to post this in doesn't exactly fit that mold. I'm not sure I fully agree with some of your examples either. From the article: [quote="Eric Frederiksen"<]Microsoft has announced partnerships with developers of a host of both new and updated creativity applications ... Among the applications receiving new or improved support for the Dial, you'll find Algoriddim's djay Pro, CorelDraw, AutoDesk Sketchbook, Sketchable, and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.[/quote<] Two takeaways: 1) Partnerships are two way involving work on both sides. So Microsoft does not "naively expect third parties to do all the legwork in building an ecosystem around their new [i<]Surface Studio and Surface Dial[/i<]" 2) This is a subset of the applications receiving new or improved support for the Dial and it already includes several big hitters. [quote="Chrispy_"<]It didn't really work for the Zune (iTunes was better than Microsoft's nonexistant music store) It didn't really work for tablet PCs (iPhone and Android completely nailed touch interfaces) It didn't really work for Windows Phone (No apps, no market)[/quote<] Zune was in fact an example of how Microsoft didn't leave any of the legwork to third parties. Their devices was meant to use the same model as Apple and be as vertically integrated as possible. Problem is, nobody liked Microsoft's music store. The zune actually suffered more from not getting third parties involved rather than leaning too much on them. I fully agree with this one. Microsoft should have done more to get developers on board with their new interface. That said, UI preference is subjective and most people will resist change. It is telling that both Android and IPhone still use the same icons format that were introduced decades ago. That's not to say that other areas of the UI haven't been adapted to better incorporate touch interfaces, but the biggest complaint about the Windows UI has been the Tile interface. This interface may have received a better reception if there were a bunch of developers make use of the unique features on launch day. It is pretty incontrovertible that Windows Phone hasn't gained traction in the North American market and not a whole lot elsewhere either. Lack of apps is always pointed to as a main contributor, but I'm not really sure why. The Windows Phone market place grew to 100,000 apps 20 months after creation. While that is slower than iOS at 16 months, it is faster than Android at 24 months. [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Phone_Store[/url<] The last number I can find reported (Sep. 2015) was over 650k apps. While that doesn't match iOS and Android, it doesn't seem like there is an overwhelming lack of apps to me. There is also a good mix between first party and third party apps including many of the most popular ones on other platforms. This doesn't feel like a Microsoft leaving it all to third parties issue. I feel like there are few relatively unique apps that many people use on their platform of choice that they are unable to find or (more likely) unwilling to accept alternatives for on the Windows platform. That combined with the fact that Microsoft was very late, most people resist change, and most people don't enjoy paying for their apps again to get access to them on a new platform really hurts adoption.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        I was more referring to the fact that this thing launched almost five months ago and there’s still not a single killer app that uses the dial.

        These concepts need to hit the market fully operational with third party support pre-arranged and closely worked with. A December buyer has waited 5 months of nothing, followed by “announcing partnerships” that might come to fruition several months from now.

        It needed full Adobe/Corel/Autodesk support on day one at a bare minimum.

        • cygnus1
        • 3 years ago

        [quote<] The last number I can find reported (Sep. 2015) was over 650k apps. While that doesn't match iOS and Android, it doesn't seem like there is an overwhelming lack of apps to me. [/quote<] It's not just a numbers issue for "lack of apps". That complaint also encompasses the quality of the apps. In the Windows Phone app store, it's either a case of the app you want that's available on iOS and/or Android is either non-existent, horribly outdated (in comparison to the other platform versions), or worse, is only available as a 3rd party knock off version that's more of a waste of time than if it just didn't exist. The YouTube app is a good example of this issue. Good luck finding an app for your Bank. If you don't have firsthand experience with it, I've got a pair of Lumia 640's I got dirt cheap from AT&T when i wanted to compare Windows Phone 8 and 10. You're welcome to one of them if you hate yourself.

      • Klimax
      • 3 years ago

      Re tablets: Technology wasn’t there for a long time. And fun with Vista pulled a lot of resources from other projects including tablets and smartphones. Most of underlying stuff was already there.

      And for WP. Until apparent abandonment (shutdown of development of new HW) they were quite hanging there and with relatively good OS support they weren’t out of running. After no new HW, inevitable happened…

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 3 years ago

      Your both right and wrong. It comes down in large part to the more open nature of the platform. Part of what we all have historically loved about MS and Windows is what puts them at odds with expecting apple like cohesion.

      To that end though I think the windows platform as a whole will be closing up slowly and MS will be expanding its first party offerings and integration.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    Isn’t Algoriddim the same company that did that awkward Touch Bar demo at the MacBook Pro announcement? Their website even lists an Apple Watch app. They’ll apparently work with anyone.

      • Bumper
      • 3 years ago

      you gotta admit that surface studio looks cool. I get a little drool going watching that preview video.
      one question though: is the dial magnetic? if I had to hold it there the whole time that would get annoying.

        • EzioAs
        • 3 years ago

        It is magnetic, but a lot of reviews pointed out that it will still slide down very slowly even when the Studio is lay down at its lowest.

          • Bumper
          • 3 years ago

          Oh man that sucks. Thats a big deal.

          • BurntMyBacon
          • 3 years ago

          That’s a killer right there.

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