The Newest Smartphones From Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft

b2ap3_thumbnail_smartphones_on_market_400.jpgSmartphones are firmly established as a staple of modern society. In fact, sales of smartphones grew a whopping 23 percent during the previous year. It’s the nature of mobile devices for consumers to look forward to the latest models. To that end, here’s our preview of this year’s top three smartphones.

Due to the sheer demand of smartphones flooding today’s market, there are way more than three models to choose from. However, for the sake of being concise and relevant, we’ll focus on the flagship device from these three mobile manufacturer; Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung has taken the lead as far as smartphone marketshare goes, garnering 24.6 percent of the market in 2014. They’ve achieved this success with their line of s-model phones and Note phablets. All eyes are on Samsung and its latest offering, the Galaxy Note 5.

Galaxy Note 5 Specifications
Display: 5.66-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 1440 x 2560 resolution made from Gorilla Glass 4
Operating System: Google Android v5.1.1 (Lollipop)
Processor: Samsung octa-core Exynos 7420
Memory: 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB models available; 4 GB RAM
Cameras: 16 MP camera with optical image stabilization, 5 MP front-facing camera
Battery: 4,100 mAh
Communication: NFC, Bluetooth v4.1, Wi-Fi, Infrared, microUSB
Other features: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, gesture, UV, heart rate, Sp02, integrated s-pen

iPhone 6s
The iPhone has been Apple’s best-selling device for almost 12 years, and the iPhone 6s looks to continue this trend. The latest iPhone will include an all-new A9 processor, designed to exceed in computing power Samsung’s Exynos 7420 processor. It’s also been confirmed that the iPhone 6s will get an upgrade to its body. Presumably, this will make it stronger and more durable, especially in light of how the previous model was ridiculed for bending too easily. Additionally, the iPhone 6s will have a larger display than the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6s Specifications
Display: 4.7-inch Retina display with 750 x 1334 resolution with ion-strengthened glass and a oleophobic coating
Operating System: iOS 9
Processor: Apple A9
Memory: 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB models available; 2 GB RAM
Cameras: 12 MP camera with phase detection focus, 5 MP front-facing camera
Battery: Li-Po 1,810 mAh
Communication: Bluetooth v4.1, Wi-Fi, v 2.0, reversible connector
Other features: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer

Lumia 940
Microsoft recently acquired Nokia and its line of Lumia smartphones. Despite the fact that the Lumia phones have received great reviews, they’ve never made the kind of sizable impact that Microsoft would have liked. Thanks to the success of the newly-released Windows 10 OS (a system that promises one single interface across every device, including the Lumia smartphones), the time may be ripe for Windows Phone to finally take off.

Lumia 940 Specifications
Display: 5.2-inch display with 1440 x 2560 resolution with Gorilla Glass 4
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10
Processor: Dual-core 1.82 GHz, Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808
Memory: 32 GB, 64 GB models available; 3 GB RAM
Cameras: 20 MP camera with phase detection focus, 5 MP front-facing camera
Battery: Li-Ion 3,000 mAh
Communication: NFC, Bluetooth v4.1, Wi-Fi, microUSB 2.0
Other features: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, sensor core

These three smartphones are the flagship devices sold by each manufacture, but they’re not the only devices offered by each company. If you like what you see here, but you’re looking for variations in regards to features, check out these alternative models:

  • Samsung Galaxy s6, s6 Edge, s6 Edge+
  • iPhone 6+
  • Lumia 940 XL

Which smartphone is right for you? While you’re sure to have personal preferences toward a particular brand, it’s in your best interest to do your due diligence when shopping for a new phone so you can obtain a model that best meets your needs. Want to know about how mobile technology like this can improve your business? Call us at 614.486.3481 to learn more.

3 Mobile Apps Every Modern Office Worker Needs

b2ap3_thumbnail_applications_for_work_400.jpgMobile devices are changing the face of businesses in obvious ways, like employees accessing their work outside of the office. Additionally, there are many not-so-obvious ways that mobile devices and apps have changed work environments. Let’s focus a moment on the little things around the office that have changed since mobile devices took over.

Calendars
Calendar making used to be a profitable industry. Calendars adorned office walls and inspired workers daily to be better people, one disposable page at a time. Also, let’s not forget about how calendars make for that perfect, gender-neutral gift to contribute to any office’s end-of-the year holiday gift exchange. Now, everyone just gives each other gift cards and hilariously-themed calendars collect dust at mall kiosks.

What happened? It turns out that every mobile device comes with its own calendar app. As workers adopted it, software developers integrated calendar apps to the cloud so that workers could sync their calendars for easy scheduling. This mobile trend effectively “did in” the usefulness of the 12-month calendar, but you may still find one or two on the office walls for novelty’s sake.

If you’re not taking advantage of your mobile device's calendar, check out these links on how to use your calendar’s sync feature.

Notebooks
Another paper casualty of mobile devices is the office worker’s trusty notebook. You used to see notebooks brought into every meeting, and the super serious note-takers would distinguish themselves with leatherbound notebooks, emblazoned with their company’s logo. While office supply stores are bemoaning the demise of notebooks and pens, workers are taking better notes and collaborating in new and exciting ways via cloud-based apps.

There are a variety of mobile note-taking apps on the market, and they each allow you to do much more than scribble ideas and cartoon characters on paper. Mobile apps like Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, and Google Keep allow users to capture screenshots, upload files, record audio, and of course, jot down meeting notes. These notes can be tagged to make them searchable, and stored in the cloud so that every member of your team can access them.

Fax Machines
The adoption of mobile devices should’ve been the final nail in the coffin for the office fax machine. Actually, email should’ve been the technology that killed off the fax machine. Yet, despite advancements in email, cloud computing, mobile devices, and even the leadership baton being passed from one generation to the next... and then to the next, fax machines still have a strong presence in most modern offices.

It’s our hope that the advancements of mobile technology have caused the mighty fax machine to lose some sway over its users. Remember, if you’re altogether tired of dealing with your fax machine, then Amaxx can provide you with technologies to phase it out, like our fax server solution and a host of digital communication apps for your mobile device.

Why You Need to Adopt Mobile Solutions
Maybe you’re old fashioned and you just like the feel of working with paper, the thrill of turning over a calendar page at the first of the month, and the ear-piercing sound of receiving a fax. That’s all fine and good, but as a modern business owner, it’s in your best interest to adopt mobile solutions for your company. If you don’t, then your mobile-device-loving employees will bring their gadgets into the workplace and do so on their own. The danger of them doing this is that you’ll lose control of how company information is shared and stored, which could lead to a major data breach.

Instead, you need to be proactive about implementing an official mobile solution for your office that everybody can access and use from their approved mobile devices. Due to all the different devices out there, and the different expectations of your employees, getting everybody to use the same mobile solution can prove to be quite challenging. At Amaxx, we’re here to help equip your business with mobile and cloud-based solutions that meet your company’s needs perfectly. For more information, give us a call at 614.486.3481 .

Tip of the Week: Taking a Screenshot is Ridiculously Easy

b2ap3_thumbnail_screenshot_pc_400.jpgSometimes explaining issues with your technology to someone over the phone is difficult at best. To help your tech support better understand the issue you’re dealing with, provide screenshots to help with your explanations. All you have to do to take a screenshot is hit a few keys. Here’s how it’s done.

Screenshots in Windows
For a Windows PC, look at the top-most row of keys. How often do you use these? Probably not that often. Well, maybe the Escape key. Either way, look toward the right-hand side of this row and you’ll find the PrtScn key. PrtScn will create a .png file of your entire desktop screen at the time you press it. Unfortunately, you’re not going to see the file immediately; it’s only being stored on your clipboard until you paste it into another program.

To do so, you can use pretty much any common application that allows you to paste images into it. Some of the more basic programs you can use are Microsoft Word, OneNote, Outlook, and even MS Paint. Open your preferred program, hold down Ctrl, and press V to paste the image into the application you are working in. This is also the keyboard shortcut for Paste, which you can keep in mind for later use.

For example, let’s use Microsoft Paint. Now that you have the screenshot pasted into Paint, you can draw on it using Paint’s various features to emphasize what the problem is. You can crop it to the area of interest, paint on arrows, and so on. This helps you better explain to tech support what the problem is.

Afterward, all you have to do is save the file using either a .png or .jpg file extension. To do so, click File > Save As. Give your file a name and you should be all set to send it off for analysis from tech support. If you’d rather not toy with the image, you can paste the image directly into Microsoft Outlook instead.

Forget PrtScn: Try LightShot to Simplify Things
While taking a screenshot using PrtScn isn’t terribly difficult, it can be somewhat time-consuming to tailor your image to specifically show your problem. Instead, we prefer to use a tool called LightShot. It’s an application designed specifically to take screenshots, and best of all, it’s entirely free to use. You can download the app here: https://app.prntscr.com/en/download.html

With LightShot, hitting the PrtScn key does much more than take a screenshot of your entire desktop. Instead, your screen will be greyed out and you can select a specific part of your screen for a screenshot. You can then save your image locally on your PC, or upload it to the cloud for sharing via URL. Once you get used to taking screenshots, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. Not only can it be an easy way to share concentrated content, but it can also be a great way to communicate what your specific problems are to IT support.

If IT support issues have you troubled, you’ll be glad to hear that Amaxx’s remote maintenance and management solution is designed to prevent issues from becoming bigger problems. Give us a call at 614.486.3481 to learn more.

A Dark Shadow is Cast Over the Good Work Robots Do

b2ap3_thumbnail_manufacturing_robot_mistakes_400.jpgThe point of living in a world where technology takes over everything is that it’s supposed to make life easier. Although, keep in mind that imperfect humans are responsible for creating these technologies. Therefore, technology is flawed, maybe even to the point of putting people in harm’s way. This fundamental truth makes for an uneasy trust between man and machine.

Take for example a tragic incident that occurred last month at a Volkswagen plant in Germany, where a robot was actually responsible for the death of a worker. This robot was designed to piece together cars by moving and manipulating auto parts. According to The Guardian, the error occurred while the robot was being set up by a team of technicians. Due in part to a human error (supposedly), the robot grabbed the worker, instead of an auto part, causing critical injury.

A second example of why we should be suspicious of robots comes from the road. Led by the efforts of Google, several major technology companies are developing and testing self-driving cars. As great as it sounds to sit back and play magnetic travel chess while a robot chauffeurs you around town, the high number of reported fender benders from the testing phase gives us good reason to be a little nervous. Think about it, how do you feel about being on the same road as fast-moving, metal-death traps that are vulnerable to hacking attacks?

Buried deep in the human psyche, connected perhaps with our survival instincts, is a mistrust to give up too much control to something (or someone) that we don’t fully understand. When it comes to machines and computers, just how much do you understand about how they work? Unless you’re a computer programmer or an IT technician, it’s likely that you don’t know enough about these machines to totally erase the fear that robots will one day rise up and enslave us all. This is why science fiction movie franchises are exploring this narrative in fantastic detail, like The Terminator and The Matrix, have connected so deeply with people’s imaginations (and wallets).

Just how safe are you from the technology that you’re dependent upon? While it’s unlikely that you work with battlebots equipped with saw blades and flamethrowers, or that you play traffic roulette with a driverless car, you’ve got a lot riding on your company’s data. In fact, it would take just one major disaster for your system to crash, causing major data loss. This kind of a data loss disaster can potentially ruin a business, and by extension, your livelihood.

A disaster like this can happen at the hands of an incompetent user, an error from an imperfect machine, or even something else entirely, like a random act of nature. One way to gain peace of mind while living under such a looming threat is to learn more about the machines that you trust with so much responsibility, and it’s unlikely that you’ve got the time to analyze and understand the inner workings of your computer network. Alternatively, you can outsource the care and maintenance of your machines to the knowledgeable IT professionals at Amaxx.

Because, at the end of the day, who do you trust more; man, or machine?