MobiBlog

March 2017


Samsung Galaxy S8 looks amazing, but Bixby assistant is a wild card (hands-on)

cnet.com - The Samsung Galaxy S8 is simply gorgeous. Gone is the S7's flat screen, and in its place is a tall, narrow drink of water with two curved sides. This is a phone that felt at home in my hands when I went hands-on with it for several hours at a journalist briefing in San Francisco. Better even than the LG G6, which has similar proportions but no curved screen, and sleeker than the iPhone 7 Plus, which puts a smaller screen on taller, wider body. For the first time, every major Samsung phone is an "Edge" model, with the Edge and Note's curve-screen software and all.
But elegant as it is in metal and glass, the S8 (and larger S8 Plus) is also the first marquee Samsung phone in a long time that leaves me with uneasy doubts. And those doubts have nothing to do with the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 and everything to do with a couple out-of-place choices and a work-in-progress digital assistant called Bixby, which we also spent some hands-on time with.
Good stuff first. Samsung's redesign makes the S8's 5.8-inch screen absolutely pop. There's no more physical home button, and barely a bezel. That means the screen takes up roughly 83 percent of the phone's face for tapping and viewing. If the S7's display felt generous before, this is positively expansive.
For Samsung fans who've never owned an Edge or Note phone, this'll be the first time you'll experience those curves. Until you try it for yourself, it's hard to explain exactly why the S8 feels more polished and luxurious than any other perfectly nice flat-faced phone. It just does.
Ready for the "but"? But. There are also some head-scratchers with the design of the S8 and 6.2-inch S8 Plus. This time, the fingerprint reader sits so close to the rear camera that I fear you'll smudge the lens when you're just trying to unlock the phone -- that happened in a few tests with a prefinal unit. Samsung also acknowledges that its face unlock feature is more convenient than secure. And while Apple, LG and Huawei have embraced twin rear camera lenses, Samsung is sticking with its single 12-megapixel shooter. On paper, that isn't very impressive. (See full specs below.)
Then there's Bixby, Samsung's answer to Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa. The three-in-one feature is a mishmash of voice assistant, Google Now cards and Google Goggles optical recognition. It's confusing, limited and, at this admittedly embryonic stage, very incomplete. (More below.) Samsung is asking for patience. This is up in the air right now, but there's a chance that Bixby may not come preloaded on the S8. It might be that you see a prompt to update the software as you set up the phone, but Samsung will give us more details closer to launch. New Bixby capabilities will roll out over time.
I really enjoyed my hands-on time with the S8 and S8 Plus so far. But even at this early stage -- with full testing to come -- it feels like Samsung's holding back. That makes sense. The company had to clean up the mess of its exploding Galaxy Note 7, and scramble to make sure that the S8 won't do the same. And after Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh promised CNET an "innovative" Note 8, I expect refinements to the design, Bixby assistant and the camera tech to make their way onto that phone.
For now, I'm cautiously optimistic about the S8 as an all-rounder that helps Samsung recover from its charred reputation. But it'll be our real-world tests on the final review unit in April that will show how close Samsung has truly come.


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Bixby, Samsung, Galaxy S8, Android, iOS, Apple, Google, Mobile Technology, MobiWork, Mobile Workforce, Mobile Workforce Solution, Smartphone GPS Tracking, Field Sales, Field Marketing, Field Service, Logistics, Mobile Workforce Management, Field Service Management
Samsung unveils first new flagship phones since exploding phone debacle

money.cnn.com - Say goodbye to the Galaxy's home button and hello to an infinity display.
Samsung (SSNLF) unveiled the Galaxy S8 and S8+ at an event in New York on Wednesday. The new phone displays are bigger than the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and they have curved screens that flow onto the sides.
For the first time on a Samsung phone, the physical home button is removed entirely. (This is already the case on most other Android devices.)
The S8 will be the first phone to feature Bixby, Samsung's new AI assistant. Despite a crowded voice assistant market, Samsung insists Bixby is "fundamentally" different from competitors like Apple's (AAPL, Tech30) Siri and Amazon's (AMZN, Tech30) Alexa. It remains to be seen how this will play out. Samsung touts the assistant as being able to "see, remind and recommend," but much of this functionality is already available with rival assistants. One potentially interesting feature is the ability to observe behavior patterns and add in reminders. For instance, if you usually call your mom at a specific time each day, Bixby will ask you, unprompted, if you'd like to call her at that time.
Samsung plans to make Bixby available on all of its appliances, from air conditioners to TVs. There is a designated Bixby button on the side of the S8, which is unlike its rivals.
Like previous models, the S8 can be submerged for 30 minutes in up to 5 feet of water.
People can also use facial recognition to unlock the phone, which Samsung has offered in the past. The Galaxy Note 7's iris scanner allows you to open the phone with your eyes and the new phones will offer this tech as well.
Samsung planned to release pricing later Wednesday. Preorders start on Thursday and the phone will begin shipping April 21.. The S8 will initially be available in midnight black, orchid gray and arctic silver in the U.S.
The South Korean tech giant has a lot to prove following the global recall of its exploding Galaxy Note 7s.
"As you all know, it has been a challenging year for Samsung. A year filled with valuable lessons, hard decisions and important new beginnings," DJ Kho, president of Samsung's mobile communications business, said onstage at Wednesday's event.
Problems with the Note 7s arose shortly after the launch last August, with several complaints of devices catching fire when charging. Some replacement phones also caught on fire.
Samsung initially blamed faulty batteries, but some experts believe a design flaw may have been the cause. The recall wiped out billions of dollars of profits and hurt Samsung's brand.
"The launch of the new device must be perfectly executed for Samsung to gain innovation leadership and to gain market share in the high-end smartphone segment," said Thomas Husson, vice president and principal analyst at research and advisory firm Forrester.
Samsung's Galaxy S8 will also be going up against the newest version of the iPhone, which is due out later this year. Expectations are high for the new phone, likely called the iPhone 8, partially because this year is the 10th anniversary of the device.
"Samsung only has a window of opportunity of several months before the launch of the 10th anniversary iPhone," Husson said. "The launch of Samsung's new flagship smartphone is thus key for the brand even though it has managed to reduce its business dependency on smartphones, contrary to Apple."
Despite the Note 7 debacle, Samsung reported a profit of 9.2 trillion won ($7.9 billion) for its most recent quarter, an increase of 50% from the year prior and its highest level in three years.


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Samsung, Galaxy S8, Android, iOS, Apple, Google, Mobile Technology, MobiWork, Mobile Workforce, Mobile Workforce Solution, Smartphone GPS Tracking, Field Sales, Field Marketing, Field Service, Logistics, Mobile Workforce Management, Field Service Management
Is IoT the next step for the mobile workforce?

information-age.com - The mobile workforce is a growing trend with the cloud and UCaaS tools making it more simple to work remotely. However, there is still an issue when it comes to using transport
IoT mobile workforce
IoT is undoubtedly a major opportunity for businesses with a mobile workforce and unified communications will play a major role in the development and future of the trend in the corporate world
For any organisation which employs a mobile workforce, making sure they are getting the most out of their teams when they are out of the office is essential.For workers on public transport, cloud software and unified communications systems have helped them to keep working while on the move. On the other hand, the need for road users to stay focussed on the road has meant that accessing files, emails and contacting colleagues isn't an option.However with the number of partnerships between car manufacturers and telecoms companies that is all set to change, and it is becoming clear that the future of the mobile workforce is with IoT.The Internet of Things (IoT) has been around for a number of years now and is simply an umbrella term for a device which can communicate with other devices through the internet.>See also: Unified storage: connecting enterprises to today's mobile workforce
The devices it covers is unfathomably large, with Juniper Research predicting that the number of IoT connected devices will reach 38B by 2020. Consumer awareness of the trend has been driven by devices like smartwatches, fridges that tell you when you've run out of milk and thermostats which you can control via a smartphone and connected cars.But you all knew that.While connected consumer devices are gaining a lot of mainstream attention, the area which I predict to exponentially grow in the next couple of years is around business applications of IoT.From remote monitoring of agriculture to providing ways to engage with off-site workers, connected devices in business will become essential tools to driving efficiency in almost any sector.What makes IoT so promising for companies with a mobile workforce is the ability for organisations to integrate any device with their communications platform.For example, instead of relying on a travelling sales rep to have their mobile device handy at all times when on the road, organisations can forward any business calls directly to the in-car telephony system.>See also: Is your company ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?It's not just voice communications that will be made simpler with IoT. Whilst taking a break at roadside services, workers will be able to access files, initiate video conferences with colleagues and respond to emails all through the in-car display unit. No more having to juggle multiple devices or fiddle around with bluetooth to turn a car into a mobile office.While there are some very clear opportunities with the use of IoT in business communications, the road ahead isn't completely without its obstacles. For example, take the process of integrating unified communications into an in-car IoT system.With desktop and mobile, most organisations will pick an operating system or platform, whether that's iOS and Mac OS or Android and Windows, so integrations can be consistently rolled out across an entire business.>See also: 3 ways smart technology is impacting the office environmentWith connected cars, there are multiple options to choose from and they are generally fixed to a device. For example, VW uses the Mirror Link operating system in some of its models but a different manufacturer may be powered by Apple's CarPlay or Android Auto.Because they are linked to the in-car heads up display unit, ensuring that they consistent across all devices in an organisation's fleet may require a company to purchase replacement head units for different car models.To get around this particular challenge without the need for companies to spend money on replacement technology, unified communications providers will need to develop integrations for multiple connected car operating systems.Making sure that workers have a consistent user experience regardless of the car, device or system they're using is key to ensuring businesses are able to stay connected while on the road.IoT is undoubtedly a major opportunity for businesses with a mobile workforce and unified communications will play a major role in the development and future of the trend in the corporate world.


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IoT, Android, iOS, Apple, Google, Mobile Technology, MobiWork, Mobile Workforce, Mobile Workforce Solution, Smartphone GPS Tracking, Field Sales, Field Marketing, Field Service, Logistics, Mobile Workforce Management, Field Service Management
PayPal shares slide after Google announces rival email feature

finance.yahoo.com - PayPal (PYPL) shares dipped about 1 percent on Tuesday after Google (GOOGL) said it would make it easier to send and receive money via email.
The Gmail app on Android now lets U.S. users receive or request money as an email attachment, Google said in a blog post. It has no fees, and can work even if the payor or payee doesn't have a Gmail account, according to Google.
The feature was already available on web browsers in some areas. But Tuesday's new feature challenges the dominance of PayPal's Venmo in mobile.
Venmo, a mobile peer-to-peer payment app and social network, is one of the main drivers of growth that keeps PayPal the top person-to-person payments vendor in the U.S., according to analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Venmo processed $5.6 billion in payment volume in the fourth quarter, an increase of 126 percent, the company said in an earnings report.
PayPal declined to comment, citing a policy against commenting on stock price moves.


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Paypal, Payment, Email, Android, iOS, Apple, Google, Mobile Technology, MobiWork, Mobile Workforce, Mobile Workforce Solution, Smartphone GPS Tracking, Field Sales, Field Marketing, Field Service, Logistics, Mobile Workforce Management, Field Service Management
Leaks reveal the 10 most exciting new features coming to Samsung's Galaxy S8

bgr.com - While Apple fans still have about six months of thumb-twiddling left to endure before the hotly anticipated new iPhone 8 is finally revealed, Android lovers are now just two weeks away from Samsung's official Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ unveiling. Of course, BGR already exclusively unveiled the Galaxy S8 earlier this month, albeit unofficially, and there really isn't much mystery left at this point. In fact, a series of recent leaks have already detailed nearly all of the most exciting new features coming to Samsung's next-generation Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ flagship phones, and in this post we'll run through what are shaping up to be the 10 hottest new features we can expect from Samsung's new Galaxy S handsets.
These new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ photo leaks are the best ones yet
Design
Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will boast what is unquestionably the most elegant and impressive smartphone design we've seen thus far. The oblong home button will be removed from the front of the phones, and the bezels above and below the screens will be narrowed significantly. As a result, the S8 duo will come closer than any widely available phones ever have to achieving the all-screen design we're all waiting for.
Display sizes
Beyond the fact that the screens will take up more of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ faces than any previous-generation models, they'll also be substantially bigger without increasing the overall footprints of the devices themselves. The smaller Galaxy S8 will have a 5.8-inch screen stuffed into a phone that's just a bit larger than Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 7, and the Galaxy S8+ will cram a massive 6.2-inch display into a phone that's roughly the same size as the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.
You can see size comparisons right here.
Display resolution
So we know the designs are impressive and we know the displays will be larger, but there's more good news: both phones will reportedly pack WQHD+ resolution. That means Samsung is cramming a whopping 2960 x 2400 pixels into its new flagship smartphones.
Curved display on both models
One last bit about Samsung's new Super AMOLED screens - they'll both be curved this time around. Everyone loves the rounded front and back on Samsung phones like the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 edge, but last year Samsung included a flat display panel in the smaller Galaxy S7 model. In 2017, that will no longer be the case.
Iris scanner
Another very cool feature coming over to the Galaxy S8 lineup from the Galaxy Note 7 is the iris scanner, which will allow Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users to unlock their phones with a quick eye scan. The S8 duo might also include the Note 7's secure folder, so the iris scanner will likely be able to grant users access there as well.
Upgraded cameras
Samsung's Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy Note 7 all shared the same rear camera in 2016, and it was one of the best cameras that has ever appeared on a smartphone. This year's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are expected to include even better 12-megapixel Dual Pixel rear cameras, and the front-facing 8-megapixel cameras are rumored to offer improved low-light performance as well.
Desktop mode
Samsung's new Galaxy phones will include a nifty new feature that allows users to plug them into a dock in order to power a new desktop experience. When connected to a monitor, users will be able to run Android apps on the big screen and multitask to their heart's content.
This is an interesting one, since a similar feature on another smartphone has completely failed to draw any attention whatsoever. Of course, that other smartphone was the Windows-powered HP Elite x3, and we established a long time ago that no one wants Windows on a smartphone.
New processors
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will be the first new smartphones from a big-name vendor to be powered by next-generation 10nm processors. In the US, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 will run the show, and the international S8 models will be powered by Samsung's own Exynos 8895 chipset. We can expect more power and better efficiency than we've ever seen in any Samsung smartphone to date.
Beast mode
Speaking of power, the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will reportedly include a special new mode that cranks up the juice and delivers maximum sustained performance when the user wants more power at his or her fingertips.
Better battery life
Last but most certainly not least, we can expect bigger batteries (reports say 3,000 mAh in the Galaxy S8 and 3,500 mAh in the S8+) as well as faster charging from Samsung's new flagship phones, in addition to better efficiency from the new 10nm processors.


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Samsung, Galaxy S8, Android, iOS, Apple, Google, Mobile Technology, MobiWork, Mobile Workforce, Mobile Workforce Solution, Smartphone GPS Tracking, Field Sales, Field Marketing, Field Service, Logistics, Mobile Workforce Management, Field Service Management
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