Posts Tagged Android
How BlackBerry is riding iOS and Android to power its comeback
The very factor that decimated BlackBerry over the past five years is now becoming one of the most important catalysts in its turnaround.
While a fresh new generation of BlackBerry phones fight a ferocious battle for third place in the smartphone race, BlackBerry’s other big business remains in a great position in its red-hot market, Mobile Device Management (MDM). At BlackBerry Live 2013 in Orlando this week, the company rolled out a major update to BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) and deepened its commitment to making BES a multiplatform solution that now deeply secures its two leading smartphone competitors.
Ironically, the trend that brutally undercut BlackBerry phones during the past five years—the ”bring your own device” (BYOD) movement—is now driving significant sales of BES, the company’s backend software. At BlackBerry Live, the company released version 10.1 of BES. BES 10.1 will support a powerful new module that will launch at the end of June called Secure Work Space, which brings BlackBerry’s high security mobile solution to Android and iOS.
“Our customers have been asking, ‘Can you just take what you’ve done on BlackBerry and put it on iOS and Android?’” said Pete Devenyi, BlackBerry’s SVP of Enterprise Software.
While older versions of BES could do some basic administration of non-BlackBerry smartphones like iPhone, Android, and other types of devices, the solution was limited to the basics, including a full remote wipe of devices when those employees left the company. But, that’s obviously not a great solution with BYOD where employees own the devices. With Secure Work Space, BlackBerry will manage iOS and Android devices in a much more sophisticated and secure way.
Part of that is due to the fact that BES 10 not only does mobile device management, but also does mobile application management, and secure mobile connectivity as well. This triple play raises the bar on manageability. One of the key factors that makes all of this happen in BES 10 is a module called BlackBerry Balance that cleanly separates work and personal data and applications. For example, you can’t copy and paste between work and personal data and in a BYOD situation where an employee leaves the company and IT needs to wipe the business data off the device then it can wipe the work side of the phone without affecting the former employee’s personal data.
However, BlackBerry Balance is limited to BlackBerry devices because they are designed from the ground up to function this way and to adhere to this security model. Because of that, BlackBerry can’t bring Balance to Android and iOS because those operating systems are simply architected differently. But, BlackBerry is doing the next best thing by bringing a lot of these same features to iOS and Android with Secure Work Space.
“With Secure Work Space, it really is a secure container,” said Devenyi.
Image: Jason Hiner
Secure Work Space will be an app in the Apple App Store and Google Play, pending approval from Apple and Google, respectively. It will include secure email, calendar, contacts, tasks, and document editing. It won’t allow data leakage including copy and paste between Secure Work Space and the rest of the device. IT will be able to remotely wipe everything in the Secure Work Space without affecting any of the other apps or data on the person’s device, in a BYOD scenario.
“It really is about the separation of work data and personal data,” Devenyi said. ”It supports a BYOD model much more directly.”
Another thing that Secure Work Space does is to create a fully encrypted tunnel back to the BES 10 server so that all communications from it are secure, even if you’re on an insecure connection such as an Internet cafe or public Wi-Fi. In the past, you’d typically need to launch a VPN tunnel in order to accomplish that, but Secure Work Space does it automatically and at all times.
Devenyi said, “There’s no need for a VPN. It’s a [continually] secure outbound port”
The combination of secure data and apps and a secure connection turns BYOD Android and iOS smartphones and tablets into highly secure business devices. That’s what BlackBerry is bringing to market at the end of Q2, built on top of BES 10.1.
“For the first time, a solution on Android and iOS can benefit and take advantage of the BlackBerry infrastructure and BlackBerry security model,” said Devenyi.
BlackBerry does not split out BES revenue from its revenue from smartphones, but clearly it’s a much more attractive business than the commodity mobile hardware business. And, Devenyi said that BlackBerry is seeing “exploding” demand for MDM solutions to manage BYOD.
In its latest analysis of the MDM market, Gartner corroborated that perspective saying, “MDM is the fastest-growing enterprise mobile software ever (in terms of number of suppliers, revenue growth and interest from Gartner clients).”
That growth is fueling a crowd of companies to jump into MDM, but BlackBerry is one of the creators of the category and one of the most trusted names in mobile security. The fact that many of the companies that need MDM for BYOD have previously relied on BlackBerry and BES to manage their mobile devices provides the company with an excellent opportunity to become a market leader in securing for iOS and Android for BYOD. The irony is obvious, but don’t underestimate how much this could potentially fuel BlackBerry’s comeback, no matter what BlackBerry devices do.
Study: Voice-activated texting while driving no safer than typing
It had appeared that technology might have solved a problem of its own creation when voice-
activated texting came along so that drivers could keep their eyes on the road. Not so, says the first major study of the subject.
It’s every bit as dangerous to speak into a mobile device that translates words into a text message as it is to type one.
“It didn’t really matter which texting method you were using, your reaction times were twice as slow and your eyes were on the road much less often,” said Christine Yager, who did the research for the TexasTransportation Institute at Texas A&M University.
With Americans swapping 6.1 billion text messages every day, several mobile-application developers came up with voice-to-text software. Yager tested two developed for the popular iPhone and Android devices as drivers performed tests on a closed course.
“We were using a tracker, measuring how often they looked at the roadway and how long it took the driver to complete each text-messaging task that we asked them to do, and we also were looking at how long it took them to respond to that light that turned on periodically,” she said.
The finding: Voice-to-text applications “do not increase driver safety compared to manual texting.”
“We aren’t surprised,” said Jonathan Adkins, deputy executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “Anything that takes the driver’s concentration away from driving is a potential distraction. Our message to drivers is to hold off on sending a text until the car is parked.”
Using a hand-held device to tap out a text message while driving has been banned in the District and 39 states, including Virginia and Maryland. The District, Maryland and nine other states also prohibit use of hand-held devices for almost all purposes.
In a survey released this year, almost 35 percent of drivers told the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that they had recently read text messages or e-mail while driving, and 26 percent said they had sent a text message.
About 3,300 people a year die in crashes attributed to distracted driving, with 387,000 more injured in 2011, federal data show.
For the study, Yager recruited people who were familiar with sending and receiving texts, and some of them already were using voice-to-text applications.
“One of the common comments was that they felt an inclination to look down at the screen to see if it heard them correctly, so that could be one possible explanation of why they were not looking at the roadway more frequently,” Yager said.
She said drivers said they felt safer when using voice-activated texting than when entering messages on a keyboard.
“Perhaps it is because they view it as safer and therefore it must be, but still they have this inclination to look down at the screen,” she said. “We found that their driving performance suffered equally with both methods.”
As has been proven in studies of cellphone conversations, Yager said drivers engaged in any form of texting were distracted by the communication effort.
“Whether you’re talking on the cellphone, whether you’re trying to send a message, whether you’re typing it with your hand, speaking it, driving is not a simple, mindless task,” she said. “So any of these types of activities that are not about driving have the potential of seriously taking your mind off what you’re doing in operating that vehicle.”
- Drivers not safer with voice-activated texting, study finds (troyrecord.com)
- Voice-To-Text Is Just As Dangerous As Regular Texting While Driving (embargozone.com)
- Voice-To-Text Is Just As Dangerous As Regular Texting While Driving (businessinsider.com)
- Hands-Free Or Voice-Activated Texting Not Safer (tech.slashdot.org)
- Dictating tech just as dangerous to text driving (stuff.co.nz)
- Texting and Driving with Siri Might Not Be So Safe (techland.time.com)
- Voice-to-text as dangerous as texting to drivers (itpro.co.uk)
- For Drivers, Voice-to-Text Is Also Dangerous (mashable.com)
- Is Voice-to-Text Safer Than Texting While Driving? (newsy.com)
- Talk to text driving danger (wptv.com)
APRIL 7, 2013
FACEBOOK UNVEILS NEW WASTE OF TIME
POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ
MENLO PARK (The Borowitz Report)—Before a rapt audience at Facebook headquarters Thursday, Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg unveiled new software that he promised “will totally change the way you are wasting your life.”
Explaining the development of Facebook’s new phone software, Home, Mr. Zuckerberg said, “Our research showed that Facebook users still had a few hours a day when they were leading somewhat healthy and productive lives. Our new software will change all of that.”
Mr. Zuckerberg said his developers had worked for months developing Home, “which seizes control of your phone and makes it good for little other than Facebook—much like many Facebook users themselves.”
By bombarding the user with status updates on a twenty-four-hour basis, he boasted, “Home transforms Facebook from just a social network into something akin to a neurological disorder.”
As the audience applauded that pronouncement, Mr. Zuckerberg added, “At Facebook, we want to be a million voices inside your head.”
When one member of the audience worried whether Home would give Facebook even more access to private information about one’s life, Mr. Zuckerberg reassured the questioner, “After using Home for several weeks, you will have no life.”
While clearly proud of his latest product, Mr. Zuckerberg gave notice that he did not intend to rest on his laurels: “At Facebook, we will never stop striving to replace real experience with something soulless and empty.”
- Facebook Unveils New Waste of Time (soshitech.com)
- Zuckerberg unveils Facebook phone software (cbc.ca)
- Mark Zuckerberg Reveals ‘Facebook Home’ for Android (mashable.com)
- Facebook Unveils ‘Home’ Android Product (techland.time.com)
- Facebook Unveils Facebook Home for Android (forums.pinstack.com)
- Mark Zuckerberg does not think Facebook Home will reach the iPhone (thedroidguy.com)
- Facebook Launches Home Software For Android Smartphones (techweekeurope.co.uk)
- Facebook unveils ‘Home’ for Android mobile gadgets (miamiherald.com)
- Facebook unveils ‘Home’ Android product (onlineathens.com)
- Facebook unveils new experience for Android phones (cnsnews.com)
Why Samsung might be walking out on Android
Samsung’s doing great with souped-up Android phones. So great they might leave Android behind.
June 18, 2012
Waiting in line for the Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone during a late night sale event in Berlin May 28, 2012.
If you think the Samsung Galaxy SIII is just about the best Android phone ever made, like , then you’ll be heartened to hear that the new CEO of Samsung wants to make the company’s phones even Samsung-ier.
In a (and , for those without WSJ subscriptions), CEO Kwon Oh-hyun touted the Samsung-only apps that differentiate the Galaxy SIII from other Android phones. That includes “S Voice,” a Siri-like, voice-recognizing personal assistant, the “Smart Stay” feature that tracks your eyes to know where to focus and when to turn off, a lot of little apps for photos and videos, specialty apps that work with Samsung’s specialty stylus, and others. Other Android phone makers offer their own unique apps and interface tweaks, but Samsung’s remodeling is so pervasive and uniquely styled as to suggest Samsung might create its own operating system, or at least “fork” Android into a custom build that doesn’t track with Google’s new releases.
Why would Samsung choose to take on the job of maintaining its own OS when Google offers to do it for free, and, in fact, pushes hard to get new versions of its mostly open OS onto phones? A few reasons, as detailed by the WSJ, CNET, and recent Android history:
· What sets one quad-core, hi-res, LTE-enabled Android phone apart from another? Lots of little hardware and software details, actually, but what really draws eyeballs and opens wallets is marquee features, in Samsung’s mind. 50 GB of online storage space, a phone that pulls up directions from your voice, a phone that calls people when you pick it up while looking at a text message—something different.
· With the official Android OS, it’s hard to close off certain apps and their offerings, or to lock in your own company’s music app and MP3 store as the primary tool for tunes. But look at what Amazon or Barnes & Noble have done with the Kindle Fire and the Nook (respectively): they’re “Android,” but they exist to sell and collect each maker’s offerings. Samsung has not looked at Amazon and Apple’s success and declared, “No, we’d rather not have that kind of diverse revenue, we’ll stick to razor-thin hardware margins.”
· Google bought Motorola Mobility, and swore up and down that it would operate Motorola at an arm’s length: no exclusive access to Android versions, no favored status for Nexus device partnerships, and so forth. Samsung isn’t buying it. Samsung said it was —but who isn’t looking forward to free things? Samsung executives have that they expect to be competing with Goog-orola directly when it comes to new phones and devices, and it’s hard to compete with the team that controls your software.
There’s a chance Samsung is still a happy Android partner, and just wants to tout its proprietary offerings above and beyond the general marketing points for Android. But there’s a much bigger chance that Samsung, emboldened by its recent successes and growing name recognition, will look at how proprietary profit is being made and move toward getting some of it.
- Samsung Posts ICS Open Source Files For AT&T And T-Mobile Galaxy SIII (SGH-I747M And SGH-T999V) (androidpolice.com)
- Samsung’s New Flagship Android Phone Is Trying To Kill The BlackBerry, And The iPhone (RIMM, GOOG) (businessinsider.com)
- Samsung Drops Source Code For The Galaxy SIII (AKA I9300) – Get It While It’s Hot (androidpolice.com)
- Samsung Planning To Make It’s Own Mobile OS On Linux : It’s Called Tizen (thetechnologycafe.com)
- Samsung Focusing On Phone Software (mobile.slashdot.org)
- Samsung Makes Galaxy S III and Other Android Devices Enterprise-Ready (allthingsd.com)
- Samsung Galaxy SIII specifications emerge ahead of launch tonight (telegraph.co.uk)
- Samsung Galaxy SIII Hit Stores Today! (insydetech.info)
- Samsung to unveil Galaxy SIII (telegraph.co.uk)
Why Verizon Doesn’t Want You to Buy an iPhone
Verizon Needs LTE Subscribers
You Can’t Move an iPhone Customer to 4G
- Verizon reps tout 4G Android phones over iPhone (intomobile.com)
- Verizon iPhone Release Soon to Come! (epicagear.com)
- Pusher Man: Verizon Reps Will Push Android Over iPhone? Not So Fast (techcrunch.com)
- Apple iPhone on Verizon network coming this February but what does the market think today? (optionsanimal.com)
- Is the iPhone coming to verizon? (christianpf.com)
- Verizon reps push 4G Android over iPhone – CNN (money.cnn.com)
- This week: Skype killing Windows Phone; VZW: don’t buy iPhone; Design by lawyer – ZDNet (blog) (zdnet.com)
- Did Verizon’s CTO just confirm LTE for the next iPhone? (idownloadblog.com)
- Carriers ponder Apple iPhone subsidy uprising: Will it work? (zdnet.com)