Thursday, 18 September 2014

Google, Facebook and Twitter: How to erase a deceased user’s digital afterlife on social media

Google, Facebook and Twitter: How to erase a deceased user’s digital afterlife on social media
Sure, you have a lot to do today — laundry, bills, dinner — but it’s never too early to start planning for your digital afterlife, the fate of your numerous online accounts once you shed this mortal coil.
Facebook, Google, Twitter and other sites have different policies on dealing with dead users. Some states are also considering laws that would automatically give loved ones access to, though not control of, their dead relative’s digital accounts, unless otherwise specified.
Unless you take action, you might not like the outcome: Would you want to give your spouse automatic access to your email correspondences? Should parents automatically be able to browse through a deceased child’s online dating profile?
Now that you’re mulling your eventual demise, here’s a look at how some of the biggest Internet companies deal with deceased users’ accounts and what you can do to control your information.
The company behind Gmail and Google Plus has a tool that lets you decide what happens with your account after you die or become inactive online for another reason, such as moving to a deserted island off the grid with no Internet access. The tool is called “inactive account manager.”
You can choose to have your data deleted after three, six or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can choose someone, such as a parent or a spouse, to receive the data. The tool covers not just email but also other Google services such as Google Plus, YouTube and Blogger.
Before deleting data, Google will send a warning to a secondary email address or a phone number if you have provided one. This, of course, won’t help if you’re dead. But you can also have that warning go to a loved one.
Google’s inactive account manager
The world’s largest online social network doesn’t give relatives access to dead people’s accounts. Instead, loved ones can request for your account to be “memorialized” if you die. This means no one will be able to log in or modify any settings, such as adding or removing friends or deleting content. In addition, Facebook won’t show the account in its “people you may know” section for suggesting friends and won’t send birthday reminders.
Privacy settings from when you were alive will carry over, and those can’t be changed. So if friends were able to post to your account’s Timeline, they’ll still be able to do so. The Timeline posts will be viewable by the same people who were able to see those posts before. Friends will also be able to send private messages, as long as they were able to before, even though no one will see them.
Facebook’s page on deleting or memorializing accounts
Twitter will deactivate your account if contacted by a family member or a person authorized to act on behalf of your estate. For this, the person will need a death certificate. Because many people don’t use their real names on Twitter, the company will also want a “brief description of the details that evidence this account belongs to the deceased,” its policy states.
After 30 days, a deactivated Twitter account is permanently deleted.
To respect the wishes of loved ones, Twitter says it may also remove images of deceased individuals that circulate on the site. The policy applies only in limited circumstances and was implemented recently, after some users sent altered images of Robin Williams to his daughter Zelda after the actor committed suicide in August.
The policy was also used to remove gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley. The company’s CEO Dick Costolo said last month, in reference to the Foley images, that Twitter “is actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery.”
Twitter contact page for family members of the dead
Posted by : Gizmeon

Apple puts up an official page to help Android users move to iPhone

Apple puts up an official page to help Android users move to iPhone
After launching larger iPhone 6 modelsto win back Android users who prefer larger screens, Apple has put up a support page to help them migrate from Android to iPhone. The page named “Move content from your Android phone to iPhone” shows six categories – ‘Mail, Contacts, and Calendars’, Photos and videos, Music, Books and PDFs, and Documents’ and Apps.
The page further lists out a step-by-step method of transferring content from Android using third-party apps or iTunes on Mac or PC. It has listed steps showing how to move email accounts on Android to iPhone’s Mail app. It also talks about third-party apps such as Copy My Data and PhotoSync that will help transfer contacts and photos effortlessly.
It also lists out instructions on how Android users can transfer photos, videos, books, and music from Android devices to iPhones using iTunes on a Mac or PC. Besides, the document also shows how one can transfer documents to iCloud and then access it via Apple’s office suite – Pages, Numbers and Keynotes.
“The iOS apps for Numbers, Pages, and Keynote support several file types, including Microsoft Office documents. You can import documents from your Android phone and then edit them on your iPhone. Then you can use iCloud to keep those documents up to date across your devices,” Apple explains.
Talking about apps, the page says, “You’ll probably find the apps you’re already using on the App Store. Go to the App Store, search for the apps you have now, and install them. Then sign in with your user name and password.”
Apple launched two new bigger and better iPhone 6 models last week. Both devices have received rave reviews, so far from tech critics. In fact, the devices bagged a record 4 million pre-orders within 24 hours. Find out what tech critics are saying about the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the gigantic 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus phablet version.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Sony forecasts $2 billion loss following poor smartphone sales

Sony forecasts $2 billion loss following poor smartphone sales
Sony expects its annual loss to swell to $2 billion and has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business.
Citing intense competition, especially from Chinese rivals, Sony said Wednesday it anticipates a net loss of 230 billion yen ($2.15 billion) for the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2015. Its previous forecast was for a 50 billion yen ($466 million) net loss.
For the first time since going public in 1958, the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate canceled dividend payments for the half- and full-year.
“This is the very first time we ever eliminated a dividend,” said Sony’s president Kazuo Hirai. “For more than 50 years we always paid a dividend. The entire management takes this very seriously.”
The company plans to cut staff in its mobile communications business by about 15 percent, or roughly 1,000 people, Hirai said. Details of that plan are to be announced later.
Sony has been trying to reshape its business after years of red ink and has repeatedly promised turnarounds without delivering.
It said the bigger loss for the current fiscal year stems from a lower valuation of its mobile phone business due to weaker than expected sales. The company is recording an “impairment charge” of 180 billion yen ($1.7 billion) in the July-September quarter.
The charge is purely an adjustment to the company’s balance sheet, involving no cash, but it reflects that the mobile business is far less valuable and will generate lower profits than previously thought.
The smartphone business has proven particularly tough for Sony. Apple and Samsung dominate at the top end while Chinese and other Asian manufacturers are hogging the market for cheaper phones that are most likely to appeal in fast-growing developing countries.
Hirai said Sony had not managed to stay ahead of sea changes in the industry.
“The Chinese smartphone manufacturers have made great strides and are expanding outside their own market, and this has caused a shift in the pricing,” he said. “Meanwhile, Apple and other manufacturers are launching strong, innovative products. The changes are very rapid and dramatic.”
Hirai said Sony expects a loss in its mobile business this year, but would return to profit by cutting costs and focusing on higher end devices. It is also positioning itself for future growth in smartphones and mobile technology. “We have to be in the competitive landscape in the next stage and be ready for that evolution,” he said.
Sony intends to leverage its vast archive of music and movies, network services and technology to compete. “By combining these assets well we can come up with uniquely Sony products,” he said. Looking ahead, Sony plans to concentrate on its “premium lineup” of smartphones and reduce the number of mid-range models that have proven less popular than expected, Hirai said.
Sony plans three Xperia Z3 smartphone and tablet models, with its signature waterproof capabilities, for this fall. For the first time, one of the phones will be available in the U.S., through T-Mobile, at about the same time as the rest of the world, rather than months later.
It also plans a new SmartBand fitness device that will include a small display to show the status of various activities. Its SmartWatch 3 will have GPS capabilities built in, allowing for more accurate tracking of outdoor fitness activities.
The profit warning followed a surprise eightfold jump in Sony’s April-June quarterly profit thanks to gains from selling buildings and its stake in a video-game maker.
Sony left its full-year sales forecast unchanged at 7.8 trillion yen ($72.8 billion). The company reported a 128.4 billion yen loss in the fiscal year that ended March 31.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Major AOSP browser flaw could compromise nearly half of all Android devices

Major AOSP browser flaw could compromise nearly half of all Android devices
A new security bug in the Android Browser could have massive implications on Android users. Though the bug was reported last month by researcher Rafay Baloch, it has come to the fore only now.
In a blogpost, Security Street Rapid7 calls the bug a ‘privacy disaster.’ It is capable of allowing a hacker to “load” javascript into any arbitrary frame or window. The blog explains, “What this means is, any arbitrary website (say, one controlled by a spammer or a spy) can peek into the contents of any other web page. Imagine you went to an attackers site while you had your webmail open in another window — the attacker could scrape your e-mail data and see what your browser sees. Worse, he could snag a copy of your session cookie and hijack your session completely, and read and write webmail on your behalf.”
With a large number of users relying on the browser, the widespread is quite likely. It must be noted that the attack is possible only on the stock AOSP browser which is the legacy browser used by many OEMs, despite Chrome being available. All new Google devices such as the Nexus series, Android One range and even some Motorola phones use Chrome as the only browser out of the box. A report by ArsTechnica points out,”As our monthly look at Web browser usage shows, Android Browser has a little more real-world usage than Chrome for Android, with something like 40-50 percent of Android users using the flawed browser. The Android Browser is likely to be embedded in third-party products, too, and some Android users have even installed it on their Android 4.4 phones because for one reason or another they prefer it to Chrome.”
Since it is a stock Android app, one cannot really uninstall it, unless you have sideloaded it like Ars Technica says above. However, Sophos Security points out that one can choose check the disable option. In its blogpost, the security firm states, “Stop using Browser if you have it installed. You’ll know you have it by going  to Settings/Apps/All and looking for its tell-tale icon. You almost certainly can’t uninstall it, because it’s usually part of the operating system build itself, meaning it doesn’t show up under  Settings/Apps/Downloaded. But if you tap on the Browser option from the All apps page, you should see a Disable button instead of Uninstall.”
If you have a rooted device, uninstalling the Browser is possible, and is highly recommended. For now, if you cannot root your phone, it’s best to not use the browser at all, and go with a third-party alternative. Wondering which one to pick? Why not have a look at our extensive comparison of the major Android browsers.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Meet India’s cheapest smartphone to run Android KitKat: Jivi JSP20 launched for Rs 1,999

Meet India’s cheapest smartphone to run Android KitKat: Jivi JSP20 launched for Rs 1,999
Feature phone maker Jivi today launched its first smartphone, which is “extremely affordable”, for Rs 1,999, aimed at the masses. The Indian company which expects to sell about 2 lakh units of the device, claims this is the cheapest Android-based smartphone available in the country. “The intent was clear. We want to make available a good quality smartphone at an extremely affordable price, we are doing this on very thin margins,” Jivi Mobiles CEO Pankaj Anand told PTI.
He added that the firm will bring newer devices in the coming weeks powered by the latest Android KitKat operating system. Earlier this week, another homegrown firm Intex had launched an Android KitKat powered smartphone for Rs 2,699 with Flipkart, which it claimed was the cheapest in the country.
The dual SIM JSP20, which will sold exclusively through ecommerce firm, features 3.5-inch screen, 1 GHz processor and Android Gingerbread OS. It also sports 128MB RAM, 256MB memory (expandable up to 32GB), 2MP camera and 1350 mAh battery.
“This is an entry-level device for those looking to upgrade. This is in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative,” he said.
Asked how the company intends to reach users, who may not have access to Internet to purchase online, Anand said the firm will conduct on ground activities to help them. “We will have people on ground, across colleges and other places to help people purchase the phone. Also, we will launch newer devices offline as well, this is just the beginning,” he added.
The Indian smartphone market is witnessing intense competition, especially in the affordable category. Touted as the fastest growing smartphone market globally, over 44 million smartphones were sold in the country last year, buoyed by affordable devices made by local firms such as Micromax and Karbonn. According to research firm IDC, 18.42 million smartphones were shipped in India in Q2 2014 with Samsung as the leader with a 29 per cent market share, Micromax (18 per cent), Karbonn (8 per cent) and LAVA (6 per cent).
Posted by : Gizmeon

Amazon’s budget Kindle e-reader launched in India for Rs 5,999

Amazon’s budget Kindle e-reader launched in India for Rs 5,999
Amazon has introduced the all-new Kindle e-reader with a 6-inch touchscreen display in India for Rs 5,999. Pre-orders for the new device begin today via and it will start shipping on October 9.
Some key features of the new Kindle include a Vocabulary builder that automatically adds words to the dictionary and lets you quiz yourself with flash cards, Whispersync to save and synchronize the last page read, weeks of battery life and Smart Lookup. The new Kindle also tells you how much time you will require to read a particular book and there’s an educational feature called Kindle FreeTime that helps parents encourage kids to spend more time reading with selected books and achievement badges.
Amazon claims that the new Kindle is light and ultra-portable, and comes equipped with a process that increases its speed by 20 percent. The budget price and features indicate that Amazon aims to lure first-time users with this device. However, expect some features to be missing in this device. For example, the it has a lower resolution screen compared to the original Kindle Paperwhite that sells for Rs 10,999.
“Readers who haven’t yet experienced an e-reader will be surprised by how easy it is to read on, with no glare even in bright sunlight, and weeks of battery life. Readers who have never tried eBooks will love enhanced reading features like instant dictionary look-up and adjustable font sizes,” it states in the press release.
“Our new Kindle is small and light, with weeks of battery life, a 20% faster processor, twice the storage, and a touch interface,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “The new Kindle includes all the features readers love—Whispersync, built-in dictionary and new exclusive features like Vocabulary builder, Kindle Freetime and Goodreads integration. It’s never been a better time to be a reader.”
Kindle arrives pre-registered so you can start reading immediately, negating the need for any setup. Needless to say, it gives access to millions of books including bestsellers such as Kindle Singles, and more. Indian users can also expect features like Word Wise and Enhanced Search to be introduced as part of a free, over-the-air software update over the next couple of weeks.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Datawind to launch Rs 2,000 low-cost phone with free lifetime Internet

Datawind to launch Rs 2,000 low-cost phone with free lifetime Internet
With an aim to double its volumes, low-cost mobile devices maker Datawind on Thursday said it will launch a Rs 2,000 smartphone before Diwali that will come bundled with free Internet for life.
The company said the device will be based on Android operating system and have a 3.5 inch size.
Datawind currently has three smartphones and 5 tablets under its portfolio and is selling 40,000-50,000 devices every month.
“We are looking forward to launch our Rs 2,000 smartphone and few other devices before Diwali and intent is to double our sales by the end of this calender year,” Datawind Executive Vice President Rupinder Singh said.
He added the company is in talks with three mobile operators for the lifetime free Internet offer but refused to divulge more details as the deal is yet to be finalised.
Asked about manufacturing in the country, Singh said the company has aggressive plans but did not mention any timeline for implementation.
Datawind had won the contract to supply 1 lakh units of Aakash tablets priced at $49.98 apiece in 2011, translated into a price of Rs 2,276 at that time.
The project was then handled by IIT Jodhpur which provided the specifications for the product. It, however, ran into controversy following IIT Jodhpur rejecting the devices manufactured by Datawind.
The project was then shifted under IIT Bombay and Datawind was asked to supply better version of the product, Aakash 2.
Singh said the company had in May last year shipped all the tablets to the government.
The Aakash project was former minister Kapil Sibal’s brainchild. The idea was to provide low-cost computing device at subsidised rate to students to enable them access Internet for educational purposes.
Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a recent press conference said Aakash project needs better specifications.
Asked if Datawind would be interested if the government comes out with a tender for Aakash, Singh said,”Absolutely we will be interested in that. Just a couple of months before the elections, a tender was opened for Aakash 4 by DGS&D and we emerged as the lowest bidder.”
Posted by : Gizmeon

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Seagate Launches World's First 8TB Hard Drive

Seagate Launches World's First 8TB Hard Drive
The first 8TB hard drives in existence were sent out to early-bird buyers today, data storage company Seagate confirmed. The drives have the largest storage space of any single hard-disk drive on the market.
The need for a more efficient hard drive corresponds with the rising amount of data being created, shared and stored. The goal of the 8TB drive is to provide these necessities while also keeping consumer costs low.
"As our world becomes more mobile, the number of devices we use to create and consume data is driving an explosive growth in unstructured data. This places increased pressure on cloud builders to look for innovative ways to build cost-effective, high capacity storage for both private and cloud-based data centers," Seagate's Vice President of Marketing Scott Horn said in a statement.
Seagate has been upgrading its hard drives gradually over the years using a technology known as shingled magnetic recording. This technique pushes drive tracks closer together, maximizing the amount of space available on a drive.
The drive is currently in a trial period and is only being delivered to a select few, but it will be able to be available to the masses over the next few months.
Posted by : Gizmeon

The Top 10 Reasons Apple Rejects Apps From the App Store

The Top 10 Reasons Apple Rejects Apps From the App Store
For many developers, the most stressful part of launching a new app is waiting for Apple's approval. This critical final step can delay an otherwise precisely timed release or present other last-minute hurdles for developers who have already spent weeks or months on development.
Though Apple already has a detailed set of guidelines for developers, the company explained common issues with App Store submissions in a new post on its site for developers.
The company revealed the top 10 reasons apps get rejected from the App Store during the final week of August. While some issues, such as crashes and bugs, are obvious, others are less glaring and may come as a surprise to developers.
The biggest culprit, according to Apple, was not providing enough information, which accounted for 14% of total rejections. Providing the necessary details for testing such as demo account information and current contact information is essential, as Apple explains:
Enter all of the details needed to review your app in the App Review Information section of iTunes Connect ... If features require an environment that is hard to replicate or require specific hardware, be prepared to provide a demo video or the hardware.
Other top reasons included too many bugs and crashes (8%), failure to "comply with Developer Program License Agreement" (6%), and the design's failure to meet Apple's user interface requirements (6%).
Apps must also have relevant names and not be intentionally misleading or confusing to users.
Apps with names, descriptions, or screenshots not relevant to the app content and functionality will be rejected (5%)
Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other apps will be rejected (5%)
App names in iTunes Connect and as displayed on a device should be similar, so as not to cause confusion (4%)
Submissions that are unfinished or test versions of a final product are also rejected. Apps that contain placeholder text accounted for 4% of rejections while submissions labeled as "beta," "demo," "trial" or "test" accounted for 2% of dismissals.
42% of all rejections were due to "other reasons." Apple did not elaborate on what the other reasons were, but simply said each "other" reason was responsible for less than 2% of total rejections each.
It's likely not a coincidence that Apple chose to share this information with developers at this point, as the company prepares to release the next version of iOS, in the coming weeks. iOS 8, which incorporates a new programming language, the Apple-made Swift, and allows developers more flexibility than ever, is expected to be the operating system's biggest overhaul yet. The company has also sent out invites for an iPhone event on Sept. 9.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Hands On With the Selfie-Obsessed Nokia Lumia 730

Hands On With the Selfie-Obsessed Nokia Lumia 730
BERLIN — Microsoft's Nokia is serious about selfies. The company just launched two new affordable Lumia devices — the Lumia 735 and the Lumia 730 (the 3G dual-SIM model) — which, Nokia claims, take the best selfies around.
They do that with the help of a wide-angle front camera, which makes it easier to squeeze more people into the shot. Microsoft's Chris Weber actually tried to re-enact Ellen DeGeneres' famous selfie at a company event here in Berlin, showing that the Lumia wouldn't cut off Jared Leto's face from the shop. It worked, though we'd have to try the camera a bit more to see if that wide-angle camera is really perfect for every type of shot.
The new Lumias also come preloaded with the new Selfie app, which has several nifty features. These include an option to take the selfie with the rear camera, and a bunch of photo enhancement filters which can make you look thinner and your eyes and teeth nicer. From what we've seen at Nokia's presentation, it works quite well, at least in daylight shots.
The Selfie app is available to all Lumia phones in Microsoft's Windows Phone Store starting today. It's worth pointing out that
the app enables selfie-taking even on Lumias that don't have the front camera — a nice added value for those who own a Nokia Lumia 530, for examples.
As for the rest of the specs on the new Lumias, they both have a 4.7-inch HD display, a 6.7-megapixel rear camera with Zeiss optics, and a 2,220mAh battery. The body is a polycarbonate shell, similar to the one on other affordable Lumias. And just like with those other models, it feels solid in the hand, though you're immediately aware that you're not exactly holding a flagship phone.
The dual-SIM Nokia Lumia 730 will cost 199 euros, while the LTE Lumia 735 will cost 219 euros. Both devices will be available globally this month; the U.S. pricing has not been announced.
Posted by : Gizmeon

4K Isn't Top of the Line Anymore: LG Has an 8K TV

4K Isn't Top of the Line Anymore: LG Has an 8K TV
BERLIN — If you're saving up for a 4K TV, some bad news: it won't have the sharpest picture around.
That's because LG brought a 98-inch 8K LCD television to the IFA tech conference here — and it's 16 times the resolution of full HD, according to the company.
To no surprise, the picture is incredibly sharp. But compared with all the 4K TVs, we can't tell that much of a difference.
No details on specifications, pricing or release date are available. But the
8K format is generally regarded as 7,680 x 4,320 for more than 33 million pixels in professional environments.
Unlike many of the TVs shown at IFA, LG's 8K is not curved, and it has a 120Hz LCD instead of an OLED panel. (We still want one, though.)
The company also brought a 105-inch, curved 5K (5,120 x 2,160 pixels) TV set to IFA, which we already saw at CES in Las Vegas.
Samsung also has a nameless 98-inch 8K TV on display at its enormous IFA booth.
Posted by : Gizmeon

That Whirring Fan You Hear When Firing Up Your Laptop May Finally Shut Up

That Whirring Fan You Hear When Firing Up Your Laptop May Finally Shut Up
Over the past few years, laptop have gotten much thinner and lighter — but not much quieter. Whether you have an ultra-thin design or something bulkier, the whirring fan has been a computer owner's constant companion, turning on whenever you start to tax the processor even a little bit outside its comfort zone.
Intel is attacking this problem head-on with its Core M processor, which allows PC and tablet manufacturers to build products with laptop performance in a thin and fanless form factor.
The photo above shows the motherboard for a MacBook Air underneath a motherboard with the same performance, but built around a Core M chip. Not only will the new chips let laptops and tablets get even thinner, but they'll have twice the performance, Intel says. Reps from the company showed Mashable a 12-inch prototype Windows tablet thinner than an iPad Air, but with twice the performance, they added.
The Core M bridges the gap between the company's line of Atom processors, which are used in mobile devices, and the main Core line — the high-power chips that you'd find in laptops and some tablets. Previously, Intel provided lower-power Core chips for ultra-thin designs; Core M replaces that line.
Core M can run faster without getting too hot, thanks to Intel's 14-nanometer chip technology (Moore's Law hasn't quit just yet). Whereas the previous low-power Core chips ran at 11.5 watts, Core M runs at 4.5 — a significant decrease, and without any reduction in performance.
Intel says the Core M is targeted at the "high end" of the tablet market as well as Ultrabooks. Many manufacturers have already unveiled products built around Core M at IFA, including the Asus Zenbook UX305, the HP Envy x2 and the new Lenovo ThinkPad Helix. Intel says more than 20 Core M-based products are in the works, many to be unveiled in the coming months and early next year.
While some PCs and tablets with power demands will always require a fan (the Microsoft Surface Pro, which prioritizes productivity above all else, will likely stick with a full Core chip), the Core M can take over a significant part of the market. And that whirring fan you hear whenever you fire up multiple dynamic browser tabs may finally start to shut up.
Posted by : Gizmeon

IFA 2014: The Future Is All About Curved TVs and Wearables, Maybe

IFA 2014: The Future Is All About Curved TVs and Wearables, Maybe
BERLIN — For most visitors of IFA 2014, the largest consumer electronics show in Europe has just begun. For journalists, however, all that's left is to recover from seemingly endless wandering through Messe's (the Berlin venue where the show is held) convoluted hallways and recap the intense couple of days behind them.
We got what we expected, and then some — the heavyweights of the tech world, including Samsung, LG, Asus and Sony, all brought their new smart wearables to the show, and added a couple of tablets, smartphones and enormous TVs in the process.
The cool stuff
Innovation-wise, Samsung deserves a pat on the back for trying something new with its smartphone-enabled virtual reality headset Gear VR. We also liked Alcatel's smart smartphone cover prototype (yeah, even the covers are getting smarter) and Kobo's waterproof e-reader (the first of its kind, as far as we know). During a showcase of its vision of a smart house, which was seen at this year's CES, Sony did show us a very cool new prototype: the Portable Ultra Short-Throw Projector (pictured below), a small waterproof device that can turn any surface in your house into a 23-inch screen.
While there was no lack of innovative gadgets at the show, there were some that are pretty unlikely to cause a big splash. Sony lets you go smartphone-photography crazy with its new lens-style cameras, but for the same price you can just buy a decent, regular camera. Samsung's semi-curved Galaxy Edge looks beautiful and does some clever tricks, but I'm not sure it does anything better than a regular smartphone.
Phones that aren't dumb
Those, of course, were not in short supply at IFA. In the absence of true flagship devices, the keyword was "affordable flagship," which is marketingese for trying to make a mid-range phone look like a flagship. Nokia did a pretty good job of proving its new phone's cameras are better than the competition — especially when it comes to taking selfies.
Also worthy of mention were the pen-equipped LG G3 Stylus and Lenovo's Vibe X2, with its "layered" and semi-modular design, which not only makes the phone a little bit different from the rest of the pack, but also lets you add extensions, such as an extra battery.
Sony did launch a new flagship phone: the Sony Xperia Z3, and its smaller-but-equally-powerful brother, the Xperia Z3 Compact. Though neither device is all that different from its previous iteration, one has to admit that Sony is not straying from its mission to bring powerful, waterproof and uncompromising (the Z3 Compact is smaller, but packs the same power as the Z3) smartphones to the market.
A computer for your wrist — or finger
Depending on how you look at smart wearables, this year's IFA was either very exciting or a bit disappointing. I tend to fall into the latter camp — Asus' ZenWatch and LG's G Watch R are all definitely a step forward, especially from a design standpoint, but I still haven't seen any smartwatch features that really make me want to buy one.
Sony's SmartWatch 3 went a different route: instead of trying to look like a luxury watch, it's more of a fitness-tracker with an emphasis on voice control.
As far as the countless other companies that are trying to jump on the wearables bandwagon — like MOTA, who unfortunately was not able to show us a working prototype of its smart ring — sorry, you're just not quite there yet.
No flat TVs allowed
If you want to imagine what it was like really being at IFA this year, disregard everything you just read, and think of an endless array of really, really big curved TVs. Yeah, all that other stuff was there as well, but television sets dominated the huge booths of Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic.
And while we saw the usual Samsung-LG rivalry, with both companies trying to one up one another with big ultra HD TVs with ever-increasing resolutions, the biggest curved UHD TV on the show (pictured below) was actually brought by Chinese company TCL. Sorry, fellas.
As for the fact that most high-end models we saw were curved, Samsung's 105-inch TV, whose screen can go from flat to curved at will, tells the whole story: even the manufacturers are unsure whether a curved screen is actually desirable or if it's just a gimmick.
Till next year...
Summing IFA 2014 up in a few words, it was all about huge TVs, increasingly smarter but not-quite-there-yet wearable tech and finding ways to make smartphones and tablets more interesting, be it by waterproofing, screen-bending or adding nifty accessories.
For me, though, this Berlin wrap-up feels oddly inconclusive. In a few days, Apple will show off its new iPhone — or iPhones — possibly a smartwatch and who knows what else, and the rules of the game will change again. The fallout on the rest of the industry will likely be truly felt in February 2015, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and we'll be there to jot down every minute of it.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Start Your Day the Awkward Way: Alarm App Sends Wake-Up Calls From Strangers

Start Your Day the Awkward Way: Alarm App Sends Wake-Up Calls From Strangers
For those of us not lucky enough to be morning people, waking up can be one the hardest parts of the day.
But a new alarm clock app is designed to make that process easier, or at least more interesting. Wakie matches up users around the world to wake each other up with anonymous phone calls from the app's community of users.
Users are divided into two groups: Wakies and Sleepyheads (yes, really), with the Wakies making calls to the Sleepyheads. Sign in with your phone number (you'll have to verify it via SMS) and choose whether you want to be woken up or be the one making a wake-up call.
Should you choose to be the one doing the waking, the app sends you a push notification when there is someone who needs to be woken up. All users are kept anonymous — the only identifying information you see is the country where the other user is based — and calls cut off at exactly one minute.
We took Wakie for a spin to see for ourselves how well the app works — we tried being both a Wakie and a Sleepyhead — and it was, well, awkward. The connection was grainy and not very clear and the users on the other side of the call didn't have much to say other than "hello" and "are you awake," though the man who woke us up did share that he was in the UK.
The app does have a built-in backup system in case you set an alarm and there's no one available to call you when the time comes. In these instances, it will call you with an automated wake-up message, definitely not as entertaining but enough to keep you from oversleeping.
Wakie is free and available to Android and Windows Phone users in the U.S., UK, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong (users in other countries can sign up as wakies but won't be able to set their own alarms). An iOS version is "coming soon."
Posted by : Gizmeon

Instagram Reveals Stunning Tech Behind Its New Hyperlapse App

Instagram Reveals Stunning Tech Behind Its New Hyperlapse App
Instagram released a new app this week called Hyperlapse, an app that makes it simple for users to create seamless time-lapse videos on an iPhone or iPad.
Now, Instagram is offering a look at how the app was built from a technical perspective on the Instagram Engineering Blog.
One of Hyperlapse's lead engineers, Alex Karpenko, describes how the team could successfully create time-lapses with a smartphone without needing a steadicam mount.
It requires a good deal of video stabilization. Karpenko developed an image stabilization technology called Cinema, which uses the phone's built-in gyroscope to measure camera movement. An algorithm can then be applied to those measurements to reduce shake and create fluidity.
The algorithm works by sending samples from the gyroscope and frames captured into a stabilizer, which then outputs a new set of "correct" camera orientations. Those orientations are then sent to a stabilization filter, which puts out the steady frame.
That final result removes the jittery movements and bumps of a traditional unstable recording.
This is a smart idea — and something that Karpenko developed as part of his thesis at Stanford University.
This video lets you see how the algorithm crops and zooms footage to create a buffer around the visible area; it also shows very clearly which part of the video is being "captured" as part of the Hyperlapse. This process is known as adaptive zooming, letting Instagram crop and zoom information in a specific region based on how much shake exists in the video.
One of Hyperlapse's coolest features is that you can use a slider to set the time-lapse level for a video. A 6x level means that every sixth frame is plucked out of the video and played back at 30 fps. Thus, your video is now 6 times faster than the original.
To do that, however, requires some complicated work on the back end.
Karpenko describes the various steps the app must take in real time every time a user scrubs the slider. The kicker? It has to happen without interrupting video playback or crashing the UI.
Without knowing the technical details behind the app, Hyperlapse was impressive. But that's kicked up a notch after seeing how much work went into creating and refining the algorithms, and the real-time processing necessary to create the speed of the hyper lapse clips.
It also makes Instagram's decision to launch the app with iOS support — with hopes for Android support once the APIs are available — make a lot more sense. Instagram did some serious heavy lifting under the hood, and a great deal of that engineering benefits from a vertically integrated ecosystem of device and operating system APIs.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Twitter Now Lets Anyone Check How Many People Saw Their Tweets

Twitter Now Lets Anyone Check How Many People Saw Their Tweets
Twitter analytics are now available to all users.
In June, Twitter began experimenting with opening its analytics dashboard to users outside of its advertisers.
Then, last month, Twitter rolled out an updated analytic dashboard to marketers, verified users and Twitter Card publishers.
The dashboard lets users see how many impressions each tweet has received (how many times users saw the tweet on Twitter), the number of favorites their tweet has received, how many times others have clicked on their profiles, and the number of retweets and replies on a certain tweet. It also shows how many times users engaged with a tweet and what that engagement was.
Now, all users can get access to these types of statistics by visiting
Twitter also put up a help page with definitions and guides. Tweet metrics are updated in real time.
To view these analytics, your account must be at least 14 days old, and it cannot be deleted, restricted, protected or suspended. You also must primarily tweet in English, French, Japanese or Spanish.
It's not certain what Twitter is hoping users extract from these new statistics. The numbers are certainly useful for brands and individuals who want to better reach a larger audience, the "average" Twitter user simply may not care.
In the past, non-advertisers have had to rely on third party apps for all Twitter metrics. Creating a front-facing product for users is an interesting move for the company. The next thing we're waiting on is when analytics will be integrated into the mobile apps.
Posted by : Gizmeon

What Will We Do With a 12.9-Inch iPad?

What Will We Do With a 12.9-Inch iPad?
By this time next month, the rumors about a new, larger iPhone will be put to rest. By next year, if those rumors hold true, we’ll also have the super-sized 12.9-inch iPad alongside the regular 9.7-inch model and the mini.
It’s a product I don’t fully understand, but there are scenarios in which a bigger iPad is truly better.
It's not the first time we're heard the giant iPad rumor, and it won't be the last, either. If you listen to analysts and supply-chain snoops, Apple is always building a 12- or 13-inch iPad, but have never delivered one. Apple soothsayers tend to hedge their bets by predicting delivery sometime next year.
I do believe Apple is working on something larger, but then again, the company has a history of testing all kinds of design variations. There’s no guarantee anything will ever make it to market.
“This time, it's different,” some industry-watchers will say. Most are pointing to the apparently calamitous dip in iPad sales.
Apple is a tablet leader, a brightly blinking beacon for the rest of the industry. This sales slide has set off a lot of hand-wringing and near panic for tablet market watchers. It does not matter that Apple is still selling well over 10 million iPads every single quarter. If Apple’s tablet sales trajectory is not pointing north, some observers think there’s doom ahead for all tablets.
But if you believe, as I do, that Apple’s product development decisions are not driven by temporary market fluctuations, then there must be another reason for the uber iPad.
Let's be more productive
There was a time when iPads and other tablets were marketed as consumption devices. Thin, lightweight and almost nothing but display, they were perfect for watching movies and TV shows, playing games, reading books, magazines and email and casually browsing the web.
You may have noticed how, in recent months, the tenor of Apple’s iPad ads have changed. It’s increasingly focusing on the productivity and creativity aspects of the iPad — driven largely, of course, by the apps running on it. In one new spot, for example, Detroit activist Jason Hall uses a collection of apps, including Prezi, a very visual and fairly easy-to-use presentation app, to express ideas, organize and motivate.
Earlier this year, Apple and Tim Cook wholeheartedly welcomed Microsoft Office for the iPad to the App Store. I suspect that enthusiasm was in large part because this is how
Apple wants people to see the iPad: as a do-it-all device.
The problem: When people really want to get things done, they still turn to laptop computers and their keyboards. That's not necessarily a problem for Apple, as it sells a very successful line of MacBooks, including the super-thin MacBook Air.
Apple may believe, however, that a larger tablet will attract more productivity workers to the platform. With its recent push into the enterprise, a 12.9-inch iPad could align well with the needs of large-scale business.
J.P. Gownder, VP and principal analyst for mobility and devices at Forrester Research, agrees. He said we need to stop looking at the tablet market as a whole and consider scenarios. Enterprise is one such scenario.
“The enterprise market is growing more rapidly than the consumer market,” Gownder said.
Does that growth align with interest? Certainly, there is something alluring about a truly big-screen tablet that’s still light enough to tote around the office without getting arm fatigue. Isn't that what the 13-inch MacBook Air is for, though? Its display is a tad larger than the rumored uber iPad and weighs just less than 3 pounds.
A 12.9-inch iPad might weigh considerably less, but it also lacks critical productivity features like a keyboard, built-in mouse, multiple USB ports and an SD card slot. Certainly no new iPad would add any of those.
Making a viable TV alternative
A larger iPad doesn’t automatically translate into greater productivity or success. At CES 2014, Samsung unveiled two 12-inch tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and the Tab Pro.
I have never seen one of these devices in the wild. Creative Strategies president and longtime industry watcher Tim Bajarin called the pair “moderately successful," but noted that, as Android devices, they’re not particularly friendly to productivity. Nevertheless, Bajarin owns one and is pleased with it: "I take it all around the house and into the yard when I am watching a game or some type of video.”
I have trouble believing that anyone would buy a 12.9-inch iPad as a mini TV alternative. At home, most people are watching TV on their big screen HDTV, perhaps with a smartphone or tablet on their laps as a second screen. However, Forrester’s Gownder told me this scenario is not as unusual as I think.
“We have research that shows people do not take their consumer tablets outside the house,” he says.
That is, in part, because of the rise of the phablet.
Apple will almost surely join in the phablet trend next month — and as Gownder puts it, phablets are "sort of reshaping the future of the tablet market.” The rising popularity of 4.7- to 5.5-inch smartphones may be dampening enthusiasm for 7- to 8-inch tablets. The screen sizes are simply too close.
Gownder thinks consumers may prefer an iPad with a larger screen at home, a phablet for the road and a laptop or larger all-in-one for work.
Thinking outside the iPad box
Even in the home, there may be a place for the 12.9-inch iPad. But if Apple’s real goal is productivity, they have to do something more. Instead of shipping a 12.9-inch iPad in 2015, Apple should introduce its first hybrid, an Apple iPad that comes with a detachable keyboard.
This isn't a new idea.
Many longtime iPad users have, at one time or another, used a Bluetooth keyboard with their tablets. My Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard has a slot for the iPad mini; since the slot is closer to the mid-point of the accessory, it doesn’t make the iPad look like a laptop.
We already have a good model for the hybrid tablet strategy: Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, a laptop in tablet’s clothing. It runs an X86 CPU and handles full-blown Windows 8.1 while the iPad will always be an iOS device that runs iOS apps (though Mac OSX and iOS grow more similar each year).
The Surface Pro 3 is most fully realized when paired with one of its ultra-slim keyboard covers, which should ideally not be sold separately. Just think what a game-changer it would be if Apple introduced a custom-made, snap-on keyboard cover at the same time as the iPad 12.9.
Forrester’s Gownder agreed that the 12.9-inch iPad would be most effective in the enterprise if paired with a “Surface Pro 3-type keyboard.” However, he also predicted that Apple would never make that keyboard, and would instead turn to its third-party partners to build and sell it for them. If Apple sells the hybrid I’m asking for, it runs the risk of cannibalizing its own MacBook Air 13-inch sales.
Giving the people what they want
if Cook ever walks on stage and shows how enterprises might use the 12.9-inch tablet with a keyboard — even if it's not an Apple-made keyboard — it will mark a momentous reversal of Apple policy.
The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was adamant that laptops should never have a touchscreen. But if Apple encourages companies to build keyboards for a larger iPad, essentially creating Apple’s first hybrid device, it would "not fit into [Jobs’] vision of ‘the iPad is all things to all people,'" Gownder says.
He’s right. It will be another instance of Cook’s divergent vision driving the company forward.
On the other hand, it may also prove that the iPad can be all things to all people, provided it’s at the size they want and can readily accept a keyboard.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Samsung Debuts Gear S Smartwatch With 3G, No Smartphone Needed

Samsung Debuts Gear S Smartwatch With 3G, No Smartphone Needed
Samsung is at it again. Just six months after it announced its second-generation smartwatch — and just two since it launched its first Android Wear model — the company has a new wrist wearable: the Gear S.
This time there's an extra twist, though: It's the first Samsung smartwatch with built-in 3G connectivity.
The Samsung Gear S has the ability to connect to 3G and 2G networks on its own, meaning users won't need to keep it wirelessly tethered to a smartphone in order to get notifications or make calls. The watch does include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, though, so a user has the option of still pairing it with a smartphone some or all of the time. It can also go solo and stay connected when the situation calls for it (say, when exercising).
The display on the Gear S is a 2-inch SuperAMOLED screen with 360 x 480 resolution, making it fairly large as smartwatches go, although the curved screen (similar to the Samsung Gear Fit) makes it a little more sleek. The screen is rectangular, like most smartwatches.
The watch is powered by Samsung's Tizen OS — as opposed to Android Wear, the Google-created wearable operating system, which Samsung has also shown support for via its Gear Live smartwatch. Tizen, however, is more power-efficient than Android, and the Gear S is rated for two days of battery life.
Samsung says the processor is a dual-core 1GHz design, but it didn't specify the manufacturer or model. It has 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory.
There's no camera, but — like Samsung's other Tizen-based Gear watches — it has a standalone music player.
The Gear S stems naturally from Samsung's "throw everything against the wall" approach to most product categories, giving the wearable-curious crowd the option of a getting smartphone-like device without the smartphone. The display will even call up a QWERTY keyboard when needed, presumably with some pretty tiny keys.
Samsung is also debuting a ring-style headphone model called the Gear Circle. It connects via Bluetooth and features a magnetic lock that clasps around the users's neck when it's not being used. It can also vibrate to give the user notifications.
There's no price yet on the Gear S or Gear Circle, but Samsung says they'll ship in October.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Enterprise Mobility Solutions

Enterprise Mobility Solutions are mobile solutions that give just-in-time access, improve productivity and the business process. With the increase in information and communication requirements of the mobile workforce, enterprise systems need to scale up to meet diverse business needs.

Enterprise Mobility Solutions – Complex and Challenging

Creating mobility solutions can be complex and challenging. For example, SFA solutions can function right from sales order to customer tracking and inventory. They require a fair amount of strategizing to be effective.
Enterprise Mobility Solutions typically involve integration of various systems and processes – for example, the field executive may update a sales order system using the mobile, the manager may be able to approve a proposed pricing, and the business manager may have a view of the productivity reports.

Enterprise Mobility – Typical Applications and Industries

Mobility solutions find application across various industries.
  • Sales Force Automation (SFA): SFA solutions can automate sales functions such as sales order processing, tracking, customer interactions and inventory control.
  • Field Force Automation (FFA): FFA solutions can improve productivity, collection of field data and validation, thereby improving customer service.
  • Vehicle Tracking and Mobile Phone Tracking:Mobile technology can be used in-tandem with web-based services, mobile technology such as GSM/GPRS networks and GPS to track vehicular and mobile phone movement.
    • Vehicle tracking systems may be used by fleet operators, who would like to keep track of the vehicles. Applications would use a combination of hardware units, GSM service, mobile phones and customized application software.
    • Mobile phone tracking can be used by Sales Teams to keep track of area coverage and sales activities.
  • Healthcare: Mobility solutions in Healthcare can give instantaneous access to patient information, collaboration tools and decision support systems. Medical care data can be captured right at the point of care, thereby reducing the time spent in information search, and increasing accessibility. For example, a nurse could access patient records on a tablet, or enter medical information as the patient is being examined. Mobility solutions in Healthcare have vast application, and can be used to improve customer satisfaction, improve productivity of clinicians, reduce paperwork and decrease errors.
  • Point of Sale (PoS):Point of Sale Systems can be combined with mobile technology to provide truly remarkable mobile solutions. Such applications could be part of a suite, or can integrate with existing PoS infrastructure. For example:
    • In a restaurant, a hand-held device/mobile phone can be used to make payments at the table, without the customer losing sight of the credit card. Or, servers could use hand-held device to take orders at the table, and send for order-processing to the kitchen, thereby resulting in better turnaround times.
    • A complete mobile PoS solution can be used in a retail environment right through – from payments to inventory management.
  • Education: The vast availability and adoption of hand-held devices has cut across barriers of both age and culture. Mobility solutions in learning can include collaboration, informal learning, synchronous and asynchronous classrooms, tutorials and pretty much any learning that benefits by using mobile technology. Students and teachers can use hand-held devices as learning tools. For example, a teacher could access a learning management system in the classroom, or, a student can receive and upload assignments on a hand-held device such as a tablet or a smartphone.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Mobile CRM solutions can give instant access to critical business data while on the field. For example, a client may require the status of an order, or the sales rep may need to know the best possible configurations for a product. Mobile CRM solutions help increase customer satisfaction, improve productivity and reduce hardware costs.
Mobile applications development for Enterprise Mobility Solutions are typically designed and deployed based on the specific needs of an enterprise. The final solution will largely depend on the processes and systems in place/to-be in place at the enterprise. What is needed is clarity on the process, workflows and authorization for various systems to work in-tandem across devices and platforms.
The benefits of making systems available on-the-go include improvements in productivity, timeliness and quality, lowering of costs and an increase in customer satisfaction.
O2I has vast experience and expertise in mobile applications development and Enterprise Mobility Solutions. If you would like to outsource mobile applications development services to O2I, please fill our inquiry form and our Customer Engagement Team will contact you within 24 hours.
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The Firefox OS Smartphone Is Only $33 in India

The Firefox OS Smartphone Is Only $33 in India
The inaugural Mozilla Firefox OS smartphone launched in India on Monday and it only costs $33. Dubbed the Cloud FX, the device is the result of a partnership between Mozilla and handset company Intex Technologies.
Mozilla announced at this year's Mobile Asia Expo that it was bringing the Cloud FX to Indian and Indonesian markets. However, the introduction of cheaper smartphones to India was first teased at the Mobile World Congress in February.
See also: Mozilla Developing Chromecast Competitor That Runs Firefox OS: Report
"With the launch of Intex Cloud FX, we aim to enable the masses to get smartphone experience at the cost of a feature phone," Intex director of marketing Keshav Bensal said in a statement Monday.
The cost-effective model is intended to help accelerate India's already-rapid rise to the top of the global smartphone market. India now has the the third-highest number of smartphone sales on the planet, according to a 2013 Canalys report, trailing only behind the U.S. and China.
Mozilla isn't the only company interested in tapping the lower-end of India's smartphone market. At Google I/O, Google announced its Android One program that promises to bring a 4.5-inch screen, dual-SIM, FM-radio enabled Android device to India for less than $100.
"The positive consumer feedback from other markets tells us that people like the unique user experience and openness we’re building with Firefox OS," Mozilla president Li Gong said in a statement. "Firefox OS smartphones in the ultra-low-cost category will redefine the entry-level smartphone and create strong momentum in Asia."
The phone packs a 4GB memory capacity and Bluetooth. It also supports Hindi and Tamil, two commonly spoken languages in India. It is available exclusively on
Posted by : Gizmeon

China Planning Operating System to Compete With Microsoft, Google and Apple

China Planning Operating System to Compete With Microsoft, Google and Apple
China is looking to launch its own operating system, an initiative that the government reportedly hopes will make its information systems more secure.
According to a report in the Xinhua news, Ni Guangnan, of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the country's state-run engineering arm, says the new Chinese operating system could be launched as early as October.
Details regarding the underpinnings of the operating system have yet to be revealed, but the move was reportedly spurred by the end of support of Windows XP and the ban on Windows 8 in China. The government also launched an anti-monopoly probe against Microsoft earlier this year.
This isn't the first major push from China to shake off ties to Western operating systems in favor of a locally developed operating system that might be more easily secured in the face of the ongoing international Internet intelligence skirmishes.
Over a decade ago, China launched an effort to develop Kylin, a FreeBSD-based operating system. And just last year, Ubuntu Kylin was announced, an operating system developed as a possible successor to the original Kylin.
And back in 2003, a consortium of Asian nations, including China, Japan and South Korea, announced an effort to develop an Asia-centric operating system based on Lunix. That project, which eventually came to include Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka, was dubbed Asianux.
Additionally, as recent as 2012, another Asian concern, India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), announced that it was developing the India Operating System.
"To secure our cyber network, our own OS for computers is highly essential", DRDO director-general V K Saraswat told The Times of India.
The afore-mentioned projects are either languishing in various stages of low popularity, shelved or still gestating. But the trend in the last decade is clear: Asia wants to control its own operating system destiny.
In the wake of recent of revelations brought to light by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, international interest in developing more secure operating systems, created under the watchful eyes of local governments, has become an even more serious issue.
Whether this latest Chinese effort will truly result in erasing Western operating systems from the country remains to be seen. According to recent reports, roughly 70% of desktop users in China are still using Windows XP.
What was unclear in the Xinhua report is whether this new operating system will be limited to Chinese users, or be offered internationally. Based on the comments from Ni, it seems, at least in the short-term, the former is more likely.
"Our key to success lies in an environment that can help us compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft," Ni told Xinhua.
The report also says that the operating system will first be rolled out on desktop computers and later on mobile devices.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Enterprise mobility management

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is the set of people, processes and technology focused on managing the increasing array of mobile devices, wireless networks, and related services to enable broad use of mobile computing in a business context. This is an emerging discipline within the enterprise that has become increasingly important over the past few years as more workers have bought smartphone and tablet computing devices and have sought support for using these devices in the workplace.
The main challenges of determining the right enterprise mobility strategy for an organization is to relate the available mobile IT to the overall purpose of the work conducted, to determine how closely the business process should be aligned to the mobile IT, and how to support mobile workers when they are using these devices in the workplace.
Business need
According to recent research, 234 million people in the U.S. over age 13 use a mobile device, and 65 million own a smartphone. By 2012, business mobile users will make up more than 30% of all subscribers in the United States. Many (~66%) smartphone owners use their personal devices for enterprise-related activities.
In 2009 and 2010, an influx of high capability smartphones and similar handheld computers reached an eager marketplace. Sales of such devices were strong and based on the strength of demand, more producers released even more devices on a variety of operating systems (OSs). The initial popularity of the Apple iPhone was eventually matched by the Google Android OS, while older platforms such as the Research In Motion BlackBerry maintained a significant, albeit shrinking, market share. Many consumers began looking for ways to use their new devices to improve and streamline work-related processes such as checking email. And while employers generally understood that mobile email and other work processes would increase productivity and employee satisfaction, supporting a wide variety of device types and operating systems would be complex, introducing security risks and high costs. A turnkey method of device management was greatly needed.
The cost, security risks and mission critical nature of mobility weighs heavily on the minds of CIOs and the market has responded by developing sophisticated systems designed to reduce the IT labor needed to support broad mobile device use in the enterprise. Such systems are generally referred to as enterprise mobility management.
Andrew Borg of the Aberdeen Group has this to say about enterprise mobility management: "Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), the comprehensive 'cradle-to-grave' approach of managing the full mobility lifecycle, has become a hallmark of top performing organizations."
Enterprise mobility management has several dimensions including security, application management and financial management.
Because mobile devices are easily lost or stolen, data on those devices is highly vulnerable. When corporate data is accessible via a personal mobile device, organizations suddenly lose a great deal of control over who can access that data. Enterprise mobility management proposes systems to prevent unauthorized access to enterprise applications and/or corporate data on mobile devices. These can include password protection, encryption and/or remote wipe technology, which allows an administrator to delete all data from a misplaced device. With many systems, security policies can be centrally managed and enforced. Such device management systems are programmed to support and cooperate with the application programming interfaces (APIs) from various device makers to increase security compliance without increased labor.
Application management
System administrators cannot expect to have the same access to mobile device clients as they would have to desktop devices that don't leave an office. Lack of access combines with operating system heterogeneity to make routine tasks such as deployments, configuration settings, application installations and help desk tasks very difficult. Each device has unique management requirements and tasks often must be performed remotely, over the air. Enterprise mobility management systems generally provide middleware to automate management tasks and insulate administrators from the complexity of performing tasks on many different types of devices. It also provides infrastructure to securely administer devices over the air. Self-management portals, which allow users to download updates and applications on their own, are another common feature.
Financial management
The cost of voice and data were once wholly contained within the walls of the enterprise. With mobile devices this is no longer the case. Often, each employee negotiates their own contract with a mobile carrier and then bills his employer for some or all of these costs as a reimbursement, creating budget unpredictability for the organization. Enterprise mobility management often includes telecom expense management features that help organizations plan for and control the overall costs of mobile voice and data transmissions. Other tasks such as carrier contract negotiations, invoice processing and/or device requisition costs, when appropriate, can also be included.
Switching to mobile web apps can be a solution to the problem
In the case of mobile web apps, both the data and the applications reside on the web server that is hosted in highly secured data center. Nothing resides in the end user devices. Users access and update corporate information with the use of a web browser on the mobile device and a log-in account. Each user is provided with a login id and password pair that can be revoked by the administrator at short notice. Additional password security can be provided by adding an SDKEY supported device. Session security is provided by the proven SSL VPN connection security and encryption technology. SSL server certificate issued by an authorized provider has to be installed on the web server. The web server access log logs all user accesses. The log can double as intrusion detection tool, logging all accesses including illegal access attempts. Access permissions to different applications and data sets on the system can be granted or removed from users and user groups by the administrator. No installation is required on the end user mobile devices. Since users prefer to use their own personal devices to access corporate information, there is no need for employer to provide such devices. Furthermore, the same apps and data are also available to traditional desktop and laptop users.
Posted by : Gizmeon