Author: chris

Author: chris

Mobile is business in motion
January 17, 2021 Technology chris

Mobile means many different things to people.  To some, mobile is smartphones and tablets, to others mobile is BYOD, still others define mobile as working from home.   IBM defines mobile as:

Mobile is business in motion with anyone, anywhere, anytime

Key points:

  • Mobile, cloud, information and social are four complimentary technologies that are creating new opportunities for businesses.  Gartner refers to these as the Nexus of Forces.
  • Mobile is about transacting business and driving revenue
  • Insight from mobile usage is driving new business opportunities
  • Mobile enables the “Internet of Things.”  Cisco predicts more than 50 billion connected devices by 2020.  Note: the population of the world is 7 billion
  • Mobile is primary and driving enterprises to adopt “MobileFirst” strategies

 …

IBM Mobile Security Infographic
December 17, 2020 Technology chris

The IBM Managed Security Services team published a new infographic on mobile security challenges. The increase in “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) and consumerization of IT is driving an increase in the number of smartphones and tablets in the enterprise.   The key value of mobile devices is the ability to access applications and “get work done.”  Mobile applications can be native, web, hybrid and virtual.  Securing data and applications is a challenge and there are many factors to consider including:

  • Lost and stolen devices
  • Data leakage
  • Unauthorized access to corporate resources
  • Spread of malware infections from mobile devices to the company network

The infographic has more detail:

http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/igs/secure-mobility-infographic.html

Apple releases iOS 7, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S – Implications for the enterprise
November 17, 2020 Technology chris

On Thursday, September 18, Apple released iOS 7 a free, over the air update for most “newer” iOS devices.   Earlier today, Apple released two new phones – 5S and 5C.  Both the new OS and the two new phones have significant implications for the enterprise that go far beyond new colors and icons.

First, a bit of history.  The original iPhone, introduced in 2007, was aimed squarely at consumers with few enterprise capabilities.  However, driven by the consumerization of information technology trend, Apple introduced new and more powerful enterprise capabilities into both the hardware and the iOS. For example, Exchange ActiveSync support was added in 2.0.  The iPad, introduced in 2010, ran iOS 5.1 which by then had even more enterprise features including the ability to secure and manage the device and data.  However, even Apple could not have envisioned that the iPad would be the runaway success in both the consumer and enterprise marketplace.  Apple’s iPad in Business website has some excellent case studies on how businesses are increasing revenue and reducing cost with the iPad.

iOS 7 is Apple’s biggest operating system update to date.  While the first things that users will notice are the new colors and icons, the update is much more than skin deep.   There are literally thousands of enhancements for both consumers and the enterprise.   Apple has published a list of the new enterprise features but I’ll share a few of my favorites:

  • Application configuration.  Prior to iOS 7, users need to be provided with application configuration instructions (server, port, etc) for enterprise applications.  With iOS 7, application settings can be automatically configured with no user interaction.  This saves time, reduces errors and calls to the help desk.
  • Install mobile applications silently in the background.  No longer is a user required to approve installation of enterprise applications.
  • Open in management.  Reduce the risk of data leakage by specifying with applications can be used to open documents, presentations and other files.
  • Streamlined Mobile Device Management (MDM) enrollment and new MDM controls.  These enhancements make it easier for end-users to connect to the corporate infrastructure and for the enterprise to control, manage and secure both the device and corporate data.
  • Default encryption for all new installed applications.  iOS already supports the FIPS-140-2 certification which means it can be used by the the US government in addition to BlackBerry and Android mobile devices.  Enabling encryption by default reduces security risks.

In terms of the new Apple smartphones, the big news is the iPhone 5S which includes a fingerprint sensor called Touch ID.  One of the biggest pain points for end-users is unlocking an iPhone or iPad that has been secured with a password on a regular interval.  Enterprises commonly enforce a device password as a way to secure enterprise data that is stored on a device.  Assuming that enterprises adopt the fingerprint sensor, it could be a big win with end users.  Other features include a new, more powerful, 64-bit processor, an improved camera and flash, productivity …

Google IO 2016 and Android N
October 17, 2020 Technology chris

Google hosted its annual developer conference, Google IO last week.  Key announcements included:

  • Android N 7.0: successor to Marshmallow
  • Google Assistant: replaces Google Now
  • Google Home: smart speaker system (similar to the Amazon Echo)
  • Allo: messaging (similar to Apple iMessage)
  • Duo: video chat (similar Apple FaceTime)
  • Daydream: virtual reality (similar Oculus Rift)
  • Android instant apps: use apps without downloading them
  • Android Wear 2.0: connect to wi-fi, support for iOS

The following infographic has a great summary of Google IO announcements over the years.

I upgraded my Nexus 5X to Android N beta over the air and it was the easiest Android upgrade so far.  I registered for the beta on my Mac/PC and within moments, I received a notification on my Nexus 5X to upgrade with one tap.  I’ve been impressed with how stable the beta is and the number of new features including improved notifications and split screen multitasking.  I’m looking forward to trying the new instant apps that launch immediately without downloading.  A good list of the new Android N features can be found on Android Central.

Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, kicks off on June 13 in San Francisco.  I’m looking forward to Apple’s announcements.…

Riega Apple Watch replacement band – thumbs up!
September 17, 2020 Technology chris

I own a space grey 42mm Apple Watch Sport with the black plastic sport band. It’s a great watch but I’ve been wanting to purchase a replacement band for a dressier look. The bands that Apple sells are very nice but also expensive. I was looking for something more affordable (e.g. aftermarket bands)

My first attempt was the $40 Happy Cell blue leather loop which I purchased online from Amazon. The band’s biggest problem was that the magnet wasn’t strong enough and didn’t hold the watch on my wrist.  The second problem was that the leather wasn’t durable and after one day of use, it started to show signs of wear.  I promptly returned the band to Amazon for a refund.

 

My second attempt was the $30 Riega black stainless steel Milanese loop. The band looks great, is comfortable, matches my “space grey” Apple Watch perfectly and the super-strong magnet keeps the watch securely on my wrist.  I’ve also noticed that unlike the stock plastic band which can sometimes get sweaty, my new stainless steel band is “ventilated” and doesn’t get sweaty like the stock band. In addition, the magnet closure on the new band is infinitely adjustable, unlike the stock band which has a fixed number of settings, which allows me to get a perfect fit.

Apple did a great job designing how the bands attach to the watch simply and easily without tools so its easy to swap out bands.

 

I remain a fan of the Apple Watch  – particularly now that Apple has released WatchOS 2.0.1 which re-enables the ability to view my work calendar.

I’ve decided to pass on the new Apple magnetic charging dock for $79.   I’ll stick with my $15 Spigen stand which has served me well for the past several months.

A few of my favorite Apple Watch apps/features:

  • Apple Pay. However, I wish more retailers accepted it
  • Microsoft Powerpoint.  For advancing slides from the Powerpoint app on my iPhone
  • Delta Airlines boarding pass
  • Fitness tracking
  • Calendar
  • Text notifications and responses using Siri and default messages
  • Navigation.  Apple Maps running on my iPhone will give gentle taps on my watch when it’s time to make a turn

 …

How to enable and use AppleTV peer-to-peer AirPlay discovery and playback
August 12, 2020 Uncategorized chris

One of the great new features of Apple iOS 8 is the ability to wirelessly connect iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to Apple TV without first connecting to a wi-fi network. Previously, it was necessary to connect both your AppleTV and your iPhone/iPad to the same wi-fi network. Here are a few examples of where this feature is useful:

See the source image

A sales rep brings their AppleTV with them to a client site and connects it to the client’s projector. The sales rep delivers a presentation wirelessly from their iPad

Enterprises equip their conference rooms with AppleTVs. Employees, clients and contractors can display their iOS screens wirelessly without connecting to a wi-fi network

 

 

Requirements:

 

Latest model of Apple TV (REV/A) running the latest 7.x firmware. The model number A1469 is printed in very small type on the bottom of the AppleTV. Note that there are three versions of the black “hockey puck” Apple TV and only the latest model has this capability

iPhone or iPad running iOS 8.x with wifi and Bluetooth enabled

 

 

How to:

 

Tap on AirPlay on your iPhone or iPad, select your AppleTV. Your mobile device will be mirrored to the display. I’ve created a video below that shows the feature in action…

IBM publishes flexible workplace study
July 17, 2020 Technology chris

IBM has published the Flexible Workplace Study which contains interviews with 675 CIOs and IT managers of large enterprises across multiple industries in Australia, China, India, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.  What is the flexible workplace?

See the source image

Today’s workplace is a virtualized and physical environment characterized by connections, collaboration and user choice that enables the worker to be more agile and perform activities anywhere, anytime—and can ultimately help create greater enterprise value.


This redefined workplace is the result of industry trends in technology and work habits. Today’s workers increasingly meet, share, discover and get work done via technology.  They expect the technology tools they have embraced in their personal lives to play an important part in their business lives, as well. This poses important challenges for the organization supporting the workplace.


The most successful companies implementing the flexible workplace are reporting 20%+ improvement in productivity and cost savings.   Key insights:

 

  • Seventy-four percent of CIOs and ITmanagers are placing greater priority on the flexible workplace compared to other investments over the next 12 months
  • Majority expects the flexible workplace will yield productivity gains and enhanced security.  Nearly half believe it will reduce costs and potentially increase revenues
  • Forward thinkers (9 percent) report 20 percent or greater improvement in productivity and cost savings on average. They are more likely to have workplace and mobility strategies in place, support the highest proportion of remote workers and the greatest number of devices and are most likely to outsource.
  • Mobility makes the flexible workplace work, and it is the attribute most in demand by end users. The tools that support users—applications and information—need to go where business is taking place.
  • Forward thinkers are keenly focused on improving enterprise performance through collaboration. They are leveraging social business to strengthen two-way communication and sharing—both within the organization and with customers, vendors and partners.
  • Forward thinkers are making fast use of emerging mobile devices, operating systems, platforms and applications. They recognize that the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is expanding and, rather than trying to limit usage, they are supporting a broader set of devices and operating systems.  They are investing in a mobile application platform and creating application stores that favor collaborative and content applications for core business processes versus the back office.
  • With each new access point, the security perimeter grows—and mobility significantly expands the number of access points.
  • The importance of strategy: While other adopters are implementing some flexible workplace capabilities, forward thinkers are placing emphasis on the development and execution of flexible workplace strategies that align with core business strategies. Forward thinkers are looking at the bigger picture and making integrated investments.

 …

Android Nexus 5X smartphone – thumbs up!
June 9, 2020 Technology chris

See the source image

I recently purchased a new, Nexus 5X 16GB unlocked smartphone on eBay for $229 (deal of the day). The phone itself is made by LG and uses Google’s Android reference architecture including a native Android 6 Marshmallow experience. After using the Nexus 5X for over a month, I’m a fan.

The new Imprint fingerprint reader is easier to setup and quicker to use than Apple TouchID. Initially, I didn’t like the placement of the fingerprint reader but I quickly got used to it. Using Imprint to unlock the Nexus 5X is much easier than entering a passcode. However, there are relatively few apps that support Imprint for app authentication at this time.

Pros:

Low cost
Just the right size – not too big and not to small; can be used with one hand
Very nice LCD screen and build quality
Nice camera
Native Android 6.0 Marshmallow experience
Android Imprint fingerprint reader
Native Android experience
Lots of security updates from Google that are installed automatically
USB C connector

Cons:

Buttons for power and volume are awful – way too small
Dual speakers look great but sound awful
Security updates take a long time (20 minutes+) and have to process each app installed on the phone – the more apps the longer the updates take
No integrated visual voicemail

Specs:

5.2 inches
1920×1080 LCD at 423 ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Fingerprint- and smudge-resistant oleophobic coating
Rear Camera 12.3MP, 4K (30fps) video capture
Front Camera 5MP
Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Processor, 1.8GHz hexa-core 64-bit
Memory & Storage RAM: 2GB LPDDR3
Internal storage: 16GB or 32GB. No external storage options…

IBM Impact Conference Kickoff
May 5, 2020 Technology chris

IBM’s Impact conference, focused on Websphere software, kicked off on Monday in Las Vegas. Highlights:

 

Opening general session kicked off with a great talk by Walter Isaacson who shared some great stories of Steve Jobs from his book
Twitter hashtag is #ibmimpact

See the source image
Press release: IBM releases New Foundation for Mobile Computing. A big focus of the conference is mobility and the new IBM Worklight product. IBM VP Bob Sutor has a great overview of the product on his blog
Official website
Official blog
8,500 attendees

My role at the conference:

Participating in analyst briefings
Working on the showcase floor at the IBM booth
Delivering a presentation on the showcase floor and assisting with two breakout presentations on mobile

I’ll share a recap of the conference when it wraps up later this week.…

Efficient Technological Advancement To Look For While Buying Home Appliances
Image April 9, 2020 Technology chris

When we talk about comfortability and getting maximum of it, then the home appliances come into the picture. Just imagine if you are totally exhausted by the day’s work and headed home, you just want to take a warm bath and when you get into your bathroom the geyser doesn’t work or the screen doesn’t show the right temperature. It will cause a sense of dissatisfaction and you will feel so restrained. This can be kept at bay if you are using some of the advanced tech home appliances. 

Often people just consider durability and the usage of home appliances while buying one, but with technological advancement, one should opt for an updated one. It also depends upon the usage and the needs. 

In this excerpt, we will provide you some of the effective attributes one should look for while buying advanced home appliances. 

Attributes to look for while buying home appliances

 Automation

When it comes to home appliances, automation is the key to ultimate comfort. There are lots of automated appliances such as self-cleaning robots that provides alternative to all of the home chores. Different kinds of humanoid robots are equipped with top-class AI. When you are buying one of the home appliances automation is the key to be productive and efficient. One of the main concerns while keeping this in mind is the cost associated with it. Highly advanced home appliances can cause a hefty amount.

 

Smart appliances 

One of the technological advancement is the smart appliances. Everybody needs a smart home appliance that has an advanced user interface that can be operated remotely. There are loads of appliances that can denote the parameters such as high-end refrigerators or air conditioners that readily provides the temperature and storage capacity. Apart from these, they are also able to provide different prompts when they need preventive maintenance.

Energy-efficient technologies

As we know some of the home appliances use a bulk of energy and it can cost you massively. There is numerous advancement in the home appliances that rates them based on efficiency to use energy. There are different levels of energy efficiency in home appliances. If you are going to buy one of the advanced tech appliances then this attribute should be at foremost as they provide you stress-free usage.

Closed and private aspects

When it comes to security various home appliances provide ultimate security to the home. The remote operation is the next big thing where people can access their home appliances from a distance. It works on the principle of geolocations that enables you to access efficiently.

These are some of the attributes that help to narrow down your search for an effective and productive appliance. Home appliances can be a big sense of relief for those who work long hours. Advanced tech inclusion in those appliances can be an icing on the cake that appeals to masses. Best of luck for your purchase of a technologically advanced home appliance.…