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Showing posts from June 5, 2015

HMRC Ditches Microsoft For Google

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Britain's tax authorities will be sending out your bad news courtesy of Google in future, after the HMRC decided to select Google Apps as its platform for the future.
This is huge news on so many fronts. In the past the British Government has shied away from ditching Microsoft, not least because of the leverage Microsoft has as a result of its investment in UK R&D. In itself it isn't a huge loss for the Redmond software giant, numbering 70,000 licenses, what it is though, is the thin end of the wedge being driven into Microsoft's monopoly on UK government purchasing.
That HMRC are being allowed to store its data offshore also suggests a softening of the attitude of the Information Commissioner's Office, which previously mandated UK or EU storage of all sensitive information, with very strict controls on its transmission across borders.
Having previously run into these roadblocks myself when trying to modernise Healthcare services, I'm pleased to see that a mor…

Apple News A Potential Flipboard Killer

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Flipboard is one of those apps that is synonymous with the iPad. It launched on the tablet platform and despite branching out onto the web, iPhones, Windows and Android, is still far and away at its best on the Apple tablet.
Now however it looks like Apple has decided to kill Flipboard off, including a new News application in iOS 9 which seems to take the best from Flipboard and make it native.
Why does the appearance of Apple apps raise a warning flag for third party developers? It's the way that Apple is able to tie them into the iOS platform to make for an improved user experience. I have no doubts that News will tie into the new, proactive Siri in the same way that Apple Music does. That may not in itself be a killer feature, but it is interesting enough to suggest that large numbers of Flipboard users will see it as a reason to switch to Apple's own offering.

iOS Multi-tasking Brings New iPad Impetus

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The big announcement from WWDC, as far as iPad users were concerned anyway, was multitasking. This ability to run apps side by side brings the promise of a more powerful, more capable iPad better suited to facing competition from hybrid Windows tablets.Ignore the requirement to have an iPad Air 2 to make use of the functionality, that's down to the memory limitation of other iPads, and instead consider how this is another step towards the blurring of the lines between iOS and OS X.A larger iPad is now inevitable. Potentially packing a keyboard that turns it into exactly the sort of hybrid device that iPad users have been creating themselves ever since the tablet was first launched. I'd wager that after a case a keyboard is the number one accessory purchased by iPad owners.For a larger, professional iPad that keyboard is an absolute necessity. And knowing that there is huge demand for such an accessory I can't see Apple not making a play for customer dollars.Add together th…

Apple Music Will Shake Up Streaming Services

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As expected Apple arrived in the streaming music arena earlier yesterday, with the announcement of Apple Music, a Spotify rival that will change the face of the streaming industry.
It doesn't even need to be any good to do so. Yes, it needs to meet the basic requirements of a streaming service, which it does, but beyond that the unswerving loyalty of Apple's customers offers a real threat to other services.
Right now there are an awful lot of streaming services out there and most are probably pretty worried. For once Sony seems to have got ahead of the game by killing its own streaming service and handing the reins over to Spotify. The latter is by far the biggest service out there in terms of global paying subscribers, however that is unlikely to insulate it from the shock. Apple customers are, more often than not, those who will pay for services like Spotify. It is odds on they will be the first to switch to the new service too, unless it turns out to be an Apple Maps style…

No Excuses For Water Damaged Phones

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Water damage kills large numbers of phones every year and the industry has been very slow to do anything about it. Except for Sony. The Xperia line has traditionally integrated weather resistance into its premium and some mid-range devices. Other manufacturers have either restricted such protection to a single device or ignored the concept completely. The argument has always been that sealing flaps against water ingress is an annoyance users aren't prepared to accept. Sony has gradually worked to remove this frustration. First by creating a headphone socket that was self-sealing (for the Xperia Z1) and now, with the Xperia Z3+ doing the same for the charge/sync port. So if Sony can make a device which is IP68 compliant without any flaps there is no reason for other manufacturers to not do the same. As customers we should demand nothing less.