Posts on Jul 2017

Cancy contact manager contact app

Canvy release

Hello!

We are proud to introduce new visuals for Canvy, as well as a couple of enhanced functionalities – check them out!

Meet the new, revamped Canvy, try the new features:

· New, improved user experience thanks to the overhaul of the entire app design
· New, tile-based view of aggregated contact details
· New action bar with search, navigation drawer and arrangement mode functionality
· In-app surveys

Install Canvy, configure it to your liking and relax – now all your contacts are comfortably reachable via our friendly UI, with cool functionalities!

725 bench_park_bench_girls_sitting_relaxing_leisure_outdoors_park-1238770.jpg!d

Canvy – take time to save time, an app for enjoying connectivity

As a collector would, today’s digital asset owner could take time and caress the beloved possessions that are always by his or her side. Dust the edges of these precious impalpable “things”, re-order them on the shelves, take a long contended look and immerse into the fact that so many possibilities are at his/her fingertips.

The beauty of digital devices has always been here, never to be fully understood. Commercials remember to put the spotlight on it – and all the designers, perhaps, let out a sigh of gratitude.

How about the beauty of the applications? Their visuals – you might wonder. Yes, and besides this we also have the mathematical beauty of all the functionalities active beneath what we can see, the almost artistic beauty of configuring the settings, of adding the right sounds and images to “our” app.

 

Personalization

There is a reason we used the commas above. Any out-of-the-box app is not yet ours – it comes with a default set of settings, it looks and behaves just like any of its off-the-shelf instances found in the phones of millions of users. Yet it holds the potential of becoming ours, via finely tuned details – and here is where each person who employs an application becomes a secret artist of sorts.

It’s – in a way – an extremely sad and unrecognized form of modern art. We put our soul and personality, bits of it, into personalizing our apps. Yet there are no contests or prized that would appreciate this particular craftsmanship. If you like, it resembles daydreaming in that it is only known to us.

Some say that we shifted a whole part of our creative potential onto interacting with digital products – and they might be true. However, since fighting it seems impossible (see the concept of digital detox and its transience), at least we could manage to admit it, and power through it.

Do you enjoy setting up and configuring your OS, your software and your apps? Perhaps it is unclear, when asked like that. OK then – how much do you dislike it when some updates reset your configuration? Oh, well… this is probably the main cause of user annoyance whenever software owners perform changes. So, it is only logical that the answer is YES. We do like to personalize our digital tools – and make them “ours”.

 

From the corner of your eye to full-on spotlight

Once admitting we all spent a certain amount of time leaving our mark upon any digital tool we employ, we could go from reluctantly doing so to proudly doing so. No guilt about it, no “I could be doing something better right now”. Just take a reasonable amount of time and explore your tools, appreciate them, see if you haven’t missed any features, set up the way they look to be most enjoyable, and so on.

After all, this is personal time. And, to be honest, you aren’t going to use it to paint, sing or compose anything remarkable – or at least most of us won’t. Sad as it may sound, creativity did not skyrocket in the digital era, nevertheless, instead of poking it permanently, we may as well accept the phenomena and enjoy our everyday, not-so-creative actions. Such as personalizing our apps, visually and functionally.

Do we become the actions that take the most of our time – in a continuous manner? Not necessarily, but yes, it’s the simplest way things happen. In an effortless way, if we spend most of our day on the phone, at work, making small talk with others, or feeding ourselves with a mixed stream of information we become average people, in tune with the general trends, mildly aware of what’s going on in the world, mildly informed upon a variety of topics.

Why not use our digital tools as a convenient shield, fighting in a peaceful manner to regain our individuality? Personalizing them thoroughly- here’s the first step.

 

Apps to shield us from the shock of big data

Like infinite swarms of bees, data are roaming around in the digital space. And it’s not yet at its fullest – as its squared or cubed dimensions are yet to come. What can the mere human do in order to make sense of what he or she needs from this big data, whilst keeping at bay the things that act as disturbances?

Pick up the right types of software, apps included (or, if you’d like) primarily apps, to set them as guardians of his privacy, of his personal time, and in the end, allowing ourselves to exaggerate a bit – of his sanity.

Apps to tame other apps, apps to tame data – set them up and let them take care of various functionalities or social areas. Regain your life, breathe!

 

Canvy, the contact management app for you

Perhaps you already are at that point where you understand the importance of safeguarding your private moments. Be it for loading your batteries or just for allowing the relaxed vibe to make you feel better and see things in a new perspective, being able to create and protect your own time in a hectic environment is sometimes critical.

Canvy is a contact management app that – once configured – lets you organize your contacts, connect on various channels and also set a visually pleasing UI in accordance with your preferences. We did not take things in a hurry – beneath its smooth interface Canvy sums up a lot of work hours, complex app development, testing and meditating upon the best solutions.

We are also up for improving, (although we do love our product as it is), that is why we are happy to hear from those who use our app – inquiries, suggestions, feedback of any kind is welcome at marketing@gocanvy.com. Since the main functionality – of a friendly, centralized tool that takes the dissipated “connectivity” load from your phone and organizes it in accordance with a set of settings you configure – depends on the number of contacts you have, each instance of Canvy is unique.

Let us know what you think of it! And remember, take your time to properly set up Canvy and explore it, to save precious time from that moment on, by allowing it to become a loyal friend which helps you stay in touch with your contacts in exactly the amount you want to.

Tekke, Street Fighter, video game, Canvy Team, news,

Analysis of a trending piece of news in gaming – the Canvy Team

Besides keeping an eye on the latest in technology, and especially in apps, we all know that signaling, “digesting”, and perhaps adding a bit of a different angle on the most recent stories serves in riding their ranking wave. This technique is established in the online environment.

When the spotlight news happens to be on a topic that we already know, fully understand or at least partially grasp – all for the better. But when the leading lady of the tech news is more of a niche subject for us – the Canvy team members that love to share weekly trending articles with our audience – we may be in a bit of a tight spot.

 

Exercising a different kind of topic

However, we decided to take the bull by its horns and attack the top trending tech story in the US region – two famous Japan-based fighting video games just got “DLC characters from old beat-’em-ups”, according to vg247.

Now, you may wonder what the link between this and the target audience for Canvy is. It might be that we have Canvy users that are passionate about fighting video games. Or not. Anyway, these games have a huge mass of fans, and most definitely their fans also own smartphones and have contact lists, therefore a potential need for our contact management app. But enough with the backstage justifications – let’s dive into the main story we picked for today.

 

What happened and why should the gamers feel thrilled?

As we mentioned above, two renowned games just got new DLC characters. FYI “DLC is extra content for a video game you download from the internet, either distributed by the game’s official publisher or a third party content producer.

Let’s also disclose the games – it’s all about Street Fighter – created by Capcom, and Tekken (Iron Fist, in Japanese) – created by Badai Namco Studios. Fighter fans will add to their arsenal in Street Fighter 5 the character Abigail – from Final Fight. Meanwhile, starting with Tekken 7 Geese Howard is the next add-on character.

The announcement was made on 16th July 2017 during the Evo (Evolution Championship Series) 2017, held in Las Vegas.

 

The humans behind the two games – and their alleged friendship

That’s the news – in a nutshell. Also, adding to that, it seems like for the first time (?) the two competitor developer companies teamed up, in a move that serves for the good of the fighter game genre – as the source we quoted in the beginning of our piece mentions.

A human-to-human friendship might be behind this move – respectively Yoshinori Ono (Street Fighter) and Katsuhiro Harada (Tekken) are rumored to get along, especially that in 2012 they collaborated on the crossover release Street Fighter X Tekken ( – now look back at our question mark from 5 rows above, and fully understand its purpose…).

 

The bigger image in all this

Software developers create games, programs or applications, which in turn expand their own life and meaning when imbued with the perspective, actions and energy of all the users around the globe. It’s a case of double creation – the backbone fueled by developers gets full life only once the audience fills it with actions, purpose, feedback, and continuous use.

True, the video games are sort of a supreme example. The audience is unrestricted by age, race, interests, special abilities or whatever other characteristics might there be. On the opposite side, people who employ business apps should have something to do with the business environment, those who employ creative apps should be potentially creative and so on. But the pattern is the same – the work of a team of developers holds the potential to expand it influence and power with the contribution of the product’s users.

Developers provide a framework, whilst aiming to improve upon a certain starting product via user feedback, market monitoring and so on.

And, some day, there is the passing of that magical threshold when you realize your product has really turned into an inanimate friend for all those who employ it – a friend in need, a skill expander, a loyal assistant or whatever other role a software product might take.

Do you agree?

CAnvy, leadership, startup, startup management, lessons, steps

Going for the win – five steps into the inner world of an entrepreneur

Author: Horia Damian, CEO and Founder Partner of the contact management app Canvy, startup entrepreneur and tech passionate

Why startups?

The startup environment characterizes the current tech business landscape, in a way that fits all company sizes. Small projects found a vessel to carry them towards materialization, midsize businesses adopted this entrepreneurship model in order to expand their reach, and large companies found in startups a thriving environment that they just could not miss. There is an angle for anyone when it comes to startups, but, as with any new tools (or any new game, if you like) one just has to understand and take in the basic rules.

Of course, we always go for the win. Startups are dynamic, fresh and wrapped up in extreme attractiveness, but they are an extremely complex game – they combine, innovation and initiative with strategy and perseverance. My experience as a startup entrepreneur went from the initial plans through (sometimes rough) reality checks and hard readjustments. We are not there yet, not in the full sense, but we get our energy from both from our set goals, as well from the activities itself.

  1. Going from idea to action

What got us started in the first place? There were two things that mattered to us: the confidence that we could run this project (developing a productivity app and making it better than previously existing similar apps) as a whole, and also that our idea had what it takes to succeed, aka the novelty, the value and the right timing – the market was ready for it. Always find the objective way of measuring your plans against the market when launching your startup!

  1. Be your first, but not your foremost customer

The proof is in the pudding – once materialized, we employed our own software product, and we scrutinized it as a third-party would! For example, I use the app we developed daily, not just because it is our product, (out of business reasons), but also because I find it useful for myself. I think that the element of personal involvement is very important, just as much as staying open to the opinions of others is. So I would say: build your product firstly for yourself, make it as close to perfection in terms of what you appreciate, but equally adapt it to integrate the needs and ideas of others into the end result. This way, you aim to deliver a better product than you even dreamed of. You go for plus-perfection.

  1. Prepare for pressure

Do not be afraid of it – pressure comes from all directions. The intensity and the way it impacts your activity are different, depending on the team you are working with. The more you can “delegate” this pressure, the easier it is to take an entrepreneurial initiative, because carrying too much pressure on one person’s shoulders can prove counter-creative.
However, any entrepreneur must be able to take in the pressure generated by the need to achieve the established business goals set for a clear and relatively short time.

  1. Appreciate all your allies

They used to say “is all about the product”.  I deeply believe it’s like that. But I also think “it’s all about the team”. If you can count on a team with the right skills, energy and vision, then the product will be the one you aimed for. Whereas for the product – presentation duo, I would not say there is a first and second place, as I rather see a shared first place. Just think of it. You have a good product, but you need to bring it in front of the clients. Yes, there were times when the dictum “If you build it, they will come” worked. Not anymore. Merely creating a good product does not guarantee customer presence. The battle for the relevant audience’s attention and loyalty is essential nowadays. Take this reality in – and prepare to deliver both an excellent product, as well as a great presentation.

 

  1. Grow with your startup, grow with your team

I understand – now even more than before – that the road to success passes through the valley of humility. As an entrepreneur, your willingness to give up some of your opinions and to adopt the ones that are best for the product is also important. Of course, this ability to accept that the truth is not always your truth is rarely innate. In most of the cases, you acquire it via experience, and it is an educated skill. This process also involves a great openness towards others: colleagues, users, advisors and investors.

Only when giving humility its toll, you stand a chance for success. By avoiding any changes, and by refusing to adapt, the chances are slim. However, when your ambitions and vision morph into a shared vision and a mature understanding of what you can deliver, the success is at the horizon.

Amazon Echo, Alexa, emergency calling, incident, technology, smart devices, ML, Canvy Team

Why is the Amazon Echo incident important – a few takeaways from the Canvy Team

Update: According to Buzzfeed, the entire story is highly questionable, due to the fact that Amazon “said on Monday that its devices are not capable of calling 911”. Nevertheless, our point about smart devices potentially being responsible for people’s safety in the future is not invalid, even if the entire incident proves to be “embellished”.

***

What did the news report this week (on this subject)?

Who you gonna call? – Well, not the ghostbusters, since there was no ghost involved in the entire conundrum. And more to the point, the latest incident pointed out that the calling in emergency situations could go from a “who” to a “what”. The Amazon Echo (Alexa, in fact) system mistook a reply shouted during a domestic incident for an instruction – and called the sheriffs. This led to the de-escalation of the incident and generated quite a buzz in the online media – can smart devices safeguard humans?

Although perhaps a premature question, this surely falls upon a concept long-thought about in the R&D departments of many tech companies. Why premature? Due to the fact that the Amazon Echo’s intervention was accidental (nevertheless useful), and unexpected, it may be a long shot to see too much into it. A fortunate incident does not replace accurate and oriented tests, nor does it make a general rule.

What is beneath dispute, however, is the fact that this incident opened up to the wider public the idea of smart devices serving as a help in critical situations.

 

“Potentially life-saving” AI assistants

The image projected by such a sequence of words is truly appealing. Technology is appealing, in general, when placed in the context of helping humans, enhancing their abilities, helping them get through the mundane tasks quicker and better.

The downside of this image consists of, as always, the current ways we manage to fall short of this wonderful concept. Take cyber security alerts, for example. There is a notion related to having too many warnings, or warnings that are wrongfully triggered by not-so-dangerous security events – “alert fatigue”. The tool – a smart, real-time, alert generator cyber security system – when calibrated less than smart, ends up by defying its purpose. Important alerts end up by being ignored.

 

Smart devices for a safer life – but what are the requirements?

In a similar way, having smart devices safeguard people would be useful only if they are:

  • Optimally set up (with proper reaction thresholds, and the capability to integrate unexpected situations);
  • Accessible (while technology cannot break the cost barrier and remains inaccessible to a wide part of the population, no ubiquitous networks can exist, therefore the learning pool available for ML would remain limited, creating inaccurate patterns and sub-environments);
  • Endowed with the other part of the reaction chain – services specially tailored to pick up on the alerts and intervene;
  • Continually able to improve, with every new experience fed into the AI (wait – that is, in fact, the definition of Machine Learning – ML).
  • Cyber- secure: stories on how smart networks were hacked into serve as a warning, since this is the reality we live in.

Crossroads in technology

As wave breakers, the trials that transform tech concepts into prototypes and commercial versions often are a harsh reality check. We dream of AI, AGI, Machine Learning, digitizing everything – some of us even fear the day when machines will be able to design and produce other machines independently, or software would be capable of programming itself. Yet the reality represents most likely a hectic mix of concepts & limitations.

The road from theory to product, be it hardware or software, is a long, winding one. That is why devices and applications that can be trusted with human lives are extremely scarce. Making a completely autonomous, reliable prototype is extremely difficult and it takes a lot of trials.

Our app aims to be a friend to the people who employ it. Don’t take it this means developing such an app is easy – especially that we covered various elements of complexity. However, the challenges when developing a health or safety app are way higher.

What remains to be done is for us to keep looking forward, to aim for innovation, while threading carefully and detail-attentive towards each element that stands the test of reality.

 

Facebook, global internet acces, Canvy, Canvy Team, Aquila

Global Internet access – latest developments and summary from the Canvy Team

If you are passionate about all tech things, as we are here at Canvy, then you must be aware of Facebook’s attempts to provide global internet access.

 

What does global internet access mean?

Somewhere in January 2017 the planet became aware of its current overall digitization status. More precisely, a global overview powered by We are Social & Hootsuite revealed how more than 50 percent of the world’s population employs Internet connectivity on a regular basis. Or, as the more common expression goes, they are digitally connected.

How does this translate for you? Do you associate a wow moment to this piece of information, or are you slightly perplexed the numbers are not higher?

It probably depends on many factors, such as your location, the social positioning that defines you, your upbringing, your profession and so on. We would venture to say that – if you are reading our blog, you would rather be amazed the number is not higher.

Global internet access would mean a much higher internet connectivity rate – aiming over the 80 percent threshold. But is that possible?

 

Facebook and its quest for Internet connectivity everywhere

Since the big data proves the markets that provide Internet connectivity are way more packed in terms of users (obviously!), the leading tech companies whose global reach depends on ubiquitous connectivity have decided to take things in their hands.

There is a race for global Internet access going on – and it has brought a few things into question.

One of these highlights consists of the special shape taken by this “free Internet” that is in the works. There’s no such thing as a freebie, especially when the backstage involves expensive technology – therefore someone has to sponsor it, or make it profitable in a way. In order to do this, this free internet would be tributary to sponsors, meaning that only certain websites, tools or clusters of information would be available.

And here we go – hello, Internet neutrality dispute! There is an ongoing fight over the way  the Internet would in fact not be the same when made available globally in such a way. Some possible target areas for this type of connectivity have even thought of turning down the possible offer.

 

Social considerations juxtaposed over the need for Internet everywhere

Without global connectivity, there would be no global Internet. No global network, no universal standards, no IoT as the specialists have imagined it. A fragmented network could do, but it will come short of the ideal omni-network some have visualized and also, based their short to medium plans upon.

Due to the fact that social disparities not only plague societies vertically, but also horizontally, it may prove difficult to justify free Internet for some areas in view of their overall low budget, while in other areas the average financial plateau is acceptable, yet this average numbers mark extremes that make the reality different from the figures-based story.

In simpler terms, rural USA areas are as poorly connected as less developed states from the other side of the world are. Yet these rural areas are compensated by the nearby urban conglomerates’ connectivity, hence no free internet eligibility here, whereas less developed states might benefit from a sponsored form of Internet access.

Another issue, that we’ve mentioned above, is the “altered” state of this sponsored free internet connectivity. Check the toll-free data debate.

 

Recent developments – the Facebook drone

That being said – in a nutshell, the leading edge tech companies pursue their global internet connectivity projects – at least its experimental side.

Recently, Facebook’s solar-powered Internet connectivity provider drone, Aquila, successfully completed its test flight in Arizona.

The company intends on developing their drone in such a way that it could be able to fly for months in a row. In fact, the plan is to have a fleet of solar-powered airplanes provide digital connectivity to remote parts of the world.

While a lot of feasibility details have to do with ethics, rules & regulations, the tests proved auspicious. It surely looks like one day we might be able to travel even to the most isolated places, yet benefit from Internet connectivity. Whether it would be the same Internet we know from back home or not, that is – as we’ve seen, a whole different discussion.