Posts Taged smartphones

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AWS Summerian, contextualized in what smartphones tech is concerned

In a previous post, we mentioned that AR technology relates to next-gen mobile phones. Due to the fact that for these devices, VR technology is considered less suitable, the development of AR applications should be the key for future success.

In this context, Amazon’s cloud division (AWS) launched a new Amazon platform, the Amazon Summerian, supporting the rapid development of AR, VR, and 3D applications without the need for sophisticated coding skills. Available in a preview version, the new service is browser-based and benefits at this stage by a considerable push from the company, who wants to accelerate its adoption by the developers.

Integrated, easy-to-use tools should tip the market

Mass-coding is a dream many have when anticipating the future. Being able to have at hand an average employee that is basically skilled in coding, and pairing this type of professional with easy-to-use developer software could serve in a rapid implementation of various concepts at a global scale. Of course, this dream is also cost-saving, as well as perhaps a bit offensive from the point of view of an old school programmer.

Attempts of materializing this idea are already in motion – from introducing coding as a new language in the school’s curriculum, to making various coding apps available, so that kids are familiarized from an early age with this activity.

The other side of the coin consists of the easy-to-use tools designed for developers. When backed by tech leaders, these tools are bound to have a meaningful impact on the market.

High expectations, more exigent customers

 

Amazon, in order to present its product, conveyed the following statement to the public, through the voice of Marco Argenti, the Vice President of Technology at AWS: “With Amazon Sumerian, it is now possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in a few hours.”

This raises quite a few questions, related to the possible variables – does this estimate concern low-skilled or high-skilled developers? Is this an accurate expectation to create, or is it just a marketing move?

Some of these questions have answers, while for others, we still need neutral feedback. For example, the same FirstPost article mentions how the developers “need no specific experience in AR or VR programming”, but also that the company is “working on integrating third-party developers with the services to add more features”. So the platform is partly work-in-progress.

While the customers are increasingly demanding, the specific market includes an extended array of developer tools, as you may see here, some open source, others selling for quite reasonable prices, depending on the budget.

Trendsetters will be trendsetters

 

There’s nothing like good, powerful support coming from an established source that is willing to push a product on the market. All its qualities are underlined and turned into selling points, while the sore points are remedied or in view for remediation.

From this angle, a product coming from Amazon, Google (another company investing in the same area), Microsoft or others manage to equal similar, more competitive products, who do not benefit from the backup of the huge promotion/selling mechanisms these companies have. This market gap (more like a publicizing means gap) is supposedly here to stay, because it determines smaller developers to cooperate with the bigger companies more willingly, in order to join forces.

That is why even the small moves in the market, when coming from huge tech companies, are relevant. They help in anticipating future trends. Their small moves are doubled by ample investments, and these companies are likely to shift entire markets for their estimated ROI. Others may benefit, too, in the process. Customers most certainly benefit from the fierce competition – and so do the smaller companies that are clever enough to take the pulse of the market.

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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.

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How about the smartphones? The Canvy Team mashes up a couple of interesting news

Who said technology cannot be fun? Well, it wasn’t us, that’s for sure. While aiming for our Android contact manager app, Canvy, to be complex and reliable, we also took care to wrap it in a fun, colorful UI, with many customizable features.

Sometimes the device producers remember that addictive, fun tech features are critical – but they make debatable choices. It takes courage to add certain unusual features. It also takes some time for the verdict to come in from the audience.

HTC and the Edge Sense feature

The U 11 HTC flagship, coming to USA (via Spring) starting June 2017, introduces (or at least hopes to introduce) a new interactive feature called Edge Sense.

The online media (see The Verge, for example) quickly picked up on the feature, calling it the “squeeze”. What is it about? The users can flex the edges of the smartphone, in order to give certain commands. Pressure sensors in the metal sides transmit the input, while an on-screen cue appears once the feature is activated.

Does it sound like fun? The source we mentioned qualifies it as “a little unsettling at first”, and taking “some time getting used to”. Once the smartphone will reach the users, the actual experience will tell whether this novelty is a fiasco or a success.

Samsung and the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus sales

According to ZDNet, the Korean company stated on Tuesday that 5 million items have been sold.

In only a month, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus proved to be well-received, and became available in 120 countries. The marketing machinery contributed to this success both previous to the launch, as well as during this last month. Carriers enabled hands-on trials for influencers and a lot of virtual ink flew on the exciting new features of these smartphones.

Android – iOS, the (still) ongoing competition

Both the smartphones above come with Android Operating Systems, as you may have – correctly – assumed.

While Android benefits from a growing popularity and from the wider access it has on many devices, the Apple’s proprietary iOS comes locked on the company’s devices. It should be a no-game, yet the cumulative smartphone market share shows a different picture. The Apple iPhone 7 is still the leading smartphone – globally.

As Boy Genius puts it, “the iPhone is still the world’s most popular smartphone”.

However, with the expected boom in the smartphone market in areas where Internet connectivity used to be low/medium, there is also a latent expectancy of more Android smartphones. While Facebook plans to provide free internet in Africa, the Chinese Alibaba contemplates the idea of doing the same in India.

There are a lot of discussions over the effects and hidden implications of such projects – but this is not our main focus here. What do you think is the answer to this question: “The smartphone adoption induced by free internet becoming reality will benefit which type of OS the most?”

We shall leave this question pending. Well, being an Android app, Canvy sure roots for this OS – but that’s between us and you.

quantum computing Canvy Team

Dreaming of quantum smartphones? The Canvy Team checked out the timeline

This article on Inverse caught our attention. Turns out that quantum smartphones are waiting in line for the quantum computer to materialize. That is if they are ever to become a convenience of the future – a thing that some really doubted a few years back.

Spoilers, spoilers… Well, not really, because it would be only logical for any tech aficionado to assume that we are still at a distance from buying quantum smartphones, instead of the regular types we see today.

Here’s a 2012 answer on Quora that explains how miniaturizing quantum technology in order to fit it into a phone is highly unlikely. Although we have seen such arguments in the past of humanity being blown into pieces once certain breakthroughs happened, there is a lot of sense in this argumentation.

 

With the expansion of technology, distribution takes place

We have seen how AR and VR tend to distribute themselves into phone-compatible solutions (AR) and more complicated, device-compatible tech (VR) – see the Canvy Team previous article here.

In a similar manner, quantum technology would supplement existing computers, instead of supplanting them. Due to the fact that the computers of our times already do a very good job in certain areas, quantum computers are to take up other tasks. Inverse sees quantum computers dealing with big data “mass sorting and brute force possibility checking”.

There is no point in employing over-qualified technology for mundane tasks. Although we might be stretching our comparison a bit here, it is just as in human resources. Quantum computing would go into unfathomably complex tasks, as far as traditional computers are concerned.

 

No quantum smartphones doesn’t mean lack of interest in what the quantum technology is concerned

The truly passionate know that having no quantum smartphones at the horizon (not even via cloud solutions) does not mean the quantum technology will remain parallel with the mobile technology of the future.

We are already witnessing the starting effects of bringing AI into marketing and sales, and ultimately into business. AI’s potential depends on quantum computing – handling big data is necessary in order to mimic human thinking processes. Moreover, going beyond human capabilities surely needs the quantum-based power of computation.

What this means is that, although at a hardware level our phones might remain pretty much the same, we will see the effects of quantum computing in an intermediate manner. Processing big data, with quantum-powered AI algorithms, should revolutionize the tech world as we know it. Even more, all that counts on technology, but leads into the business environment should see a boost that might lead to surprising breakthroughs in some cases.

Although there are risks involved – perhaps you’ve also noticed the concerns raised in the Inverse article – this version of our technological future is the most plausible. Quantum computing could support more activities and processes than we imagine, being ubiquitous in a less visible manner.

 

The Canvy Team encourages you to keep in touch with the latest trends in technology

As IT specialists, the tech world is our larger focus, while our main focus remains on what we specifically design and develop.

Staying updated with the emerging technologies is important – on a connected future, success depends on seamless integration and on being one step ahead in the right direction.

Quantum computing might feel unfamiliar for many technical people, because it involves learning some concepts from the start or relearning others. Nevertheless, since there are solid reasons to believe it will form the underneath layer in many tech fields, it comes with the right motivation for getting to know a few details about it.

Here’s a recent update on this subject. We especially enjoyed exploring the IBM Quantum Experience experiments featured on their IBM Q website.

AR augmented reality Canvy wikimedia

Augmented or Virtual Reality? The Canvy Team picks up on this trendy question

Recently, TechCrunch launched a question on what the future holds for smartphones and apps, in regards with enhanced reality. More precisely, they invited their readers to contemplate the possibility of smartphone AR stunting VR’s growth. As we are keeping an eye on smartphone-related technology here at Canvy, we also contemplate this idea, while keeping in touch with the latest related news.

 

How does smartphone AR look like and why is it appealing?

Smartphone AR presumes specially designed apps that allow users to add virtual layers to the reality around them, as reflected on the screens of their phones. Of course, explaining the Augmented Reality concept in this simplified way might seem laughable to all those already familiarized with it.

If nothing else, think of the latest craze that swept the world of its feet – Pokemon Go. Employing AR combined the mobile game with real-life places and landscapes, while sending the players into outside world quests. Even if sometimes the two realities clashed and some people faced various types of dangers, the success of this game managed to put AR back into the spotlight, at times when VR is facing slow growth. Other developers saw the opportunity to launch their Pokemon Go –inspired apps, so the AR trend gained traction.

Virtual Reality desperately needs specially tailored apps, dedicated hardware, seamless integration between them and seems more complicated to orchestrate than AR. (Mind you, “seems” is the key word here, because surely there must be AR software that takes a lot of time and hard work to deliver, just as VR programs do.) However, it is realistic to say that VR is facing (slightly) difficult times.

 

What advantages do push AR in front of VR?

Another important element is that VR, as TechCrunch mentions, is superior to what the smartphones can offer. In fact, the authors say that it will always be superior, but one never knows what the future holds in terms of phone design and capabilities, so we thought of applying here the old saying of “never say never”. So VR requires much more advanced hardware than our current smartphones hold. Therefore, advantage AR…

All things considered (besides those mentioned above, there are also others), AR is fit for smartphones.

  • It is appealing, due to the fact that it restores the user’s relationship with their surroundings;
  • It also enables local experiences, thus attracting marketers;
  • It is visually pleasing, while allowing the user to include it in his/her usual activities;

(Because it is not disruptive in the way VR is, by conditioning the entire experience through the need of complete immersion into the virtual.)

  • Both Google and Apple test (or already built AR solutions) into their products;
  • It has been around for a while and people expect it to bloom in the next-gen series of smartphones.

 

Is it a race we are witnessing or are the two technologies completing each other?

The answer to this question depends on where we stand when addressing it. As we’ve mentioned above, some consider smartphones are destined for AR. Others might design VR applications that go with enhanced mobiles, thus making the two technologies compete on the same devices’ segment.

On the other hand, those investing in VR lead us to believe that, once perfected, the VR technology will be like no other. Therefore, there will be no question of any competition between AR and VR, just because we will witness VR going out of AR’s league, so to say. This remains to be seen. Until then, it seems that throwing VR into investment-related conversations still has a magic effect. Yet there are many who wonder how much until the magic wears off, if the promises that raised so much enthusiasm don’t deliver sometime soon.

The race seems shifty – depending upon elements that the large audience has little access to, if any. Elements laying within the R&D divisions of various companies, ranging from tech giants to small startups. And, of course, the Canvy Team knows all about R&D activities and putting bright ideas into practice.

Perhaps one day, the photos you assign to your Canvy contacts would become AR-enabled images. For now, we provide a visually fun canvas of contacts, bright-colored and organized by your interaction degree with each contact.