Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The Power of VegasTech and its Hashtag

Unidev's Steve Thomas at LaunchUpThe VegasTech hashtag is a powerful communication tool that keeps the community thriving and growing every minute of the day thanks to Twitter.  The hashtag brings people, companies and event happenings all to one place.  Las Vegas is one of the most entrepreneurial cities within the United States.  According to CNN, they listed Nevada as the 7th most entrepreneurial state because of the number of technology firms that recently opened up and the friendly business tax climate.

Unidev is new to this community.  As a new member, Unidev is trying find its place and where the cool kids are hanging out. The VegasTech hashtag made it easy for Unidev to find out where it needs to be and how to locate techies and entrepreneurs in the VegasTech community.

On the contrary, the VegasTech hashtag also helped launch Unidev as a key player.  The community sees Unidev as an advocate in hosting events and participating in events. These event opportunities create awareness in local companies and techies, who then become more inclined to support Unidev in the future.

One example of event participation is when Unidev’s VP of Business Development, Steve Thomas, acquired the opportunity to speak last week at LaunchUp#5.  LaunchUp is a local organization that assists new start-ups in introducing themselves, and teaches them how the VegasTech Community can help in building a name. Another speaker was part of a newly funded company by VegasTech, called Ticketcake.  To purchase the tickets for the event everyone used their website www.ticketcake.com.  While Unidev was representing itself at the event, it also promoted the Ticketcake website.  Through the power of Twitter and the VegasTech hash tag, Unidev and Ticketcake gladly started including each other on their tweets to advertise the event.

The LauchUp event was a great success. The VegasTech hashtag created collaboration between Unidev and Ticketcake, who will now work on a project together.  Both companies are excited about the new partnership and look forward to working on many future projects together.

Google Brings New Mobile Opportunities for Developers and Users

Late last month Google I/O 2012, the company’s annual developer conference, streamed out live to over 3.5 million people in over 170 countries. Since its inception in 2008, I/O (short for input/output and “Innovation in the Open”)  the place to hear the latest announcements and innovations on Google’s platforms, including Android, Chrome, Chrome OS, and many others.

This year’s conference brought many significant announcements for the mobile space, promising new experiences to users and new opportunities for mobile developers. Google stands strong in their 2012 mobile strategy with  announcements of a new tablet, mobile OS and many other mobile browser and app updates.
Of course, the most notable announcement from Google was their first foray into the tablet market, the Nexus 7. At $199 and with a 7-inch display, Google’s new tablet should be a fierce competitor with the Amazon Kindle Fire, an already popular Android tablet released at the same price point late last year. With full integration to Google Play, developers maintain an easily visible means to deliver now apps, games, and other content to users.

 

google mobile tablet nexus 7

Google’s tablet runs fast with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor.

Photo by Google

The new Nexus 7 also ships with a distinct advantage in the tablet market, as the first device to ship with Google’s latest version of their mobile OS, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.  Developers can interface with the new features of Jelly Bean, such as improved camera functionality, voice search, and customizable widgets. For the users, this update is the fastest Android UI yet.

Google also expanded its mobile software and application offerings during I/O 2012. One significant announcement was the release of Chrome for iOS, allowing iPhone and iPad users to utilize Google’s web browser on the go. Users can sync tabs using their desktop Chrome account, so it’s simple to transition from mobile to desktop browsing. Unfortunately, due to Apple’s restriction on apps mimicking default iOS apps (in this case Safari), Google Chrome can’t make full use of the iOS Javascript engine. This makes Chrome for iOS slightly slower than the default Safari application.

Google also announced Chrome for Android devices moving out of beta and introduced a Google+ app for the iPad and Android tablets. Overall, at this year’s I/O Google continued to engage users by expanding its mobile product and software base. Likewise, mobile developers will certainly be busy designing around Google’s new OS and hardware specification.

For the latest on mobile technology, software development and other happenings in tech, follow @Unidev on Twitter.

 

WWDC 2012 Report: What’s Up with Apple?

WWDC BuildingIt’s been 3 extremely informative days at WWDC 2012. Apple is taking steps to solidify their platforms for consumers across the board.  The product they launched at this year’s conference is a new MacBook pro with the enhanced Retina Display.  I’ve seen this first hand and all I can say is WOW.  You can watch a 1080DPI video in the corner of the screen leaving a million pixels available.  This will revolutionize the graphics and video industries.  In addition to the video, the hardware is equally exceptional.  Having the state of the art Intel quad core processor, the new MacBook is a powerhouse.  Add the capability to 16GB of RAM, and this will be the work horse of the future for mobile power users.

Although the MacBook Pro Retina Display is impressive, it wasn’t the only thing Apple announced.  The new IOS 6 is going to be a game changer.  This version will have a brand new state-of-the-art mapping app which will sever the ties with Google once and for all.  In addition to this, there are over 200 new features with some being updates to the phone app, updates to Siri, and many more.  One new app they announced is PassBook.  This app will allow you to consolidate all your loyalty rewards cards, airline tickets, and just about anything with a barcode.  This is a smart app which will automatically bring a card to front and notify you when you arrive at the store’s location.  For example, let’s say you have a Starbucks rewards card and you walk into a store.  You will no longer have to fumble through your apps to find theirs to pull up your card.  PassBook will know you are in Starbucks and will display the Starbucks rewards card on your phone.  This app alone will change the way things are done on the POS and Loyalty Rewards front.

Finally, they demo’ed their new OS for Mac, OSX Mountain Lion.  This OS takes many leaps forward to integrate your IOS devices/data.   This update has over 200 new features with many of them being iCloud based.  When you make a change in a document in the cloud on your iPad, that change will appear real time on your Mac and other IOS devices.

It’s been a great week so far here at WWDC and an invaluable experience.  I look forward to the rest of the week and for the releases of IOS 6 and Mac OSX Mountain Lion.

 

2012 Summer Olympic Games- London, Watch Out For Internet Outages

Businesses have been told that there is a possibility Internet providers are required to share access to the web during the Olympic Games this year due to the high increase of web traffic.   A lot of businesses don’t have a plan for the enormous risks presented from the amounts of web traffic coming in.

Multiple London businesses are encouraged to arrange for staff to work more flexibly during Games time.  Millions of people will watch the Games on their PCs, phones and tablets.  It is possible that internet services may slow down due to an increasing number of people watching the Games and the same goes for mobile devices.  To prevent a decrease in internet speed, contact your mobile service and internet provider to get information on what they have planned to prevent this from happening during the Games.

As many of you know, streaming video footage has become a large trend on the internet.  There is a possibility live stream video footage will be slower during the Games due to the increase in traffic online.

What can your business do?

According to the article, “British Cabinet Warns of Possible Internet Outages During Summer Olympics” from Mashable.com, Government officials advise employees to consider working from home during this time or stagger in shifts to their jobs.  There is a possibility this could lessen the bandwidth load on these high usage areas.  Consider alternative means for communication during the Games – video streaming may greatly reduce your internal network’s capacity.

To find other ways to get your business involved in the 2012 Summer Olympics, visit the London Olympics website.

Windows 8: What to Expect

“Reimagined” is the buzzword surrounding Microsoft’s latest update to their operating system, Windows 8. With a brand new user interface and design, Microsoft is displaying Metro-style apps on the PC to create a seamless, integrated experience across tablets, laptops, and traditional desktop PCs.

Main Features

The most reimagined feature in this major update is the touch-based design. Gone is the familiar start menu and taskbar that has been part of the Windows OS since Windows 95. Large tiled app buttons linking to various applications like music, email, social network activity, Microsoft Word, and Internet Explorer replace the traditional Windows layout.

Metro-app start Screen for Windows 8

The design closely follows the Windows Phone app layout.

Microsoft has essentially developed two versions of Windows 8 to facilitate identical experiences on touch screen tablets and desktops. The new operating system will support traditional x86 CPUs found in most PCs in addition to the low-power ARM processors found in most tablets. This could have major implications for mobile application development.

The new “Windows to Go” feature augments even further consistency across multiple devices. Users can create a secure image of Windows 8 and place it on a typical USB flash drive. Users can then boot their own operating system from other Windows 7- and 8-enabled PC’s and laptops. This allows for an easy transfer of important applications and data to other machines. These updates, along with native 3G and 4G support will make mobile workforces more productive than ever.

Will it be worth the upgrade?

At this point, it is impossible to say whether most users will make the jump to the reimagined Windows 8 or not. While the new design is receiving high praise, there are some concerns Microsoft may alienate long-time Windows users by obscuring the traditional start menu interface they are used to (as seen below).

 

 

Additional concerns call to question the likelihood that businesses will adopt the new operating system. Though the secure Windows to Go and mobile productivity additions are appealing to business owners and IT managers looking to expand their mobile workforce, the expense of training employees on the new interface could create a high barrier to entry.

So will Windows 8 be a success for Microsoft? We’ll find out this Fall when it is released commercially. For now, you can try it yourself with the recently released Windows 8 consumer preview. Let us know what you think by sounding off in the comments!

Full disclosure: Unidev is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.