Why the iPad Works For Productivity

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… When the iPad first launched two years ago, it was derided by some for its limitations. The first iteration didn’t even have a camera on it, and it may never get a physical keyboard, so the notion of the device being used for content creation was laughable. Instead, the iPad was seen as a tool best used to lean back and consume content. For the most part, that’s how things have played out. People use their iPads for reading, watching video, listening to music and gaming. Despite that, the iPad is finding a place in business all over the world. About 67% of iPad-owning professionals use their tablets at work, even if the vast majority of the devices are not supplied by employers, according to a recent survey by IDG. Of those people, 93% use the device for work-related communication. The iPad’s role in business and worker productivity is fueled in large part by the efforts of app developers. Between the “Business” and “Productivity” sections of the App Store, there are over 12,000 iPad applications available for download. Some of the more popular choices include apps for word processing, document reading and signing, remote desktop, file-syncing, communication and collaboration. There are numerous apps that turn your iPad into a whiteboard, let you attend virtual meetings and focus more intently on what you’re writing. For any business or sole proprietor with goods to sell, downloading Square or one of its competitors is just a no-brainer at this point. There’s no shortage of business intelligence apps and even IT can use server admin tools, FTP clients and mobile device management software.A Supplement to – Not Yet a Replacement For – the PCThe iPad and its chief competitors in the tablet space are not poised to replace laptops and desktops just yet, a fact confirmed in IDG’s survey. Only 6% of respondents said their tablet has “completely replaced” their PC and 16% said the iPad had ousted their laptop from their lives. Instead, the tablet is serving as more of a supplementary device. With cloud syncing of calendars, email and documents, the tablet becomes sort of an extension of the desktop. Content can be shifted seamlessly across devices via Dropbox, Instapaper or email. There are, of course, limits. Graphic designers and high-end video editors aren’t going to get much of their work done on an iPad. But for basic work-related tasks like reading, writing, communicating and even accepting payments, the tablet is a fit. Sure, the lack of a physical keyboard can make extensive writing cumbersome, but a small, wireless keyboard can fix that. It’s not just the apps available for the device that make it ideal for productivity. Indeed, the very thing that many critics cited as one of the iPad’s biggest flaws makes it better at getting certain tasks done. As it turns out, the device’s tendency to allow users to only do one thing at a time provides a much-needed boost in focus. For many, the iPad serves as a place to go when prolonged focus on a single document or task is needed. It can be a refuge from the cluttered, multi-windowed, multi-tabbed, chat notification-buzzing world of the desktop. It’s worth noting that the tablet revolution is still in its early stages, and that the iPad isn’t the only player, even if it is the dominant one. Android-based tablets have grown up quickly and offerings from Amazon and others may force Apple to reconsider its $500 entry level price point when the iPad 3 launches this year. john paul titlow Tags:#Apple#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

What Developers Need To Know About Android L

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces L features new enterprise-security features such as a new device policy manager  and new profiles for device owners or the companies that manage devices. For Android TV, L now offers a new leanback launcher as an intent category.Google did not announce updates to the new tools in Android such as the Android Studio integrated developer environment but we were promised that the Google tools team would have an update Thursday morning. Google Play Services and the Developer Console also have some significant news such as a Wear Data API and new analytics.Developers interested in working on apps for Android L can visit Google’s preview site and download the latest version starting today, June 26.Lead image by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite dan rowinski Google is taking a different tact for its newest version of Android than it has in the past. Instead of announcing and releasing an official version of the operating system, it has released a developer preview—dubbed “L”—thus giving developers and manufacturers time to get ready for it before its official released.Dave Burke, Google’s head of Android engineering, says that L is the biggest release Android has ever had. Looking at the breadth of L, it’s hard to disagree. Google has long promised that Android would eventually be in everything, although that’s been a long time coming. But Google plans to make Android L a vehicle for smart televisions, automobiles and wristwear, finally giving developers, manufacturers and consumers a way to actually build for the next stage of mobile computing.Why “L”?Historically, Google has given each version of Android an alphabetical name taken from sweets. Android 2.2 was “Froyo”; and Android 4.4 was “KitKat.” Google hasn’t officially named—or numbered—the next version of Android, but the next letter in the alphabet is “L.” Will it be a Lollipop? Or Lemon Meringue Pie? Or perhaps Licorice? No one outside Google knows.L changes the design scheme of Android as well as adding some important projects to trim and analyze battery usage, a new compiler and bringing Android everywhere. If you’re an Android developer, here’s what you’re going to need to know about Android L.Material Design And GraphicsGoogle has changed Android’s design scheme to give it a more universal look, one befitting an interface designed to show up across a broader array of devices. Its “material design” schema aims to provide a more intuitive look and feel that works on a variety of screen shapes and sizes while bringing more tactile response to Android navigation.“In material design, surface and shadow establish a physical structure to explain what can be touched and what can move,” wrote Google designer Nicholas Jitkoff. “Content is front and center, using principles of modern print design. Motion is meaningful, clarifying relationships and teaching with delightful details.” Material design has some new features that developers and designers will want to figure out before the official release of Android L: Theme: It exposes new colors and represents all colors as greyscale that can then can be tinted.Widgets: It employs a new CardView and RecycleView (ListView2) that greatly eases the burden on making ListView in Android. There are new controller features in the MediaStyle and MediaSession functions, and playback widgets in the new Android Extension Pack.Realtime soft shadows: These provide the ability to “lift” images to the top of the view hierarchy where they can cast subtle shadows that aim to convey how objects interact. Animations: A good portion of material design has to do with animations such as transitions within or between apps. Animations are baked into the platform and can be shared between activities in order to make transitions intuitive for the user. Notifications are also getting improved metadata as well to annotate how what information is collected and presented to the user.L’s Odds And EndsSee also: How Google May Be Planning To Make Android Faster With ARTGoogle is replacing Android’s traditional Dalvik virtual machine in L, as I first reported almost eight months ago. The new Android compiler is called Android Runtime (ART); it features smaller garbage collection pauses, dedicated space for large objects and a moving collector for background app functions. Android Runtime can compile apps on the fly (i.e., what’s technically known as just-in-time, or JIT, compilation) or well in advance of use. Tags:#Android L#art#dalvik#Google#Google I/O#Google I/O 2014#Material Design#notifications#project volta “Heads-Up” notifications are high priority notifications involving people; they will emit an audible alert and blow up to a full screen when they come into a user’s device. They are designed to be easy to act on and easy to ignore.Android L also features new lock screen notifications similar to those that manufacturers have introduced to specific devices, such as the Moto X from Motorola. Developers and users can set these notifications to adhere to a specific privacy settings (see picture below) ranging from public to secret.center_img Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Google has also updated to OpenGL ES 3.1 in Android L, with backward compatibility to previous versions.Network FunctionsOne of the biggest updates to Android will be in the “recent apps” drawer. Essentially, Google is broadening the notion of recent activity by including opened websites and documents as well as apps in a card-style user interface. Google updated the Android status bar in Android KitKat 4.4; L offers some more improvements such as the ability to change the transparency and color of the status bar to match the brand color of a developer’s app.Project Volta, meanwhile, is Google’s effort to make Android L more energy efficient. It will show battery stats for individual apps, while a battery historian reveals how apps use power over time. Google says that Project Volta is “like traceview for power events.”A new “JobScheduler” will let that apps condition their activity on a variety of new criterial. Currently, for instance, if an app needs to update or check for background data, it just turns on the phone and its network connection and tries to run its job. With JobScheduler, the app can first check for a Wi-Fi or cellular connection and make sure the battery holds sufficient juice. The new JobScheduler is basically intelligent background processing for Android apps.Android L also employs a new multi-networking feature that will help apps switch seamlessly between networks without interrupting the user flow and interaction within an app. In theory, that means that if you move from Wi-Fi to a cellular network, the changeover won’t necessarily disrupt an app’s functions.Bluetooth will feature more peripheral device support, which will be necessary for TV and Android Wear devices. Android L also promises to make NFC easier to develop with and for users to find—accomplishing the latter by including Android Beam in the Android “Share” menu.NotificationsSome of the biggest changes in L involve notifications. In accordance with material design concepts, notification backgrounds will be card shaped with shadow casting, while the foreground allows for dark text and actions with all icons treated as silhouettes. The design will feature new accent coloring and small icon badging. L builds upon—but doesn’t replace—Android notification features from previous versions of the operating system. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more