Mobile apps may be in vogue but with the global pandemic disrupting workplaces everywhere desktop devices bring the office to wherever you are working from this week. Microsoft has reported there are over 1.3 billion devices running Windows 10 and they are working on shipping Windows 11. Some work can be done on just a mobile device but for other information economy activities such as software development, graphic design, and global finance there is no better place to be productive than on your favorite desktop device.
In this article we are going to explore how desktop devices have a productivity edge that has been honed over the decades.
Does having multiple monitors make you more productive?
Repeatedly, studies over the years have shown that having multiple monitors increases productivity. While some mobile devices support large screens or even multiple screens that is not the normal configuration most people use. Desktops (and laptops), on the other hand, generally have a large primary display screen and in addition the devices ship frequently with multiple monitor support built into the motherboard. To learn more about taking full advantage of the desktop UI and UX experience you can get a free ticket for Desktop UX Summit 2021 where the focus is on a “desktop first” experience, what is meant by that and why it’s important.
Does using hot key combinations make you more productive?
CTRL-C and CTRL-V on Windows are tried and true key combinations for copying and pasting content. Hot keys like this on a keyboard give you a productivity boost over using the same function via the mouse or a touch screen. Software development tools like Embarcadero RAD Studio have built in support for building your own custom keyboard combinations into your apps. In addition to TShortcut, system wide accelerator keys can be configured to enhance productivity.
Can adding peripherals make you more productive?
Desktop and laptop computers have been around for decades and there are many different kinds of peripherals that have been created for them. Everything from special mice to joysticks to drawing pads to custom instruments and ever smart phones themselves. Specifically, as one example, for graphic design work, drawing pads, or large screened mobile devices connected to a desktop can significantly boost productivity. Not only can peripherals be added to laptop and desktop devices but multiple peripherals can be added all at the same time to a single machine. You could even connect more than one smart phone device to a desktop computer for syncing and management. There are multiple software libraries for Embarcadero RAD Studio that offer direct access to all these types of peripherals.
Does app size really matter?
Networks and hard drives are fast these days. Despite this the size of your app still matters in this context. Embarcadero Delphi can create a graphical application for Windows devices that is roughly 2MB in size. That is smaller than some web pages! You can read an analysis of such an application in our Delphi vs. WPF vs. Electron comparison. This small-sized executable is easily copied over the network or even executed across the network. Additionally, it has no dependencies! Large mobile device applications, sometimes hundreds of megabytes these days, even at 4G speeds can take significant time to download on a mobile device. Waiting for a download or an app to execute can eat up your productivity.
Does parallel processing really increase productivity?
There can be significant productivity enhancements for software development and graphic design with multi-core processors and parallel processing. CPUs like the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X with 128 threads (64 cores) and the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X with 32 threads (16 cores) are able to compile C++ projects with a billion lines of code at significant speed. The 3990X was able to do it in around 15 minutes. Render farms and working with large images can also take advantage of these massively parallel CPUs found on desktop devices.
How can I take full advantage of building desktop apps first?
In the above article we have looked at 5 ways that productivity can be supercharged on desktop devices. These include using multiple screens, hot keys, a myriad of peripherals, the size of applications, and parallel processing with multi-core CPUs. These features are all supported through Embarcadero RAD Studio (Delphi and C++ Builder). Embarcadero Delphi even supports deploying a single codebase and single UI to all three major desktop platforms: Windows, macOS, and Linux. Now that you’ve seen a number of ways that desktop applications can boost your productivity you should think about building desktop applications first. If you are interested in more information about the best ways to build productive desktop applications there is a free online conference you should attend.
The Desktop UX Summit 2021 is offering free tickets right now and is a great way to learn all the latest tips and tricks of desktop software development.