Google I/O

On May 17th, Google announced their newest innovation to the technology world. This time around, Google has decided to put AI on the forefront of its latest devices. Follow along for the highlights of the conference!

  • Assistant interfaces – This new addition allows you to type into Google Assistant, or even plugs-in input straight from Google Lens such as images. For example, this makes it easier and much more helpful to translate it several different languages. Simply point your camera at a menu that is made in a different language, and Google Translate will translate it to your primary language.
  • Google Lens – Google Lens will have a set of services that are vision-based and will identity the object by a point of a camera. You are also able to point it at a Wi-Fi bar code, and it will automatically log you into the network.
  • Google Assistant – Google Assistant has made researching and quick references a joy for Google and Android users. However, with this new update, Google Assistant will now be available on the iPhone as an app.
  • AI-driven face recognition will now perform better in Google Photos at recognizing people.  With Google Lens, the form of image-recognition will be easy to use through your smartphone by using computer vision.
  • Google Home – The Google Home update provides proactive assistance that will give you info before you need it. In other words, users will be able call hands free to US and Canada lines for free, add Soundcloud and Deezer to already existing music services such as Spotify, HBONow, Hulu and others will be added to the TV casting partners. It will also allow you to send directions to your phone on a ‘let’s go’ command and send your calendar or weather report to your TV.

With these additional features, Google continues to make smartphone devices easier and more functional to use on a daily bases.

 

Android Wear 2.0

Do you enjoy your regular wrist watches just as much as you enjoy your smartphone? Do you find that Android watches are more stylistic than Apple’s Watches? Well, you are in luck because Android Wear 2.0 is here!

Google recently confirmed that many of their watches will have the Android wear update between April and late May 2017. With this new update comes the introduction to use it on LG smartwatches, and now, iOS system.

Some of the new features for Android Wear 2.0 include:

  • Google Assistant – Google assistant was first used in Google’s Pixel smartphones, but now, this helper is ready to respond to a simple ‘OK Google’ command or press of a button on your watch. Assistant can help make reservations for you, provide you with the weather report, and will also work with smart home devices, leaving you completely hands–free.
  • Complications – Initially, complications are features that provide more than just the watch face information of hours and minutes. Android wear adds support for third-party complications. This means Fitbit, Spotify and similar apps will be able to integrated directly to your watch face.
  • Notifications – While some of us love to receive notifications, even if it does cover the whole screen, Android wear will have small icons that can easily be tapped to expand on the specific notification such as a text content or email.
  • Standalone apps – Android wear apps work independently with phone apps. In other words, the app will work perfectly even if your phone is nowhere near you.

There are several watches that can support Android wear 2.0 and are perfect for any style. As more smartwatches will be added to the list, here are some of the watches available:

  • Asus ZenWatch2, Asus ZenWatch 3
  • Casio WSD F10
  • Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal
  • Huawei Watch, Huawei Watch Ladies
  • Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch
  • LG G Watch R, LG G Watch Urbane (1st gen)
  • New Balance RunIQ

Why Regular Updates on Phones and Computers Are Important

Frequent updates are important for technology. New updates include new codes for the phone, apps, even java settings need to maintain its updates in order to keep your laptop functioning fast and properly.

Updates are simply designed to keep your phone and laptop up to date on the newest software and programs.

Technology is improving rapidly, and a consumer’s demand is for smarter and faster phones. Updates on smartphones help maintain the software working as it should, this includes working on glitches and simple functions such as helping from not freezing or screen not working on command. This is very useful to help maintain problems from becoming frequent. They also are used to help add new features and capabilities that further help and provide a better smartphone experience.

The same goes with laptops. Along with updating bug fixes and enhancing the computer experience by bringing you new software development and features, it helps users adapt to security vulnerabilities. If you wait a while to update your computer’s software, it can become slow and vulnerable to security breaches. Computer updates are important to stay protected from cyber attacks and malicious threats that are more seen through non updated softwares. Leaving your computer open to infection. Whether your laptop is running on Windows or Mac OS, updating and restarting your laptop can keep you secure and allow your laptop to speed things up.
Updates are not something that need to be done every week, but should be done at regular intervals. They can be very helpful and improve the way it looks and its function all while providing stronger security.

What is Wi-Fi Certified TimeSync?

Do you have wireless connecting surround systems in your home of various other wireless connected devices throughout your home that don’t seem to sync correctly? Maybe your surround system, although sounding amazing, is a second or a few milliseconds delayed. This can all change later on this year thanks to Wi-Fi Certified TimeSync.

According to studies shared by Wi-Fi Alliance, an average home has about eight connected devices per home, which makes TimeSync useful for everyone. This is a tool that is designed to keep time and functions synced all the way down to the microsecond. This tool will work with audio playback, which means that you will no longer have to deal with mismatched audio and video play. This tool will also support vehicles with multiple video screens, allowing visuals to appear at the same exact time.

Although home systems will surely benefit from TimeSync, this new tool will be of greater help for the manufacturing and healthcare industries. In the manufacturing industry timing is of essence. Many tasks in the industry have to be completed in precise and perfect alignment. This is what helps manufacturers complet materials with limited errors and of great quantity. This is where TimeSync will come in to make sure tasks are completed in perfect alignment.

TimeSync will play an important role in the healthcare industry for many reasons. One major reason for its importance has to do with the fact that different sensors on patients need to be time synced in order to help doctors fully understand how one particular action in time can affect the patient. In order to do this accurately, the timing of each event has to be accurate as well. Having this tool in hospitals and throughout the many healthcare devices will help create accurate and effective data.

For more information on what TimeSync is and how it can affect your business, contact M&H for help.

New Samsung Update

Samsung has updated their laptops in the Notebook 9 series! There has been a lot of talk about the new updated laptops and how they compare to the other versions, such as its speed and graphics. While doing research, however, we found some interesting details that contradicted each other, such as the lifespan of their batteries. Let’s take a closer look at our research findings.

The updated Notebook 9 will be available in 2 different sizes: 13-in. and 15-in. screen. They have a lightweight design with full HD display, which means better graphics, to convenience professionals who are constantly “on the go.” The update is also meant to be faster than the last version. According to Computer World, it is measured “an improvement of 5 percent to 15 percent in Kaby Lake performance.” The aspect that is unclear, however, is the lifespan of their battery. When you look into the laptop’s description on Samsung’s website, they claim the lifespan to be between 10-12 hours, depending on the laptop’s size, while Computer World claims that the new model has a battery life of 7 hours. Regardless of its lifespan, the battery is said to have a quick charging rate.

Some other laptop features include:

      256 GB storage

      720p webcam

      2 USB 3.0 ports

      1 USB-C port

      HDMI port

      MicroSD port

      1 USB 2.0 port (15-in. laptop only)

The new update also comes with enhanced security features such as pattern login, secret screen and record block to protect all files.

Preparing your Company for Technology Changes

Technology is always changing and advancing. It is safe to say that technological change is inevitable especially with the younger professional generation applying new software programs to help get their work done more efficiently. Because of these constant changes, it is crucial to develop a plan to help your business make a smooth transition into new technology changes.

The first thing you want to make sure you do is developing a plan to communicate the changes with all the staff within the business. Either the head of the business or the head of the IT Department would be the best to deliver the announcements of change.

The next step would be to train your project manager or hire a strong project manager to manage all the outside work while the internal IT works is being completed. They would have to be the point of reference for vendors, internal staff and consultants.

Once the changes have been made or are being processed, it is important to track the progress. The IT department should observe and make sure things are working as they should. You would also have to make sure that everyone fully understands how to use or work with the new advancements. The best way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows how to work with specific devices is to host a session for the staff that will go into details of the function.

If you are going through any specific changes in your company and need more extensive help on transitioning your company into new technology, contact M&H Consultant for guidance!

Top Tech Trends to Watch for in 2017

People in the tech world are not really known for being trend setters, at least when it comes to fashion or other things in the non-tech world. However, they are tech trend watchers when it comes to what may be launching or coming “down-the-pike” in the future. We like to keep our finger on the pulse of the tech world, so here are just a few of the tech trends we are watching for 2017.

  • Advanced Intelligence – Creating intelligent systems that learn, adapt and potentially act autonomously rather than simply execute predefined instructions is primarily battleground for technology vendors through at least 2020. Systems can learn and change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs.
  • Intelligent Apps – Intelligent apps, which include technologies like virtual personal assistants (VPAs), have the potential to transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier (prioritizing emails) and its users more effective (highlighting important content and interactions). Think about how much we love Siri and Alexa already – just expand it!  
  • Intelligent Things – We have already seen drones take flight, appliance that think and homes that are considered Smart Homes, well now expect to see more of these items in 2017. Gartner anticipates a shift from stand-alone intelligent things to a collaborative intelligent things model.
  • Digital Twin – A digital twin is a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system that relies on sensor data to understand its state, respond to changes, improve operations and add value. (Source: IT Business Edge)

Do you like watching the trends develop?  Follow us on Facebook or check back with our weekly blogs here at M&H Consultants.

What is DNA App Store?

There is no doubt that technology has been advancing rapidly and in ways no one could have imagined before. This is can be proven in many ways, but one astonishing way in which we have realized technology has been expanded is through the development of the DNA App.

Right now, you’re probably thinking, “What does that even mean?” If you have heard about this soon-to-be app store, chances are that you have been staying up-to-date with tech news. Do you have any idea what we are talking about? Follow along to learn about this new phenomenon.

The DNA App store will be designed to get information from users genomes to help them determine their health risks and ancestry, as well as help them with anything from nutrition planning to family planning. This store will be the first genetic app store ever. The company taking charge of this task is Helix. Their goal is to make decoding personal genomes affordable and less complicated.

This is how it will work:

A curious person looking to fulfill their thirst for knowledge of their own being will go onto the app and order a product kit. They will have to send a saliva sample back to Helix. The company will then be able to unlock hundreds of data and provide the user with the information they wanted to know. The saliva sample will be stored in their data but, users will be able to control the data by deciding who gets access to it or not.

This app store is said to go live within the next couple of years. When it does launch, the app will be available on both Android and Apple stores.

Did you ever think technology would have made these advancements?

Should you Update to iOS 10?

Are you one of the few iPhone owners who have yet to make the update to iOS 10? Have you been wondering if making the switch is worth it, or are you simply scared of the potential glitches that may come with the newest update? During these types of situations we tend to look at others’ experiences to help us make the decision. Because of this, we have done some research to help you decide. Learn about what the newest iOS update has to offer below.

Siri Update:

Siri is now been integrated in other apps such as photo searches, payments, messaging, booking car rides, and more!

iMessage Update:

The new update has come with many new messaging features. It comes with stickers, various animations, and new, larger emojis. There’s also an ‘emojification’ feature, which takes keywords you have written to give you suggestions on emojis to add. You are also able to draw on the screen and use third party apps in messenger.

Control Update:

The update allows you to have more control over your apps on your home screen by giving you the option to hide the Apple applications you don’t need/use. With a force click on your folders, a quick list also appears in order to navigate through them quickly. Force clicking on the flashlight also allows you to adjust the brightness. Along with the flashlight option, the control center now has two panes available with quick controls and a music player.

Notification Update:

Notifications also allow a more efficient way to manage your phone. With the

quick-reply feature you can respond to messages and emails directly on the notification screen, and even watch videos!

Lockscreen Update:

The lock screen is much more efficient that it has ever been. With a swipe right, you are able to gain access to today’s news and Siri app suggestions. It is also able to sense when the phone is being picked up, lighting up the lock screen.

Maps Update:

The Maps app is much smarter. It notifies of high traffic areas and suggests faster routes. It also has pop-up suggestions of nearby places.

Music Update:

This update comes with many cool features, like music editing options, availability of lyrics, and more control on the music you want to transfer into other devices.

Photos Update:

Face, scene and object recognition are now hooked onto the photo/camera app. It also has auto-smart grouping organizing your images based on the location it was taken, topics, trips, and people.

 

Why is my Internet Network Slow?

So, we pay for a speedy networking service and later realize that it is not as speedy of a service as it is advertised to be. Most of the time, however, service providers are not the ones to blame. A lot of the time, the issue with our network speed can be easily fixed. Before you go off on your network’s service company, find out all the other reasons for why your Internet network could be slow.

  1. It’s your device.

Sometime the device you are using your network on could be the actual reason for why your service is so slow. Make sure your device is free of viruses or, any other malware, and that your system is updated to its newest software.

  1. It’s a program in your device.

Go through your device and make sure there are no major programs of files loading in the background. Some major files or programs reboot on their own while you are using your computer. When this happens, the program uses a large amount of your network as well, which can slow down the speed of your service.

  1. It’s your router.

A lot of times, the issue can actually lie in your router. Most of the times, the router just needs to be rebooted. Doing this once in awhile can help your internet network to work just as fast as it did when you first had it. If this doesn’t work, your router may need an update. After a few years, the router can become outdated.

  1. It’s the location of your router.

Do you ever think about whether or not your router is in the best location? Well, you should. You never want to place your router behind the door (i.e. a closet), in a corner out of the center of your home/office, or behind a metal wall. These walls and doors, in particular, can cause a barrier between the signals and make it difficult to connect to your device.

  1. It’s a cluttered network.

When multiple devices are connected to your Internet network, it can become cluttered and thus slow down your service. If this is the case, consider upgrading your service and expanding your network.

  1. It’s your location.

Your location can play a major part in your lack of network speed. If you live in a rural region, specifically, your region probably received an overall small and slow connection.

If you are having a difficult time determining why your Internet network is slow, or solving the issue, contact M&H for help.