Tag : apps

Dropbox

One of my favorite apps that I use daily on my computer and iphone is called Dropbox. Do you want to be able to access your files from anywhere you are? Computer, web, phone, and or tablet? Dropbox is a cool app that allows you to do this seamlessly by simply installing the app on your computer, or your smartphone. Dropbox is cloud service that basically backs up any changes you make to a file no matter which device you’re using to access the file.

Features include:
• 2GB of Dropbox for free, with subscriptions up to 100GB available.
• Your files are always available from the secure Dropbox website.
• Dropbox works with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
• Works even when offline. You always have your files, whether or not you have a connection.
• Dropbox transfers just the parts of a file that change (not the whole thing).
•Manually set bandwidth limits — Dropbox won’t hog your connection.

Another cool feature is file sharing. You can share folders and thereby documents so if you need to collaborate with someone, you all have access to the same file. Never be without your files again.

Mobile Applications (Apps) for the Small to Medium Business

Over the last year BVA has been asked more than I can recall, should my organization develop a mobile app (application) for my business which is a great question to say the least.  There is a lot that goes into making one of these and it takes a true professional to develop a good app.  There are third party firms that specifically target this market and of course BVA has been contacted about partnering with such a firm.  This partnership has not taken place due to the lack of experience of some of these outfits.  We are working with a few firms in performing some trials to see their relevance and competency.  Mobile applications are the newest and the hottest topic in all the presentations I have been to and of course all the large corporations are jumping on the train which is a little scary, especially wrapped around the banking industry.  It has become a must-have addition to the arsenal of any Web-based small to medium sized business.  Mobile app downloads across all handsets worldwide are projected to approach 50 billion in 2012 which is quite shocking if you really think about it.  That much personal data being transferred over cell towers.  To really be successful in this market of mobile apps you have to be in it to win it.  If your business line or your users want to access your organization while they’re on the go, you’re going to need a mobile app eventually.   And if you want to succeed, it will take more than just shrinking your current website to create a footprint edition for smaller screens.

The process of developing your own app is quite extensive but not brain surgery. The mission here is helping people find your website and your line of business in a fast and easy way. All the while, gathering their personal information or profile. Simplicity is a mobile app or app’s best friend, creating an app that tries to mirror your website is not the correct path.  I think another large component to a successful app is being able to enter data on the fly, easily from whatever phone unit that you are using.  I hate apps that make it difficult to enter data, I literally will stop using it.  Good graphic design is a given, but it shouldn’t become a fetish to the point where it interferes with the user’s experience.  The design is crucial to creating an engaging and effective mobile site, and not too many bells and whistles.  Be aware of the screen size and resolution you are trying to achieve.  Mobile design presents very different challenges from web design, because you’re not able to spew everything out all at once. Instead you’re forced to be very thoughtful about how your content is prioritized and presented.  Some of the IT Department heads that I communicate with stress how important to have an in-house person that knows the application well and was involved during its coding and conception.  My friend tells me that it constantly needs to be updated and changed due to user requests and organizational needs.

New Samsung Galaxy Tab Unit – T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s has come out with their first Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  It is a good piece of hardware, but it doesn’t have enough great apps to be compelling.  It’s hard to compete with other units like it for a variety of reasons, I feel not having enough apps is the largest one.  The iPad makes it difficult to set itself aside from the others.  Sprint also has its own version that actually came out two weeks ago, but just last week had the chance to play with this version.  Both are part of the same line of device and make up the first true tablet competitors to the iPad. I will say this, this unit is sort of a new breed, because unlike the iPad, they’re truly small and light enough to be used on the go. In any case, they’re well built and worth watching, though they need more custom apps to be truly useful.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab is about $399-$599. After playing with the unit I feel that the speed is great, nice camera that takes good pictures, and overall great performance.

This unit has 16GB of internal storage plus a memory card slot and the T-Mobile’s 3G network is very fast and reliable which is key.  The Galaxy Tab can’t hit T-Mobile’s maximum HSPA+ speeds of 7Mbps, but its got a healthy 2Mbps on the Galaxy Tab’s HSPA 7.2 modem using the Ookla speed test app. The device also has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and it had no trouble connecting to our WPA2 protected network. There’s no Wi-Fi sharing mode, though, but there’s a USB tethering mode.  Looking over the web reports it is documented that some people have achieved 7.0 hours of video playback time, with screen brightness set to automatic.  The battery life for the galaxy is shorter than the iPad’s battery life, but Apple’s tablet is larger, thus the larger battery.  The Galaxy Tab model runs on Android 2.2. But here’s the biggest problem with the Tab: there is currently one good app for Android tablets. It is the new Wall Street Journal app, and it’s just beautiful, with a ‘virtual newspaper’ look and feel that is far easier and more fun to read than, say, the New York Times’ or the AP’s list format.  It is reported that more apps are coming, but who really knows when that is happening.

Device Specifications
Screen Size- 7 inches
Storage Capacity- 16 GB
Dimensions- 7.48 x 4.74 x 0.7 inches
Weight- 13.4 oz
Networking Options- 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 3G
Email Access- Dedicated email app