Android in the Enterprise

September 16, 2014

Can a deal with HP help Google’s Android catch up to Apple’s iOS in the business market? According to Business Insider, “Google Is Chasing Apple’s Mega Deal with IBM.” The potential deal is said to revolve around Google Now, which would serve as a voice-search tool for company information. Considering Apple’s recent partnership with IBM, the timing here is interesting. However, despite the certainty implied in the BI headline, Google seems to be playing it cool. Writer Eugene Kim reports:

“The report [at the paywall-guarded site The Information] said the two companies have been in talks for about a year now, though Google hasn’t shown as much interest in the deal so far. But HP could be a potential partner since it has deep roots in enterprise clients and has been developing a mobile search product nicknamed ‘Enterprise Siri,’ according to the report.

“In fact, HP had discussed the ‘Enterprise Siri’ idea with Apple earlier this year, before Apple announced its partnership with IBM last month, the report said. It also said HP at one point pitched the idea of building a Nexus phone for businesses, with advanced encryption features, which was turned down by then-Android head, Andy Rubin.”

So, as of this writing we don’t really know whether this deal will go through. One thing seems certain—Google will have to do something if it wants to catch up to Apple in the enterprise. Is this deal with HP the answer, or is the famously innovative company eyeing some other solution(s)?

Cynthia Murrell, September 16, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Google Android: Fragmentation? No Fragmentation.

August 22, 2014

I read “There Are 18,796 Distinct Android Devices, According to OpenSignal’s Latest Fragmentation Report.” I noted this factoid in the write up:

18,796 separate Android devices

Several years ago, one of the interchangeable Google mobile engineers emphasized that there was minimal Android fragmentation.

One aspect of this issue is the emergence of open source Android. Has Google lost control of Android and the opportunity to extract high end device revenue in its quest for ads?

At least one Chinese phone outfit is working the angle “Show me the money.” With many distinct Android devices and folks going their own way like Amazon and Samsung, Google does not have a fragmentation problem. Google has competition, confusion, and cash challenges breeding and cross breeding.

I know the Google response, “Trivial.” If Google believes this, will a meta-tactics grind the challengers to disconnected ones and zeros?

Stephen E Arnold, August 22, 2014

How Google Deals with Some Negativity

August 19, 2014

Google is attempting to swat away yet another pesky legal matter, this time in U.S. federal court over their Android licensing practices. Why won’t this unpleasantness just go away? Yahoo News shares, “Google Seeks to Dismiss U.S. Antitrust Lawsuit Over Android.” Writer Dan Levine reports:

“Two smartphone customers filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Google Inc. in May, arguing that the way Google licenses Android to smartphone companies like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is unfair to Google’s competitors for search and other mobile services….

“Plaintiff lawyers had argued that Google forces phone manufacturers to set its own search engine as the default on Android phones. Google knows consumers will not go through the trouble of changing those default settings, the lawsuit said, putting competitors at an unfair disadvantage given Android’s global market share.

“‘Google badly wants default search engine status because it results in more paid search-related advertisements,’ the lawsuit said, ‘which are the source of most of its billions and billions of dollars in annual profits.’”

Well, naturally. The question is whether the tactics are legal. Google responded to charges in a court filing, claiming their actions are completely above board. They go so far as to insist their practices foster healthy, legal competition. They do point to customers’ ability to install a different search engine. They also point out that Android-using manufacturers aren’t required to accept Google apps, and that they can even preload competing apps. Ah, bloatware—so much for putting the customer first.

Cynthia Murrell, August 19, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

A Less Small Thing: Forking Android

August 5, 2014

A few years ago, I was in China. I marveled at the multi-SIM phones. I fiddled with a half dozen models and bought an unlocked GSM phone running Android 2.3. The clerk in the store told me that there would be Android phones without Google. At the time, I was thinking about the fragmentation of Android. In hindsight, I think the clerk in Xian knew a heck of a lot more about the future of Android without Google than I understood. The Chinese manufacturers liked Android but not the Google ball and chain “official Android” required of licensees. Android without Google seems to be a less small thing.

I read “Google Under Threat as Forked Android Devices Rise to 20% of Smartphone Shipments.”The article points out that Android has a market share of 85 percent. The article points out that market share is one thing. Revenue is another. With Web search from traditional computers losing its pride of place, mobile search is a bigger and bigger deal. Unfortunately the money generated by mobile clicks is not the gusher that 2004 style search was. To compensate, Google has been monetizing its silicon heart out. You can read one person’s view of Google search in “Dear Google, I Am Writing an Open Letter from the Search Wilderness.”

I am sure Google will dismiss the NextWeb’s story. I am not so sure. As NextWeb observes, “The company faces a growing issue: The rise of non Google Android.” The real test will be the steps Google takes to pump up the top line and control costs at a time when complaints about Google search are becoming more interesting and compelling.

Stephen E Arnold, August 5, 2014

Software-Cluster Promises Better Mobile Services

July 31, 2014

A German software company popped into the aggregator with a press release entitled “Software-Cluster Designing Platforms For Innovative Internet Services” from ConWeaver. The release details how Software-Cluster is working on a platform to provide its customers with better connectively to mobile services. The information is very vague, but Software-Cluster’s Website yields a bit more one what the company actually does.

The page “Software-Cluster Enables Platforms For Innovative Internet Services” (translated via Google Translate) explains that Software-Cluster is currently focused on ending the communication issues users face when they are using multiple apps.

“For a variety of individual services such complex applications may arise. The platform allows the management of Internet-based services, makes these comparable and combines retrievable and usable. The user receives an appropriate solution to his problem of these services tailored that can be billed according to usage. The platform offers a range of standard-based services for the metering, monitoring and billing of the services offered on the platform can use the provider of services on the platform. To this end, the platform uses a service repository in which the services are stored and about the to which may be measured, as well as tools for service discovery and service selection and billing for the services used.”

The platform will be offered as an SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and is made with three specific markets in mind: handling logistics processes, trading energy quotas, and resolving mobility challenges.

Seamless integration between cloud and mobile apps? Yeah, there is a market for that.

Whitney Grace, July 31, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Swiftype

July 22, 2014

Each search software company has their own blend on improving search and increasing accuracy. Swiftype uses the slogan “the easiest way to add great search to your Web site” and while its search software may fulfill that statement, it is something other search companies claim as well. The questions then, are it true and what makes Swiftype different from its competition? The latter is easier to answer than the former. Instead of focusing on one section of the search market, Swiftype provides solutions for a variety of Web sites including WordPress, startups, knowledge bases, mobile, publishers, ecommerce, and even open source.

“Swiftype is a hosted software service that eliminates the need to create your own search software from scratch, making it possible for any website owner or mobile app developer to add great search to their product. Features include powerful relevance algorithms, customizable search result ordering, fast auto complete with typo protection, real-time analytics and more. Exceptionally simple to integrate into your existing software, but also remarkably flexible, Swiftype can be extensively customized to match the specific needs of your business.”

The support for the Web site variety is in Swiftype’s favor, but the company also offers real-time analytics and developer support. Search is still in its infancy for mobile devices, but Swiftype has dedicated an entire area that optimizes search for apps on different smartphone brands and mobile Web browsers. Swiftype already supports a hefty client list: Twitch, Twilio, TechCrunch, and Shopify. Swiftype is proving to be a big player in search. Maybe they’ll be blazing new trails and leave its competition behind.

Whitney Grace, July 22, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Vurbs Contextual Search Engine

June 3, 2014

The Internet search model we are all accustomed to is simple: a keyword search retrieves a page full of links. More relevant links are supposedly toward the top of the list. But it seems that the paradigm may be shifting. Vurb is launching a new way to look at search, and it is discussed in the story, “Vurb’s Contextual Search Engine Blows Away Those Stupid Lists Of Links.”

The article sums it up:

“Search is outdated. Google steers you to right section of the library, but doesn’t answer your question or compile that answer with others to help you make a decision. Luckily, today Vurb is launching its reinvention of search results in the form of a web and mobile contextual search engine. Rather than forcing you to do multiple searches in different tabs, Vurb collects all the relevant info on one page and preserves your path in a saveable, sharable stream.”

Mobile and desktop, Vurb organizes search results across web apps and packages them in a pleasing visual manner. But the jury is still out on whether or not it can drill down far enough to find meaningful answers to questions. And while services like Vurb can push the envelope on what users demand out of traditional search, it is not yet time for the up-and-comers to unseat the giants.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 03, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Microsoft Yanks Azure Hosting

May 29, 2014

SharePoint mobile apps hosting on Azure was widely touted what seems like just a few short months ago. However, news recently broke that SharePoint is yanking the solution off of the platform. The details are covered in the PCWorld story, “Microsoft Yanks Azure Auto-Hosted SharePoint Apps Service.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft is pulling the plug on a new model of deplying and hosting apps for SharePoint that relied on the company’s Azure platform. The goal of the AutoHosted Apps Preview program was to offer SharePoint developers a ‘friction free’ experience for provisioning their apps by tapping Azure resources, but the service fell short of expectations because, in Microsoft’s words, it ‘lacked some critical capabilities.’”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and often turns his attention to SharePoint glitches and concerns. Users are often looking for tips and tricks to help make SharePoint more effective and accessible, and on ArnoldIT.com he offers those too. So stay tuned to Arnold’s SharePoint feed for more about the Azure change and all the latest SharePoint news.

Emily Rae Aldridge, May 29, 2014

The Rise of Internet Ad Revenue Continues

May 16, 2014

The article titled US Internet Ad Revenue Surpasses Broadcast on SFGate announced the tipping point for TV and print advertising has arrived. This may not come as a huge surprise to Generations X and Y who have watched with increasing annoyance as ads increased on internet videos across the board. Gone are the days when a Hulu-aired episode had just one commercial, or a Youtube video began right away, rather than pausing for an ad. The article states,

“For the first time, U.S. Internet advertising revenue has surpassed that of broadcast television thanks to sharp growth in mobile and digital video ads.

That’s according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which said Thursday that Internet advertising revenue rose 17 percent to a record $42.8 billion in 2013. Broadcast TV ad revenue, in comparison, was $40.1 billion in 2013.

Mobile advertising revenue more than doubled to $7.1 billion from $3.4 billion in 2012…”

The article credits the alteration to companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook and their augmented attendance to mobile ads. The survey was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The article does not comment on the future of Internet advertising revenue, but it is easy to imagine that the numbers will only continue to rise.

Chelsea Kerwin, May 16, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

SharePoint Mobility Functionality Depends on Third Party Solutions

May 15, 2014

By now readers are probably tired of hearing about SharePoint and its evolving mobile capabilities. But the truth is, a lot is written about SharePoint and mobile because it is what users are looking for next in the platform. Business 2 Community gives another spin on the topic in their article, “Third-Party Apps Mend SharePoint’s Mobility Pains.”

The article refers to a survey that was conducted among SharePoint users:

“Seismic, an enterprise mobile content management solution, conducted a survey of the 2014 SharePoint Conference global attendees. The findings revealed that 30 percent of business professionals believe better mobile capabilities will drive the adoption of SharePoint. While SharePoint users are accessing the content management system via computers, smartphones and tablets, they’re continuing to experience pain points with mobile.”

The article then goes on to list the common complaints about SharePoint’s mobile capabilities, or lack thereof. And once again, third party solutions are being pointed out as the relief in this situation. Stephen E. Arnold also covers SharePoint news on his Web site, ArnoldIT.com. He has also found that customization and mobile capabilities drive SharePoint adoption and satisfaction, but until SharePoint embeds better abilities, users will continue to turn to third party solutions.

Emily Rae Aldridge, May 15, 2014

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