IBM allows works to select Mac notebooks as workstation options
Only a few months into the program, The Apple and IBM enterprise alliance has already scored one major client, a company that could become the world's largest Mac-supporting business outside of Apple itself: IBM. Big Blue last week decided to practice what it preaches, and embrace the changes that have come about in corporate workplaces since the introduction of the "Bring Your Own Device" movement. A new memo announced that workers could opt for a MacBook Pro or Air when updating or getting a new workstation device.
Some enterprise-level apps from Apple, IBM now offer Apple Watch support
On Thursday, Apple updated its enterprise app solutions web page to announce updates to some of the MobileFirst for iOS apps, developed in partnership with IBM, to offer Apple Watch support. Three of the 22 current MobileFirst apps -- Field Connect, Incident Aware, and Hospital RN -- now include Apple Watch versions of the apps, with push notifications, iBeacon support, notifications, and weather conditions, among other information available to front-line workers.
New version simplifies business automation, improves tablet browser experience
In parallel with the Apple spin-off's 30th anniversary of its flagship product, FileMaker on Tuesday announced Filemaker 14, its flagship database program for OS X, Windows, and iOS. New features in the update include a new Script Workspace to speed up common business processes, and also includes a redesigned WebDirect optimization for tablet browsers, a Launch Center for more app-like visual icons for FM-based programs, an enhanced iOS experience, and general speed and interface enhancements.
Amazon Business includes industry-only products, corporate credit lines
Amazon is extending its existing business services, by offering a version of its store meant for corporate use. Amazon Business is similar to the normal consumer store, except it has been customized to show work-related products and product categories, is limited to business customers, and has a number of features made specifically with corporate customers in mind.
Watson Health to provide analytics, secure cloud for medical app data
IBM and Apple, already in a partnership to service the enterprise sector, have announced an expansion of the deal that will see IBM utilizing its Health Cloud and Watson Health initiatives to support and secure data gathered or entered by users through apps using Apple's HealthKit and ResearchKit technologies. The partnership will work with the Watson Health business unit to offer developers a secure place to store gathered health data, and analytics to help researchers analyze it.
Phone calls, taptic reminders focus of model-athlete's latest blog entry
Continuing her blog series documenting her use of the Apple Watch while training for the London Marathon, model and activist Christie Turlington Burns went outside of her training routine to discuss the role of the Apple Watch in her business and social life, up to and including taking some phone calls on the device, Dick Tracy-style. She also mentioned the "hey Siri" active listening function for quick messaging, and the devices' ability to be used as an airline boarding pass.
Heathcare, risk management, transportation, order management among new offerings
Continuing its partnership with Apple, IBM has launched eight new iOS-exclusive apps for its MobileFirst initiative covering a range of industries, including healthcare and enterprise management, airline travel, insurance risk management, and more. Since first partnering in July, the two companies have now produced more than 20 specialized apps, alongside hardware leasing initiatives, analytics, and AppleCare support.
May have plans to integrate services into iTunes, Apple TV, iCloud
A new report claims that Apple has purchased FoundationDB for an undisclosed sum. The company was best known for its NoSQL, ACID-compliant database software, which offered super-fast speeds that Apple may want to improve its database-related web services, ranging from Apple TV and iTunes in the Cloud to iCloud generally.
Flat rate per line introduced in T-Mobile Un-carrier for Business scheme
T-Mobile's latest Uncarrier event, teased with the statement "This one's a real piece of work," revealed new initiatives to help businesses, as well as individuals. A simplified price plan is being offered to companies with a few unexpected extras, while the carrier's consumer announcement involves paying the cost of devices for new customers transferring from elsewhere, as well as a major change to the way T-Mobile deals with contracts.
Adobe Document Cloud includes touch-enabled apps, file synchronization
Adobe is attempting to update the way documents are handled between users and devices, by launching a cloud-based service. Adobe Document Cloud is a collection of online services which can be used to manage various forms and other documents, with the entire system basing itself on the company's prevalent Adobe Acrobat software, refreshed and rebranded as Acrobat DC.
iPad Air 2 and 'appflows' reveal the real power of Apple's post-PC paradigm
We recently had the opportunity to learn about how iPad Air 2 is being used in small business. There are several apps being used by small businesses on the iPad Air 2 to enable them to undertake tasks themselves, where they might otherwise outsource at considerable expense. We also looked at real-world case studies, where the same apps had been used to excellent effect. Perhaps the most interesting aspect was how a series of different apps could be used together to powerful effect. What we were really exploring could best be called app workflows, or "appflows," if one is looking for a catch phrase.
Advisor Alerts, Passenger Care, Dynamic Buy added to MobileFirst for iOS collection
IBM and Apple have used their partnership to release three more iOS apps for enterprise, under the IBM MobileFirst for iOS initiative. The new apps, called Advisor Alerts, Passenger Care, and Dynamic Buy, will join the existing 11 apps already brought out under the partnership, with more enterprise-specific apps expected to launch in the coming years.
Second-gen phone improves enterprise integration
Privacy company Silent Circle has revealed the second-generation Blackphone and announced plans for a security-focused Blackphone Plus tablet. The Blackphone 2 features a range of hardware upgrades, but many business buyers will also welcome expanded support for enterprise mobile-device management systems, such as Citrix.
Windows Phone holds steady at one percent; BlackBerry not counted in survey
The latest Good Technology Mobility Index Report on the mobile enterprise space, based on a survey of Good's customer base for its own enterprise-level email services, shows iOS gaining ground by taking away share from Android in calendar Q4 2014, with the former growing by four percentage points to hit 73 percent share of global enterprise activations. Android fell by the same amount to 25 percent, while Windows Phone held steady at one percent.
Work, personal data kept separate, Google Play for Work to help with IT management
Google is attempting to make Android more relevant to enterprise and business users, by launching Android for Work. The initiative centers around allowing employees to use the same device for business purposes as well as personal, with Android for Work keeping the profiles and data completely separate, theoretically improving security on mobile devices.
Google extends Inbox availability to Google Apps for Work users
Google is expanding the availability of its Inbox app to users of its Google Apps for Work service. The Google for Work blog advises that it is going to be sending out invitations to administrator accounts granting access to the Inbox early adopter program, allowing users to use the Inbox app to manage their work Gmail account.
Use Omniplan to drive agendas, manage projects
We reviewed the Omni Group's most famous Mac software, a To Do app called OmniFocus, back in June 2014, and we were impressed. Some of us became converts, some of us became evangelists, some of us became outright bores about it. Yet even the most enthusiastic OmniFocus users among us readily agree that there are areas that the software is just not right for. What about OmniPlan? Does it fill in OmniFocus' weak points with a grander vision, or is it too different, too much, too big? We answer that question in our review.
Magic Bullet Suite 12 introduces Magic Bullet Film and many new features
The new version of Red Giant's Magic Bullet Suite for video editing includes updates for Magic Bullet Looks, Colorista III, Mojo, Cosmo and adds Magic Bullet Film. Denoiser II, which reduces "video noise," is still included in version 12, but hasn't received any significant updates. The new Magic Bullet Film takes digital footage, and runs it through a process that emulates the look of actual film, with 26 film stocks (positive and negative) to choose from. Magic Bullet Looks 3.0 had been updated, which lets the user color grade on their own parameters, or using one of over 120 presets based on popular films and television shows.
Architosh finds iMacs popular, need for more cores in Mac Pros
Some high-end professional vertical markets that have increasingly moved to the Mac platform in recent years are those of CAD users, 3D and visual effects artists, and other professional designers not normally associated with the "creative professional" tag, taking in everything from engineers to biomedical scientists. Mac advocacy site Architosh has recently run a survey of the industries, and found some surprising results.
Invest in Transportation Act seeks to raise money for US Highway fund
Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer from California and Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have jointly announced a proposed bi-partisan bill titled the "Invest in Transportation Act of 2015" in Washington today. The bill would provide funds for the US Highway Trust Fund by encouraging the "repatriation" of funds held by US businesses overseas.
WorkMail hosted on AWS, provides 50GB storage for each user for $4 per month
Amazon is taking on Google, Microsoft, and other suppliers of remote workplace communications, with its own corporate email service. Dubbed WorkMail, the service is claimed to be a "secure, managed business email and calendaring service," hosted in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and could be an easier and cheaper corporate email system to manage than current services like Exchange servers.
Source code mandated to be made available for inspection, other onerous rules
At the end of last year, the Chinese government approved a 22-page set of regulations for the sale of computer equipment to Chinese banks, but that will ostensibly apply to all enterprise sales. The rules require foreign companies to turn over source code, submit to audits, and build "back doors" into hardware and software so that the government can monitor devices. The new rules are expected to be the first in a series to be introduced across the next few months.
Updated interface, Copy Items enhancements, fixes, improvements
On Wednesday, Apple updated its Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) server/administrator software to version 3.8, the first major upgrade in well over a year. The new version primarily spruces up the app for OS X Yosemite compatibility, including an updated interface. The program was last upgraded in October of 2013, largely for the same reason, but for Mavericks (though two minor updates were issued later). In addition to an interface overhaul to match Yosemite's design language, a number of enhancements and fixes are included.
Rugged Toughbook 31 notebook lasts for up to 18 hours on single battery
Panasonic has made a few upgrades to its long-running and long-lasting Toughbook 31. The hard-wearing Windows notebook now uses a 5th-generation 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor, improved Intel HD Graphics 5500, expanded connectivity, and a bump to the battery life, but still manages to retain its rugged design and reliability.
Forecast for Q1 2015 places Netflix subscribers at over 61M
Netflix has grown its total audience by 4.33 million subscribers globally, the streaming service revealed in its financial results. The faster increase in viewers compared to the last quarter is reflected in additional subscribers for both US and international markets, 1.9 million and 2.43 million respectively, with the total Netflix audience hitting 57.4 million members.
Windows 10 device intended to simplify conferencing, communications
Microsoft's Surface ecosystem didn't get left behind in today's Windows 10 event. Unveiled at the media event was the Microsoft Surface Hub, which is either a 55- or 84-inch 4K display, utilizing a custom Windows 10 version, featuring touch and stylus input with voice and gesture controls.
Larger-capacity drives do well, 4TB Seagates a good value; 7200rpm drives problematic
In late 2013, cloud service provider Backblaze released information about hard drive failure rates used in their facilities collected over a three-year period. The study was one of the first real-world, comprehensive examinations on server-level claims of hard drive reliability, and drew a great deal of attention. An update with new information from between the end of the last study and December 31, 2014 was posted today.
Worker morale highest by far at iPhone maker; HP and IBM below average
Financial analyst UBS and its research offshoot UBS Evidence Lab has polled workers at a number of major tech firms, and found Apple and its enterprise partner IBM at opposite ends of queries about the management, values, culture and business outlook for the companies. In the report, Apple was -- by a significant margin -- the leader in all categories, while IBM came in last in all categories among the seven firms surveyed, said analyst Steven Milunovich.
Walls off Candy Crush, friend feeds to create social network for job collaboration
Social media giant Facebook has launched on a new service for the web, iOS and Android called "Facebook at Work" that is intended to give office communications a familiar interface. Offering a (literally) gray take on the usual Facebook interface, the service creates a variation of the popular social service that is limited to co-workers only, and intended for office communications, messaging, file sharing, and other forms of collaboration. The service is currently still testing with partners, but is available as an app on the iOS App Store.
Purchase could cost $7.5B, provide Samsung with BlackBerry patents
[Updated with BlackBerry denial] BlackBerry could possibly be the target of an acquisition, with a report claiming Samsung may be looking to buy the Canadian smartphone producer for a hefty sum. Details from a source, along with documents, were allegedly provided to Reuters, suggesting Samsung may be willing to pay as much as $7.5 billion to take control of the company.
Handles essential security, deployment tasks
JAMF has announced the general release of Bushel, a cloud-based mobile device management platform aimed at Apple devices. Unlike some MDM products, Bushel is aimed at small- to medium-sized organizations. It's in fact free to use for up to three devices, and costs $2 per device per month for every unit beyond that threshold.
May also play a part with Apple Watch
Apple has hired on a former HP executive, John Solomon, to help with enterprise sales, sources say. The people note that his exact position and duties are unclear, but the hiring is said to be core to the company's newfound rush to reach enterprise customers. Solomon may also allegedly be involved in international Apple Watch sales -- specifically in the Asia-Pacific market -- but some of the sources say this is unlikely.
Fully updated for latest OS X and iOS 8 point releases, update adds features
Apple has updated OS X server for Yosemite to version 4.0.3, adding a number of new features and minor improvements to the $20 add-on that provides enterprise-level tools to administer OS X and iOS devices running the latest respective OS releases. The update requires OS X 10.10.1 to run, and iOS 8 on remote iOS devices. The new version promotes SMB3 as the default protocol for sharing files, and updates Profile Manager to support the new features in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, such as Handoff.
New 10.1-inch tablet will be introduced at CES 2015
Arbor Solution will be introducing its new ruggedized Gladius 10 Android-based tablet for applications such as warehousing, transportation, medical, and mobile point of sale (mPOS) at CES this week. The ruggedized device will be available in the US and Canada beginning in May, with base models starting at $1,030. The unit meets MIL-STD-810G and IP-65 certifications, and offers four-foot drop resistance, a raised bezel for LCD impact protection, and hinged rubber covers over the I/O ports.
Edit PDFs as well as read them in this updated essential
Here's a true story about what PDFpen 2 does. A Windows-based firm produced a year-end report that was about 80 pages and most importantly took many, many hours to create. It was all highly complex, auto-generated figures -- and one huge spelling mistake. They didn't see the mistake until the final PDF was about to be sent out to clients. Fixing it meant re-running the whole process, re-calculating everything: it meant not sending the report until tomorrow. Luckily, one guy in the firm had PDFpen on his iPad. He opened that PDF, typed in the correct spelling, sent the PDF on its way. Total time: five minutes -- and three of those had been spent on panicking.
Two- and four-bay models kick off 50T, 51T lines
Taiwanese network storage solutions provider Asustor launched four new NAS devices today. The two- and four-bay models in each of two new lines come in advance of eight- and 10-bay models, which will be released at a later time. 'The new 50T and 51T series NAS devices feature high performance CPUs that can automatically increase their frequency when needed,' said Asustor Product Manager Johnny Chen, adding that the ability provided reliable transcoding and management under load.
Alipay app adds TouchID support amid talks between Apple, Alibaba
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has updated its Alipay app for iPhone and iPad today, now including support for Touch ID. Mobile payments made with an iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus can now be verified with a fingerprint instead of a password, similar to Apple Pay. Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated in October that he and Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma would be discussing the potential for a partnership, with speculation at that time focused on Apple Pay and Alipay integration on Alibaba, Taobao and Tmall.
Options cover finance, retail, telecoms, other sectors
Apple and IBM have unveiled the first iOS apps produced through their partnership announced in July. Available under the "MobileFirst for iOS" banner, the apps target clients in air travel, retail, insurance, banking/finance, government, and telecommunications. Some initial clients include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint, and Banorte.
WorkForce Pro WF-8590, WF-8090 print at up to 24 pages per minute
Another two printers in Epson America's WorkForce line have been unveiled, this time offering A3 printing capabilities and cost savings compared to color laser printing. The WorkForce Pro WF-8590 and WF-8090 are heavy duty printing machines for small and medium-sized companies, with the pair using Epson's PrecisionCore technology for fast and accurate printing results.
Evernote for OS X releases updates for Yosemite
Evernote has released a major update for its OS X app, bringing support for Yosemite. Over-all performance speed has been improved, introducing a redesigned interface with a lighter color theme, and new icons. Users now have more control over tables they create, with new color and style customizations available. Notes can be searched for via OS X's Spotlight function, and sending notes to others can now be done while remaining in the app. Many bug fixes and crashing issues have also been resolved in the latest app iteration. Evernote is free to download, with premium subscriptions available.
Woz re-united with colleagues from Fusion-io, working on data virtualization
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined Primary Data, a data virtualization company made up of several colleagues from Fusion-io, as Chief Scientist -- the same title he held at Fusion-io. In his new position, Wozniak will be both advise the company on tecnology trends, vision and architecture as well as serve as the firm's ambassador. Chief Marketing Officer Rick White, who worked with Woz at Fusion-io, noted that "with Woz on the team along with [CEO] Lance [Smith] and David [Flynn], we now have the band back together."
Griffin Technology releases two new tablet stands composed of reclaimed railroad steel
Griffin Technology has partnered with Rail Yard Studios, offering the release of two new tablet stands made of railroad steel. Made of reclaimed rail stock installed on the original Louisville and Nashville Railroad between 1906 and 1908, the Rail Slice Tablet Stand and Rail Artifact Stand are built to hold a full or mini-sized tablet in both landscape and portrait orientation.
Yosemite update fixes serious Wi-Fi issues
Apple has released simultaneous updates for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. OS X 10.10.1 for Mac copes mainly with significant bugs, such as a glitch with Wi-Fi that would cause a system to repeatedly disconnect. It also solves problems with sending Mail messages, displayed updates at the Mac App Store, Mac minis not waking from sleep, and disappearing items like Actions, sharing services, and Notification Center widgets.
Social network for employees said to be used by Facebook workforce daily
Facebook is reportedly trying to push itself into the workplace, by making a service for communications within a company. Said to be called "Facebook at Work," the service is said to be able to allow employees and management to talk to other team members, connect with other professionals, and collaborate over documents.
Encourages customers to download from trusted sources, notes software warnings
Rebutting advice from the Department of Homeland Security and other sources that have sought to sow fear in users with regards to the "Masque" malware attack, Apple late on Thursday issued a statement saying it is unaware of any actual cases of the malware attacking iOS users. The statement comes on the heels of fast action by the iPhone maker to stop a similar attack dubbed "Wirelurker," in which a now-revoked Enterprise Provisioning certificate was being used to spread potential malware. Apple has not specified if it has fixed the flaw the Masque malware exploits.
Paid conferencing service from BlackBerry works with up to 25 participants
BlackBerry made another business-related announcement at its Enterprise event, one which involves multi-platform messaging. BBM Meetings lets users set up a voice or video conferencing session with multiple other users, with the service covering BlackBerry 10, iOS, and Android mobile devices, as well as computers running OS X and Windows.
Combination of Samsung Knox and BES12 said to provide end-to-end security
BlackBerry is working with Samsung to make its Android devices more secure for corporate users, the manufacturer has revealed. The partnership, which will be offered to enterprise customers from early next year, will see Samsung's Knox working in tandem with Blackberry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12), in order to provide a "tightly integrated, end-to-end secure solution" for communications.
EMV tech becoming standard in US by end of 2015
Retail payment service Square has opened up preorders for a new version of the Square Reader, designed to scan chip-based credit and debit cards. It supports older stripe-based cards as well, and the company is promising end-to-end encryption, as well as active tamper detection. It's compatible with iOS and Android, requiring only the appropriate apps and an account with Square for paying service fees.
Option now available in 26 regions
Apple has expanded its institution-oriented Device Enrollment Program to support devices bought through authorized resellers and carriers, and to cover a total of 26 regions. The DEP simplifies centralized setup and management of iOS and OS X devices, something critical for mass deployments. Businesses and schools can set up administrative accounts and management servers, and even have user profiles and configurations ready the moment a user activates their device.
Company establishing dedicated sales teams, partnering with developers
Apple is engaging in an "aggressive expansion" into the enterprise market, Reuters reports. Sources tell the newswire agency that Apple has hired dedicated sales teams to talk with clients such as Citigroup. Apple is, moreover, said to be working in conjunction with "a dozen or so" developers -- such as ServiceMax and PlanGrid, which develop apps for managing field technicians and sharing construction blueprints, respectively. Apple is reportedly in talks to bring other developers into formal partnerships.