MobiBlog

June 2017


Amazon's Dash Wand barcode scanner returns with Alexa and is now essentially free

techcrunch.com - The first iteration of Amazon's Dash Wand wasn't long for this world. The company trialed the barcode scanner with select Prime Fresh customers in California, but the hardware didn't seem to really go anywhere. Instead the company switched tactics, moving to those now familiar single product buttons.
Now that Amazon's all bullish about hardware, thanks to the Echo's stratospheric success, the company's bringing back the Dash Wand with Alexa built-in. It's a nice bit of synergy. All of the barcode scanning and Amazon Fresh purchasing is still there, and now Alexa can do her thing as well, ordering items with voice, pulling up recipes, finding out the nutritional content of an item. You know, Alexa being Alexa.
At the moment, the item is available for Prime Members only. And it's essentially free (for a limited time), priced at $20 and shipping with a $20 rebate off your first Amazon purchase after registering the thing. It also comes with a free 90-day trial of AmazonFresh. So the device is a gateway to both Amazon's $15 a month grocery service and a free new back door for getting the company's smart assistant into more homes.
That price point will probably be a pretty solid method for turning what's essentially a niche device into a lot of users' first Alexa experience. Most of us probably never considered bringing a barcode scanner into our homes, but hey, freeish is freeish, right? A promotional video shows a group of yuppies more or less recreating The Big Chill devoid of the death and Motown soundtrack. Like AmazonFresh, this probably isn't quite a mainstream market at the moment, but it should help get Alexa into even more homes.
Not that the company has been having much of an issue on that front. Numbers from last month put Amazon's smart assistant at around 70-percent of the voice-controlled speaker market. That number was no doubt helped along with the low-priced Echo Dot, and sticking Alexa on an essentially free device should help the assistant's home penetration rate event more.
This is Amazon's loss leader model in perhaps its purest form. The devices have always been less about hardware than locking users into it e-commerce ecosystem. You can run, but you can't hide from Alexa.


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Amazon, Dash Wand, Alexa, Barcode Scanner, 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
Consumer Reports: Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus Beat The Competition

androidheadlines.com - It seems like the Galaxy S8 is the top-ranked smartphone by Consumer Reports, well, to be more specific, the Galaxy S8 Plus is. The Galaxy S8 is second placed, and it is followed by the Galaxy S7 Edge and the LG G6, which means that the first three smartphones on the list are all manufactured by Samsung. For those of you who are wondering where does the iPhone 7 fit in, well, the iPhone 7 Plus is takes the fifth place on this list.
Now, in its report, the source praises the Galaxy S8 in many ways, and especially its design, display, and the device's mall footprint because of the first two factors. The narrow design of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus makes it easier to use the two phones with one hand, though you'll need to adjust your grip quite considerably if you want to access the upper portion of either of these two phones, especially on the Galaxy S8 Plus. Consumer Reports did call the Galaxy S8's fingerprint scanner 'awkwardly placed', which is not exactly a surprise, the source says that they were unable to hit it from the first try in a number of occasions, and its placement isn't exactly ideal so that you know where to hit every time. This, of course, results in tapping on the rear-facing camera lens, which then results in smudges on that lens. On top of everything, Consumer Reports also praised the Galaxy S8's camera, and the source also says that the Galaxy S8 devices are not suffering because they did not implement two camera sensors like the LG G6 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
Now, the comparison between the Galaxy S8 devices and the iPhone 7 (Plus) is definitely not fair at the moment, as Apple still did not release its 2017 flagship. This comparison will make far more sense once the iPhone 8 lands, if that's what Apple plans to call it. Having said that, we've already reviewed the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, in case you'd like to check that out. These two devices are made out of metal and glass, and they ship with QHD+ displays which come with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. Both devices come with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM (market dependent), and you're getting a 12-megapixel shooter on the back of both of these phones.


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Samsung, Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, 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
Why businesses need to start thinking in 5G today

theaustralian.com.au - Australia is preparing for a 5G-connected future and companies now need to start thinking about how their business model will adapt to emerging technologies.
It's anticipated that Australia will be among the first market globally to offer 5G access, with Telstra planning a world-first trial at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. When it does officially launch, it will not only drive new business models for the telecommunications industry, 5G is widely expected to be a crucial moment in the global evolution of IT in general.
With each new innovation in mobile technology, Australians have seen their lifestyles change.
Everything from the way we work, to the way we live - our expectations change as fast as we update our phones. And for businesses, it's important to think about how these updates will alter the customer experience.
This year marks 10 years since the smartphone hit the market and it's hard to comprehend the pace at which this technology has changed our lifestyles forever. We have come leaps and bounds in just a decade, and one of the most exciting things about the wireless revolution is that it is accelerating at warp speed.
In the Australian market smartphones are approaching peak penetration with ownership rising to 84 per cent in 2016, ahead of the global average of 81 per cent. As a mobile nation, Australians who are 18+ spend more time on their phones than any other digital device. And with a faster connection, you can imagine these numbers will skyrocket.
When 5G becomes a reality, the network will deliver faster access and more robust coverage. It will usher Australia into an entirely new way of doing business, creating new industries and disrupting existing ones. Ultimately, it will drive economic growth.
It's not enough to wait until the big switch happens. Business owners need to think now about how their business will be affected by a not-too-distant 5G future.


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5G, 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
U.S. Leads BYOD Implementation, but EU holds back, According to Strategy Analytics' Latest Enterprise Survey

prnewswire.com - Over the years, BYOD has moved beyond being just an employee mobility model; from giving employees the flexibility to work from anywhere, with their own choice of device, to a cost-cutting tool: replacing company-owned devices with employees own personal devices. BYOD implementation has also been much more economical than traditional enterprise purchasing, while providing the network infrastructure and support required by users. However, according to Strategy Analytics' latest enterprise survey, security and value for money remain the major challenges around BYOD implementations. The implementation of EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in May 2018 will create greater headaches for BYOD environments.


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BYOD, US, EU, 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
Introducing the Year of Mobile Workplaces - 2017

commstrader.com - This year, we've seen a lot of significant changes in the communications environment. New trends and technology have emerged to help change the way that we look at collaboration in the workplace. The remote and mobile working force is becoming a reality as businesses become less focused on where employees work, and more focused on how teams can be encouraged to boost productivity.
As the rate of growing business continues to grow, with mobility and flexibility identified as key themes for collaboration, it makes sense that we'd see some key changes. From remote office settings to better collaboration on a global basis, collaboration tools are truly keeping people connected. Here's why 2017 is clearly the year of the mobile workforce:
Mobile is Everywhere
In the past, the business world was focused on growing the use of unified communications and tools for collaboration. New developments in the world of technology made it easier to take collaboration to the next level. As a society, we began to rely more significantly on mobile devices. After all, when we can use tools for mobile collaboration, we work smarter and faster, moving businesses forward at a rapid scale.
Mobile Workplace
Video Conferencing is Flexible
When it comes to collaboration, video has taken over voice. This isn't just true of larger mobile devices like tablets or laptops either. Video conferencing solutions are available through practically any endpoint, including mobile phones. Whether personal or professional, video is becoming far more essential to the way we communicate. After all, video creates some compelling opportunities. Studies show that businesses which use video conferencing regularly benefit from better teamwork, better productivity, and reduced expenses for travel.
The Move to Software is Coming
As technology evolves and new solutions emerge, businesses have new choices to make. They need to stay updated with the latest options in software and cloud-based services, or stick with the hardware that they have invested in. Making the migration may be inevitable, and businesses can implement solutions and tools that improve their services, support existing products, and allow for new collaboration over a secure, encrypted network.
PBX Moves to the Cloud
Migrate to cloud telephonyCloud-based PBX is growing to be a more significant solution for businesses. The shift is in motion, and this means that we view cloud as a natural progression in the move away from hardware. The benefits for businesses of all sizes when it comes to shifting to cloud-hosted VoIP, is that much of the management and expense of the solution is no longer managed by the business. When it comes to utilising VoIP, voice traffic travels perfectly through a data network. Businesses can easily add tools for collaboration like video and chat without turning to dedicated IT staff.
We know that technology will always be driven by innovation. It's crucial for all businesses to stay ahead of the curve by implementing collaboration services that help their employees to work faster and more efficiently.


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Mobile Workplaces, 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
Why the modern farmer must embrace mobile technology

nation.co.ke - Smallholder farmers face many issues that include battling diseases, dealing with drought and other effects of climate change, locating advice on product pricing and local markets, facing water and electricity shortages and working long hours, leaving little time for non-farming tasks.
There's such a vibrant entrepreneurial community building in Kenya, and a lot of attention is increasingly being focused on the agriculture sector.
Technology does not exist to replace extension workers, or the old way of doing things, instead it provides a valuable, complimentary service that enables the modern farmers to access the information they need, whenever they need it.


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Farming, 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
The billion dollar war over maps

money.cnn.com - During a test drive near Ford's Michigan headquarters, the team noticed something strange with its self-driving cars.
Each car shifted slightly at the same point in the lane "as if they were avoiding a pothole," says Jim McBride, Ford's senior technical leader for autonomous cars.
The problem wasn't the cars -- it was the map.
The team had just updated its 3D map of the test route, which helps guide self-driving cars. But a minor glitch caused one pixel on the map to have the wrong data value. It told the car a spot in the ground was raised 10 inches, when it was perfectly level.
"The new map looked perfect to the human eye," McBride says. But not to the eye of a self-driving car. "A single incorrect pixel," he says, was enough to throw off the cars.
The power of that tiny mapping glitch, which happened a few years ago, highlights the newfound importance of a product many consumers likely take for granted.
For much of the last decade, digital maps have helped people pull up basic directions while walking and driving. But tech and auto companies are investing in a new generation of maps for a much more demanding audience: self-driving cars.
These maps, often referred to as HD maps, go far beyond basic turn-by-turn directions. Some incorporate continuously updating data on lane markings, street signs, traffic signals, potholes and even the height of a curb -- all down to the centimeter.
The maps help the car place itself in the world with a greater degree of accuracy, augmenting the sensors in the vehicle.


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Self-Driving cars, Maps, 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
Enabling mobile in the workforce with three key components of an enterprise app

itproportal.com - More than ever, mobile teams need seamless access to a score of resources.
For any forward-thinking CEO, the mobile enablement of the workforce is of paramount importance. The world is quickly adapting; everything is now more dynamic and distributed, and the workforce is now demanding information instantly wherever they are. Yet, maintaining consistency and focus across a far-flung enterprise team isn't easy. More than ever, mobile teams need seamless access to a score of resources-all of which need to have been designed to accurately represent the brand and its products to buyers in complex market environments.
Enabling the mobile workforce requires enterprises to address a host of issues around management of mobile devices, data, applications, security, and expenses. But as solutions for these challenges become increasingly commoditised, the focus is shifting to optimising the user experience.
Enterprise-grade mobile apps can equip mobile teams with a set of high-impact tools. In addition to delivering wins in productivity and employee engagement, a well-built enterprise app offers a distribution channel via smartphone or tablet for updated marketing collateral and sales content, ensuring that the organisation's frontline personnel always have the most current information at their disposal.
But for maximum utility and return on investment (ROI), enterprise apps need to be built for one or more specific use cases. Because one-size-fits-all apps simply aren't capable of achieving the results associated with world-class business agendas, brands need to adopt a custom approach, incorporating a handful of essential enterprise app characteristics into highly functional mobile solutions.
The challenge for IT is to find a fast way to make established enterprise applications adequately meet the demands of this new work model. Complicating that challenge is the set of critical mainframe or legacy host-based applications, with their long-standing obstacles to integration.


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Enterprise Mobility, 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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