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Trends that caught our attention: Google Pixel 2 news and DNA nanobots

While recovering from a local storm that managed to wreak havoc on the city here, we couldn’t help but browsing the bigger picture trending subjects – in the tech field, which is always a matter of interest here, at the Canvy Team.

 

Gogle Pixel 2 launch confirmed

With a timing that managed to out-trend even the iPhone X post-launch comments (at least in the USA), Google confirmed its October 4th event marking the launch of Pixel 2.

This high-end device competes in the premium segment. The additional Google-related rumors are that the company will replace the defective Nexus 6P with Pixel XL-s, even if the one year warranty term id overdue.

The price for the expected Pixel 2 remains yet to be announced, as well as the validity of the second piece of (unofficial) news.

 

DNA nanobots

On the healthcare-oriented side of next-gen technology, the Caltech researchers managed to make quite a few waves by reviving the idea of microscopic DNA robots set to intervene in favor of the human health by transporting molecules to specific places in the body. This time the robots evolved into a more feasible concept – the specialists speak of “pegs” that would enable the tiny robots to advance their way towards their destination inside the body.

However, as the source article mentions, “there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in order to perfect the technology and understand how the robots could work in a wider variety of situations”, a detail that might temper the enthusiasm, but nevertheless does not impair the fact that the scientists advance on their way to materializing the prototypes.

 

Conclusion in G minor

…Where G can either stand for Google – a brand definitely on top of the digital trends, or you can also look at the trending topics on (again!) Google, and see how G may stand for “games”, a subject that takes at least one of the top places weekly. This may be construed positively (people will always keep their playful nature), or negatively (all this tech primarily serves the gaming field, while other domains are not as appreciated). In fact, the balanced conclusion is nor here nor there.

Modern technology empowered customers like never before – in terms of making choices of high impact. Ultimately, the playfulness or seriousness of any tech product translates not into moral conclusions, but into profitability metrics. The most world saving concept can populate a dusty file if not approached and supported accordingly. Similarly, the video games industry is thriving due to the fact that it manages to captivate people of all ages.

On this note, we leave you to another week of tech discoveries, and we invite you once again to explore Canvy’s full array of features, as you might find things that you’ve missed before. Our Android contact manager app is pretty complex, and we welcome your feedback at out contact addresses!

Canvy, Canvy Team, smartphones, Android Oreo

Android Oreo – what about the smartphones that are not scheduled to update

The fast-paced technology of our days may sometimes feel frustrating. We tend to form bonds with our possessions, especially when their daily use proves satisfactory. Therefore smartphones cross the boundary between indifferent objects and cherished goods. Many appreciate the new, improved devices, yet still hold on to their older ones – it’s an element of comfort. It may also be an action of wise financial considerations or sustainability.

Regardless of the reason, a lot of people desire to keep their current devices, yet would like to benefit from the latest software updates. Depending on the tech leaders’ policies, this may or may not be possible. What else is there to do, besides giving up your older smartphone and getting a new one just because you want the latest OS features and access to the newest apps?

 

Android Oreo and smartphone obsolescence

Unveiled on the 21st of August this year, the latest Android version was confirmed to arrive preinstalled on smartphones such as “BlackBerry, HTC, Nokia and Sony”, as GhizmoChina confirms (also see here the list of devices that get the new OS).

The logical assumption is that older smartphone versions will not get the Oreo update.

The same publication mentions that, however, those who really wish to have the latest Android version working on their current smartphones can employ custom ROMS and install Oreo. This “solution” is highly questionable, due to its instability and unofficial character – so if you are thinking of it, better move past it.

 

The hardware-software hybrid comes with its own rules

Whenever we acquire a “bundle” made out of hardware and software, we should understand that this type of property is not autonomous, especially in a world of connectivity. The benefits are many, but the rules are very specific ones we must abide to.

Perhaps the digital generations find it hard to even examine this issue in terms of autonomy versus dependency, but the services’ merging that we are witnessing do cause this type of interlocking for various elements, paid or free.

We buy a smartphone – it comes with a preinstalled OS that is part of our decision process when we decide to make this purchase. We install various apps, some of them free – in many instances because we want to connect and our friends and peers are reachable on those particular networks represented by the apps. Or we simply extend our abilities via the apps and we make our activities easier.

From the get go, the quality of digital user will suffer the impact of various factors.

 

Is the customer a false or a true king?

The idiom “the customer is always king” knows a radical transformation in the digital age. On the one hand, the companies do pay attention to the way users react to their product and services and analyze the market before every change – the slightest annoyance can snowball into a worldwide phenomenon or at least has the potential to impact a brand’s image. Therefore, risk management includes the customer reaction as one of the most important factors.

One the other hand, some changes need to go through, no matter what. As we know, innovations are rarely able to guarantee public approval before they launch – so they need to be introduced, they hold risks and often meet the audience’s hostility.

Of course, not everything comes in A/B tests. Some changes that seem to be pre-approved by the customers go wrong when standing the reality trial, while some innovations prove winners, regardless of the first impact.

The idea here would be that, when considering smartphones and the related software, be it their OS or their apps, any major change turns into a global roll out. When the change implies modifications that we do not like, unwanted updates, or even replacing our smartphones for compatibility – we hardly feel like kings.

 

Enjoy what you have

The good part is that old sayings never go out of business – and the ones about enjoying what you have are the golden rule when in doubt about changes that you are not sure of. Ponder your options – you have the time since usually there is a lag between the new and the old, in the sense that you are able to keep your old options/devices and not be completely out-networked for a while.

The same advice should go to the companies, as well. The truth is that customers appreciate not being pushed into unwanted options, or being left behind because they choose to do things differently. The ethics, the customer-friendliness and the customer loyalty are perhaps harder to quantify, but extremely valuable. When introducing innovations, it would be nice to let them exist along classical options, instead of annihilating these last ones. Just saying… at least when there is enough room for both to coexist.

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.

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Who else is redesigning their communication app? – Canvy Team -selected tech news

Hello to all our readers! While browsing through last week’s notable news, we decided to see the details of a couple of MFST announcements. One of them in particular is of interest for us at this moment – and we will unveil our main reason later on in this post.

Microsoft and its spotlight news – hardware

First, let’s take a look at a couple of hardware news.

The company managed to keep their audience engaged last week, with its new lineup of Surface devices. You may see here a 60 second cut of a new dedicated ad. Not every rumor about these devices is positive, though: Forbes highlights the unpleasant “lack of repairability” characterizing the 2017 Surface Pro laptop, designed in a way that mimics Apple technology – in what the repairing is concerned.

Yet another MFST innovation is the Microsoft Modern Keyboard, featuring a hidden fingerprint sensor. Aiming to make passwords a thing of the past – at least for the users which enjoy biometric authentication, this new keyboard looks and feels a bit MacBook – like, as Daily Mail puts it.

Microsoft recent news – software

It seems we’ve entered a summer for significant updates, upgrades and for refreshing the look of certain applications – a thing we are most interested about.

Pix, the Microsoft camera app on iOS camera app, just took the idea of photo embellishing to a new level (new for Pix, customary for third-party apps that revolved around filters, photo enhancements and style filters – think the Prisma photo editing app, for example).

And last, yet not least, Skype will undergo a major redesign. The company unveiled the new look earlier this month, and we can see how they are going from the specific look towards one more in tone with the appearance of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Snapchat. Is this how the desire to blend in looks like? Or is it that a certain visual aspect of what the communication apps are concerned proved to be the winning formula?

Going from cute to complex and discrete – this is how this move is perceived by some. True as it might be that we go on certain networks to reconnect with friends and discover groups based on interests, common activities or shared values – as adults we all spend a lot of time engaged in professional activities. A certain “attire” slowly works its way into the visual elements we are most attracted to – a nuance of seriousness gains momentum. In other words, although the fun and bright design lures people towards an app, classy visuals do win in the long run.

What do you think about the way certain apps modifies their look or logo? As you may have noticed on Facebook, here at Canvy we are in the process of implementing a major upgrade, looks included. Stay tuned to find out exactly when, and in the meantime, let us know your ideas on this subject at marketing@gocanvy.com.

Canvy Team, Alphabet, $ 1000 stocks

Google’s Alphabet move generated a powerful parent company – the $1000 threshold news, summarized by the Canvy Team

Alphabet Inc shares went over $ 1000 for the first time ever. The class A shares pertaining to this company closed at $1,003.88 this Monday, according to Mercury News.

As you may well remember, Google went through a restructuring process, completed in October 2015. After creating Alphabet as a subsidiary, Google itself merged with yet another subsidiary – this time a dummy. This dummy subsidiary belonged to Alphabet, thus the newly-created brand ended up as a parent company for Google. Via a two-step switch, the tech company emerged more powerful from this reorganization process, while choosing a clever move that did not require for the shareholders’ vote.

Well, if any of the important shareholders may have felt threatened by this important change dating almost two years back, this moment of business history surely confirmed the company went the right way.

If curious, you may see here more details on the $1000 mark here. Apparently the Alphabet four-digit stock price comes only a week after Amazon marking the same milestone.

How tech, business and finances merge together for the perfect combination

We are tech people, as well as strategists. While focusing on what we aim to improve via our app, we also find tech success stories interesting and valuable. We keep an eye on what’s trending in relation with the tech giants, and we like to see how startups evolve and gain traction, as well.

Here’s an article on the $ 1000 stock-club and its select membership, dating back to 2013, when Google was just Google. Perhaps you find it interesting to put the values in perspective.

Although the said value of the shares greatly depends on the companies’ refusal to split the shares, the high-value status generates a stability effect, since such trading instruments are out of range for most of the usual investors. Volatility is most likely reduced this way.

While some voices fear bubbles whenever such high stock values are involved, others see this threshold share price as a trophy for the companies that manage to attain it.

Bottom line, in our times technology, business and finances merge together for a promising combination. While some companies represent success stories we may all learn from, others emerge as startups or smaller ventures, yet may hold the potential for great achievements.

Take yet another trip down the (volatile) digital memory lane and check out how investing in tech IPO’s looked like 4 years ago – here.

Canvy Team, news, universal basic income, Zuckerberg

News to watch, by the Canvy Team: Mark Zuckerberg spoke out for the basic income

Perhaps you already read about this – Mark Zuckerberg voiced his support for the universal basic income, during his recent Harvard commencement address.

But what is the universal basic income? It is a form of social security and a concept rooted in historical sociology movements. According to this concept, each citizen should benefit from a regular and unconditional basic income, regardless of whether they work or not. This sum of money should cover the citizen’s basic needs, thus making sure each person is not a burden for society in the eventuality they cannot earn their living.

This leaves the question of who is supposed to provide the necessary funds, and where these money would come from. As in all social security systems, the answer consists in an algorithm combining various forms of taxation – specially aimed at enterprises.

 

Why universal basic income (UBI) – now?

As mentioned above, the universal basic income concept is in fact a social security scheme aiming at redistributing taxation money towards each citizen, in order to ensure a minimum living standard that would prevent major social disruptions due to the classical social security not being able to keep up with the modern society issues.

The moment of this idea’s revival has to do with progress and technology. There is an anticipated social impact associated to next-gen tech. Automation and robotics will take over an impressive number of jobs and occupations, and it seems like the calculations of possible outcomes are not extremely optimistic. There is no telling what will happen with those who will be out of jobs, or with those whose skills will not be needed anymore.

Since the main beneficiaries of the predicted digital revolution are the enterprises, various sociological and political thinkers wonder about acceptable ways of making companies responsible.  In their opinion, businesses should contribute in maintaining the social equilibrium, even when most of their workers would be digital. The people in this scenario would compete for the limited human-targeted jobs left – a competition not anyone would win. The states are worried what would happen in the eventuality that people supporting themselves would become a mathematical impossibility.

Therefore, the fact that the universal basic income is re-discussed now is at least in part motivated by what we expect out of the digital revolution – in terms of social and occupational consequences.

 

Is this concept right or wrong?

Besides being just an idea, proclaimed by individual voices, associations and organizations, the basic income concept crossed into social policy once it became a pilot project in certain states, and it went through a public referendum not long ago.

Finland launched a two-year basic income experiment in January 2017 – here you may find an account on how the project is going, taken 4 months into it. Their take on the concept is a bit different, making the “universal” attribute inapplicable.

Another ongoing project is located in California, via the Silicon Valley – Bloomberg calls the experiment an “unconditional cash transfer” trial, and the main worries apparently are not focused on the money issue, but more on the way this basic income status would affect the human dignity and behavior.

Talking about what people want, or think they want, in Switzerland the basic income concept got rejected via referendum in 2016.

 

Did Zuckerberg manage to raise approval for the basic income idea?

While strongly promoting the idea of a basic income guarantee, Mark Zuckerberg did attract an array of pro, as well as con comments that spread ripples through the online and offline media.

The opinions are split, ranging from “distorted view of the world” belonging to a CEO, through the virulent Washington Times article qualifying the idea as being a “brainless world tax” and ending up with a rather predominant neutral depiction of the already famous Zuckerberg Harvard address.

Surely we will meet the UBI concept in the future, seeing how it comes as an answer to a future global issue, whilst it also managed to catch the attention of important tech leaders.

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 4YFN barcelona

Takeaways from the Canvy startup experience at 4YFN 2017

Canvy is the contact management application that invites its users to discover the continuously updated, intuitive way to connect with their contacts.

Designed as a startup, the Canvy concept provides a centralized interface that aggregates all the communication channels present on the user’s mobile device for each separate account. Taking into consideration the user’s preferred way of connecting with various contacts, this efficient app can act as a personal assistant by predicting which third-party platform is the best when reaching a specific person. The settings allow for a classical contact manager approach, as well as for a gradual immersion into what user behavior-based digital organizing means.

The Canvy startup experience at 4YFN 2017

Part of its fast-growing startup trajectory, we took Canvy to this year’s 4YFN Barcelona Conference, held between 27th February – 1st March. We are extremely proud of the way the event met our expectations, especially that Canvy was the only Romanian startup at the 4YFN 2017. With the soft launch phase recently completed, our application was ready for the “big world” of startups.

While showcasing our innovative Canvy (a 100 percent LASTING product), we also felt the pulse of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWC) startup business platform. This startup-dedicated event is part of the GSMA Mobile World Congress, and this year it celebrated its 4th edition, dubbed “the most international edition” so far.

The three intense days of startup pitches and the dynamic atmosphere of connecting with startups, investors and corporations made the 4YFN a memorable event for us, as well as for Canvy.

The Canvy team that successfully made our presence felt at 4YFN 2017 comprised Ms. Monica Gâza – Marketing Manager, Mr. Horia Damian – Canvy CEO and Mr. Marius Marcu – Canvy CTO. The team enjoyed the dedicated business events and brought back important takeaways to be employed in further growing all that Canvy represents.

Canvy_resized

 

Main takeaways from 4YFN 2017

In the words of Ms. Monica Gâza, this year, the dominant 4YFN topic consisted of “the gap between the tech environment and the social, political and cultural responsibility”. This is mirrored in the way global IT trends fail to connect to the live needs and ideals shared by the masses.

The remedy for this pressing issue will manifest itself via tech-related products that discover new means of connecting us again, and of bringing back responsibility and empathy into people’s lives. Learning how to integrate technology as a society, while putting it to the service of the greater good seems to be the next step. Technology-enabled interactions that would restore meaning to our lives is key, and dedicated products are expected to be extremely successful.

In this light, Canvy displays all the necessary premises for growth. Providing effortless, smooth communication, our application prompts the most successful channel of contacting a given user at a given time, all in a colorful, interactive and convenient interface.

Our smart, next-generation contacts book delivers a much needed breath of fresh air in a product slot where default contact managers failed to innovate. While the work environment swiftly changes with the increasing presence of younger professionals, Canvy provides the opportunity for better, fast paced connectivity via an increasing number of channels. Available on Google Play, our smart AI-driven app comes in a free version and is ready to conquer the world.

 

Canvy goes to Slush!

On 30 November and 1 December 2016, the (European) start-up community decamped to frozen Finland (no pun intended) to attend Slush, one of Europe’s most spectacular start-up events. Slush, which went from small-scale gathering to massive extravaganza in just five years, completely took over Messukeskus (the biggest convention space in Finland), where it brought together an eclectic, diverse audience made up of entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, students and scientists – not to mention a huge army of volunteers.

One key take-away from Slush2016 is that the future belongs to products that support and facilitate authentic human communication. Just like Canvy! The Canvy team that attended Slush (made up of Horia, Marius and myself) experienced the event in many different ways and at a number of different levels – which in itself says a lot about Slush’s versatility and value for attendees. We all agree on the fact that Slush2016 was an overall impressive event, both in terms of concept and contents-wise. It blended Finland’s penchant for dark rock glamour and theatrical performances with a rather pragmatic approach to connecting its main categories of attendees and facilitating the transfer of knowledge and vision from its speakers to its (very diverse) audience.

The organizers did an impressive job of covering many of today’s hottest subject matters, no matter how diverse they may seem at first glance. The talks ranged from no-nonsense heart-to-hearts (dubbed fireside chats) with leading industry players such as investor extraordinaire Chris Sacca (of Twitter, Uber and Instagram fame) to talks on creating abundant mind-sets (Moonshot Thinking with Steve Jurvetson and Naveen Jain) or else on block chain and the decentralized future of the world’s financial ecosystem (the presentation was delivered by Thomas Conté, Jutta Steiner, Paul Puey and Elizabeth Stark).

What impressed us the most?
Horia: If you get people talking, everything else will come. That’s about the long and the short of it. My main take-away comes from this idea (not sure it can be called a trend because it’s not exactly a new thing) that technology must serve a higher purpose and it must do its part to help people connect in a genuine way, at a genuine level. Technology for technology’s sake is a dangerous concept – it should be understood and made to work FOR people, in order to bring them together and help solve real needs.

Monica: What can I say – Slush2016 had big-name speakers, a cool pitching competition, massive attendance and an energetic, impressive opening ceremony energy that set the tone for the rest of the event. I enjoyed the ease of interaction with the rest of the participants and the sheer volume of new ideas to which I was exposed.

Slush 2016

Slush 2016