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Tablets and CRM, Part 1: A Plus for Productivity
November 12, 2013
The CRM case for tablets is quite clear: Workers are more mobile than ever and need to be able to access their systems on the go. Ditto customers and the workers who service them while on the go. Tablets are more robust tools than smartphones and allow for even greater functionality. Somehow overlooked in this business case, though, is the productivity factor.
Amazon Offers Indie Booksellers a Piece of Kindle Pie
November 06, 2013
Amazon on Wednesday announced a new program that will enable independent bookshops and other small retailers to earn extra money by selling Kindle devices and accessories. Dubbed "Amazon Source," the program gives retailers a discount on Kindles and accessories for resale as well as 10 percent of the revenue from every Kindle book purchased on the device for the first two years.
Apple Takes a Bruising in Tablet Market
November 01, 2013
Android tablets outsold iPads in the calendar quarter ending in September, according to IDC. Apple's share of the worldwide tablet market also declined compared with the same period in 2012, the firm said. Although Apple sold slightly more units into its retail channel during this year's third quarter compared with last year's, its market share slipped to 29.6 percent from 40.2 percent a year ago.
Apple's New iWork: 3 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back
October 31, 2013
Real updates to Apple's iWork suite of apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- have been a long time coming, so when Apple updated the suite with a free upgrade that plays well with iOS 7 and with Web browsers, plenty of users jumped into the new version without looking. Unfortunately, a good many found they had leapt into a shallow pool full of sharp rocks.
New Disney Kids' Show to Get 1st Run on Tablets
October 30, 2013
Disney is giving one of its new children's shows a home on mobile devices before it broadcasts the program via its TV networks. Sheriff Callie's Wild West, the first Western for 2-to-7-year-olds, according to the company, will make its debut on Disney's Watch Disney Junior App on Nov. 24. It will also be available online to viewers who subscribe to certain TV providers' services.
Ashton Kutcher Joins Lenovo, Keeps Day Job
October 30, 2013
Lenovo's newest product engineer got a higher-profile introduction to the world than many of the company's other employees. That's because he's also famed actor and investor Ashton Kutcher. Lenovo announced its multiyear partnership with the Two and a Half Men star at the launch event for the company's latest tablet. Kutcher will work with engineers on the Yoga Tablet product line, Lenovo said.
The IF Convertible: 3 Devices, 1 Data Plan
October 29, 2013
Back in 2011, in the dark, pre-tablet days of the netbook, Motorola introduced a phone and laptop combo called the "Atrix." The then-powerful 4G, dual-core AT&T phone slotted into a unique receptacle on the back of the optional laptop's clamshell hinge -- a bit like a game cartridge slides into a console. The phone then powered the Chromebook-like, highly stripped-down laptop.
What's Missing in the iPad Air
October 28, 2013
Apple fans seem to thing anything Apple brings out is perfect and to suggest otherwise is heretical. Given that I think fanboys give up their intellectual freedom to the vendor or product they religiously follow, I tend to wear the Apple Heretic badge with honor -- and thus I'm going to point out the technologies the Microsoft Surface 2 and Nokia 2520 products have that the new iPad Air lacks.
Powerful Nokia Tablet Focuses on Photo Skills
October 23, 2013
Nokia has announced its first Windows tablet, the Lumia 2520, along with two phablets with 6-inch screens. The 2520 is "designed for people who like to take photos on their smartphones and edit them on tablets," noted tech analyst Rob Enderle. The phablets "can be used as pretty decent readers, so they're a good alternative to having to carry both a phone and a tablet."
Apple Plays the Free Card
October 23, 2013
Apple threw down the gauntlet to the PC industry and aimed some veiled barbs at rival Microsoft at a Tuesday launch event to refresh its software and hardware lines. Apple announced new editions of its iWork and iLife suites, which will come free with any new iPad, iPhone or Mac. Further, all of its customers can upgrade to OS X Mavericks, the latest version of OS X, for free.
You've Got to Touch Apple's Airy New iPad to Believe It
October 22, 2013
In a flurry of presentations at its special media event on Tuesday, Apple introduced new iPads, MacBook Pros, the Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks -- available immediately, and free -- as well new generations of iWork and iLife app suites. The biggest buzz comes from Apple's brand new iPad, the iPad Air, which is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad that it replaces.
Will Apple Throw the Enterprise a Bone?
October 21, 2013
Apple will likely debut a new iPad and possibly a new iPad mini at its Tuesday event in San Francisco. There is speculation about a new CPU, a keyboard case, better cameras, a splash of color, and the likelihood the new iPad will come preloaded with the buggy iOS 7. If the enterprise is looking for a little more business-friendliness from Apple, it may not find much gratification this time around.
Dell Hedges Its Bets in Latest PC Lineup
October 19, 2013
It doesn't take a genius to perceive the difficulties mainline PC vendors have faced over the past three to four years. As user preferences have shifted toward ultramobile products such as smartphones and tablets, PC makers and core allies have suffered enough stumbles, false starts and pratfalls in their attempts to keep up to populate a Hangover movie.
Windows 8.1 Could Get Some Love
October 17, 2013
Microsoft on Thursday began rolling out Windows 8.1 worldwide. This latest update to its flagship OS has improved multitasking, improved search, a redesigned Windows Store, and new and updated apps. The Start button, which users have been clamoring for since Windows 8 was released, has been restored.
How to Get Rid of Bloatware on Your Phone or PC
October 16, 2013
You know all those free programs that typically come on PCs and mobile devices whether you want them or not? Common examples include paid antivirus programs within the PC environment and phone company add-ons like music stores within Android. Often called "bloatware," they are usually manufacturer- or carrier-sanctioned stripped down come-ons designed to get you to buy a subscription or upgrade.
Apple's Oct. 22 Invites Kick Rumor Mill Into High Gear
October 16, 2013
Apple on Tuesday sent out invitations to an undisclosed event to be held Oct. 22 in San Francisco, fueling fresh speculation about the company's planned product launches. It's widely expected that Apple will unveil new versions of the iPad and iPad mini. "The most solid rumors are that we'll see a 9.7-inch fifth-generation iPad," suggested Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research.
Lenovo's Android Laptop Will Bend Over Backwards
October 11, 2013
Manuals from Lenovo that were leaked onto the Internet indicate that the company is working on a laptop running Android. Not only were two manuals for the IdeaPad A10 discovered this week on the Web -- one dated July and the other dated August -- but Lenovo has reportedly since confirmed the upcoming product. Android will come preinstalled on the device.
Disney Tech Makes Touchscreens Touchy-Feely
October 10, 2013
Disney Research has developed an algorithm that will render 3D textures and tactile features on a touchscreen, it announced earlier this week, enabling users to "feel" the on-screen images they touch and see. The technology works on still images as well as streaming videos, and it achieves its effect by altering the friction the user's fingers encounter as they glide across the screen's surface.
No Break for Samsung on US Import Ban
October 08, 2013
The Obama administration has upheld a ban won by Apple earlier this year that requires Samsung Electronics to stop importing certain smartphones and tablets into the U.S. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made the announcement on Tuesday morning. Two older versions of the Galaxy smartphone and Galaxy tablet were the products affected.
Dell Whisks the Wraps Off New Tablets, Laptops
October 03, 2013
Dell on Wednesday released new tablets and updates to its XPS line of laptops for geeks, less than three weeks after founder Michael Dell won a long and bitter battle to take the company private again. The company launched two Windows 8.1 tablets and two Android tablets under the revived "Venue" name. It also unveiled the XPS 11, XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops.
Apple's Sneak Attack on Gaming Is Now in Play
October 03, 2013
Apple let a silly game demonstration take center stage at WWDC in June, and it released a new framework with instructions on how developers could build physical game controllers. The two together led me to believe that an Apple sneak attack on living room gaming was imminent. Since then, two more elements have risen to the surface, and now I think the sneak attack is well under way.
BlackBerry and Surface 2: The Fight to Reclaim Past Glory
September 30, 2013
Both BlackBerry and Microsoft have been in far stronger positions with regard to personal technology. At one time, Microsoft was contending for leadership in smartphones against Palm and BlackBerry, and BlackBerry took leadership only to lose it to Apple and then Samsung. Microsoft put tablets on the map in the early part of last decade, but it missed a memo and Apple refined them to success.
If You're a Cinephile, You'll Love Mubi - if Not, It May Make You One
September 30, 2013
MUBI is an app for classic and independent movie lovers: Each day, the MUBI team hand picks an international, independent or classic film. MUBI subscribers can then view that film for up to 30 days, and effectively, this means that you can watch 30 or so movies each month for $4.99, or less per month if you sign up for six months or a year. The MUBI app is fantastic.
iOS 7 Is a Stomach-Churning Ride for Some Users
September 27, 2013
Apple's new iOS 7 is making people sick -- literally -- based on complaints that have begun appearing on Apple forums. "The zoom animations everywhere on the new iOS 7 are literally making me nauseous and giving me a headache," wrote Ensorceled on one forum. "It's exactly how I used to get car sick if I tried to read in the car." Once a user makes the decision to update iOS, there's no going back to the previous version.

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