Tag Archives: tablet

Tablets, E-Readers, and iPhones Take Over the World!

Your content MUST be mobile-optimized or appified. A Pew Internet Research survey and Apple Q1 sales announcement paint a picture of a tablet, e-reader, and iPhone future filled with innovation, pain, or frustration––depending on how you proceed TODAY.

The numbers don’t lie––they suggest a trend and market preference for consumption. The tech world did not see the same game-changing flock of users adopt netbooks, and now this subcategory of laptop computers is essentially dead. The Kindles and iPads of the world have carved out a tablet niche for themselves because their form factor and technology allow for ideal consumption of much of the content available on the Internet. Get on board! Let’s clear up one small point––sorry to be a little nitpicky here, but the difference between an e-reader and a tablet is important. The title of the latest Pew report, “Tablet and E-book reader Ownership Nearly Double Over the Holiday Gift-Giving Period,” makes clear that there is a difference. “Tablet” and “E-book reader” are two distinct devices: a tablet is an e-reader with additional features, whereas an e-reader is primarily for reading content only, with fewer of the app- and Internet access-driven functions found on tablets.

By the way, in case you missed the news, Apple sold 37,000,000 iPhones in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. That is thirty-seven with six zeros. That is approximately 4.6 iPhones per New Yorker, but the thought of that many devices on the network in NYC is terrifying. One more time, iPhone sales accounted for 53% of Apple’s revenue for that quarter. Hello, iPhone––welcome to control of Apple sales and eventually everything. Fine, a little hyperbolic, but realize this: sales of iPhones mean users experiencing iOS. That experience will drive device use and preference in the future.

If your company’s primary offering can be consumed, purchased, or used online, make sure it is consumable via mobile device (tablet and smartphone) and offers an amazing user experience. Adequate, everyday, functional use of content on a mobile device will not differentiate your product in the marketplace.

If your company’s primary offering can be consumed via an app on iOS, for example, make it happen and spread the news as much as possible. Face it, the users who are buying iPhones, tablets, and e-readers now are not the early adopters––they are closer to the end of the early majority at this point. These are the users who can swing the adoption of the technology and push innovation in all aspects of the field further than we can even imagine at this point.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

So are you ready for a mobile, smartphone/tablet-driven world? Is your content ready?

Author: John Carew

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Top 5 Technology

These are the 5 need-to-know things in technology for 2011:

1. iPad domination: The late Steve Jobs said that 2011 would be the year of the iPad. The numbers confirm this: iPads are outselling Andriod tablets 24 to 1, and Condé Nast says its Newsstand subscriptions have increased by 268%.

2. Social media continues to grow: It is predicted that by 2012 Facebook will reach 1 billion users, and with that the demand for privacy will also increase. Social media by nature will become more mobile.

3. Smartphones have outsold PCs worldwide: Over 100 million smartphones were shipped in 2011, while only 92 million PCs were sold. The processing power of mobile phones now rivals PCs, with most phones coming with a standard 1GHz processor.

4. Supercomputer: Earlier this year, a supercomputer named “Kei,” or K, was introduced in Japan. K is capable of making a quadrillion calculations per second and is equivalent to one million computers. Supercomputers will not be showing up on your desks in the near future; they are used for climate modeling, rapid stock trading, and earthquake simulations, as well as for other large calculations.

5. HTML5, CSS3, JQuery and JSON: All these developer tools help a developer to make a fluid site without relying on Flash and other animation tools. They open the cyberworld not only to developers, but to designers; fonts are not limited to the web-friendly few, and these items can be viewed on all devices.

Click here for an example of  HTML5 and JQuery.

Author: Susan Hallinan

Social Media + Web + Smartphones = No More Analog Systems

A decade ago, supporters and pundits predicted the end of analog ways, classifieds, bulletin boards, and libraries. It wasn’t until the explosion of social networks and the expansion of smartphones/tablets, however, that the digital services that replaced the analog processes had the momentum to take off exponentially. Now, smartphones and social networks, in conjunction with trusted gatekeepers, are spinning the threads of social connection that were once made through local social groups.

Check out this list below, which includes both start-up and established online entities that have built digital pathways for analog problems. If you have additional suggestions, post a comment and we will expand the list.

Books PaperBack Swap
Classifieds/Goods Exchange Claz Hand Things Down

Krrb

NeighborGoods

Zaarly

Disaster Relief Housing Sparkrelief
Platform for Reporting Local Issues SeeClickFix

The grandparents and great-grandparents of the current generations lived in a time without mass transit, without telephones, and without worldwide networks. Social groups were small and heavily rooted to geography. Technological and logistical breakthroughs like the United States Post Office (now the USPS) parcel post service, railroads, the combustion engine, refrigeration, radio, telephones, and television connected ideas, services, and goods with people from afar. Before those breakthroughs, local social networks centered on societal kingpins, the social butterflies of a group who acted like the router and switch between not only conversation but the ability to fulfill needs within social circles.

For better or worse, today’s gatekeepers are the “admin” and moderators of trusted online sites and communities. Often, an organization’s legal team develops terms and conditions that govern the operation of the body, and then a team (paid or unpaid) manages the operation of the sites. Others are even more laissez-faire and use a self-policing model where users report issues to system administrators and moderators to correct. These websites have replaced the classified ads and the grocery store bulletin board and are infinitely more useful because they are more timely, targeted, searchable, sharable, and integrated.

The major benefit of analog networks was that the user’s anonymity was protected much farther down the line than with today’s digital variations. A user could traditionally wait until literally the moment before completing a transaction before exposing his or her identity (assuming that no one involved in the process knew his or her face). Anyone could anonymously tear the contact information off the bulletin board, jot down the information for an event, or browse the shelves of a bookstore without leaving a trace. Today, the entities that have built pathways to connect users to their needs put up tollbooths to collect information on those who want what is on the other side. Sometimes the data is used to safeguard the community from the likes of criminals and those who detract from the conversation. The amount of data that users must give up varies from site to site, but the burden of protecting this data falls to the builders of the pathway. The financial and healthcare industries have been saddled with this data security issue for the full length of their tenure on the Internet, with every possible transaction requiring a high level of data security to protect both the organization and the end user. Much of the security in both industries is tied to professional standards or government legislation, further placing data security as the focal point of operations for any financial or healthcare organization.

So what about all these new online organizations and the data that users are providing in order to gain access to the pathways and communities that they have built? The same level of attention needs to be paid to any information a user gives to any sort of online community or entity for no other reason than trust. An online hack or security breach, whatever the size, undermines the fundamental trust of users in an entity, ultimately eroding the very community they built.

Whether user or pathway builder, both must remember to be vigilant about data security and support the community with whatever means possible. Recent news of organized online “hacktavist” groups and their high-profile targets are the digital protests of today, comparable to the nonviolent protests and sit-ins of the civil rights and anti-war movements of the middle part of the last century. These online communities and tools––the replacements for the analog bulletin board distribution systems––are the future. The rate of adoption is yet to be determined, but they will become more and more mainstream as the user base increases. Sites will come and go, with brands starting and ending as the economy and market shift, but look at eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist. Founded in 1995, 1994, and 1995 respectively, each has defined a transactional service in three distinct areas––and has seen the subsequent rise of competitive online services––but each is still a strong entity in its particular segment. Entrepreneurs are taking risks with new ventures to provide digital solutions to analog processes. Wait until the next wave of start-ups carves out niches in the interwebs and replaces existing analog needs. The world we live in, the Internet-connected world, can be as global or as local as you choose––you just have to change the search radius.

How will you leverage trust (and innovation) in the communities that you build around your brand, service, or product?

Author: John Carew

The BlackBerry PlayBook: Strong Potential, Weak Execution

Here is what you need to know about the PlayBook:

Wi-Fi Only
The first version of the PlayBook will be Wi-Fi only, with a 3G/4G model coming to market “later this year.”

Email, Calendar Apps
Out of the box, the PlayBook will not support native email and calendar apps without using the email and calendar apps on your BlackBerry. The PlayBook uses an app called BlackBerry Bridge, which uses Bluetooth to connect the PlayBook to your BlackBerry, allowing you to access email and calendar apps as well as the Internet through your phone.

BlackBerry Bridge App
According to an update posted by Engadget on Tuesday, AT&T said it is “…working with RIM to make the BlackBerry Bridge app available for AT&T customers. We have just received the app for testing and before it’s made available to AT&T customers we want to ensure it delivers a quality experience for our customers.” Translation: It is not available for you to use immediately if you purchased a PlayBook and already have an AT&T BlackBerry.

Android App Compatibility
One of the strengths of the PlayBook was supposed to be the ability of its new QNX operating system to support Android apps. Support for Android apps will be available “later this year,” according to RIM.

Desktop Syncing
Compared to what BlackBerry owners are used to, there is no desktop-syncing function available at launch.

Author: John Carew

Digital Versions More Expensive Than Print Editions––Why?

No one doubts that the iPad and other mobile devices have revolutionized the marketplace. As consumers start to embrace this new technology, we have seen magazine and newspaper publishers offer digital versions of their titles in the hope of saving their falling printed title sales. What took me by surprise is that, more often than not, the price for the digital version is at or above the price for a hard copy. So the question becomes: Is the digital version worth more than the print edition?

I say yes! But let’s go into detail. What do you get with the printed version of a magazine or newspaper? Basically what you get are articles and advertisements. But what most print advocates will say is that you get the “hands-on experience.” While I too agree that this experience––from touch to smell, and even quality––is bar none, I have to admit it’s impractical. Just taking a quick survey on my commuter train reveals no one with a magazine or newspaper in hand! All the passengers, including me, have their faces buried in their smartphones. So what has fueled this dependency on mobile technology? It’s the convenience factor. Having your magazines, newspapers, games, calendar, and email on the same device that never leaves your side is utter convenience.

Back on topic, so what is it that you get in the digital version of a publication that warrants the higher price? You get the same articles and ads that are found in the print version, and then there is the digital content. Sure, you can flip through the pages just like you would in the print version, but what happens when you touch a picture? This is the selling point for digital editions: Inanimate objects come to life! When you touch a picture, you get more photos, or even a video. When you like a product in an ad, you can spin it around to look at it from all angles. Lastly, when you are ready to purchase that item, you can do so right there. It’s now about more than just the articles and ads––it’s about interactivity. Keeping readers in the publication longer, interacting with the articles and purchasing products right from the ads they found them in––this is marketing statistics at its best. How would you like to know the minute someone looked at your ad in a magazine and then, moments later, purchased it? You can’t get those stats from print!

Again, it’s all about convenience. Gone are the days of the magazine bin at home constantly overflowing or the purse bursting at the seams while the passenger boards her flight. It is the quintessential one-stop shop, the device that will run your life (or maybe even find you a wife). You won’t see mobile devices strewn across the street or filling up a recycling bin. Your device will be by your side, feeding you the information only you want. Helping you save time or waste time, your device will be indispensable. So, what happens when you leave home without it?

Author: John Mehl

The Tablet as the Near-Future Desktop Replacement?!

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for giving the world the phrase “post-PC.” Welcome to the post-PC era, everyone.

Desktops to laptops, laptops to notebooks, notebooks to tablet PCs, tablet PCs to netbooks,  netbooks to tablets. Seems like a logical, natural progression of design and function, right? But stop for a moment and think of what led to the iPad (at least from the consumers’ perspective) . . . you guessed it: the iPhone. This powerful, industry-changing little device made consumers want a larger screen with more features. Add in the success of e-reader devices like the Kindle and, more recently, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and you can see how consumers were chomping at the bit to use a tablet.

As I write this, I am surrounded by four Kindles of various generations, six iPads, one BlackBerry, and a late-generation ThinkPad for good measure. Now that may just be a result of early morning mass transit boredom and the high disposable incomes of NYC metro area commuters, but it is an interesting sample data set regardless. The majority are tablets, with each user completing different tasks, from reading to gaming (three people were spotted playing Angry Birds) to shopping to surfing.

Can the iPad replace my netbook or desktop PC today?

Not yet! As a graphic arts professional, I need a few tools––Acrobat Professional, Adobe Creative Suite, and Quark, to name a few––to be at my fingertips as well as the power to support each tool. The tools exist on an iMac currently and do the job quite well. Sure I could use remote access technology like virtual network computing (VNC) with the Mac and work remotely, but given the unreliable cellular data service in NYC, I can’t seriously consider that option.

The other part of my job is the project management side of graphic communications. Those daily tasks use primarily the Microsoft Office suite and rely heavily on Outlook as the central tool. Applications for the iPad/iPhone such as Docs2Go, Dropbox, and Evernote can replace many of the Microsoft Office functions. Project management and Gantt chart software like MS Project have some app solutions and a few cloud-based ones as well, but for my use and requirements they just don’t hold up.

So what is stopping me from pitching the desktop and adopting the tablet?

1. Data connection and reliability.
Reliable cellular data connection is not something that exists in NYC. Some areas are better than others and some very data-light tasks are fine, but until there is fast, reliable cellular service, I am sticking with the desktop dust collector.

2. High-powered applications.
Yes, print is dying or changing or adapting (whichever flavor you prefer), and because of that, applications used for page layout and raster and vector design may never make the conversion to tablet interfaces. Why would they? There was no need to carry flint and steel once the lighter was invented. Each application’s functions will be splintered off into smaller apps, with each excelling in its user interface and usability far beyond its desktop/laptop OS cousins.

Now with all that said, my two objections to adopting a tablet as my primary computer seem inconsequential. I could use the office Wi-Fi and have access to a Creative Suite–powered iMac when necessary, but that does not take into account my desire to be completely mobile. I want every possible resource at my fingertips, and I want as few of them as possible to require constant access to the cloud. Backup and distributed access are fine, but I want a lot of those functions to occur on the hardware in my hands.

So my ideal tablet doesn’t exist yet and neither do the ideal apps for that device, but if I were a traveling sales professional, journalist, or academic, the functions and applications available on the iPad 2 and future tablets would be more than sufficient.

Will you pitch the desktop and move to a tablet?

Author: John Carew

Apple Releases iPad 2

Today Apple released the long awaited iPad 2. The lighter, thinner, more powerful iPad 2 sacrifices nothing in terms of battery life or even price. And what’s better than that, Steve Jobs was in person presenting this new, awesome device. Look for this to hit shelves on the 11th of march!

Check out the full press release at: http://goo.gl/VDQN4

Authors: John Mehl and John Carew

iPad 2

Smaller, faster, twice the camera