Hugely-recommended overhaul, but few new features
It's no longer enough for Microsoft to add the odd new feature and scrub up the appearance of an app: the world has moved on, not least in that we now call them all "apps" instead of "applications." With Office 2016 now available to Office 365 users (if their companies have enabled it, or if they sign up themselves), our attention did go first to the new version of Microsoft Word. Office for Mac really contains four major applications (and OneNote, which we'll call a minor one) though, and while we personally might lump PowerPoint and Outlook together into the guest-cast category, Microsoft Excel 2016 15.11.2 is definitely a star of the show.
App available for both Android, iOS; allows access through enterprise firewall
Barracuda has today announced the release of CudaLaunch, an application for both iOS and Android devices that provides mobile workers secure and remote access to an organization's private cloud applications and networks through the widely-used Barracuda NG Firewall. The application is designed for both mobile workers and IT administrators, with end-user features for productivity, as well as management features for administrators.
MobileFirst for iOS partnership now offers 32 vertical apps
The partnership between Apple and IBM that targets the enterprise sector continues a steady stream of new app releases, with 10 more announced on Tuesday that brings the total of the year-old partnership to 32 apps for specific industries. The latest batch include apps designed for managers, business travelers, the mortgage industry, government inspectors, and field technicians and professionals, among others.
Thousands of Macs can be managed from central software server
Parallels today unveiled Parallels Mac Management 4.0 for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), which extends Microsoft SCCM functionality to manage and control Mac computers. The new version of Parallels Mac Management adds the capability for IT administrators to create OS X images which can be customized via Microsoft SCCM, or deploy a single OS X image to all users universally.
ImageRunner Advance C350P, 1435P offer high capacity prints, small footprint
Canon has added two more enterprise-focused printers to its ImageRunner and ImageRunner Advance lineup. The color ImageRunner Advance C350P and the black-and-white ImageRunner 1435P both take up a small footprint in an office, have high-capacity toner bottles, can be easily integrated into managed document services, and while they both have separate drum and toner-based print engines, they share consumables with others in the range to help minimize support costs.
Deal expected to close in 1Q 2016 after regulatory approvals are met
Today, Cisco announced its intent to acquire OpenDNS, a privately-held security company based in San Francisco. OpenDNS provides advanced threat protection through domain name system extension, adding phishing protection and content filtering to the vital service. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, subject to customary closing conditions.
New printer brings A3-sized printing to a desktop-size printer
Ricoh today introduced a new compact black-and-white LED printer that brings paper handling up to 11x17 inches to small businesses and enterprise. The new Ricoh SP 6430DN printer produces up to 38 pages per minute using Ricoh's new LED imaging technology, which delivers 1200x1200 dpi resolution.
Partnership will build developer resources, materials for mobile migration
Linux provider Red Hat and Samsung Electronics America today announced a strategic alliance to deliver the next generation of mobile solutions for the enterprise. The partnership will fuse Samsung's mobile device portfolio with Red Hat's open source middleware, mobile and cloud technologies to deliver mobile solutions that enable rapid development and integration of enterprise applications for organizations.
Dual 5MP cameras in Moverio Pro BT-2000 headset provides depth sensing
Epson is continuing to work on its own attempt at Google Glass-style eyewear, with an update to its Moverio headset. The Moverio Pro BT-2000 improves upon last year's model, with the device now including a five-megapixel stereo camera with depth sensing, as well as a new inertial measurement unit, allowing the headset to create more accurate augmented reality images than earlier models were capable of.
Not just the betas, but what's going on behind them, plus Oculus Rift VR
WWDC has come and gone for another year, and with it a plethora of new announcements and betas. Despite our fairly abysmal "wild guess" record, we did come up 90 percent right on our list of things we "knew" would happen (Tim Cook skipped his usual run-through of how great Apple is doing just to spite us). This time, we look at what actually happened at WWDC, in the larger tech industry, Apple Music, and what it all might mean.
Report claims BlackBerry considering switch to alternative mobile operating system
The next smartphone from BlackBerry may not run on BB OS, switching out the operating system for Android. Reuters claims the manufacturer is contemplating switching over to producing Android devices because of the extremely low adoption rate of current BlackBerry devices compared to other popular smartphones on the market, and will form part of a change in focus for the company towards being a software-driven entity.
Doug Morris confirms Apple streaming music debut at WWDC in Cannes interview
As with the expected announcement of Apple Pay expansion into other countries, another likely reveal during tomorrow's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference has been said to be a revamping and re-branding of Apple's various streaming music services. Today at the Cannes Music Industry festival, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris was interviewed on stage, and when the subject of Apple's streaming music service came up, Morris responded, "it's happening tomorrow."
Amazon UK users can order books from local shops for pickup or delivery
It's certainly possible to buy books from independently-owned shops through Amazon, but these businesses have registered to sell their stock on Amazon's platform, a sometimes-contentious act that has resulted in some bullying by the online retailer. Just as an Amazon app allows shoppers to scan a barcode in a brick-and-mortar bookstore and order that book online, a new Chrome plug-in, Bookindy, adds local shop options to Amazon's listings to give a shopper the option to support a local, independently-owned business, while using Amazon to "showroom" the product.
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.