Tag Archives: smartphone

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Benefits of Going Mobile: Mobile Email Infographic

Mobile devices are rapidly replacing PCs as the primary means of checking email and will soon become the primary avenue for consumer spending, but businesses have been shockingly slow to adapt – 3 in 4 DO NOT optimize their emails for mobile viewers. That’s giving forward-thinking companies and opportunity to have the inside track on what could become the next central marketplace.

Few facts:

  • 16% of smartphone users have made a purchase from an ad on their phone
  • Nearly 4 in 5 smartphone users check email on their device
  • 48% of businesses don’t know how many of their emails are read on mobile devices
  • 70% of consumers delete emails that don’t read well on mobile

Find out how your small business can succeed in our Going Mobile: Mobile Email Infographic:

Going Mobile: Mobile Email Infographic
Via: BOLT Insurance

iphone

New App for HR Professionals

Fisher & Phillips LLP announced that it has developed a Smartphone and Tablet app that allows employers to calculate certain FMLA leaves of absence. The Beta FMLA Leave Calculator app will allow human resource professionals and other managers to calculate basic leave requests and determine how much FMLA leave an employee has available. This Beta version of the iPhone and Android app was introduced during the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago June 16-19.

Fisher & Phillips Chairman and Managing Partner Roger Quillen said: “The FMLA is a complicated law and FMLA leave calculations can be challenging for employers. Our attorneys frequently field questions about calculating FMLA leave. This new app is a free tool we’re providing to anyone to help them with basic FMLA leave requests. The Beta version covers requests for leave for employees working a standard 40-hour work week. The next version will cover more complicated situations such as employees working reduced work weeks. We’re very excited about introducing the app for the first time to the SHRM members attending the national conference in Chicago.”

Quillen added that the firm is eager to receive feedback from the SHRM members who test the new app. The app will provide an easy way for users to call or email the firm with comments and suggestions.

How the app works

The app offers a user-friendly interface and works very simply utilizing the rolling 12-month method measured backwards from the date of any FMLA leave.

• Enter the number of FMLA leave days the employee is requesting
• Enter the number of days of FMLA leave the employee has already used
• Enter the start date of the requested leave
• Indicate the days of the week the employee works
• Click “Calculate Now!”

The app then reports:

• Number of days of FMLA leave available
• When the employee should return to work based on the new leave request
• How much leave the employee has remaining after the current leave request is completed; if leave has been exhausted at the time of this request, it will indicate such

The HR professional or other manager using the app can then email the information directly to the employee who requested the leave. Of course, further documentation to the employee should be provided as required by the FMLA.

How to get the app

The Fisher & Phillips FMLA Leave app can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or Google Play. On the Apple App Store or Google Play search for “Fisher & Phillips.” You can also visit www.laborlawyers.com/FMLALeaveApp to get the app.

Fisher & Phillips attorneys and marketing professionals worked with developers at Saturno Design to create the new app.

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Could Apple’s $1B patent verdict help it corner market?

It was the $1 billion question Saturday: What does Apple Inc.’s victory in an epic patent dispute over its fiercest rival mean for the U.S. smartphone industry?

Analysts from Wall Street to Hong Kong debated whether a jury’s decision that Samsung Electronics Co. ripped off Apple technology would help Apple corner the U.S. smartphone market over Android rivals, or amount to one more step in a protracted legal battle over smartphone technology.

Many analysts said the decision could spell danger for competitors who, like Samsung, use Google Inc.’s Android operating system to power their cellphones.

“I am sure this is going to put a damper on Android’s growth,” New York-based Isi Group analyst Brian Marshall said, “It hurts the franchise.”

The Silicon Valley jury found that some of Samsung’s products illegally copied features and designs exclusive to Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The verdict was narrowly tailored to only Samsung, which sold more than 22 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed used its technology, including the “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

But most other Apple competitors have used the Android system to produce similar technology, which could limit the features offered on all non-Apple phones, analysts said.

“The other makers are now scrambling” to find alternatives, said Rob Enderle, a leading technology analyst based in San Jose.

Seo Won-seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Korea Investment said that the popular zooming and bounce-back functions the jury said Samsung stole from Apple will be hard to replicate.

The companies could opt to pay Apple licensing fees for access to the technology or develop smarter technology to create similar features that don’t violate the patent — at a cost likely to be passed onto consumers.

Apple lawyers are planning to ask that the two dozen Samsung devices found to have infringed its patents be barred from the U.S. market. Most of those devices are “legacy” products with almost nonexistent new sales in the United States. Apple lawyers will also ask that the judge triple the damage award to $3 billion since the jury found Samsung “willfully” copied Apple’s patents.

A loss to the Android-based market would represent a big hit for Google as well. Google relies on Android devices to drive mobile traffic to its search engine, which in turn generates increased advertising revenue. Android is becoming increasingly more important to Google’s bottom line because Apple is phasing out reliance on Google services such as YouTube and mapping as built-in features on the iPhone and iPad.

Some experts cautioned that the decision might not be final, noting the California lawsuit is one of nine similar legal actions across the globe between the two leading smartphone makers.

Samsung has vowed to appeal the verdict all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that Apple’s patents for such “obvious” things as rounded rectangle were wrongly granted. A Sept. 20 hearing is scheduled.

The $1 billion represents about 1.5 percent of Samsung’s annual revenue. Jerome Schaufield, a technology professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute said the verdict wouldn’t upend a multibillion-dollar global industry.

“Samsung is powerful,” Schaufield said. “The company will regroup and go on.”

Samsung engineers have already been designing around the disputed patent since last year.

“We should never count out Samsung’s flexibility and nimbleness,” said Mark Newman, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. “This is merely an embarrassment and annoyance to the company that they will have to find ways around.”

The dispute centers on Apple’s dissatisfaction with Google’s entry into the phone market when the search company released its Android operating system and announced any company could use it free of cost.

Google entered the market while its then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board, infuriating Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who considered Android to be a blatant rip-off of the iPhone’s innovations. Apple filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011, engaging the country’s highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion.

The verdict didn’t faze some iPhone users, who said that they already know Apple phones are superior.

The rivals are “modeling phones based on what they see with the iPhone,” said David Green of Wareham, Mass., finishing a call on his iPhone while waiting to catch a train.

He switched to Apple from a BlackBerry about a year ago, after becoming disenchanted with the reliability and technological features of non-Apple smartphones.

“When I got the iPhone, it worked so well that I told my friends, ‘Now I have a REAL smartphone,’” Green said.

the majority own phones with Apple iPhone, Blackberry, Android or Windows Mobile operating systems

Which Smartphone Is Right For You?

Smartphones are becoming more and more a part of everyday life.  As of October 2010 data from the Nielsen Company shows that 29.7 per cent of U.S. mobile phone users have smartphones with full operating systems.  Of those, the majority own phones with Apple iPhone, Blackberry, Android or Windows Mobile operating systems.  However, as the mobile phone market becomes flooded with a slew of smartphones, the decision on which phone to pick becomes increasingly more difficult.  The following infographic will guide you through the decision making process and illustrate smartphone trends in the U.S.

Smartphone operating system trends in the U.S.

Mobile Phone From iPhone to Android

Mobile Phone News From iPhone to Android

Almost every American owns and uses a mobile phone. They’ve become such an integral part of our lives that we feel naked without them. People of my generation (I’m a recent college graduate) wake up to their phone’s alarm, then they text, tweet, call, chat, e-mail, or BBM until the moment their heads hit the pillow. Then they wake up and do it all again.

Since they’re as everyday as eating and sleeping, here’s an update on what’s happening in the mobile world.

Kik It Up A Notch

The newest app to take the world by storm is Kik

Kik is a free messaging system similar to Blackberry’s Blackberry Messenger (BBM) or AOL’s Instant Messenger. Kik works across several platforms, including Blackberry, iPhone and Andriod.

Last week this app hit two million users in only three weeks.

Kik’s goal is to bring instant messaging away from the computer and onto the phone so that you’ll never leave home without it.

Information from Mashable.com’s Kik article.

Netflix Holds Out On Android

iPhone, iPads and Windows 7 have a Netflix streaming app, but Android users will have to wait a bit longer.

According to a Wired.com article, the Android platform’s security issues made Hollywood take a step back. Piracy is a major issue with the film industry and most of the Android phones didn’t meet its standards.

However, since there are several Android models, some Android users will be able to get the Netflix app starting in early 2011.

And finally the old stand by question:

Will Apple Stop Teasing Verizon Users?

According to a Wall Street Journal article, the answer is, yes.

In October. an article detailing that Apple is making an iPhone for Verizon Wireless appeared on WSJ.com, whetting the appetite of all Apple-loving, Verizon-using, smartphone junkies.

There has yet to be any final word. However, another WSJ.com article claims many Verizon users are so sure the iPhone is coming their way that they’re waiting to update their phones until the magical day Apple stops teasing them.

MailVU private video messaging

MailVU: private video messaging

Voicemail is so 2008. Today’s personal tech is all about bringing back the human element to communication. That’s why web cameras have become so popular in the last few years. While it used to be a peripheral device, and a costly one at that, nearly every computer now comes with a built-in web cam, and services like Skype and iChat have made it incredibly easy to see the person you’re calling. Now the benefits of web cam have made their way into the office with video messaging services. With these services, you can send that important message with the appropriate corresponding facial expressions and ensure that it gets to the recipient securely, without getting caught in the spam filter.

MailVU, a startup out of Charlotte, NC, promises to deliver the fastest and easiest system for sending private video messages. And our test of the app proved it is really that simple. Just go to http://mailVU.com, click in the box to record your message, hit record, and when you’re done, send it off. Video e-mails arrive right in the recipient’s e-mail inbox for instant click-to-play. MailVU works on all computers, in all browsers, and pretty much all smartphones, including iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

MailVU works on all computers, in all browsers, and pretty much all smartphones, including iPhone, Android and BlackberryWhen I tried MailVU, my biggest concern was privacy. The last thing I wanted was for my mug to end up in the wrong hands, or rather, the wrong mailbox. MailVU promises the video e-mails are sent directly to the intended recipients, with the senders having some nice options to destroy the video at their discretion. The sender can delete or retract the video message at any point, even before the recipient has viewed it. Once the video message is viewed, the sender is notified, so they can choose to destroy it at that time, or use the self-destruct options. For instance, you can set up criteria on every message to auto-delete after a certain number of days or views. I especially had fun sending messages to friends and letting them know the message would self-destruct, a la James Bond style. To ensure privacy, the company says that all messages stay private and will not come up in Google search.

The best part, in my opinion: You don’t need to sign up for yet another account to a web app, and there is no software or widget download. For those of us looking to de-clutter our desktops and phones of an egregious number of apps and widgets, this is a beautiful thing.

There’s something really nice about sending more personalized messages to colleagues when we can’t chat live. After testing MailVU and seeing how easy it truly is, I have to say I will probably start to use it regularly. Watch out friends; you’re about to see a lot more of my smiling face in your inbox. This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

Illustration of people walking around talking on cell phones

Demand Is Challenging The Wireless Communications Market

The growth of the wireless communications industry over the last decade has been explosive. In 2009 alone, approximately 1 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide — more than 13 million of which were iPhones. Last year, Research in Motion (RIM), the name behind the wildly popular BlackBerry smartphone, reported that in just 10 years it has sold more than 50 million phones to some 21 million customers worldwide.

Many of us now enjoy the advanced wireless services that such devices have introduced to the marketplace; everything from Web browsing to live video streaming is now at our fingertips. As the numbers suggest, the proliferation of smartphone applications and the overwhelming demand for increasingly efficient and convenient wireless communications has created business opportunities far and wide for phone manufacturers and wireless network operators.

Still, the rush to advancing the wireless market hasn’t come without setbacks. Most notably is a U.S. communications network that was originally built, designed and managed for technology far different — and consuming — than today’s smartphones require.

Spectrum, the invisible frequencies on which wireless communications operate, is much like real estate; there is only so much and there are certain areas where value is much more acute and in-demand. As consumers and businesses continue their love affair with smartphones, and the increasing market for all things wireless continues, there comes a tipping-point where more demand exists than supply allows. Simply, our wireless spectrums are insufficient for all of the demand. Even large telecom companies — Sprint, Verizon and AT&T — which once boasted an ample supply of airwaves, are now struggling to find enough spectrum to keep up with consumer demand.

Today’s mass-market mobile devices consume thousands of megabytes each month. At a recent national gathering of wireless communications professionals, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski warned that the growing need for spectrum is one of the FCC’s top concerns.

“What happens when every mobile user has an iPhone, a Palm Pre, a BlackBerry Tour, or whatever the next device is?” he asked. “What happens when we quadruple the number of subscribers with mobile broadband on their laptops or netbooks? The short answer: We will need a lot more spectrum.”

The FCC has gone on record indicating that the “biggest threat” to the future of mobile communications in the U.S. is the looming spectrum crisis. This crisis boils down to consumers using far more bandwidth than originally planned. In fact, experts note that as the U.S. finally moves toward adopting a 4G network, spectrum availability will be of utmost importance. Fixing the spectrum gap is clearly a top priority for the FCC.

It is at this intersection that some have identified great opportunity. Undoubtedly, the wireless revolution will continue into the next decade, and the process of staking ground on the spectrum is going to be more and more vital to the industry’s success.

For example, early this year, the FCC will be awarding a considerable number of high-value spectrum licenses to be vacated by Sprint. This spectrum is presently comprised of both contiguous and noncontiguous channels, and usable for a wide range of services including cellular voice, broadband and multimedia uses. According to the FCC, these licenses will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The first applicants for these licenses will be positioned to sell or lease their channels to a major wireless operating company or contribute them to a joint venture or partnership.

There are few entities suited to developing clear and reliable spectrum solutions — either for private investors or large wireless companies — yet the crisis is significant and merits much attention. What I imagine we will see in the very near future is a nation full of users hooked on their “CrackBerrys” and in love with their iPhones who will soon experience the price impact of too little supply and not enough demand. And those who own the airwaves will be king.