Posts tagged Makes

Google Now on Tap Makes App Search Optimization More Critical Than Ever

Now on tap makes everything from text messages to social media posts searchable, and these new search capabilities could give apps the stickiness and functionality they’ve been missing.

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Qualcomm Makes Its Bid To Connect Our Future

Connecting your home, car, body and city to the Internet looks set to go from sci-fi fantasy to inevitability. And when that future finally becomes our de facto way of life, Qualcomm wants to make sure that its parts are running that multitude of devices and appliances.

Which explains the chipmaker’s deep interest in bringing forth its vision for the “Internet of Everything” (more commonly known as the “Internet of Things” by almost everyone else). At a press event in San Francisco, Qualcomm president Derek Aberle and other executives laid out plans for new processors; a plug for AllJoyn, Qualcomm’s open-source system for inter-device awareness and communication; and the AllSeen Alliance, the group it co-founded to drum up support for AllJoyn.

It may seem like an elaborate play for a company with little name recognition outside people who really care about smartphone processors. But Qualcomm insists that its experience in mobile may be its strongest asset in the Internet of Things—er, Everything.

All Your Gizmos Are Belong To Us

According to Aberle, Qualcomm thinks 5 billion connected devices will ship by the time 2018 winds down. To grab as much of that market as possible, the company just announced two new IoT-oriented processors, the QCA401x and QCA4531 Wi-Fi-based chips, to connect gadgets and their sensors and apps. But hardware’s only part of the puzzle. 

On the audio front, its AllPlay SAM (Specialized Audio Module) just got a new Bluetooth stack, so companies don’t have to build their own, plus improvements that let users stream audio that’s jacked in over line-in/aux ports. Basically, AllPlay vendors interested in better wireless audio features may not have to do much more than stuff in Qualcomm’s chip.

Consumers don’t want to fuss with gadgets, just to get them to work together. Qualcomm thinks even disparate gadgets from different brands can and should all work seamlessly—ideally, of course, under the banner of AllJoyn, the Internet of Things system it developed and then open-sourced. Qualcomm says 140 companies are now members—including Microsoft, which just joined this past year.

Of course, membership doesn’t always imply exclusive support; companies sometimes hedge their bets by joining multiple alliances. And Qualcomm’s ambition pits it in a race against other giants, including chipmakers Intel and Broadcom, as well as Samsung and Apple. 

So huge is Apple’s play, in fact, that it doesn’t seem to have it all together yet. Fortune reports that Apple’s HomeKit initiative—which intends to unite various smart-home products under an Apple-controlled framework—probably won’t launch until the fall, instead of sometime over the summer as expected.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm has been drumming up support for a few years. And while the maker of Snapdragon processors for smartphones and tablets might seem like an odd would-be leader for the Internet of Things, Qualcomm—of course—figures that this mobile expertise gives it a leg up. 

Mobile technology’s challenges—like physical size constraints, battery life and security—tend to overlap with those of smaller connected devices, said Raj Talluri, a Qualcomm vice president for product management. “We spent a lot of time bringing security to smartphones,” he said, “and we’re bringing that to this space.” 

Photos by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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Report: Uber Makes $3 Billion Offer For Nokia’s HERE Maps

The mapping acquisition would be the second for Uber this year.

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eBay Makes Big Promises to Small Sellers as SEO Penalty Still Stings – EcommerceBytes

BuzzFeed News
eBay Makes Big Promises to Small Sellers as SEO Penalty Still Stings
Google penalized eBay for its SEO practices a year ago, and it's still having a negative impact on eBay growth, according to eBay Marketplaces President Devin Wenig. During eBay's post-earnings conference call on Wendesday, Wenig explained his plan in …
EBAY Stock Price Soars on Earnings Beat, PayPal
eBay Has A Problem: It's About To Lose Its Biggest BusinessBuzzFeed News

all 284 news articles »

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Facebook Makes It Possible To Send Money Between Friends by @mattsouthern

Facebook just announced a major enhancement to its Messenger service that will allow friends to easily and securely send money to each other. This feature, which is free, will be available to US users within the coming months. Sending money will be virtually as easy as sending a photo. Just open up a conversation with a friend, tap on the $ icon and enter the amount you want to send, then tap Pay and add your debit card info to send the money. To receive money that has been sent to you, open the message from your friend and tap […]

The post Facebook Makes It Possible To Send Money Between Friends by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Google Makes it Easier for Users to Fill Out Forms on Mobile Devices by @mattsouthern

Today, Google announced an enhancement to its autocomplete attribute in Chrome that will ultimately make it easier, and faster, for users to fill out forms on mobile devices. It’s important to note that this isn’t some kind of default feature that Chrome automatically applies to all sites, it’s up to each individual site owner to make sure their forms are marked up with the autocomplete attribute If the filling out forms is something you’re driving users to do, whether to complete purchases or sign up for free offers, it’s a good idea to have the autocomplete attribute in place. In […]

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The Apple Watch Makes Its Play For The One Percent

At Apple’s “Spring Forward” press event Monday, CEO Tim Cook confirmed retail availability and pricing for the company’s much-anticipated Apple Watch.

On the low end, the cheapest device will be an Apple Watch Sport with a 38mm screen for $349—which is on the pricier side of the typical range for smartwatches these days. At their most expensive, the 18 karat gold watches in the Edition category start at $10,000 and goes up from there, depending on the options people select.

The major difference between the models, other than fabrication and materials, is … well, nonexistent. In essence, it means Apple it turning itself from a technology company into a luxury goods company. Sort of.

Watching Apple Hit Up Affluent Buyers 

Apple makes billions on the premise that it knows how to design technology products that people want. Too bad most won’t be able to afford its new smartwatch.

Renowned blogger and Apple insider John Gruber noted that the company’s devices have never been cheap — the first iPod cost $400; the first iPhone sold for $600 before dropping to $400 a few months later; and the company’s first iPad sold for $500. Later, it introduced the iPad mini, which sells for $400.

The context sets up a contradiction: The base model Apple Watch is the company’s cheapest mobile device yet. But when it launches on April 24, it will cost more than the average smartwatch at retail on the low end—and will serve up a Vertu-worthy extravagance on the upper range.

This positions the watch as less of a gadget than a luxury product, with models and prices distinguished by fabrication: aluminum alloy, stainless steel and 18 karat gold.

That’s a different tack, even for Apple.

The Differences Are Skin Deep

Usually, tech companies—Apple included—base product classes on distinct hardware specifications. Various gadgets tout more memory, bigger storage capacity, larger displays, better battery and such, to justify pricing variations. It’s the same play Apple made with its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Not so with the Apple Watch. No matter which people choose, they will get the same device, at least internally—from its supposed 18 hour battery to the microphone and speaker that will allow people to place calls from their wrists. They all boast the same software that runs Siri, connects to iPhones and hinges on iOS 8.2’s new Apple watch app for application downloads.

On the outside, the differences are skin deep:

  • The Apple Watch Sport, encased in an aluminum alloy in either silver or space gray, will start at $349 for the 38mm watch and $399 for the 42mm model. 
  • The Apple Watch Collection features stainless steel in two choices—traditional and space black—starting at $549 and going up to $1049 for the 38mm version. The 42mm device will cost $50 more. 
  • At the highest end, the gold Apple Watch Edition, whose companion straps will also feature solid gold, starts at $10,000. Other options will tack more onto the price.

The move seems like a gamble on Apple’s part. If the company is in the luxury goods market now, it needs to cater to that consumer psychology. Instead, it seems to be half in and half out, as it straddles a hazy line between early adopting budget shoppers and an affluent clientele. 

For the price conscious, the “cheap” aluminum and mid-tier stainless steel models will likely be too expensive. For wealthier customers, the mere availability of less-expensive variations might be enough to sully the watch’s prestige. Had the company gone decisively down one road or the other, the proposition might have been clearer.

Hard Out There For A Luxury Good

It’s a tricky balance that, for instance, high-end car makers have contended with for years. Companies such as Mercedes Benz and BMW are finally seeing success with less expensive cars for younger customers, but it took time. They also started with long-established luxury brands and only eventually branched out into lower-end offerings. They didn’t try to establish their luxury cred while catering to the masses at the same time.

In that sense, Apple’s approach seems risky. But plenty of folks hope the company can pull it off. More than any other, this smartwatch’s success has potential to lift the whole nascent wearables industry. 

In other words, there’s a lot riding on this wee wrist gizmo, and whether it can popularize the smartwatch product category—on either end of the market. 

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch start on April 10, and starting then, demo units will be available for retail shoppers to preview the device. Units will ship April 24 in select North American, European and Asian markets. 

Image via Apple

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Facebook Makes 5 Predictions For A Mobile-First Future by @mattsouthern

Get ready to put the desktop computer in the back of your mind and start thinking about mobile first. Facebook predicts that as smartphones become a more integral part of people’s lives, the mobile experience is going to take priority. With Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona this week, the topic of mobile devices is hot on everyone’s mind. Jane Schachtel, Facebook’s global head of technology and mobile strategy, took to the Facebook For Business blog this week to give her predictions for what a mobile-first future will look like. More Affordable SmartphonesSchachtel predicts the the importance of getting […]

The post Facebook Makes 5 Predictions For A Mobile-First Future by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Four Ways Data Visualization Makes Big Data Easier

Strata+Hadoop World, Big Data’s big conference last week, was filled with sessions dedicated to the gospel of bigness: More data equals more good. From data lakes to enterprise data hubs, the industry has made a fetish of gathering ever more data. 

Because, you know, insights are bound to occur. In a twist on open source’s “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow,” Big Data proclaims, “Given enough data, all data will sprout correlations and consequent insights.”

Except, of course, that it doesn’t. 

As much as we want to fetishize data volumes, the reality is that data is only as useful as the people interpreting it. Yes, machines can programmatically act on correlations they “see” in large data sets, but truly revolutionary change may start with Big Data but ends with Big Insights from real people.

Signal, Meet Noise

Even T.S. Eliot, one of the great poets of the twentieth century, knew this. Writing in 1935, Eliot bemoans the insight we’ve lost in spite of a wealth of data:

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

At least some of the struggles we have with Big Data arise from not knowing what to do with all the data we now accumulate. This shows through in a Gartner survey:

More data, it turns out, doesn’t automagically turn into more insight, as noted statistician Nate Silver declares:

If the quantity of information is increasing by 2.5 quintillion bytes per day, the amount of useful information almost certainly isn’t. Most of it is just noise, and the noise is increasing faster than the signal. There are so many hypotheses to test, so many data sets to mine–but a relatively constant amount of objective truth.

Real insight begins when people apply domain expertise to a body of data to intelligently query that data. As Silver continues, “The numbers have no way of speaking for themselves. We speak for them. We imbue them with meaning.” Hence, while we can introduce biases into the data, we also can attain perspicacity. 

Visualizing Data

To enable individuals to make sense of the ever-increasing mountains of corporate data, companies like Tableau, Roambi, Zoomdata, and other next-generation business intelligence vendors have arisen. These companies make it easier for the rank-and-file within an enterprise to understand data.

As Zoomdata’s Justin Langseth told ReadWrite, the point is not to deliver more data to “high priest” data scientists, but rather

to provide a beautiful, simple, yet powerful interface and underlying tech stack to allow regular business people to access, visualize, and collaborate around data that is residing and streaming into a variety of big data backends, and do that efficiently at large data and user scale.

Or as Roambi recently noted in a blog post, “As you invest in big data and analytics solutions, make sure you invest just as much into the people who will use them.”

As the company explains, “It’s up to the business to invest in training end-users how to think about and use data and analytics as much as they invest in the actual infrastructure and product.” In other words, downloading Hadoop isn’t the answer. Not the final answer, anyway. 

Which may be another way of saying that companies need to prioritize their people, not their data. As Roambi coaches, data-before-people is increasingly the norm, and it causes several, related problems:

  1. Analysts aren’t sure which metrics to provide: They may know how to pick apart data to discover insights, but don’t know how to communicate these through dashboards that tell a story to a particular job function
  2. Metrics aren’t being segregated based off job roles: Different roles require different data
  3. End-users can’t transform information into knowledge: People need training to learn how to think about data effectively
  4. Businesses are collecting data without changing behaviors: Organizations should change in response to the data

The foundation for resolving these issues is to better visualize data for mere mortals. Small wonder, then, that Tableau, the market leader, has seen its stock hit all-time highs recently. 

By all means, keep investing in Hadoop, NoSQL databases, and other Big Data infrastructure. Just don’t forget to also invest in the data visualization software that will help to make it meaningful for your employees who will ultimately be the ones to make sense of your data.

Lead photo by Seongbin Im

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The Latest @Snapchat Update Makes It Easier For Brands to Grow Audiences by @cynthialive

The new discover feature from Snapchat gives users a new way to discover and explore content and stories from different editorial teams.

The post The Latest @Snapchat Update Makes It Easier For Brands to Grow Audiences by @cynthialive appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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