Posts Taged communications

Canvy Team, apps, communications, WhatsApp, Snapchat, file sharing

When apps redefine communications – Canvy Team latest news recap

Although the modern communications market is still fragmented, the main communication channels and apps “own” certain features. Meaning that, even if successful features tend to spread via imitation or innovative answers within different apps, the audience tends to keep associating them with the brands that introduced or perfected them.

Some may wonder what else is new in digital communications. Well, the main established players in this market have found out once again that it’s the details that matter. Intuitive UI, friendly logos, tiny features that hold the potential of great impact may all be essential at the end of the day, as seasoning is for a great dish.

 

A successful app now allows sending any type of file

Loyal users everywhere are thrilled – and for a good reason. WhatsApp experiments these days with a feature that allows users to send other files than photos. The accepted files may be as large as 128 MB for iOS, 100 MB for Android and 64 MB for a Web client.

This new feature illustrates the way modern communications widen their range – why go out of the app, in order to send specific files via a different channel?

Well, the question above is not just rhetorical. We already have some critical voices that warn of the potential risks in this new WhatsApp capability. Some files may be malicious, or may carry items that in fact are not legally share-able. In other words, it seems that the difficulty of file-sharing in our day and age is not random. There are important cyber-security considerations involved, as well as legal considerations.

But why spoil the WhatsApp experiment by contemplating the difficulties involved? Most likely, if this feature proves successful, the company will mitigate the risks.

 

Tracking people on the map – a superpower of yet another communication app

No need to hold your breath or start guessing – we are talking about Snapchat. The instant fun, amazingly simple app now allows friends to see each other’s location. This new tool is bound to change the rules of the game a bit – since it basically introduces a tracking feature. See here more on this topic.

As we may see by looking at the bigger picture, both of these recent pieces of news illustrate how the communications apps compete for the fragmented market we mentioned above. Yet the more attractive these new features are, the riskier they might be – in turn.

What is your opinion on this attractiveness vs. privacy topic? Did you have any incidents involving modern communications risks? Are you concerned about the implications of sharing sensitive files via certain communications channels or not?

Let’s remember…

…how there is an intended line between work/office communications and private messaging. Yet the obsolete look and features of some work-destined communication channels results in employees doubling the way they communicate among themselves by employing the mainstream, private-targeted apps. Therefore, the idea that your staff is using more secure channels in order to communicate work-related details might just prove a utopia. These tools are all efficiency-dependent. When they fail to meet the users’ expectancy in terms of speed, responsiveness and friendliness, they end up being rapidly replaced by the next app in line.

Finally, although it may sound like an old Hallmark card, modern communications, in fact, are all about sharing and receiving. Without letting some of your digital persona be seen, these virtual communities would be an extremely boring place. The communications landscape is made out of the few from the many, combined with the more from its “stars” – people who enjoy the spotlight and have found the answer to their dreams in the way modern people communicate – text, photos, file-sharing and all.

Cavy Google Assistant AI

Canvy Team question: Did the Google Assistant announcement just stole the thunder at the Google’s big developers’ conference?

The 10th edition of the Google I/O took place this year as usual in San Francisco, CA. The 2017 edition enthralled the participants present in the Shoreline Amphitheatre with quite a few subjects. Subsequently the online media covered these topics and even launched full-on debates on the most intriguing announcements.

Although the news ranged from the Google Home device to the availability of the beta version of the Android “O”, the Google Assistant changes are the ones that went mainstream viral.

But what’s in this piece of news that managed to make it talk of the town?

Google Assistant – the new best friend for marketing professionals, as well as online retailers

You may take a guess now, using our subtitle as a clue…

Yes, you are right. Google will monetize its Assistant “with ads and e-commerce functionalities” – as the publication Android Headlines puts it. The precise statement belongs to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Advertising at Google.

The current debate regards placing this move in the bigger context, where Amazon’s Alexa is already way ahead of Google’s Assistant future version – or so say the specialist, basing their affirmation on the way Alexa manages to integrate into the Amazon shopping-centered ecosystem.

Why should we care?

It’s been a year since Google announced its AI Assistant at the previous I/O. The unveiling integrated the Google Home suite of launches.

An attempt to break down the important tech concepts involved here would look like this:

  • AI (the technology behind Google Assistant, part of the huge machine learning, AI, smart tech trend)
  • The integration of AI into the audience’s everyday habits (IoT-related, bringing technology on the go in as many aspects of our lives as possible)
  • Digital marketing ( another extremely important phenomenon that went from serving businesses to making it clear that companies should integrate it I order to survive)
  • Online shopping (a mass phenomenon that might see the limits of its expansion on geographical markets at some point – perhaps sooner rather than later – and which is looking for innovative ways of reinventing competition and of re-gaining the attention of potential shoppers).

We should care because the changes induced by each of these elements which now belong to our everyday lives have proven to be so far of a much higher impact than officially estimated. Reverberating through businesses, financial markets and all the little yet important things that shape the world around us, all these factors combined are the mixture of our high-end, high-tech future. Therefore, each change announced by the tech giants has the “butterfly effect” and it is indeed an interesting subject to follow.

Why did the Canvy Team find this Google I/O news interesting?

Well, first of all, we are developers. Naturally, our morning news counts tech subjects.

Secondly, we are interested in the way communications and technology shape human society and relationships in general.

Once shopping would be not just a few taps away, but at a couple of voice commands away, with AI Assistants perhaps even suggesting you what you might need or wish to buy – in a functional, almost perfect, competitive manner – it would be intriguing to see all the resulting changes for retailers, app developers, and communication operators, just to name a few.

Well, perhaps we’ve exaggerated – a bit, just for the sake of sharing our enthusiasm in the matter – but you get the picture.

canvy facebook f8 conference

What do you think about Facebook’s F8 statements? The Canvy Team summarized them for you

Facebook is one of the most important social media platforms, currently engaging 1.86 billion monthly active users. As you all know, it is one of the platforms integrated by Canvy, communications-wise. With our contact manager app Canvy, you can see your contacts’ Facebook account, and you can reach them via this channel, if active and set as preferred.

Therefore Facebook-related news is a matter of tangential interest for us. Recently (aka, on 18-19 April 2017), the company held its (quasi) annual F8 conference. The future plans unveiled this year in San Jose, California, sent ripples all through the tech world. Why is that?

Mind-controlled technology

As he confessed in 2016, Mark Zuckerberg wants to build a next-generation computer platform in which “people are the foundational element.” In view of this, his company uses R&D that should lead to valid prototypes of brain-computer experiences.

A while ago, Zuckerberg referred to AR and VR as appealing extensions of traditional human interactions. Yet Facebook’s Oculus VR venture got hit in 2016-2017 by a lawsuit where the court ruled in favor of their opponent, Zenimax. The $500 million in damages Facebook has to pay dampened a bit Zuckerberg’s VR enthusiasm. Add to this the fact that at the beginning of April 2017 the company is dragged into court via yet another Oculus-related lawsuit, the immediate future of Facebook VR is not looking so good.

However, the plans for brain-computer integration are not suspended, as the F8 discussions revealed. Apparently, a team of 60 engineers lodged in the Building 8 works on a technology that should allow us to type words on a computer by using just our minds.

Technology aims to materialize SF concepts

Although we are living in times of huge scientific and technological progress, many of us tend to still feel amazed by concepts like the ones of the Facebook F8 Conference. Typing words by using just our minds, hearing via the skin (for hearing-impaired persons), creating brain interfaces – all these are unsettling in a certain way, as TechCrunch puts it.

Perfecting such technology would break the inner-outer world barrier, in what the human mind is concerned. The optional character of giving up the privacy of our thoughts already is the big question for some. The F8 news reached various mass-media publications and became viral, and there are voices talking about tech-induced telepathy as a Facebook project.

Of course, all those familiarized with science know it’s a long and winding road from concept to prototype. Yet, it is also only logical for a company as big as Facebook to either understate the magnitude of its progress, in order to (relatively) keep it under the wraps, or to overstate it, as part of trying to raise brand interest.

Whichever the case, the recent unveilings surely managed to create quite a buzz.

How close are we to this utopian future of communications?

By utopian, we mean close to SF depictions, as we also hinted above. It all points towards an image of people employing technology to a high degree, while dropping the current hardware and UI. Imagine talking on your phone, without having to get it out of your pocket or sending a message by using just your thoughts. And, apparently, thought-sharing is not language-conditioned, so this kind of communications would go beyond cultural barriers as we know them today.

The head of Facebook’s experimental technologies division is Mrs. Regina Dugan, who previously led DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) as its 19th Director. She left in 2012 for Google, where she created and lead the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. The ATAP generated Google’s Project Tango and Project Ara.

Now with the Building 8 research team, she hopes to reach the stage of having a brain sensor prototype ready within 18 months. This prototype should be able to type 100 words per minute, as instructed by human thought. Once marking this milestone, the company aims to mass-produce and sell the resulting sensor.