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Friday Funny 25.11.16

I think we all have felt like this at times… 📱

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Choosing the best iPhone for your needs

Since the first iPhone in 2007, consumers have followed each update and hardware refresh with almost religious devotion. Since then, the number of available models has ballooned to five and picking which one is right for you might not be as easy as it once was. If you weren’t standing in line at 5am to get one of the first of the most recent models you may be just now getting around to buying a new iPhone. Keep reading for a quick review of the most important considerations when deciding model is right for you.

The iPhones currently adorning display tables in any Apple store are the 6s Plus, 6s, 6 Plus, 6 and SE. Although the models with the letter ‘S’ in their names are the newest releases and boast slightly faster CPU and RAM speeds, the average user will have a hard time pushing the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to their max. There are, however, a number of other design features that can prove important when choosing the right iPhone model for your needs.

Display

One of the things that gets the most attention when highlighting any smartphone’s features is screen size. Across the five devices there are three different screen sizes: 4 inch, 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch. The tradeoffs of screen size are pretty self-explanatory and definitely based on personal preference. The ‘Plus’ models feature a 5.5-inch, 401-ppi screen so your games and videos will be far more engaging and detailed than the iPhone SE’s 4-inch, 326-ppi screen; but holding an iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus in one hand or carrying it in your pocket will become a luxury of the past.

Beyond preference in size and resolution, iOS has different keyboards for different screen sizes, including cut, copy and paste keys in the extra space afforded to the larger screens.

Storage

Another hotly debated topic among the various iPhone supporters is storage capacity. Ranging from 16gb to 128gb, picking the right storage is becoming increasingly important as apps become denser and cameras take higher quality photos. 16gb may sound like plenty, but after the core OS is installed you’re left with 11.5gb of space — or 1,900 photos if you don’t install any apps or download any music. On the other hand, 128gb becomes 114gb after iOS is added and still has room for 20,000 pictures.

Battery

If you’re using your iPhone primarily for work-related tasks, screen size and storage capacity may not be your biggest concerns. Between cross country business trips and sending after hours emails, battery life is the biggest obstacle to getting the most of your mobile device. When it comes to voice calls, the ‘Plus’ models take the cake with 24 hours of battery life. However, when it comes to power consumption while using data the budget SE iPhone stands toe-to-toe with all of the models boasting 12 hours of continuous use. The ‘Plus’ models are slightly better when watching video and listening to audio, but the difference is negligible and battery life shouldn’t ultimately dissuade anyone from buying the SE unless they plan to spend above average amounts of time making audio calls.

Camera

Although other smartphone manufacturers can offer up a fair amount of competitiveness in the camera department, Apple has worked hard to make iPhones synonymous with serious photography. The most recent models, the 6s Plus, 6s and SE, made a pretty big splash with their most recent hardware upgrade. Offering up the chance at 12 megapixel (mp) photos and 4k resolution video from a phone helps to narrow down which model is for you if the camera is your biggest priority. The 6 Plus and 6 allow for 8mp photos and 1080p video.

While the flagship 6s Plus and 6s do have a number of hardware and software features that set them apart from the SE, the biggest takeaway is that Apple’s cheapest iPhone camera will actually beat out their mid-range models.

Price

There is a significant difference in price between the current models, which will make this one of the most important decisions regardless of your other priorities. The iPhone 6s Plus is a pricey $749 without contract signing bonuses. Even if you do want a top of the line model, that’s hard to argue when the SE is almost half of that at $399. The 6 Plus and the 6 are $649 and 549$ respectively, making them the best options for consumers in the market of a mid-range iPhone.

All of these considerations are complicated by the fact that a new iPhone model is expected in September. If you can manage to wait until then all of the phones we’ve covered here will most likely be discounted. If not, it might be worth it to choose a model one step higher in preparation for iOS updates and features that give preference to the newer, faster phones.

9 Underutilized VoIP Features

Voicemail, Do Not Disturb, and call recording are among the few reasons why companies choose VoIP services to solve their communication needs. However, there are features that can be overlooked by small businesses such as customizable hold music or in-call coaching, to name a few. So if you want to get the most out of your VoIP service and ensure a more efficient work flow, it’s worth checking out these underutilized features.

Busy lamp field

Nothing too fancy about this one. The busy light simply notifies you when people can’t take your call and frees up some time to wait for them or call someone else. With this feature, you avoid disrupting someone from an important phone call. It also saves you time from walking across the office just to see that the person is already occupied with another call.

In-call coaching

If you would like to give your employees some training on how to speak with clients over the phone, you can now do it virtually. Using add-on services like barge and whisper, you can help point your employees in the right direction when they’re dealing with a client. Barge enables you to silently monitor your employee’s phone conversation with a customer. While whisper allows you to provide comments on how your employees are doing while they are on call and without the customer knowing that you’re there coaching your staff.

Hot desking

With hot desking, you can potentially take calls from any IP phone without having to be at your desk. Imagine, for example, you’ve been transferred to a new office for a few days and can’t be bothered to set up a new IP phone. Hot desking solves that by transferring your phone preferences over to another IP device — meaning, your voicemail, speed dials, number extension, and other customized settings can be accessed wherever you happen to be working from.

Hold Music

Sometimes what determines whether or not a client is willing to be put on hold is if the music is entertaining enough to keep their ear on the phone. Certain VoIP services allow you to customize your hold music so your customers will no longer have to listen to cheesy background music.

Hidden conferencing features

Many companies go to VoIP providers because it’s a cheap service that reduces the need to travel to meetings. However, a lot of people don’t use the other features that can help make a video meeting operate more efficiently. In the same call, you can mute other people, organize internal voting systems, and more.

Hands-free dialing

Hands-free dialing saves you from having to look someone up in your phonebook. This feature adds a button above someone’s email address that will let you call that person. From here you can redirect the call to your phone or better yet, connect with your clients over a video conference.

Call screening

Often a forgotten feature that is provided by many VoIP services, call screening displays the caller ID on your device and allows you to take whatever action you’d like before picking up the call. If you are getting a personal call you can simply choose to transfer the call over to your cell phone. Alternatively, you can also choose to hang up if it’s someone you don’t want to talk to.

Click-to-call

Click-to-call is a website widget that allows your website visitors to call you by simply clicking on a button on your page. This helps make call to actions effortless for the visitor since they don’t have to physically dial your number on their phone. You risk losing potential customers who don’t want to look at your contact us page to access your services. With click-to-call, they only have to tap on their smartphone to get a hold of you.

Analytics

Nowadays, cloud-based VoIP services excel in providing you with methods to analyze your data usage. It can show you a database of who is calling you the most, who you’re calling the most, a geographical distribution of your customers, and cost. With this data you can choose to focus more of your company’s efforts into a particular client or customer.

The next time you wonder if there is an easier way to do something when you’re in a phone call, take comfort in the fact that there are several features that can really make organizing your communications systems a lot easier. Consider using some or all of these features to get the most out of the VoIP service you paid for. To know more about the latest in VoIP trends and services, contact us today.

New Android malware can erase your phone

People easily get riled up over online security. With a quick Google search, you can find dozens of articles warning about Trojans, viruses and other security threats. But how many of them do you actually need to worry about? Really, it all comes down to threats that cause massive damage and affect your unique technology. So if you’re an Android user, there’s a new type of malware that fits both these categories. With the ability to wipe out all the personal data on your phone, this terrifying security threat is something all Android users should be aware of.

How does it work

Mazar, as the malware is known, spreads exclusively via links in a text message. Once the user clicks on the link, Tor software is downloaded, which hides the source of the malware by allowing anonymous Internet connections. Then with little chance of being noticed, mazar is downloaded onto the phone.

What’s the risk?

Not only can mazar erase all your personal data, but it can also wreak havoc on your phone in other ways. If your Android is infected, the malware can secretly monitor your device, send text messages, and take control of your settings and keys. Similar to trojan malware, mazar creates a backdoor to your smartphone for cyber criminals to enter. Once the hacker is in, he can control your Android as however he sees fit.

How can you protect your Android?

If the language setting of your phone is set to Russian, you are safe. So unless you’re looking to take up a second language, the best security measure is to be cautious of all text messages you receive on your phone. Just like your mother taught you not to talk to strangers, you should also avoid clicking on their links. But you should also be wary of texts from friends because, as most of us know, hackers can easily disguise themselves as those close to us.

Lastly, there is one small, practical step that may help prevent mazar from infecting your Android. Simply switch off the security setting that allows apps from unknown sources to be installed on your phone.

As an MSP provider, we know how stressful security issues can be. The worry can cause you to lose focus and be less productive. That’s why we want our customers to know that we’re always there to offer security tips and solutions to keep your data safe. Whether you’re looking for a security solution for your Android or for your business, give us a call and we’re happy to give you some peace of mind.

FXS vs FXO: what’s the difference?

Many businesses today are implementing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems in their office, to replace traditional phone lines – and for good reason. VoIP provides significant advantages, including the ability to make and receive calls from anywhere and at any time, cost savings, a more reliable signal, and more. But before you start implementing VoIP, you need to understand the difference between FXS and FXO ports. We’ll help you get started.

FXS and FXO are the interfaces for analog telephony, also called POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service). Using these interfaces enables a call to be established – the ports provide the necessary electricity, dial tone, and call signal.

What is an FXS port?

FXS stands for Foreign Exchange Subscriber, a port that connects the router or access server to end-user equipment such as office phones, fax machines, or modems. In other words, it is a plug on the wall that delivers dial battery, loop current, and ringing voltage to the device, so that the analog signal can be transmitted.

What is an FXO port?

FXO stands for Foreign Exchange Office, a port on the end communication device, such as an office phone or fax machine. The FXO connects the device to the FXS port, as well as to the outside telephone line, requesting the dial tone needed to initiate a call.

How the connection works

In order for a call to work, a telecommunication line from an FXO port must be connected to an FXS port, and vice versa. The process for making calls is simple: when your FXS and FXO ports are connected, you will receive a signal from the telephone company through the FXS port in the wall. This signal is then transmitted to the FXO port connected to the device so that, when you pick up the phone, you hear the dial tone. Then you dial the phone number, which is passed as Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) digits to the FXS port, allowing you to make the call.

When you’re receiving an inbound call, on the other hand, the FXS port receives the call, then sends a ring voltage through the FXO port to your end device. The phone will ring, and you can pick it up to answer the call.

FXS, FXO and VoIP

The signal transmission process becomes more complex when you implement an additional network element, such as VoIP gateway. You need an FXS gateway to connect one or more lines to a VoIP system or provider. You’ll also need an FXO gateway to connect the VoIP system with analog phone lines, and to translate the analog phone line to a VoIP call.

In summary…

  • FXS is a plug on the wall, and FXO is a plug on the phone
  • FXS provides the dial tone, and FXO requests it
  • FXS is a port that receives a call; FXO is a port that initiates it

Want to learn more about FXS, FXO, or VoIP? Give us a call and our telephony experts will be happy to help.

Microsoft’s New Lumia 950

Microsoft’s Lumia 950 is coming soon

Brace yourselves, Windows Phone fans – Microsoft is about to launch the latest Lumia 950 smartphone at its annual event this coming October 6th. For the best part of 2015, Microsoft has directed its focus on the affordable segment of the smartphone market. But not for much longer – this new Lumia 950 release is expected to possess powerful hardware and specs, as well as a premium all-metal design.

Microsoft has been working hard on developing the Lumia 950, the first smartphone to utilize its Windows 10 Mobile operating system. The rumors about the Microsoft Lumia 950, codenamed “Talkman”, have been around for a good while now. Here’s what you need to know about the tech giant’s latest smartphone product.

Design and display

Rumor has it that the latest Lumia 950 will come with a metal frame, coated with matte white or black polycarbonate, with a thickness of just 8.89mm thickness. The device will sport a 5.2-inch screen display, with a Quad HD resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels.

Hardware

The Lumia 950 is going to boast a 64-bit Hexa core, most likely the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, as well as 3GB of RAM and an internal storage capacity of 32GB. Users have the option of expanding the memory with a microSD card.

Camera

Microsoft will integrate a powerful 20-megapixel PureView primary rear camera, capable of shooting high-definition video, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Additional features include optical image stabilization, autofocus, and social media geotagging.

Battery

It is said that Microsoft’s new Lumia 950 will incorporate Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology, allowing for faster battery charging (up to 60% within just 30 minutes). The Lumia 950 will be equipped with a detachable 3,000mAh battery, so you can expect it to last for a full day, even with heavy use.

Price and release date

Although Microsoft hasn’t yet revealed the exact price or a release date for the upcoming Lumia 950, the price point is expected to rival that of the iPhone 6s. The release date is most likely to be on October 10, the very same day Microsoft plans to launch its brand new operating system for smartphones, Windows 10 Mobile.

Overall, the Lumia 950 comes with plenty of improvements that Windows Phone fans will love. It is faster, lasts longer, and is more stable. Want to learn more about Windows Phone and how to use it in your office? Get in touch today.

This entry was posted in General Articles C, Mobile Phone – Windows Phone and tagged lumia 950, microsoft lumia, smartphone, Technology,windows phone. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

 

Android phone battery saving tips

AndroidPhone_Apr17_CYou’re in the middle of an important conversation on your Android phone. Suddenly, a ‘battery low’ notification pops up on the screen. You hastily try to close applications and adjust settings, but the damage has been done. This is frustrating especially when you have no charger with you, and your battery life just keeps on draining until it’s dead. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. So we’ve rounded up a few tips to preserve your battery life before it’s too late.

Adjust display settings

Are you using auto-brightness display? While it sounds convenient to have your Android phone adjust the brightness on its own, this feature actually sets the brightness level higher than you really need. Save your battery by setting the brightness manually – you can always tweak it when you have to. Reduce the screen timeout display, too, so that your phone screen goes back to black faster when not in use, saving even more power.

Activate power saving mode

This is a pretty handy feature found in high-end Android phones. Power saving mode automatically limits your phone’s processor and display to use as little power as possible without turning off critical functions. You’ll still have access to basic apps, such as texting, calling, the calculator, web browsing, and Facebook. And this feature can be set to automatically activate when your Android phone’s battery drops to a certain level, so make sure you use it!

Uninstall apps

When was the last time you actually cleaned up your Android device’s installations? Navigate to Settings and Apps to find a complete list of all your applications. You can save a huge amount of storage space by getting rid of unused apps. This, in turn, will stop the processor from running these apps in the background, giving your battery a little more life.

Organize the home screen

Most Android phone users don’t realize that a cluttered home screen sucks away their battery life as well. Stash away the widgets you don’t need and ditch the live wallpapers, since animated backgrounds consume a lot of power.

Turn off vibrations

Vibration lets you know about incoming calls, messages, and notifications. But in some cases too many vibrations can be an unnecessary battery killer. You can eliminate redundant vibrations such as keypresses by turning them off on the Language & Input settings screen. While you’re at it, turn off the sound on keypress to boost saving capabilities further.

Hide notifications

As in the case of vibrations, sometimes notifications can burn away your battery, especially if you have installed a number of applications that are desperate for your attention every few hours. So ask yourself these questions: Do you need to know every time someone posts to or comments on your Facebook page? Do you want to hear about the latest deals and offers from your application? If not, do your battery justice and turn off the needless notifications.

Use location services wisely

Some apps like Google Maps require you to turn on location services to display your surroundings and give you directions. But location service chips away your battery life very quickly and you should turn it on only for as long as you need to. Either switch to lower accuracy or turn it off, and you can save a lot of power.

Battery shortage can be a frustrating issue for Android phone users. In extreme cases, you can invest in a spare battery to ensure continued use. To learn more about how to preserve battery life on your Android devices, give us a call.

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Top 4 Android phones in 2015

Androidphone_Feb11_CAs the number of Android smartphone and tablet users continues to rise, so does the competition to gain market share. Android device manufacturers have worked hard to come up with the cutting-edge technology to stay one step ahead of the game. 2015 is the year to expect big things from technology’s biggest names. If you’re a devoted Android user, you’ll love these upcoming devices that are bound to make a big splash.

Samsung Galaxy S6

If you’re a Samsung Galaxy S5 fan, the new Galaxy S6 will be just what you’re looking for. Samsung plans to change the overall design of this model following criticism of Galaxy S5’s conservative style. There are rumors about its quad-HD screen with 2560×1440 resolution, metal unibody, a 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB of RAM, and better camera and battery performance. As usual, the S6 will be available in three storage options: 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.

Galaxy S6 is expected to debut at the Samsung Unpacked event, scheduled for March 1st in Barcelona. The release date should be around a month after the official announcement. It’s unlikely that Samsung will be making the Galaxy S6 any cheaper than the current Galaxy S5. So far, the estimated price for the 32GB model is around $650, the 64GB model around $800, and the 128GB version could cost an extra $100 more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The Note series from Samsung has always managed to impress Android users. This means Samsung has to come up with something special to stand out further. Word has it that the Note 5 will employ an Ultra HD, 4K display and a camera with up to 50 megapixels. You can also expect wireless charging and a two-day battery life.

The release date for Note 5 is still yet to be confirmed, but Samsung tradition suggests the launch will be somewhere during September and October. As for the starting price, Samsung’s Note series has always been costly, and Note 5’s additional features could further increase the price up to around $750.

Sony Xperia Z4

After Xperia Z3’s debut in September 2014, Sony has been working around the clock to strengthen its Z-series products. The Xperia Z4 is expected to have a 5.5-inch quad-HD screen with a Snapdragon 810 processor. Sony’s smartphones are well-known for their camera quality, and the Xperia Z4 may pack in an even more impressive camera and image sensor. The new sensor will be able to record videos much faster and smoother than the previous Xperia Z3.

Sony has announced that it will not be presenting Xperia Z4 at the world’s largest mobile trade show this March, so we can assume that it will be released at a later stage in 2015. The price is rumored to be around $600-$650.

LG G4

The one thing LG prides itself on is its innovation, and the new LG G4 is sure to house some extra features. There’s a possibility that the G4 will have an eye scanner to gain secure access to the phone, but a fingerprint scanner would be more likely. LG’s smartphones are already on top when it comes to screen resolution, so G4’s display will probably be ahead of its competitors. Furthermore, a new stylus known as the G Pen will replace the poorly received LG G3 stylus.

Since the G3 is available for $600, we can assume G4 to cost the same or more at its launch. Its release is expected to come in May 2015.

Want to find out how Android phones can fit into your workplace? Get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

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How iPhone health apps are making health care easier

How iPhone health apps are making health care easier

iPhone_Jan27_CIt’s Monday morning and your daughter has a stomach ache and can’t get out of bed. You have a full week ahead of you with business meetings and chauffeuring around your son to soccer and football practice. When on earth are you going to have time to take your little girl to the doctor? Not to worry, the answer may be in your pocket. That’s right, new iPhone health apps and accessories are changing the way you receive health care. Instead of having to reorganize your schedule, the iPhone can now bring the doctor’s office to your home. Read on for three ways the iPhone health apps are making health care easier.

At-home ear infection diagnosis

If you have a young child, you’ll already know that ear infections are a common nuisance. By the age of 3, roughly 80% of all children have suffered from this affliction. And this problem alone costs the medical industry roughly 3.5 billion dollars annually.

In today’s world, full of long work hours and overloaded schedules, it can be difficult to find the time to visit a doctor. And if you live in a remote area, the challenge is even greater. But when little Johnny’s ear infection means you’re waking up at night to deal with a screaming toddler, you know that something needs to be done. The iPhone’s new Oto Home device could be your solution.

For $79 you can bring the technology of an otoscope (the device your doctor uses to look into your ear at a checkup) directly into your home. Not the whole thing of course. Instead, the Oto Home is just the small black cone-like part at the tip of the otoscope that the doctor inserts into your ear. Now you can attach this tool to your iPhone’s camera, and use it to take a video of the inside of your child’s ear, which can then be sent to your doctor via email. For a $49 fee, your doctor can diagnose and provide a prescription almost instantly.

At this time, the device is only available in California, but will likely be approved for use in more states soon.

Medical history for quicker doctor appointments

Whether you need to keep a close eye on a sick relative’s temperature or want to have a record of your own medical history, iPhone’s new Swaive app can help. Like the Oto Home device, the Swaive also involves your ear. But instead of diagnosing ear infections, the Swaive acts as an in-ear thermometer.

In combination with Apple’s Health app, the Swaive can keep track of your temperature over weeks, months or years. With this app, you can also record any kind of recurring physical symptom or medication you’re taking. This information can then be sent to your physician.

Even better, the next time you pop in for an in-person doctor visit, this info can speed up the process as it acts as a recent medical history.

Virtual doctor appointments from anywhere

But if you’d rather not visit the doctor at all, now you can make a virtual appointment through an app called Amwell. This allows you to Facetime with your physician at anytime, with no appointment necessary.

The way Amwell works is simple. A patient can open the app and scroll through the physicians who are part of the Amwell network. Just like other online health databases, you’ll be able to see the doctor’s years in practice, education and patient rating. Once you’ve made your choice, you can sign up for a $49 virtual visit where a doctor can provide instant feedback, diagnosis and treatment. Best of all, Amwell visits are covered by some insurance providers. So once you get your printable receipt, you can still get reimbursed.

Looking for more tips on how your iPhone can make life easier? Contact us today and learn how we can help.

This entry was posted in General Articles, Mobile Phone iPhone and tagged doctor, ear infection, Health, Health care, iPhone health, iPhone, iPhone app. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Changing the name of a Windows Phone

windowsphone_Dec18_CIf your business has integrated Windows Phones into operations, or is considering doing so, there are a number of steps you are going to need to take in order to be able to manage this properly. One of the first should be to rename devices so that they are easier to track. Here is how you can select new names for each of your devices.

How to see the name of your Windows Phone

Before we look into changing the name of your Windows Phone, you might want to know how to locate the present name of your phone. To do this:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap on System.
  3. Select About.

In the screen that opens you should see useful device information like the name of your phone, model, version number, etc. By default, your device’s name will be Windows Phone.

Changing the name of your Windows Phone

To change the name of your phone plug it into your computer, which needs to have the Windows Phone app for desktops installed. This app can be found here. If you have already synced your phone with your computer, then you should have this app installed already. To change the name of your device:

  1. Plug your phone into your computer using a USB cord.
  2. Open the Windows Phone app via your desktop. With some systems this will open automatically.
  3. Click on Settings followed by Preferences.
  4. Scroll down to the section that says Name Your Phone and click.
  5. Input the new name of your phone.

When you plug the device into your computer from now on, the name should be different. The same goes for when you turn on BlueTooth – the phone’s name will become the name of the network.

Another way to change your phone’s name

There is another way to change the name of your device, if for example you don’t have the Windows Phone app installed on your computer. To do this:

  1. Plug your phone into your computer via a USB cable.
  2. Open File Explorer on your computer. The easiest way to do this is to open any folder on your desktop.
  3. Click on Computer which should be in the left-hand vertical bar.
  4. Right-click on your phone. It should show a phone icon and the name of your phone (Windows Phone by default).
  5. Select Rename.
  6. Type in a new name for your device.

If you would like to learn more about using the Windows Phone in your office, contact us today to see how we can help.